Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Red Lentil-Rice Cakes with a side of zucchini & greens

I've been looking so forward for spring to come. I suppose it's here. But I've noticed the produce hasn't been looking too good. I'm still holding off on some delicious asparagus recipes I've been wanting to make. I've even had trouble finding fresh garlic that hasn't started to sprout.  
This past week has been so windy. My 3-year old nephew was spinning around on the front porch and it reminded me of when my sister and I would play "tornado" on windy days, as kids. We were always doing silly things. In fact, my mom just found old videos of us lip syncing to our favorite musicians. We would spend hours and hours filming each other. I had a fun childhood.

I've really grown to enjoy lentils more and more. My mom and I came across some red lentils (finally) and had to buy them! For almost a year I've repeatedly put this recipe aside and I finally decided to try it. I got the recipe from Cooking Light. Alongside the patties I served spinach and zucchini sauteed with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. De--licious!

Red Lentil-Rice Cakes 

5 C. water, divided
1 C. dried small red lentils
1/2 C. uncooked basmati rice
2 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 C. red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 C. onion, finely chopped
1/2 t. fennel seeds, crushed (I used mustard seeds)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese (I used vegan cheddar)
1/4 C. dry breadcrumbs
1 T. chopped fresh basil
1 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten (I used 2 "eggs" of Ener-G egg replacer)
Salsa or hot sauce to serve. 

Bring 4 C. water and lentils to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Place lentils in a large bowl. 

Combine remaining 1 C. water and rice in pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool 10 minutes. Add rice to lentils. 
Heat 1 t. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, fennel seeds, and garlic to pan; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Cool 10 minutes. Add to rice/lentil mixture. Add cheese and remaining ingredients, stirring until well combined. Let stand for 10 minutes. 

Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Heat 2 t. olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Spoon the rice mixture by 1/3-cupfuls into pan, spreading to form 3" circles; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 5 minutes on other side. Remove cakes from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining rice mixture. Makes 10-12. Serve with salsa and hot sauce. 
 These patties were deliciously unique. The patties have a great crunchy, almost nutty texture. If you are in a hurry, you can use quick cooking rice and simply follow the directions on the box. Other than the extra prep steps, the recipe was fairly easy. 

Happy Cooking. God bless you all.

Chef Teebs

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