Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lentil and Brown Rice Casserole

Lentils and Brown Rice have a bad reputation, I blame Neil from The Young Ones! But seriously, this casserole is super super easy ... it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. It does take a couple of hours to cook, but you don't need to much more than give it the occassional stir. I love the feta in it, but it would still be delicious if you left it out.

Lentil and Brown Rice Casserole

1 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup red lentils (dried)
3/4 cup brown rice
1 x 400 g tin chopped Italian tomatoes
3 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 cup (approx) spinach, cooked and drained
100 grams feta cheese (optional)
1-2 Tbsp basil leaves, roughly chopped
chilli, salt and pepper to taste

In a large casserole place the onion, lentils, rice, tomatoes and stock. Mix well and bake in a 180 moderate oven for about 2 hours, stirring occassionally. Add the spinach, feta, basil and seasoning, stir well and serve!

Bean burgers

You don't have to use these patties for burgers, but they are scrummy this way especially served with especially served with caramelised onions and lots of crunchy lettuce and tomato. To freeze these, spray a muffin tin with oil, then fill each muffin hole with mixture. Freeze, then pop them out into a ziplock bag, and you have 'free flow' bean patties.

The food processor makes light work of these

Bean Burger Patties

1 x small onion
1 x tin of cannellini or butter beans
1 x tin of red kidney beans
1 egg (optional but it does make them bind nicely) or 2-3 Tbsp tomato sauce if vegan
3 slices of wholemeal bread, or 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp chilli powder
handful of green herbs ... coriander or parsley is my favourite
flour, if needed to get the patties to bind

Place all the ingredients in the food processor and blitz before shaping

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Red Lentil and Eggplant Bolognese

A triumph for vegetarians and vegans if I may say so myself ... I have finally worked out something that is really delicious, but still protein packed, to replace the traditional meaty bolognaise sauce. Freezes beautifully, and is very economical. You could easily replace the eggplant and red pepper with other vegetables depending on what is in season - mushrooms and zucchini would be delicious.

Red Lentil and Eggplant Bolognese

Serves 8-10

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 eggplant, peeled, sliced and then cut into roughly 1cm cubes

1-2 red capsicum, ideally roasted and peeled otherwise cubed

2 x 400g tins chopped italian tomatoes

1 cup uncoooked red lentils

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp sugar

100g of dry feta cheese, crumbled (or soy cheese if you are vegan)

pinches of salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste

large handful of basil leaves, ripped up small


In a large frypan with 1 Tbsp of ricebran oil, cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the other vegetables and the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils for 12-15 minutes until tender, in a saucepan of boiling water. Drain and then stir through the tomato mixture, before adding the feta,the seasonings and the basil. Serve over hot pasta.