Saturday, October 20, 2007

My favorite vegetarian recipe

Several times a week I make vegetarian meals. At one point in time, I ate vegetarian all the time and this is the first "recipe" that I learned to make. It's pretty easy to make. I will admit that I don't measure anything with this, I just always "eyeballed" it. So the measurements are an approximation, but they really should be close. Adjust as you need to for your family and their likes (mine won't eat this. They also don't eat "chunks" in the sauce. That's why there's the real deal and then the powders - for the picky amongst us.)

Lentils and rice:
Brown Rice
water, stock or bullion
Spaghetti sauce (I make mine homemade, but you could use store-bought sauce)
Grated cheese (whatever kind you like. Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan, etc.)

How much of the ingredients you need depends on how many you're wanting to feed.

I would use 1 cup of lentils to 1/2 cups of brown rice and be eating this forever. Or you could make it and freeze it. (Seems like this was 1/2 a small bag of lentils and about 1/4 - 1/2 small bag of brown rice.) This would make about 3 1/2 cups of lentils/rice - without the spaghetti sauce.

Add liquid to more than cover it. I would add about 4 - 5 cups of water, stock or what have you to the lentils/rice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cover it. I simmer it, stirring every 5 mins or so, for 45 mins, until the grains were tender. (Take a bite of both lentils and rice and see if you like how done it is.) If there was any liquid left I used to drain it off. Now I just use less water and watch the fluid level as it cooks.

While the lentils and rice cook, I make my spaghetti sauce, but don't add any ground beef and/or sausage to it.
Spaghetti Sauce:
28 - 36 oz can of tomato sauce, puree, diced tomatoes - whatever floats your boat
1 6 oz can of Tomato paste
1 6 oz can of water (from rinsing out the tomato cans)
1 onion, diced (size of onion depends on how much sauce and how much onion you like) and/or 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 -2 cloves of garlic, minced and/or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt (we don't use much salt at our house. Up it if you need to)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp brown sugar (opt)
1 can black olives, broken into pieces or sliced (opt)
1 can mushrooms (opt)
1 tsp cumin (opt)

Saute the onions, if you're using them until they are soft. Then mix all the rest of the ingredients together. Bring to a soft boil, lower heat to low and COVER - unless you like wiping up tomato splatters from the stove and any surrounding areas! Let simmer until the lentils/rice are done.

Once the lentils/rice are done, drain any water from the pot and mix in spaghetti sauce to make a nice consistency. You want it to be moist, but not soupy - unless you just like a lot of sauce. If there's sauce left over, freeze it in serving size portions or put in ice tray for smaller cubes to add to eggs or burritos.

To serve:
We would just put the mixture in individual bowls and then cover the top with grated/shredded cheese. Personally, I like med. sharp cheddar best. You can also serve this with sour cream.
Add a green salad and perhaps some garlic toast. YUM. Shame my kids won't eat this. sigh. I think I'm just going to make me some and freeze in meal-size portions. My roommates and I sure did like this and it's cheap - if you don't add the olives and mushrooms.

No comments: