It is spring yes? I know it is officially spring but around here it has been more or less still winter which is to be expected but is, at this point, no longer welcomed. I, as well as everyone else I talk to, are over it. Enough snow. enough of the hats and jackets. Just enough.
But the bright side of the chilly, cold weather is that we can and still want to turn the oven on and cook things. And because I turned the heat off a little prematurely, I am cold so I really want the oven on.
One skillet, a little chop action, a stir, some good time in the oven and there you go, food for your belly. Not a ton of dishes to do, steps to fallow, thoughts to think (other then eating thoughts). A good old, hearty, simple to toss together, spicy, delicious skillet of goodness. Prepare it fast, pop into warm oven, sit in kitchen drawing up plans for the spring veggie garden, and then eat yourself warm. What more can we ask for?
We can ask for spring weather because seriously. But other then that.
To the goodness of cajun lentils and rice!
The stuff. Lentils, brown rice, cajun seasoning, some crushed tomatoes, an onion, a carrot, a few cloves garlic, some cauliflower, water, oil, and salt and pepper.
First off, mince garlic and chop up the cauliflower, carrot, and onion into small pieces.
Toss it all into a good sized oven safe skillet with a splash of oil. Mix in the cajun seasoning too and stick o nth stove on medium heat for a few minutes.
Cook until fragrant and slightly tender. Taste it, it is good.
Dump in the lentils and rice. Then dump I the tomatoes and the water. Give it all a mix.
And after. All done. Now dinner.
Grab some green thing to chop and toss on for some color.
Now grab some bowls, a few forks, and get to eating.
Cajun Lentil and Rice Bake
3/4 cup uncooked brown or white rice
3/4 cup dried green lentils
2 cups crushed tomatoes (preferably not salted)
2 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons cajun seasoning (see note)
1 large carrot
1/4 head of cauliflower (about 2 cups chopped)
1 large yellow onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
Note. Store bought cajun seasoning usually contains salt and pepper so when seasoning, be aware of the amount of salt (if any) you choose to use.
Preheat oven to 350
Start by chopping the carrot, onion, and cauliflower into small pieces. Mince the garlic and toss it all into the skillet with the olive oil. Stir in the cajun seasoning and sprinkle in salt and pepper if it needs it. Place skillet on medium high heat and cook veggies until fragrant and slightly tender which should take about 5 minutes then remove from heat. Dump in the lentils, rice, water and tomatoes. Stir until mixed then either place a lid or foil over the top. Place into preheated oven for about an hour, removing the lid or foil after 40ish minutes and giving it a stir when you do. The bake is done when the rice and lentils are fully cooked, but if you are into a crispy top and crunchy sides, by all means, cook a little longer.
Remove from oven when fully cooked and you are happy with crispness. Let cool for a few minutes, toss on some chopped green something or another if you want, and serve it up.
Left overs store great in the fridge for a few day and freeze well too.