A doctor’s appointment plus (another!) incoming snow storm means it’s time for comfort food. This recipe definitely fit the bill. Although the cooking time is around an hour and a half, it’s really easy to put together and was definitely tasty. The recipe calls for long-grain basmati rice (brown or white), but I went with long-grain Jasmine rice – it’s my favorite! Plus even though I know brown rice is healthier, I think white rice is more comforting. For the pita crisps, I used whole wheat pita and seasoned it with olive oil and garam masala (for those unfamiliar, this is a mixture of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, etc. usually used in Indian cooking). The cookbook has several other suggestions for seasoning the pita. The carmalized onions added a lot of flavor and texture to the lentils and rice, but overall the dish was a little bland. Combining it with the crispy pita pieces, however, added a lot of intense flavor. I served this with some leftover Green Bean Casserole. I have had this recipe for a long time, but I can’t remember where it came from (I have made a few modifications over the years). It’s one of our favorite recipes, so I’ll add it here.
Green Bean Casserole (makes 4-6 servings)
1/4 c. margarine
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 Tbl. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 Tbl. vegetable oil
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
2 (15 oz.) cans French-style green beans
2 (2.8 oz.) cans fried onions (or one of the bigger containers)
(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
(2) In a medium saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Add flour and whisk continuously until roux forms. Add broth, soy sauce, poultry seasoning, and garlic powder, whisking continuously for 1-2 minutes, until sauce is thick and bubbly. Add vegetable oil and nutritional yeast. Whip again until smooth.
(3) Pour sauce into small casserole dish, add green beans, and half can (or one 2.5 oz can) fried onions, and stir to coat. Bake for 10 min;, then top with remaining friend onions, and bake for 10 minutes more, until brown and bubbly.
Recipe: Lentils and Rice with Carmalized Onions (pg 177) and Spiced Pita Crisps (pg 177-178)
Rating: 4/5 (for just the lentils & rice) 5/5 for the lentils with the pita crisps