Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lentil Enchilada Casserole

This is my adaptation of a family favorite from my Pampered Chef "29 Minutes to Dinner" cookbook. My husband and kids love the original made with beef but I wanted a substitute I could eat. I like using lentils in place of ground beef. This dish is pure Tex-Mex comfort food.

You may be tempted to not use all the sauce because it will look too wet, but don't. The liquid is absorbed and if you cut back, your dish will be too dry.

Make sure you do not substitute flour tortillas for the corn. I am not fond of corn tortillas as a general rule, but they work best in this dish. Flour tortillas turn to mush. :::shudder::: Trust me on this one.

Lentil Enchilada Casserole

3-4 cups cooked lentils, drained
1 10-oz can enchilada sauce
1 tbsp Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning or taco seasoning mix
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup chunky salsa
12 yellow corn tortillas
1/4 cup snipped cilantro
1 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)

Combine cooked lentils, seasoning, salt, enchilada sauce, water, and salsa. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Cut tortillas into 1" pieces (I stack them up and cut them with a pizza cutter).

In a microwave safe baking dish, arrange half the tortilla pieces, top with half the lentil mixture, half of the cheese, if using, and 2 tbsp of cilantro. Top with remaining tortillas, lentil mixture, and optional cheese. Microwave for 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top with remains cilantro. Serve with vegan sour cream, if desired.

I have never used a vegan cheese in the recipe, not for any particular reason other than I rarely eat it. Tonight I felt like something "creamy cheesy" but as usual didn't have any vegan cheese. I did, however, have vegan cream cheese. I mixed about 1/4 cup with a little taco seasoning and spooned it on top of the first layer of lentils. It was just the "creamy cheesy" element I was craving!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Banana Walnut Pancakes

I love bananas but once they start to get brown spots on them, I won't eat them anymore. I had two getting a little too far gone for my tastes and needed to find something to do with them. So when I came across a recipe for banana pancakes, that sounded like a winner to me. This recipe was based on one I saw on Chocolate Covered Katie's blog.

Banana Walnut Pancakes

1 1/3 cups flour (I used a combination of whole wheat pastry and unbleached white flours)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg or cinnamon blend (I used Pampered Chef's Cinnamon Plus)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla
2 bananas, mashed
1 to 1 1/4 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients and mashed banana in a small bowl. Combine with flour mixture. Cook pancakes on a hot, greased griddle.

Serves 4.