I always enjoy coming up with unique ideas to serve for our Meatless Monday meals.  Recently, I purchased some red lentils at the bulk food section in my grocery. Red lentils are actually more orange in color when in their dry state.  They cook up differently than green or brown lentils.  They don't take as long to cook and they cook down instead of holding their shape. They're great for stews or as thickeners in soups or casseroles. They also have a mild flavor that works well with other stronger flavors.

I cooked the lentils in water along with a large chopped onion and a few garlic cloves. After cooking, I added salt to taste and a can of drained black beans, a generous pinch of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. of oregano, and 2 tsp. ground cumin seeds.  I also added a crushed, dried mild pepper from our garden. I strung these peppers and have them hanging in my kitchen for use while cooking. The dish was spicy, but not 'hot' spicy. Be careful when adding the cinnamon. Too much, and it overpowers all the other flavors. If you have just a touch, it adds a sweetness to the dish that leaves you wondering what spice you are tasting!? It's a trick I like ot use when making chili as well!

I placed a flour tortilla in the bottom of a baking dish that was just a bit larger than the tortilla. I would have used a 9x13 but I had a cake in that pan and my other pan that size recently broke, so I used a large size quiche pan and it worked quite well. I layered a tortilla, lentil bean mixture, shredded cheddar, and a few spoonfuls of salsa, then repeated until the dish was full and the lentils were used.  I placed a tortilla on the top and brushed it with olive oil. After covering the dish with foil to prevent the dish from drying out, I baked it at 350 for 30 minutes. A dab of sour cream was the perfect accompaniment.

We had a side dish of one of our favorite vegetable dishes...curry corn! I use one quart bag of our home frozen corn, about 1/4 c. chopped green peppers or green and red mixed, and add a touch of curry powder. We like curry, so  I use about 1 good teaspoon. This would be to your taste...more or less!

I was in a baking mood so I made an oatmeal chocolate chip cake...a family favorite. I don't care for cake icing...it's just too sweet. This recipe is great because you don't need frosting..it's perfect without it. I wish the picture had turned out better instead of so blurry. A small piece is all you need for a sugar fix! Here is the recipe in case you want to try it...it's moist and delicious alone or with a touch of whipped cream or ice cream. The perfect birthday cake!!

1 3/4 c. boiling water and 1 c. oats combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Add 1 c. white sugar and 1 c. brown sugar to the oats. Mix well, add in 1 stick of butter and cream well.
Add 2 large eggs and mix
Add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. soda, 2 Tbsp. cocoa, and 1 3/4 c. flour
When mixed, add 1/2 pkg. chocolate chips. Pour batter into greased 9x13 pan and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 bag chips.  Bake for 35-40 minutes depending on your oven.

1 comment:

  1. That cake sounds really good. I'm saving the recipe for the next time Drew and I are invited somewhere and need to bring something yummy to eat.