Friday, March 06, 2009

I really just want to breeetdh.

Yep, the menu's changed. Oh well. Not a big thing- I've got a cold and can't breathe (or smell or taste much) and hubby was at his mom's after work on Tuesday and Wednesday. We did lose power for a few hours right after eating dinner (I made a slightly different recipe - mostly the same, just in casserole form - recipe below). I know the recipe looks really involved, but pretty much everything can me made ahead of time when you have the chance (this is a good time to make Crockpot Caramelized Onions [its one of the recipes listed]!). I'm also thinking that this might be a good recipe to try as a freeze ahead recipe too - since it' makes A LOT (especially for just two of us). Anyway, I ended up just making some tatertots for me on Tuesday along with the rotisserie chicken I bought when I went grocery shopping and eating leftovers on Wednesday. I did make the Poutine last night (made homemade oven baked fries instead of french fries though). I haven't decided if we're having pizza, migas, chicken noodle soup or leftovers tonight though. I didn't sleep well last night and hubby's going to work tomorrow too, so I might just do pizza tomorrow instead and make his Saturday dinner a bit more special.

Kusherie Casserole
(Egyptian rice, macaroni and lentils with spicy tomato sauce and browned onions)
This very common Egyptian dish of rice, lentils, and macaroni with spicy tomato sauce and browned onions has been a family favorite for many years. The rice, lentils, and macaroni are usually served separately with the sauce alongside, but I find this dish translates very well into a casserole, and it's easier to serve to a crowd or transport in this form.
From “The Almost No Fat Holiday Cookbook: Festive Vegetarian Recipes” by Bryanna Clark Grogan
Makes 8 servings.

Spicy Tomato Sauce:
3 1/2 cups tomato juice (can be drained from canned tomatoes)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 Tablespoons celery leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon sugar, honey, or alternate sweetener
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Rice and Lentils:
1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
4 vegetarian or soy cubes
Black pepper, to taste
2 cups dry whole wheat or regular macaroni, cooked until just done and drained
Browned Onions:
3 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20-30 minutes.

To cook the rice and lentils, lightly oil a heavy pot and add the lentils. Stir over high heat until they start to change color, then add the water, brown rice, vegetable cubes, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer (or bake in a 350 degree F oven) for 60 minutes.

Mix the cooked, drained macaroni with 1/4 cup of the sauce. Steam-fry the onions and garlic in a lightly oiled skillet until soft and browned.

To assemble the casserole, preheat the oven to 350degreesF. Oil a shallow 9” x 13” baking pan and layer half the rice and lentils, the macaroni, the remaining rice and lentils, the sauce and the browned onions, in that order. Cover with heavy foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Serve casserole with plain yogurt or sour cream, if desired.

Per Serving: Calories 419, Protein 16 g, Fat 1 g, Carb 83g

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