Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Meatless Meals

I can't believe how soon Ash Wednesday is...once I'm done with making weird meals out of what's left in the fridge and pantry preceding payday (3 cooked meals to go before I can go grocery shopping! YEAH!!!) I'm going to have to start worrying about fasting and abstinence from meat.

So, since Faith and Family LIVE is having a meatless meals collection, I thought I'd add my two cents.

Lentil Rice Casserole (I may have posted this before, but I didn't want to check through 3 years of posts...I know it sounds lame, but my girls eat this better than almost anything! The original recipe came from the tightwad gazette)

Combine in crock pot
6 cups water or broth or stock
1 1/2 c. lentils
1 c. brown rice
1 T. or more of whatever spice you feel like (I usually use spice combinations like Italian Seasoning, Southwest Seasoning, Asian Seasoning, Moroccan Seasoning)
Add chopped onion or garlic if you like it and have it on hand
Cook on low for 6-8 hours, a few minutes before serving, sprinkle about a cup of cheese over the top (maybe mozzarella if you do Italian, cheddar if you do southwest, feta if you do Moroccan, etc.) Serve, watch kids devour.

Fried fish (I think I originally got this off of was during one of those times when I was trying to cook solely from my stockpile without going to the store)

Take white fish (whatever type you like or can find...we don't have a lot of fish options out here in cow country...) dry off any surface moisture. Let soak in a pan of Sprite (7up, etc) for a couple of minutes, turn and soak other side. Dredge in pancake batter and pan fry in a little bit of oil until crispy and cooked through.

Pizza (Cheese pizza is the end all be all of meals around here...okay, they like pepperoni pizza, too...but for Lent, we are all about the cheese...) I've used this recipe for years, so I don't now where I originally found it.

Pizza Dough (makes 2 crusts)
2 1/4 t. yeast (one packet if you do it that way)
1 T. sugar
2 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. olive oil
1 T. salt
2 T. wheat gluten (nice to have, but I ran out a while back, and haven't replaced it yet...still works okay if you don't have the gluten)
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
5 1/2 c. white flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water; let stand for 10 minutes. Stir oil, wheat flour, gluten, salt and 4 cups of white flour into yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. when dough has pulled together, turn onto lightly-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl; place dough into bowl and turn to coat with oil. cover with a damp cloth and put into a warm place to rise (approximately 1 hour). Deflate dough and turn onto lightly-floured surface. Divide into third and form rounds. (If freezing extra dough for later, at this point, seal inside a gallon zip top bag and put in freezer.) Cover round(s) with cloth for 10 minutes. Roll out or toss dough; place on pan or baking stone sprinkled with cornmeal and top with spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce or garlic oil, then cover with cheese. Bake pizzas for 20 minutes at 425.

Store leftover dough in freezer, keep frozen shredded cheese in freezer (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups per pizza) and freeze leftover spaghetti or pizza sauce in ice cube trays. I use three cubes full of sauce for 1 pizza...if you like saucy pizza you might do 4 or 5 cubes.

So, there are some of my favorite meatless meals! Check out more over at Faith and Family LIVE.


Barb, sfo said...

I like your fish idea. We'll have to try that one. Thanks for sharing these recipes and ideas.

Layla said...

I am fascinated by the Sprite/fish idea. Does the sweetness of the Sprite stay with the fish? I can't wrap my brain around how this would taste. I'm sure it makes it really moist and tender, though. Thanks for sharing all these ideas!

Kate Wicker said...

I'm all about crock pot meals. Thanks for sharing.

majellamom said...

About the fish...

The sprite does give it a little sweetness, and the pancake batter gives it an almost buttery-ness...

I was a little bit freaked out by the recipe when I tried it, but it turned out being SOOO fact, I think I may have to make it sometime this week!