Monday, February 25, 2013

One Pot Lentil Rice Supper

This is a recipe I collected years ago, source unknow. It's vegetarian, whole grain, and quick. I've started combining all of the dry ingredients in a jar in advance. It stores well, and is a great no think dinner.  With the programmable rice cooker, it takes 5 minutes in the morning, and dinner is ready when we get home.

The recipe is pretty flexible.  You can play with the proportions of rice and lentils as long as the ratio of water stays the same.  Try different kinds of rice (basmati, jasmine, white, short grain, long grain etc), lentils (French green, brown, red, orange) and seasonings.  For example, use basmati rice, lentils, curry instead of the basil, and yogurt instead of cheese for Indian inspired flavors.

The finished product garnished with crumbled feta. This batch was made with French green lentils.

Assemble the ingredients.  A one pound bag of lentils makes about 3 dinner "kits."

Use a pint size Mason-Ball measuring cups.

Add 1 cup of lentils.  Use a wide mouth funnel to keep it neat.

Add 1/2 C of long grain rice.

Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 t dried basil and 1/2 t coarse salt (or 1 tsp of bouillon powder) and 1/4 t pepper.
Label the jar, put on the lid, and store in the pantry. 

One Pot Lentil Rice Supper
1 C lentils
1/2 C long grain brown rice
1 t dried basil
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t coarse salt (or 1 t of bouillon powder)
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 T olive oil
2 C sliced carrots
3 C water
garnish with feta or romano cheese

Make Ahead
Combine lentils through black pepper in a Mason jar.  Label with instructions and remaining ingredients (olive oil through water).

Rice Cooker
Combine everything in a rice cooker and set to white rice setting. 

Combine everything in a pot with a tight fitting lid.  Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until tender, about 30 minutes

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy Imbolc!

 Happy Imbolc!

Torta di Befana.

The word imbolg means in the belly, a reference to the pregnancy of ewes and ewes milk. The holiday is associated with the stirring of the earth, new life and fertility.  Also associated with the maiden goddess Brighid and the divine hags Cailleach (Gaelic), and Beira (Scotland). It is the day the Cailleach goes out to gather firewood for the rest of the winter.  If she intends the winter to linger, she will make sure the day is sunny, so she can gather a good supply.

Before the first rise.  Note the spring loaded tea strainer I use as a flour wand.

Ready for the oven
Activities for the day include weather forecasting, plaiting, weaving braiding and doing something with your hands.  I baked a sweet bread with fruit and nuts.  The recipe is adapted from Mary Ann Esposito's Torta di Befana (Befana Cake).  I figure Befana is an Italian hag associated with winter, why not?  I substituted orange zest for the lemon, and apricots for candied lemon peel.  

It came out pretty well, if I do say so myself

The finished product

Sunrise: 7:04 AM Sunset: 5:16 PM Day Length: 10:12
Increase in day length since the Winter Solstice: 0:57
Moon Phase: Last quarter
It's 26 degrees with light snow.