Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Current Favorite Meal

A couple of months ago I was in search of a simple and inexpensive meal option for our family. I turned to one of my favorite websites and scrolled through their many recipe options and landed on a rice and lentil dish. I own this blogger's cookbook and they have a very similar recipe in there that I had tried in the past. I liked it but it wasn't something I was anxious to make again. I decided to give this a try anyway. It is a curried recipe and I was slightly concerned because my children are not huge curry fans like Nik and I are. So I decided to enlist their help in making the meal, hoping that their investment would help increase their enjoyment in eating it. Did it ever!

This meal , called Curried Lentil and Rice Casserole, was an absolute hit! Everyone loved it! I think I have mentioned somewhere in a post or two that I get bored very easily and don't enjoy eating the same thing for dinner very often. However, I am making this meal today for the third time in a little over a month. I am not sure exactly what it is, but it just works. The flavors are delicious, the texture is perfect. I highly recommend that you give it a try!

Because the recipe does include rice and lentils, which I normally soak, I modified the instructions a little to include soaking. This sounds a bit complicated, but it was the easiest way I could figure to do it.
  • The recipe calls for 5 C of water. For one of those cups I had a Tbsp of apple cider vinegar plus enough water to make 1 C and added it to the rice to soak. I soaked the rice starting early in the morning. 
  • For the lentils I added about 3 or 4 C of water (including a Tbsp or 2 of the apple cider vinegar) and soaked overnight. 
  • When it was time to make the meal I calculated how much water the lentils had soaked up by subtracting the residual soaking water from the amount I started with the night before. 
  • Then I rinsed the lentils and added them and the rice (with the rice soaking water) to the casserole dish with the other ingredients. And then I added enough water to bring the total liquid amount (including the 1 C I had soaked the rice in and the amount the lentils had soaked up) to 5 C.
Again, I realize it sounds complicated, but it ended up working out okay and I was so happy to have a dish with properly soaked rice and lentils! I did make two other simple changes to the dish:

  • I added about 1/2-1 Tbsp honey because I love for my curry to have a bit of sweetness to it.
  • I added a cup of peas. 
She recommends removing the cover to the casserole and cooking an additional 20-30 minutes at the end to let any excess liquid cook off. I found that with my modifications this extra time wasn't really needed for me. If you try it, let me know how it works out for you! And if you want to try it with my modifications and have any clarifying questions feel free to ask!

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