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Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils

Savoring the Rustic Charm

Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils

Embark on a culinary journey back to the basics with our Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils recipe. This dish is a celebration of simplicity and nourishment, blending earthy flavors and wholesome ingredients to create a meal that is both comforting and satisfying. It’s a testament to the rustic, hearty cuisine that has been a staple for those who cherish the simple, yet profound, joys of natural living.

In every bite, you’ll discover the rich, satisfying textures of brown rice and lentils, two ingredients known for their nutritional value and heartiness. This recipe is more than just food; it’s a nourishing experience for both body and spirit, perfect for those who seek a meal that’s as fulfilling as it is tasty.

Whether you’re nestled in the backcountry, gathered around a campfire, or simply enjoying the comforts of your home kitchen, this dish brings a touch of the wilderness to your table. It’s ideal for those who love to connect with nature through their food, embracing the wholesome, unadulterated flavors that only simple, honest cooking can provide.

So, let’s gather our ingredients and prepare to cook a meal that is steeped in the tradition of rustic cuisine, a meal that celebrates the pure, earthy flavors of the great outdoors. Get ready to nourish your soul with the heartwarming goodness of Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils.

Embracing Maine’s Sustainable Living Ethos

Our Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils recipe finds its roots deeply embedded in the culture and values of Maine, a state where the ethos of local produce and sustainable living is not just practiced but celebrated. This wholesome dish is a reflection of Maine’s unwavering commitment to natural, unprocessed foods and its rich agricultural heritage.

In Maine, the concept of farm-to-table isn’t a trend; it’s a way of life. The state’s focus on sustainable living and the utilization of local produce is profoundly evident in this simple yet nourishing dish. The combination of rice and lentils speaks to the practicality and resourcefulness of Mainers, who have long valued the importance of eating foods that are not only good for the body but also for the environment.

Celebrating Maine’s Agricultural Roots

Maine’s rich agricultural heritage, especially its emphasis on organic farming and local sourcing, is perfectly encapsulated in this recipe. The state’s farmlands yield an abundance of high-quality, natural produce, fostering a food culture that prioritizes the health of both the land and its people. This dish, with its simple ingredients and robust flavors, is a celebration of that tradition, highlighting the best of what Maine’s agriculture has to offer.

A Dish that Highlights Simple yet Flavorful Ingredients

The beauty of this Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils recipe lies in its simplicity and the spotlight it shines on humble ingredients. In Maine, there’s a profound appreciation for meals that are straightforward yet flavorful, where the natural taste of each component is allowed to shine. This dish embodies that philosophy, showcasing how a few basic ingredients can come together to create a meal that is both satisfying and representative of the state’s culinary identity.

A Culinary Representation of Maine’s Values

This rice and lentil dish is more than just a meal; it’s a representation of Maine’s values – a dedication to sustainable practices, a love for local produce, and a commitment to wholesome, nutritious food. It’s a nod to the state’s agrarian roots and a testament to the joy of cooking with ingredients that are as close to their natural state as possible.

The Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils recipe is a homage to the heart and soul of Maine’s food culture. It’s a dish that not only provides nourishment but also connects those who enjoy it to the state’s rich agricultural heritage and its enduring commitment to natural and wholesome foods.

Perfecting Your Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils

Creating a delightful Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils dish involves a bit of technique and patience to bring out the best flavors. Here are some useful tips and suggestions to ensure your dish is as nourishing and tasty as it can be:

Perfecting the Rice Cooking

  • For flawlessly cooked brown rice, the water-to-rice ratio is crucial. A general rule of thumb is to use a 2:1 ratio of water to rice. This ensures the rice cooks evenly and becomes tender without being mushy. Be sure to simmer it gently and avoid stirring too much, as this can break the grains.

Choosing the Right Lentils

  • When it comes to lentils, opting for green lentils is a wise choice for this recipe. Green lentils maintain their shape and texture better after cooking, compared to other varieties that may become too soft or mushy. This will add a nice contrast to the softness of the rice and caramelized onions.

Mastering Caramelization

  • The key to deliciously sweet and rich caramelized onions is patience. Cook the onions slowly over low heat, allowing their natural sugars to caramelize without burning. This process may take some time, but the depth of flavor it adds to the dish is well worth the wait.

Adding Garlic Carefully

  • Garlic can burn quickly and turn bitter, so it’s important to add it to oil that is warm but not smoking hot. This will allow the garlic to infuse its flavor into the oil without the risk of burning.

Layering the Seasoning

  • Season your dish with salt and pepper at various stages during the cooking process. This helps to build and layer the flavors, ensuring that every bite is seasoned perfectly. Start with a little and adjust according to your taste preferences as you go.

Exploring Herb Variations

  • Feel free to experiment with different herbs to add variety to the dish. Parsley or cilantro can offer a fresh, bright contrast to the earthy flavors of the lentils and rice. Different herbs can significantly change the profile of the dish, so have fun trying new combinations.

Pairing with the Perfect Side

  • This dish pairs beautifully with a side of roasted vegetables for added texture and flavor or a fresh salad for a lighter touch. The richness of the lentils and rice complements the freshness of a salad or the caramelized edges of roasted veggies.

By following these tips, you’ll enhance the overall quality and flavor of your Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils, turning it into a dish that is both satisfying and reflective of the rustic charm of its inspiration. Enjoy the process of cooking and savor the hearty and wholesome meal you’ve created.

