Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lentil and Brown Rice Casserole

In our house, we have a very simple but much loved lentil and rice dish that we call, amazingly enough, Lentil Rice Casserole. This dish is prepared on the stove-top and I have never been able to figure out how to make it with brown rice, I always use white.

While perusing over at the Grocery Cart Challenge (a site I would really recommend if you are looking to help lower your food budget), I came across a new recipe for lentils and rice.

This version is baked in the oven and uses brown rice and some Italian seasoning but otherwise is very similar to our version. I decided to try it out the other night, at the very least it requires less fussing than my recipe.

The original version is posted over at RecipeZaar, I have of course, made some changes already.

Brown Rice and Lentil Casserole

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine in a 11x7 pan (I used an oval casserole dish):

3 c. stock or broth (we used half vegetable boullion and half chicken)
3/4 c. lentils
1/2 c. brown rice
3/4 c. chopped onion (I used dry minced onion)
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I didn't have that so I used 1/2 tsp basil and 1/2 tsp oregano)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (I used lots more than this because we love garlic)

Cover the pan tightly and place in the oven. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with:

1 c. grated cheese (I used cheddar but mozzarella or a blend would be good - I also used more like 1 1/2 cups)

Return to the oven (uncovered) and bake 20 more minutes. Serve.

Notes:
  • I had a hard time getting all the liquid to be absorbed. We ended up draining off the extra at the end. I'd do 2 1/2 c. stock next time and see if it made a difference.
  • This was very, very tasty and everyone liked it.
  • How cheap is this? VERY! Bulk lentils and rice are super cheap and the only expensive thing is the cheese but you are only using 1 c. or so. This whole casserole comes out to less than $2.00! Add a salad and a loaf of bread and dinner for under $5!
  • I would change to temperature to 325 degrees next time, maybe that would help with the liquid problem.
Give this one a try, you might just like it!

Guess what I bought myself today? A couple of new cookbooks. One from Borders called The Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon (I've been drooling over it and had a 40% off coupon), and one I found at Goodwill called Bread for All Seasons by Beth Hensperger. I'm sure I'll be posting some new recipes soon!

Jill

7 comments:

Nancy said...

Didn't Beth also write Bread for Breakfast? I checked that out from the library this week after I saw it on your favorites.

Jill said...

Yes, she did, which was why I was doubly excited to find this book. And at Goodwill no less, for $4!

Jill

katie said...

Hi Jill! I want to badly to be able to eat rice and lentils as these are such popular casseroles. I just haven't been able to convince myself to try it yet. You are quite the inspiration and far more frugal than I think I could ever be!

Betsy said...

Can't wait to try this one! Thanks!

Betsy said...

I forgot to say that I have Dragonwagon's Soup and Bread cookbook that is truly AMAZING, as well as her Dairy Hollow House Cookbook (also fun), but every time I look at the Passionate Vegetarian, I come away thinking there are too many recipes in there we won't eat (sigh). I'll be interested to see if you like it! We seem to like some of the same other cookbooks, so maybe this will inspire me to give PV a whirl...

Jill said...

I have her Soup and Bread cookbook, too. That is partly why I was so excited about Passionate Vegetarian - I knew she wrote good books!

I've gone through the book and bookmarked with post-its several dozen recipes I want to try. The Oatmeal pancakes last night were the first. We really like them!

Also, the PV book was $24.95 at Borders and I had a 40% off coupon so it cost me $14. I never buy anything at full price!!

Jill

momstheword said...

We have made this one before and my family liked it. They also loved the lentils and brown rice tacos too. I was surprised at how good these recipes taste!