Akasha Richmond's cauliflower-flecked pilaf is a fantastic, healthy meal in one dish. Chopped Marcona almonds add a super crunch; coconut oil, an unexpected tropical flavor.
1 cup French green lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 shallot, minced
1 celery rib, minced
1 carrot, minced
1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed
1 cup vegetable stock
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound cauliflower, coarsely grated
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup coarsely chopped Marcona almonds
How to Make It
Put the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add the bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic and onion and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the lentils are tender, about 18 minutes. Drain and discard the bay leaf, thyme, garlic and onion. Wipe out the pot.
Add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil to the saucepan. Add the shallot, celery and carrot and cook over low heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the grains are tender and plump and the liquid is absorbed, about 18 minutes. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the cauliflower and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, toss the lentils with the quinoa, cauliflower, parsley and almonds. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot or at room temperature.
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