A Touch of Comfort in the Great Outdoors

The Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils dish is a versatile recipe that is as suited for the homestead kitchen as it is for a campfire in the wilderness. Its reliance on staple ingredients, one-pan simplicity, and hearty nature make it an ideal choice for both settings.

A Homesteader’s Reliable Staple

For homesteaders, this dish is a perfect example of how simple, staple ingredients can be transformed into a nourishing and flavorful meal. Using ingredients that are commonly found in a homesteader’s pantry, such as brown rice, lentils, and basic seasonings, it epitomizes the self-sufficient lifestyle. This dish is not only cost-effective but also filling and nutritious, making it a reliable option for everyday meals. It’s a testament to the homesteading ethos of making the most out of what you have on hand.

A Camping Culinary Delight

In a camping setting, the Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils truly shines for its ease of preparation and satisfying nature. Its one-pan simplicity is ideal for outdoor cooking, minimizing the hassle and maximizing flavor. For an even quicker campfire meal, you can opt to use pre-cooked rice and lentils, which significantly cuts down on preparation and cooking time. This makes it a convenient, yet hearty option for campers who want to enjoy a good meal without spending too much time on cooking.

Versatility in the Wild

The beauty of this dish lies in its adaptability. Whether you’re cooking on a homestead stove or over an open fire in the wilderness, the recipe can be adjusted to suit your cooking setup. It’s a comforting and hearty meal that can be enjoyed under the stars or in the coziness of your home.

For those who love the great outdoors, this dish brings a touch of home comfort to the camping experience. After a day of hiking or exploring, there’s nothing quite like sitting around a campfire with a warm, satisfying bowl of brown rice and lentils. It’s a simple, yet fulfilling way to end the day, reminding us of the simple joys of outdoor living.

The Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils is an excellent choice for both homesteaders and campers. It’s a dish that celebrates the beauty of simplicity and the joy of cooking with basic, wholesome ingredients. Whether you’re at home or in the wilderness, this dish is sure to provide comfort, nutrition, and a sense of satisfaction.

A Homage to Wholesome Eating

As we wrap up our culinary exploration of the Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils, it becomes evident that this dish is far more than just a meal. It embodies a celebration of simple living and the profound joy of consuming foods that nourish both the body and the soul. This recipe is a testament to the beauty of uncomplicated, hearty cuisine that doesn’t compromise on nutrition or taste.

In every spoonful of this dish, you can taste the essence of nutritious, flavorful eating. The combination of earthy lentils and nutty brown rice provides not only a satisfying meal but also a well-balanced one, packed with essential nutrients. This dish is a reminder of how food can be both a source of sustenance and a source of pleasure, especially when it’s made with simple, wholesome ingredients.

Bringing Maine’s Rustic Charm to Your Table

Whether you’re enjoying a quiet meal at home or gathered around a campfire, this Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils recipe brings the rustic charm of Maine to your table. It’s a dish that resonates with the spirit of the outdoors, offering comfort and warmth with every bite. The flavors and textures of the dish evoke the simplicity and serenity of life in tune with nature, capturing the essence of Maine’s picturesque landscapes and its approach to life.

A Dish for Every Setting

This recipe transcends settings, fitting perfectly into the tranquility of a homestead kitchen or the adventurous ambiance of a camping trip. It’s versatile, easy to prepare, and universally appealing, making it an ideal choice for any occasion. Whether served as a main dish or a hearty side, it promises to satisfy and delight.

Celebrating the Joys of Simple Living

The Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils recipe is more than just sustenance; it’s a celebration of the joys of simple living. It’s about taking pleasure in the preparation and consumption of a meal that is straightforward yet rich in flavors. It’s a dish that encourages us to slow down, savor the moment, and appreciate the basics of good, honest cooking.

So, as you enjoy this heartwarming dish, let it be a reminder of the simple pleasures in life – the comfort of a nourishing meal, the beauty of simplicity, and the timeless charm of rustic, home-cooked food. Here’s to the Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils – a humble yet delightful dish that brings a piece of Maine’s warmth and wholesomeness to every table.


Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils


  • 3 cups brown rice cooked
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sunflower oil divided
  • 2 cups green lentils cooked
  • 3 cups onions thinly sliced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chives finely chopped


  • Start by heating 1/3 cup of sunflower oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add your thinly sliced onions. The goal here is to achieve a deep, beautiful caramelization, which will add a rich sweetness to the dish. This process will take about 15 minutes. Stir the onions occasionally to prevent burning, and season them with salt and black pepper as they cook. Watch as they transform into golden, sweet strands.
  • Meanwhile, in another skillet or a large casserole dish, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced garlic. Sauté the garlic for about a minute until it becomes fragrant but not browned. Garlic adds a deep, savory aroma that will infuse the entire dish.
  • Stir in the ground cumin with the garlic, letting the spice bloom for a few seconds. The cumin will add a warm, earthy note to the dish. Then, fold in the cooked brown rice and green lentils. Season the mixture generously with salt and black pepper, ensuring every bite is flavorful. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rice and lentils should be fully coated with the garlic-cumin oil, becoming even more flavorful.
  • Now, it’s time to bring all the components together. Add the caramelized onions to the rice and lentil mixture. If you’re using chives, sprinkle them in now. Chives will add a mild oniony flavor and a pop of color. Gently mix everything together, making sure the caramelized onions are evenly distributed throughout the dish.

Dive Deeper into the World of Rustic Maine Cooking

You’ve just explored the savory world of our Backcountry Brown Rice & Lentils, a culinary masterpiece born from the collaboration between Roughcut Food Labs and The Dead River Collective. But why stop there?

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