Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Filler for Tacos or Taco Salad

My friend Tori, who really is a culinary genius (she's fearless in the kitchen and always makes wonderful food), passed along this recipe to me a while back and I have been itching to try it but haven't gotten around to it, until tonight. I told her I wanted to use lentils more (they are so good for you!!), and she told me about this recipe she makes with brown rice and lentils and her family uses it as fillers in their tacos or taco salad.

With all this roasted chicken I have, I thought taco salad or tacos would be a good meal one night this week and I remembered Tori's recipe, so I whipped it out and cooked it up. Can I tell you something? The house smells soooo good! Who would've thought lentils could smell this tasty? I snuck a bite and wow - they are delicious! My lentil-disliking boys and husband won't even know there are lentils in there if I didn't tell them! I'm thinking of a million different uses for this little concoction!

This does take a bit of time in the oven, so give yourself time (the night before or the morning of the day you want to use it). But that slow cooking LOCKS in the flavor and as my mother's husband Jack says, "those flavor pockets are where it's at!"

**Update: Don't add the salt until after the dish is cooked. Salt slows the cooking process for lentils.**

Tori's Brown Rice and Lentil Casserole

3 cups water or chicken broth
3/4 cup lentils
3/4 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 tsp basil (dried)
1/4 tsp oregano (dried)
1/4 tsp thyme (dried)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tbs. salt (to taste) - this is my addition

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

2. Mix everything together and pour into a 9X9 dish (brownie pan).

3. Cook for 2 - 2.5 hours.

4. ENJOY!!

This is what I made for lunch using some of this lentil/rice mixture. Can you say YUM???

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