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Much of the population of the earth eats a combination of legumes and rice as their main diet. This is true in South America, the Caribbean, India, the Middle East and other places. The rice is often placed in a bowl; then a sauce or “gravy” of spiced beans or lentils is poured over the top. The people in these areas have been developing delicious recipes for centuries. The following includes a few foreign recipes that I recommend. I watch to see what my family will eat and when even my picky eaters like them, I know they’re good!        Eva Seegmiller, Troy Branch



Lentiles and Rice            Barbara Nielsen, Palouse River Ward

¼ cup margarine (or oil)                                             1 cup long grain rice

1 medium onion, sliced                                               1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup lentils, sorted, rinsed                                         salt and pepper to taste

4 cups chicken broth or water

Melt margarine in a large saucepan. All onion and sauté until onion is tender. Add lentils and saute 1 minute. Add broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 20 minutes. Add rice, cumin, salt and pepper. Simmer 30-40 minutes or until rice and lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Mixture will be mushy.            I serve this in pita bread with hot sauce and/or lettuce, tomato and cucumber.

Submitted by Eva Seegmiller. The pickiest eaters in my family will eat this without complaint. It has very good flavor. Barbara serves this in pita bread and hot sauce and/or lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.

 Carla’s Lentil Soup

Submitted by Eva – Featured in Sunset magazine as part of a traditional Italian family dinner. This recipe is yummy and goes fast at my house.

6 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces                          4 cups dried lentils

2 onions, thinly sliced                                                 ¼ cup parsley (dried parsley fine)

2 carrots thinly sliced                                                  1 teaspoon thyme

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced                                        1 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced                                                ½ teaspoon pepper

dried bay leaves                                                         2 cans, 28 oz. each, diced tomatoes

2 lemons, rinsed and cut into wedges.

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, stir bacon until browned around edges. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic to pan and stir frequently until vegetables are very limp.

Add lentils, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaves and 9 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are very tender, about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice and 1 cup water; simmer 10 minutes.

Serve in bowls with a lemon wedge. Squeeze lemon over individual bowl of soup.

Lentil Soup with Spinach  

Eva Seegmiller Betty Crocker Intern’l Cookbook

People of the Middle East have many very good lentils and rice recipes. They have been eating these foods for ages and have developed some delicious recipes. My family liked this one.

2 medium onions, sliced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped.

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

3 cups water

1 ¼ cups dried lentils

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups raw chopped spinach OR 1 pkg. frozen chopped

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cook and stir onions and garlic in oil in 3-quart sauce pan over medium heat until onions are tender. Stir in water, lentils and salt. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Stir in spinach, lemon peel and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes or until spinach is tender.

 NANCY’S LENTIL SOUP –   – the cumin and coriander give any lentil soup a distinctive middle-eastern flavor. The lemon juice adds the zing that brings out all the spices.

1 1/2 C. lentils

2 qts water

1/2 c. grated carrot         OR    1/4 c. dehydrated carrots

2 sm. potatoes, finely diced

2 T. dry onion flakes

1 t. dried garlic bits

1 t. lemon pepper

1 t. cumin

1/2 t. coriander

3 T. chicken soup base


Optional: shredded or cubed meat. Place all ingredients in a large pot. Simmer gently about 1 hour.

Garnish with plain yogurt or sour cream.

Dal       Eva Seegmiller          Betty Crocker International Cookbook

My older sister and her husband served in the Peace Corp in Central India in the 1960’s. Dal was common fare and was eaten by millions of people on a daily basis. It can be eaten with meat (if one is rich) on the side along with vegetables or eaten alone which is usually the case. Dal is a mildly spiced dish. Dal is cooked until it is thickened somewhat. It is served over steamed rice. They eat with their hands so the dal helps stick the rice together so it is easier to pick up. Dal can be made from dried beans, peas or lentils. Where my sister lived, it was usually made from dried split peas. Friends from Nepal told us they use lentils for Dal. In parts of India the food is very hot and some parts it isn’t. If you want to try to heat it up, my sister said the closest you can come to the flavor of the peppers they use, is to add cayenne pepper – little flavor and a lot of heat! I asked my sister if this recipe was authentic. Her reply – yes.

My family tried both the split pea and lentil versions. We slightly preferred the spit pea version but thought it was a close contest, both were very good.

3 cups water

1 cup lentils or split peas

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground tumeric

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

2 tablespoons oil

Lime wedges

Heat water and lentils to boiling. Stir in salt and tumeric. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Cook onion, garlic, cumin and cardamom in oil until onion is tender; stir into lentils. Cook uncovered over low heat, stirring frequently, until consistency of refried beans, 20-30 minutes. Serve over steamed rice with lime wedges.

