Before I get to the recipes, if you have time this weekend, remember to make a pot of beans and or a whole-grain so dinners next week are simple. If making your own beans, remember, soak overnight, (or soak about 8 hours), drain, rinse, cover the beans with water, (about 2 inches above beans), and cook about 1 - 1 1/2 hours, slow boil. Taste the beans after about one hour...you don't want them mushy, but you also don't want them "hard" as they don't digest as well. The more you make beans, the easy it is to realize when they are done....you will be able to tell just by looking at them.
So, today's recipe's star attraction is lentils. Lentils are the exception to the rule, they do not need to be soaked overnight. Just rinse them before using them in your recipes.
LENTIL CHILI AND CORNBREAD CASSEROLE
2 onions, chopped
3 T minced garlic
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup chili powder
1 T ground cumin
2 t paprika
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried oregano
2 bay leaves
5 cups vegetable broth
2 cups lentils
1 15 to 16 oz can whole tomatoes, chopped
2 medium green bell peppers, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
3 T baking powder
2 t Ener-G Egg replacer, beaten until frothy with 1/4 water
1 T honey
1 1/4 cups warm water
Cook the onion and garlic in the water in a large pot until the onion is soft, 5-7 minutes. Add all of the seasonings and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock or water and bring to a boil. Add the lentils, cover partially, reduce the heat, and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, green pepper and celery. Simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. Spoon into an 11 x 9 casserole dish. Discard the bay leaves.
Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Combine the cornmeal, flour, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, combine the Egg Replacer mixture, honey and water; add to the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
Spoon crust mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
POTATO CORN CHOWDER
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
6 1/2 cups water
6 potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups frozen corn
1 15 oz can white beans, (cannelli, navy, or great northern), drained and rinsed--if you made your own, even better
1 t dried marjoram
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried oregano
1/4 t dried basil
1/4 t dried rosemary
1/4 t dried savory (I personally don't have this spice, I would leave it out)
1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
Salt and pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Place the onion and celery in a large soup pot with 1/2 cup of water. Saute, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the beans, milk and fresh parsley. Cover and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove about 1 cup of the soup and place in a blender or food processor. Puree and return to the soup pot. Add the beans and milk. Stir well and heat through. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. Garnish with some chopped fresh parsley or basil before serving, if desired.
NOTE: I typically add more beans to recipes to make sure everyone is getting adequate protein. If you decide to add more beans, you may need to increase the liquid you are using, in this case water. Use your own judgement...I tend to like my soups and chowders thicker, some people prefer them a little more brothy....adjust to your taste!!
You could serve a big garden salad with either of these recipes and have a complete, really healthy, really delicious meal.
If you haven't done so already this weekend, try and get those beans and whole-grains made today. Believe me, dinners next week with be a breeze!
If you have any questions or concerns, please email me....I would love to help you!!