Rice & lentils is one of my favorite daily fares. Lentils take about as long as brown rice to cook, & are easier to digest than some of the larger beans. I like adding red & wild rice, a 1/4 c quinoa & a Tbsp or two of teff.
I begin by putting the rice (usually ~ 2 parts rice to one of lentils) & a chopped onion or the white part of a leek in a pan with a bit of olive oil, & heat water (or Stock *) in another pan. Stir the rice frequently till more than half the grains have turned white, & take pan off heat, adding the lentils.
Add the lentils & boiling stock or water, season with Italian or Herbs de Provence (includes basil & lavender) a piece of Kombu & a bay leaf, add chunks of potatoes, leek tops, carrots, parsnips, mushrooms (if dried, soak for a hour or so first) & few chopped cloves of garlic, bring to a boil, then turn down & simmer for 45 min to an hour. I add the quinoa & teff with the veggies.
We use 'Bragg liquid aminos' instead of soy sauce, our natural foods store carries it. It's lower in sodium & Organic (OG) - hence GMO free - Soy is usually Genetically Modified unless labeled OG. This is my stand by fare, I tend to make it weekly (enough to last a few days), & my (grown) kids still enjoy it!
My new *favorite* is Ratatouille!!
After seeing the movie, I pulled out some recipe books, & mostly found 'summer' versions (tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant) . . . I like making a winter one best!
I begin with a stir fry - olive oil with a leek (white part) or onions & garlic; then add lots of root veggies, which I cut into chunks, & add in small batched to the clay 'apple baker' that I put in the oven before preheating, & add the 'bits' from the stove top pan as I go. You could use any large vessel that's oven safe.
Winter veggies: I like GOLDEN beets (don't stain like the red) parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes or squash (I don't nec. peel, but you could) Jerusalem artichokes (I grow these - a sunflower relative tuber!) potatoes, mushrooms (fresh or dried & pre soaked) cauliflower &/or Brussels sprouts (I cut in thin slices, & add just before putting in the oven, a piece of kombu (seaweed that's great for a bit of flavor & extra nutrients) the same spices (Italian or french) & a bay leaf,
Bake @ 350 for 15 to 20 minutes after everything's been added; I -re cook in little batches, & keep adding for 10-15 min.
You can add chopped nuts - local if you have them (in our area, filberts or walnuts) I gauge how much to cook by what my pan holds, again, I make enough to last several days, & re-heat small batches as needed.
I don't use a microwave at home, but re-heating a portion or two on the stove top only takes a few minutes! I can even do a 'quick meal' stir fry in very short order.
I make * Stock by saving all the veggie trimmings - parsnip & carrot tips & tops, celery tips & a few leaves, onion skins, asparagus stems, mushroom ends, garlic husks, etc. anything that's not moldy or dirty goes in a bag or quart yogurt container in the freezer (Do not include cabbage family trimmings : cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, (sulphery & will overpower other flavors) & NO potatoe peels) I also add a piece of Kombu a bouquet garni of sprigs of herbs, tied together, or a sprinkle from my spice jar; & a bay leaf or two.These go in a stock pot on top of the stove while I'm starting the veggies, or in the crock pot for a few hours. You can use just veggies, or add chicken bones - freezing keeps things 'fresh' till you need them!
I learned to make stock from a chef friend, such an easy way to adds flavor & nutrients!! You can make your own stock in minutes while chopping veggies for whatever you're making, & use a bit of water or stock to 'saute' in, if you don't want to use oil! When I make 'quick cook' stock for a recipe, after taking some out, I add more water to my stock pan, & continue to simmer it for another hour, & then refrig. it for later use.