Cucumbers with Lime Juice

My sister commented on a favorite vegetable dish she liked in India. She explained that they used a great deal of spices in their cooking, often with the addition of very hot peppers and I do mean hot. She described them as “pure heat”. She said she was often unable to identify which vegetable she was eating when they ate with Indians, because of the spices, often including tumeric, and long cooking times, which altered the original vegetable so much that it was unidentifiable by either taste or sight.

So when sliced raw cucumbers were served, soaked in fresh lime juice, she really enjoyed it. Not only could she tell what she was eating but it tasted very refreshing. Try it along side your next batch of curry. It really is wonderful.


Lentil Rice Salad

You can find the recipe I started with at the website.

1 cup cooked rice

1 cup cooked brown lentils (I substituted sprouted lentils for the cooked lentils)

1/3 c. green onions, thinly sliced ( substituted 1 T. dried onions, rehydrated)

1 med. Tomato, seeded, diced

1 tbsp chopped parsley (I used dried parsley)

2 tbsp red wine vinegar (I used a balsamic vinegar I already had in my cupboard)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 tsp lime juice (You can substitute lemon juice here if you like)

2 tsp Dijon mustard (Don’t be afraid to substitute any mustard you have that you like)

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

In a bowl, combine the rice, lentils, tomato, onions and parsley. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over rice mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.         Makes 9 x 12-inch pan of bars

2 15.5oz cans Garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)

   Nancy’s substitute: cook 1 c. brown lentils in 3 c. water, 40 min-will give the exact amount needed for recipe      Cool cooked lentils; drain well; mash or blend

2 eggs

1/3 c. honey

1/3 c. brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Add everything except the chocolate chips to a food processor and run until the mixture is smooth.

Add the chocolate chips and pulse the processor until they are slightly broken up and incorporated into the batter.

OR sprinkle on top if not using food processor. (I like having the burst of chocolate flavor that comes from finding a whole chocolate chip in my bite.)

Pour batter into a 9×13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The inside should set, but still a little wet. It is better to take it out undercooked than overcooked. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.


PALOUSE SPREAD – You can serve this spread/dip with confidence at a party. You are from the Palouse and you DO know what a legume is!

1 cup dry USA  yellow split peas , rinsed

1 14-ounce can chicken or beef broth

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup minced onion

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

2 teaspoons dill seed

1 2-ounce jar sliced pimento

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 4-oounce can sliced ripe olives

Dash hot pepper sauce

In medium saucepan, combine split peas, broth, water, onion, 3 minced garlic cloves, and dill weed. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 45-55 minutes or until peas are very tender. Drain, if necessary.

Lightly mash the peas with a potato masher or fork. For a smoother consistency puree them in a food processor. Stir in the remaining minced garlic, pimento, lemon juice, and olives. Season with hot sauce.

Serve warm or cold on crackers, inside a pita pocket or on toasted French bread.

OR simply enjoy by dipping with Pita chips or sliced baguette pieces.

White Bean Hummus

Uses Navy, Great Northern or Cannellini beans instead of Garbanzo beans. The ingredient Tahini (ground sesame seeds) is expensive and can be hard to find. Note the possible substitutions in the following recipes. As you blend the ingredients, add water, a little at a time. Check frequently until the texture looks right. TWO garlic cloves? This is not an exact science; add a little garlic or a lot or none. If you like your Hummus spicy, add a dash or two of Cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce. Homemade can be made to suit your taste!

1-15 ounce can of Great Northern, Cannellini or Navy beans rinsed and drained

2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil (reduce to 2 t. with sesame oil addition)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

3 1/2 tablespoons water – added in small amount

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Tahini (optional); substitution: 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil + 1 tablespoon un-toasted sesame seeds

1/4 teaspoon salt


Drain and rinse beans. Don’t use the juices from the can in this recipe. It will muddy the flavor. Put beans, 2 tablespoons water, lemon juice, Tahini, cumin and salt in a blender or food processor; mix well. Add garlic and olive oil; continue blending. Add water as necessary for consistency you like. Serve.


made from dehydrated “Refried Beans” flakes

Add 1 cup boiling water to 1 cup dehydrated bean flakes. Add 1/2  tsp. garlic granules, 1 Tbsp. cumin, 1/4 cup salsa, pinch of salt. Seasoning amounts may be increased or decreased according to taste.

BEAN RECIPES FROM COOKING ON THE PALOUSE – click here for the  inside story on successful bean cooking !!

Bean and Bacon Soup                                      Eva Seegmiller

For this recipe I bought a can of Campbell’s Bean and Bacon Soup and a can of Hytop brand Bean and Bacon Soup, read the ingredient list and came up with this. Feel free to change it any way you like. This makes a large batch. I freeze what I don’t immediately use in ziplock type freezer bags. They thaw out quickly when placed in a sink of hot water.

