Lunch boxes

Taking a lunch box to school or work can be much healthier than buying meals and unhealthy snacks every day.

Lentil and rice salad

Serves 4 – 6

Brown rice and lentils are a perfect combination. Together they form a complete protein, making this a wholesome meal.


2 tsp (10 ml) sunflower or olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 carrots, sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin

1 tsp (5 ml) dried mixed herbs

1 bay leaf and 1 cinnamon stick

1 cup (250 ml) dried brown lentils

1 cup (250 ml) uncooked brown rice or brown basmati rice

3 cups (750 ml) water

½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt

lemon juice and black pepper to taste

100 g broccoli, cut into florets

100 g green beans, halved width wise

1 red or green pepper, seeded and sliced

2-3 tbsp (30-45 ml) chopped fresh parsley or coriander


  1. Heat oil in a pot and fry onions, garlic, carrots and celery for a few minutes.
  2. Add cumin, dried herbs, bay leaf and cinnamon with the lentils, rice, water and salt.
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer with a lid for 30-40 minutes or until the rice and lentils are tender. Add another ½ cup of water during the cooking time, if necessary.
  4. Season with lemon juice and pepper and allow to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, place broccoli and green beans in a shallow dish and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes or until just cooked, but still bright green and crunchy. Drain and repeat if necessary.
  6. Rinse with cold water to cool down and drain well. Stir into the lentil and rice mixture, with the pepper slices and herbs.
  7. Pack in a lunch box to enjoy as a vegetarian meal with fresh seasonal fruit.


  1. When in season, avocado is delicious in this salad.
  2. For added crunch, sprinkle sunflower or sesame seeds over the salad.
  3. Dried lentils are easy to cook. There’s no need for soaking and you can cook it like rice for 30-40 minutes.
  4. If available, try this dish with brown basmati rice. It is high in fibre and has a delicious nutty flavour that combines well with the lentils, cumin and green veggies.

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