Hey, all! Hope you are surviving this snowy, cold snap that is hitting across so much of the country. We got about 14 inches of snow at the beginning of the week, and last night’s low was -6 degrees. We are in northeast Ohio, so this is not that unusual for us. I watch the weather on television and see many of you in other parts of the country are getting slammed with similar weather that is not the norm for your areas. Take care out there!
Today, it’s time for another recipe and cooking post. This one features green lentils. I never used to be a fan of lentils. Since I discovered various types of lentils besides the standard brown ones, and I am learning better ways to cook them, I have a new appreciation. So, here is a recipe I invented to incorporate some healthy lentils into our diets.
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 of a red pepper
handful of baby carrots, finely diced
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 can diced tomatoes (any flavor, fire roasted is especially good)
2 cups any flavor of broth (or water with a bouillon cube)
1 cup green lentils
Heat olive oil in a 12 inch skillet. Add garlic, onion, red pepper, and carrots.
Sauté all until tender. Covering with a lid helps keep the veggies from burning before they are ready. Stir occasionally.
Remove lid when veggies are tender. Add black pepper, garlic and onion powders, basil, and thyme. Sauté 1-2 minutes more.
Add broth, or water and bouillon, and bring to boil while stirring occasionally.
Add the lentils and canned tomatoes. Simmer, covered until lentils are tender. Approximately 30 minutes. You may need to add more liquid as the lentils cook. Water is fine for this.
Voila! Dinner is served.
Serve on rice. Basmati is a good choice, but any rice will work.
Melt cheese on top for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Stir in a little barbeque sauce or soy sauce for added flavor.
This made more than I anticipated, so after having it for a couple meals, I made the rest into veggie patties.
To do this:
Put leftover lentil mixture into a food processor or chopper and run until smooth. Pulse at first and then run for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add an egg, a bit of Parmesan cheese, and about 1/2 cup of Italian breadcrumbs. Process long enough to mix.
Form mixture into patties and fry in enough oil to coat pan.
You can melt the cheese of your choice on top.
And after this, I still had a large lentil patty left, so I crumbled it up and used it as a topping for homemade pizza!
This recipe made a few meals for two people. And it lived on as incarnations in more meal ideas as well. The recipe was frugal and tasty. I’d count it as a winner. Let me know what you think. Don’t forget to follow my blog. I intend to include at least one recipe per month as part of my country living lifestyle page.
This beans and rice recipe can be used as a main dish or as a side dish. It is a good side to serve with the quesadillas shown above, link to that recipe follows. In Search of the Perfect QuesadillaThis beans and rice recipe is a staple at our house. We serve it when we are due for a trip to the grocery store or don’t have any other ideas for dinner. This and spaghetti are two dishes that we have about once a week or so, because they don’t take much thought to prepare. Do you have dishes that are old standbys at your house too? What are they? We can all use more ideas of what to make for dinner!
1 13/4 cups water
1 cup white rice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped in large pieces
1/4 of a red pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cumin (adjust to taste)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can black beans
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips to crumble on top
may be served with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole
Make rice per package directions. Generally bring the water and salt to a boil, then add the rice. Cook covered for 20 minutes or until done. You can leave the rice sitting on the burner until you are ready for it. Just be sure to turn the burner off when the rice is done.
While the rice cooks, prepare the other ingredients. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the oil olive when the pan is hot, then heat the olive oil. You can tell the oil is hot when it easily swirls around the pan to coat the bottom. Do not let the oil smoke or burn.
Add the chopped garlic, onion, and red pepper to the oil in the pan. (You can also add chopped if you want.) Sauté the vegetables until tender. You may need to put a lid on the pan for part of the cooking time to get the veggies tender without burning them.
When the veggies are nearly done, add the spices and sauté for a minute or so. Keep an eye on it so the spices brown and do not burn, or they will become bitter. Drain about 1/2 the liquid from the bean can. (You could also use kidney or pinto beans.) Add the beans and remaining liquid to the mixture in the skillet. (You can also add frozen peas, finely chopped broccoli, or spinach at this point. Or not.) If you added more veggies, cook or heat until they are tender. If you only added beans, just heat them through.
Add the cream of mushroom soup. (You could substitute any cream soup, celery, broccoli, golden mushroom.) Heat the mixture through.
At this point, you are ready to transfer the warm rice from the cooking pot into the skillet with the soup-veggie-bean mixture. Mix the rice thoroughly with the other items, this will take a minute. Reduce the heat to low. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. (You can use any kind of cheese. Provolone, Havarti, mozzarella, brick are all good.)
Put a lid on the skillet and wait for the cheese to melt.
You are ready to serve! We cut ours’s into pie shaped pieces for serving, then garnish with the crumbled chips, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.
I tried making something new for dinner tonight. That is not unusual. The unusual part was that I used a recipe. The recipe was for Easy Mie Goreng or Indonesian Stir-Fried Noodles. I did alter the recipe slightly to accommodate my ingredients. I found the recipe in a book I checked out from the library. Gotta love your local library. The name of the cookbook is Rice. Noodles. Yum. by Abigail Sotto Raines. Most of the recipes look tasty but use ingredients that I don’t have on hand. This recipe was pretty basic so I gave it a try. It was delicious and I look forward to having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
The final product did come out looking similar to the picture in the book. Their shrimp were larger but otherwise, very similar. It wasn’t overly difficult to make either. I would recommend this recipe. If you don’t mind tracking down some of the ingredients, a number of the other recipes look delicious as well. Things like oyster sauce and tamarind paste are not something I have easy access to. I suppose I should try looking on-line. Also, I did not know there are different kinds of soy sauce such as dark or sweet. What they carry at my local stores just says soy sauce. I did substitute finely sliced green cabbage for the Napa and Bok Choy. These would have been $12 for each head at my local grocer.
I certainly can’t complain about the results though. We both had two servings of this noodle dish for dinner. If you’re looking for something tasty and different from your usual fare, give this a try.