8 cups white beans (I prefer Great Northern to Navy)

1 pound bacon

4 large carrots, diced

¼ cup dried minced onions (fresh are fine)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup tomato paste

2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring

Salt to taste when beans are nearly soft

Clean and rinse beans. Soak overnight, discard water, rinse beans and add new water. Cook. OR use fast method. Wash beans, cover with water, boil 2-5 minutes, turn off heat and let sit one hour. Do not drain water. Beans are ready to cook. Simmer slowly.

Add to large pan with beans and plenty of water:

Bacon, fried crisp and then crumbled

2 tablespoons bacon grease

Carrots, diced


Simmer slowly until beans are nearly soft, then add: sugar, tomato paste, Liquid Smoke flavoring. Salt to taste

 Simmer for at least half an hour or until beans are very soft. Let beans cool somewhat. Puree about 2/3 of the soup in a blender or processor. Mix back in with the other beans. Makes for a nice texture.


From Eva Seegmiller: “When you consider all the Chili cook-off contests you can see that a tremendous variety exists. As for myself, I generally go with what my mother did and I like it because it tastes great and is simple and easy. When browning hamburger, I add chili powder, cumin and garlic – lots of each. That’s it. I occasionally add green pepper which gives a nice fresh taste. Simmer meat and spices with a little water added, for at least ½ hour before adding it to the beans. (I simmer longer) I then add some form of tomatoes. For those who have difficulty digesting beans – substitute lentils! It makes a good chili and is much easier on the system.

Kathy’s Same-Night Chili – served at the Beans and Lentils Cooking on the Palouse Class.

Kathe Martin, Colfax Ward

1 # hamburger cooked and drained
1/2 -1 diced onion (I used a sweet onion)
1 can tomato soup 10.3/4 oz
1 can diced tomatoes 14.5 oz
1 can kidney beans 16 oz
1 can white beans 16 oz       All beans were drained and rinsed. 1 can pinto beans 16 oz
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp worchestershire
1 Tbsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste


White Bean ChiliTaste of Home                                           Yields approx.7-8 cups of chili

1# chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 med onion, chopped

1-1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 T veg oil

2 cans Great Norther beans (15-1/2 oz ea)

1 can chicken broth (or equivalent) (14 1/2 oz)

2- 4 oz cans diced green chilies

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I never add)

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

-1 can evap milk = 1.5 c.

Yield – 7 servings

Chili made from Sprouted Beans                     Nancy Heward

Nancy told me about the chili she would make from sprouted pinto or red beans. My reaction was always – sounds interesting. That was until I tasted it when she brought some once for us to sample at Homemaking Meeting. Yum.

Sprout 2 cups pinto or red beans. When sprouting larger seeds, such a legumes, use when the sprouts are about the same length as the bean.

Cover sprouted beans with water and simmer until soft. It doesn’t take long. Drain and rinse.

Add:   1 quart or 1 28 oz can tomatoes

1 can tomato soup

¼ c. dehydrated onions

1 ½ teaspoon dried garlic bits

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 ½ tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon beef or ham boullion

¼ teaspoon liquid smoke

Browned meat if desired and available

            Simmer 1 hour or a little less. May add a little water if too thick.

Cuban Black Beans                    Nancy Heward, Troy Branch

1 lb. small black beans (about 2 cups)

Clean beans by sorting and rinsing. Discard water. Cover beans with water and soak overnight. (OR bring water and beans to a boil for 2-5 minutes, turn heat off and let sit for 1 hour, then proceed.)

Cook beans with 1 bay leaf and several garlic cloves, minced.

Slowly simmer for 2 hours. Do not drain water off unless you have an excess and then only part. Leave enough water to cover beans by about an inch or more.

Add:    2/3 cup olive oil. (I use less – the Cubans like it rich!)

 3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, diced

1 large green pepper, diced

3 teaspoons cumin (or more to taste)

½ tablespoon onion powder or granules

½ tablespoon garlic powder or granules

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Add to beans. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. Eat over hot steamed rice. Garnish with lime wedges.

 Feijao              Brazilian Black Beans        My son-in-law found this recipe and said it is the same black beans he had while in Paraguay serving on the Brazilian border as a missionary. It is very good!

1 lb. dried black beans                        2 bay leaves

Cover beans with 3 or 4 inches of water. Add bay leaves. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer slowly until beans are very soft. Add more water if needed. Save liquid. (may reduce cooking time by soaking beans overnight. Discard water and rinse well. Add fresh water and cook.)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large yellow onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped garlic

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 Heat oil in pan. Add onion, cook slowly until soft and golden brown. Add all other ingredients and sauté about 1 minute.

Add onion mixture to beans and cook on very low for 1 hour.

Serve over rice. Should be like somewhat thick soup – enough liquid to make the rice wet.

Vinagrete       Brazilian Tomato Slaw            Serve as a side dish with Feijao

Combine all:

1/2 cucumber, unpeeled, quartered and thinly sliced

5 tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup diced onions

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1/4 cup diced green onion

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

Let stand 3 hours before eating.


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