Thursday, January 15, 2015

46 Recipes for 2015, Week Two

This week I am doing the Rice Casserole with Lentils from Forks Over Knives recipe page.

If anyone is looking for some new ways to cook vegetarian meals, this is a great site.

I ended up making the various components of this recipe on different days. I made the rice one day, the delicious tomato sauce and lentils the next day and then by Day Three I had enough time to prepare the vegetables and finish the casserole.

Here are all the components assembled in one place. You can see that this ends up being a total meal all by itself. Brown rice, lentils, tons of vegetables and some good healthy oil from the cashew nut topping.

I followed it more or less to the letter. I used twice the amount of garlic and our local Co-op had some purple sweet potatoes so I could not resist using one. 
Obviously everything is organic, much of it locally grown.

Here is the finished masterpiece. 
I am eating some as I write this and 
I definitely proclaim this dish "Potluck Worthy"*

*"Potluck Worthy" is a phase I use to describe a dish I would be comfortable cooking for other people as compared to the various concoctions I throw together at home that I eat but would probably never serve to someone else. 

Here is the recipe, copied from Forks Over Knives recipe section

By Darshana Thacker
Makes one (9 × 13-inch) casserole
Ready In: 100 minutes

This dish is a real crowd-pleaser, and is especially
good for big gatherings like Super Bowl parties. I love
it with rice, but it’s also really good with pasta. Both
options are given below. The lentils need to be
soaked for at least six hours, so be sure to plan

½ cup cashews
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon low-sodium tamari or soy
sauce, Bragg’s liquid aminos, or fresh
lime juice
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and soaked
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Sea salt
1½ cups brown rice, or 3 cups penne
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
and cut into ½-inch dice
¼ medium cabbage, chopped into
½-inch pieces
½ medium red onion, cut into ½-inch
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch
1 bell pepper, any color, seeded and
cut into ½-inch dice
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with
their juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground white or
black pepper
Sea salt
1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil

1. To make the cashew crumble cheese, in a food
processor, grind the cashews into a meal (do not
overprocess into cashew butter). Transfer them to a
small bowl, and mix in the nutritional yeast. Little by
little, add the liquid of your choice, stirring with a fork
so that the mixture does not form clumps. The
mixture should be crumbly. Set aside to dry until
ready to use.
2. Place the soaked lentils in a medium saucepan
with the Italian seasoning, salt, and 1 cup water.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat
to medium, and cook, covered, until the lentils are
cooked but still firm, about 15 minutes. Be careful
not to overcook them. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, if using rice, place it in a medium
saucepan with 2½ cups water. Bring to a boil and stir
once. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and
simmer, covered, until the rice is cooked, about 25
minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand,
covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and fluff
the rice. Set aside.
4. If using pasta, bring a large saucepan of water to a
boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the
package instructions until the pasta is al dente. Drain
thoroughly and set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
6. To prepare the sautéed vegetables, in a skillet with
a lid, combine the sweet potatoes, cabbage, onion,
garlic, dried basil, and 1½ cups of the vegetable
broth. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring
occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are almost
tender but still resist a bit when pierced with a knife,
15 to 20 minutes.
7. Add the zucchini and bell pepper and cook,
uncovered, until the vegetables are completely
softened, about 10 minutes.
8. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup
vegetable broth and the arrowroot powder. Whisk
until blended. Pour the mixture over the vegetables
and stir gently to coat them. Cook over medium-low
heat, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from the
heat and set aside.
9. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce. In a
saucepan, combine the onion and ½ cup water.
Cover and cook over high heat until the onions are
very soft, about 10 minutes.
10. Add the tomatoes, dried basil, pepper, and salt,
and cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens
a bit and the flavors merge, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the fresh
basil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
11. Spread the rice or pasta in a 9 x 13-inch baking
pan that is 2 inches deep. Layer the lentils over the
rice to cover completely. Spread the sautéed
vegetables over the lentils. Spoon the tomato sauce
over the vegetables. Spread the cashew crumble
cheese all over
the top.
12. Bake until the cashew cheese turns light brown,
about 20 minutes.
13. Serve hot.

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