February 2, 2009

A few failures

In addition to the chicken stock, I also tried three new recipes this weekend. Unfortunately, not all can be hits, I won't be making any of these again. They all turned out, but they weren't to my liking. I had the camera out for the stock, so there's even photos to accompany a couple recipes.

Roasted Halibut with Walnut Crust It seemed bland and dry. I used dried spices instead of fresh. Wonder if that's why?

From baking/cooking


6 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion sliced into 1/4" rounds
1 1/4 cup green lentils, rinsed
3/4 cup white or brown long grain rice
salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it becomes a rich, dark brown color, about 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, put lentils into a sauceapan with one quart of water. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Add rice, plenty of pepper and more water, if needed, to cover. Cover and cook over low heat until rice is done, about 15 minutes. Stir in half the onions and about 1 tsp of salt, then cover and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Cover lentil-rice mixture with the remaining onions.

From baking/cooking

The initial flavor was good, but the aftertaste was horrid. It tasted like dirt. I've had lentils before, and enjoyed them but they never tasted like this. Didn't help matters that it doesn't even look appealing.

The last one was Friday night's dinner. It reminded me of sloppy joe and chili. I like neither, so it wasn't a surprise I didn't care for it.

South of the Border Casserole

1 tsp olive oil
1 lb 95% lean ground beef
3/4 c diced onion
3/4 c diced green pepper
2 seeded, fresh jalapeno peppers, minced
28 oz can whole tomatoes
2 c non-fat sour cream
1 tbsp clover honey
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz uncooked penne or macaroni (I used Penne Ronzoni Smart Taste)

Add olive oil to a 5-qt non-stick saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with the edge of the spatula, cook until no longer pink. Drain any fat. Add onions and green pepper, cooking until softened. Stir in the jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, sour cream, honey, chli powder and salt. Add the pasta. Stir, cover, lower heat and gently simmer until pasta is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir every five minutes, to keep pasta from sticking.

6 servings: 7WW points per serving

373 calories, 4.8g fat, 24.8g protein, 42g carbohydrate, Fiber 2g, 52mgs cholesterol, 845 mgs sodium.


Unknown said...

Kellee--you need more herbs & spices than just salt & pepper for lentils, as far as I'm concerned. I adore lentils, but they're boring. Yep, I said it :-) I'm wondering if the "off" taste is a result of the long cooking of the onions? Was it sort of burnt tasting at all?? Now I'm curious....

My basic lentils recipe is--cook in chicken stock (well, boullion actually, as stock--esp my homemade--can be a little strong) and top with zesty Mrs Dash or another herb/spice blend. Can add onions & garlic if you wish (hey, are onions and garlic ever a BAD idea? No, I didn't think so ;-)

Kellee said...

The onions gave it a decent flavor at first taste, but the then the gritty dirt taste followed. There was no burnt taste.

I have half a bag of lentils left, I planned to try them in chicken stock and add garlic and onion (a hint both are really a must for me in most dishes). Glad to hear you've had success cooking them that way.

Unknown said...

One of my favorite mostly healthy quick dinners for late work nights is salmon on lentils & greens. Cook the lentils the way I described above (and how you described). Saute salmon filets (I buy frozen at Costco--they defrost quickly) I usually season the salmon with an herb blend--Costco has a nice seafood blend, but most grocery stores these days do--and saute 3 minutes per side in a skillet with a little olive oil. (I like salmon rare) Fill plate with baby spinach (or other greens) and top with lentils and salmon. I love the texture and it's pretty healthy. My husband doesn't like warm salmon and lentils on top of cold spinach, so he gets the spinach in a salad bowl with poppyseed dressing instead.

Kellee said...

Sounds good. I'll definitely keep that in mind. Thanks!