Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Red Lentil and Rice Cake

I try to eat vegetarian meals at lunchtime.  I often enjoy leftovers from dinner the night before.  Today, there was no leftover meal in my refrigerator that I could just pop into the microwave, and I did not feel like eating a sandwich or ready-made soup.  I wanted something warm, and I did not feel like cooking something very complicated.  I did have some leftover plain rice from a night or two ago, and I also had some leftover plain cooked red lentils (simply simmered in vegetable broth with sea salt and herbs).  I craved a little coconut, so I decided to try to make a patty that had a subtle coconut flavor.  The result is something that I would describe as "OK," not "scrumptious." But I would make it again.  So I guess it is good enough to post here.  It was a little dry, so if I was to make it again, I might add something else with moisture--perhaps a small amount of coconut milk.  If you want to give this a try, use whatever leftover beans and grains you have, even if they are different than red lentils and rice.  Red lentils worked especially well here because they get mushy when you cook them.  If you use a different bean, you might have to mash it with a fork.  By using leftovers, you are reducing waste and therefore helping the environment.  To be honest, this recipe is not good enough to go out and make the beans and rice specifically for this dish, but it is good enough to turn to when you want to use up plain leftovers and create something with some culinary interest with little effort.  The sweet chili sauce is also important as a flavor enhancer, as the dish would be too bland without it.

½ cup cooked red lentils (cooked in vegetable broth with sea salt and herbs)
½ cup cooked rice
1 small carrot, diced
1 TBS coconut oil
2 TBS shredded coconut

Sweet Chili Sauce (I used Trader Joe's) as condiment on the side.

Heat coconut oil in skillet.  Dice carrot by slicing in half lengthwise, then again into quarters, and then cutting crosswise into tiny pieces.  Saute carrots in coconut oil for several minutes.  Mix cooked lentils and rice together with hands.  Add shredded coconut, then add carrots and coconut oil from pan.  Mix with hands and form into a large patty.  Fry patty in skillet, covered, over medium low heat until brown.  Flip and cook other side, covered, until brown.  Serve with sweet chili sauce on the side, as a dipping sauce.  Makes one large patty or two small patties.

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