Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tamale Lentil Casserole

A friend of mine asked me if I had any recipes that use lentils. She's writing a cookbook for expecting mothers and lentils have a lot of folate which is good for the developing baby. I remembered this recipe that I had made once before a while ago. I hunted it down and made it tonight. It turned out delicious. At least my husband and I thought so. Our 1-year-old also devoured it (but he'll eat pretty much anything). The 4-year-old wasn't so excited about it. I've found that many young children have a hard time with casserole-type dishes. They'll eat the same foods if they are separated on their plate, but if you put them in a casserole form they won't touch it. So anyway, this might not be the best one for young kids, but who knows...there's a good chance yours might be less picky than mine!

Tamale Lentil Casserole
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 Cup)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 Cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 C. water
1-1/4 C. dried lentils (10 oz), sorted and rinsed
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 1.25-oz pkg. taco seasoning mix (or make your own)
Cornbread topping (see below)

1. Heat oil in pressure cooker (without lid) on medium-high heat. Cook onion, bell pepper and garlic in oil, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.

2. Stir in water, lentils, tomato sauce and seasoning mix. Increase heat to high and put on pressure cooker lid. Heat to first red ring and reduce heat. Cook 14 min. Let steam release naturally.

*Note: if you don't have a pressure cooker, cook in 3-qt. saucepan. After adding water, lentils, tomato sauce and seasoning mix reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer 35 to 40 mins or until lentils are tender.

3.Heat oven to 400 F. Grease 9x13" pan.

4. Prepare cornbread topping. spoon lentil mixture into casserole. Spread topping evenly over lentil mixture. Bake uncovered 45-55 min until topping is cooked through.

Cornbread Topping
1/2 C. cornmeal (I used freshly ground popcorn)
1/2 C. wonder flour
1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 8.5-oz. can cream-style corn
1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C. milk
1 large egg

Mix all ingredients just until moistened.


Shauna said...

YUM! Thank You for sharing :) ♥ Hugs!

Angie said...

I have some leftover barbecued lentils in my freezer... I'm totally gonna make a cornbread topping for them :)

Heather said...

Barbecued lentils...mmm that sounds good. How do you make those?

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