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Weeknight Cooking

Dinner Tonight: Rice and Lentils with Spiced Beef

This riot of textures and flavors is super-comforting and comes together quick.
By Published Jan. 28, 2019

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I have all this pumpkin pie spice mix left over in my pantry. What can I do with it?

Pumpkin pie spice is everywhere between October and December. But come January, no one wants anything to do with it, and you still have that little jar in your cupboard. Now what?

Here’s the truth: Pumpkin pie spice is really a simple blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice (and sometimes one or two other spices). This makes it a fantastic one-ingredient solution that, just like other spice blends (think herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning), delivers a whole range of flavors in just one spoonful. (If you don’t have a jar, it’s easy to make your own with our stir-together recipe.)

What’s more, pumpkin pie spice isn’t relegated to just baked goods. Take this extraordinarily flavorful dish of spiced ground beef, lentils, rice, tangy yogurt, and crunchy fried onions, which is a fast, weeknight riff on the classic Lebanese dish mujaddara. It will fill your kitchen with pungent aromas.