Most of you know by now that we moved a little over a month ago. Of course all the essentials have long been unpacked, but there are still boxes in my loft (and I mean dozens of boxes) filled with books. These include my cookbook collection. Yesterday afternoon, I cracked one open and was excited to see it was the one that had been housing all my favorite recipes. I pulled one out from my Sue Gregg collection and it immediately fell open to an oft-used page — Lentil Rice Casserole. I’m excited to share this with you because:
- I made it for supper last night and I want more , right now!
- It is a great frugal recipe for a hearty family meal.
- It is the perfect addition to a Christmas gift basket.
Let’s start with the recipe and then I’ll show you how to package this for a heart-warming and delicious gift.
Lentil Rice Casserole
Yield: 6 servings
- 1/2 c. brown rice
- 3/4 c. lentils, red or green, both work great
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1/4 c. dried onion flakes
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 Tbl. Spike Seasoning , (This is the one change I make to the original recipe. I buy Spike locally, but you can order it online, as well. )
- 3 c. water
- 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese, optional
- fat free sour cream, optional
- chopped tomatoes, optional
Mix lentils, rice, onion flakes, all seasonings and water in a 2 or 3 qt baking dish that has a lid. If your dish doesn’t have a lid, you will need foil to seal it tightly, when baking.
Bake in 300° oven for 2 hours or until lentils are tender and water is absorbed.
Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and place back in oven for 5 minutes to allow cheese to melt.
We serve this with fat-free sour cream and chopped tomatoes as toppings, but it is delicious plain, too. It also makes an excellent burrito filling.Serve this with steamed broccoli or a side salad and a wonderful, warm piece of crusty bread and it is a satisfying, comfort food meal. Yum!
Using Lentils and Rice in a Christmas Gift Basket
I was so excited when I realized that all the dry ingredients for this delicious meal perfectly fill a one-pint canning jar. I mixed the beans, rice, seasonings (crush the bouillon) and onion flakes and then added them to my canning jar. Next, I cut a quick circle from a scrap of fabric and centered that over the top of the jar lid. Adding the screw band to the lid gathered the fabric just enough to make a pretty presentation. You could add a bow or a raffia tie and attach the tag. Now just make a gift tag that includes how to use your mix and the recipe, so they can make it on their own again, later. (Right-click on the image, above, and select open in a new window. The gift tag will show up full-size. Then you can just hit Ctrl and then P on your keyboard to print a copy.)
Enjoy a budget-friendly and hearty meal with your family. Then surprise the people you love with this thoughtful meal- in-a-jar, as a part of a Christmas gift basket.