Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lentil Rice Casserole

*This was originally from Sue Gregg - not sure how *I* got it because I've never seen her cookbooks - I used to consider her "out there" but I think I've morphed into her type of cook. LOL Anyway - I got this somehow years ago. It was one of the older kids' favorites (as in the first three). Tonight Jamin finally remembered it (though he thinks it needs more spice) and Jared and Stacia ate it....the middle three (Arielle, Nolan and Zander) had mac and cheese and carrot sticks. SIGH.

6 C water
1 1/2 C uncooked lentils
1 C uncooked brown rice
1/2 C onion - chopped
1 t basil
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder (used granules)
2 T Sue's Kitchen Magic (I have no clue what this is - I used to use some brown gravy powder from Costco - tonight I used Vegetable Broth powder and it was good)

(I used to add an onion soup mix to this - tonight I added some onion powder).

1 1/2 C cheese (this would be the very minimum! and is added at the END of baking time)

Blend all but cheese together. I put it in my wonderful new pot (which I'll post a photo of some day) and bake at 350* for 1 1/2 hours (the recipe says 2 1/2 hours but it NEVER takes that long for me). Sprinkle the cheese over the top when it is done and let it melt. Stir it all

As I said, we like this as a main dish, side dish, or served in a tortilla (favorite way). I made it exactly as the above recipe says so that I could comment on amounts....up those least 1 T of basil and 1/2 T of others....LOL I almost added celery and carrots to this...but then decided it wouldn't be fair as I wanted to see if Jamin and Jared would like it as well as the older three did.

Beef Cacciatore

1 1/2 pounds bottom round roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 pound fresh white mushrooms, quartered
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 C chicken broth
1/4 C red wine (I used cooking)
1/4 C sun-dried tomatoes , coarsely chopped
pinch sugar
3 T chopped flat leaf parsley

To this I added: 1/4 C red pepper (chopped), basil, oregano and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.

Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. heat oil in Dutch Oven over med-high heat. Brown beef - about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions, celery,carrots and mushrooms to the Dutch oven; cook until onions are golden (8 min). Stir in tomato sauce, broth, wine, tomatoes and sugar. Bring a boil. Stir in the beef. Reduce and simmer, covered until the beef is fork tender - about 2 hours. Stir in parsley just before serving.

I doubled this and it fed 3 "teenaged" boys and myself. We served it over spaghetti.

This is a Weight Watcher recipe. It was good - but was really good when I added the extra spices. LOL I used whole grain pasta and fresh veggies but I am thinking it would be good with whatever you normally use.

1 Cup serving = 245 cal - 5 points (I only needed 1/4 Cup over my 1/3 Cup serving of pasta LOL).


I have photos I want to share. I've discovered that every computer in this house has a different photo program!!!!

I have a working card reader. I have HP photo manager or whatever it is called - just like the crashed computer....but when I put the memory card in the reader I get a prompt about "Photo Show"...if I say yes it makes shows and albums but doesn't put them in the HP folders so I can use them. If I say "no" everything goes away.....

I'm still searching - if anyone has any clue what I'm talking about - your expertise will be appreciated.....

In the meantime , imagine these photos:

~a 15 pas van FULL of cardboard at the recycling plant
~Jared's new "research" technique
~Daddy Bear goes swimming - in the toilet
~My 2 dozen anniversary roses