Friday, October 24, 2008

Talerine Lentil Casserole

~Delicious, Filling and Simple!~

I saw a recipe for a meat version of this and I just knew that I had to make my own version. Instead of beef, I used lentils for protein, fiber and nutrients. I also added vegetables, used low fat mozzarella and gluten free rotini for an amazing dish that is worth the little effort it requires.
Filling, and amazing for the next day, serve it with a salad for a complete, delicious meal. This is gluten free, egg free, dairy free (if using a cheese substitute), corn free, soy free, meat free and vegetarian and vegan (use a vegan cheese substitute). Try this dish today and you will be so glad you did!

Talerine Lentil Casserole

1-1/2 Cups Mixed Red and Green Lentils, rinsed and drained
3 Cups Vegan Beef Stock
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10 ounces Gluten Free Rotini
1 Medium Onion, Diced
1/2 Red Pepper, Diced
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
4 Large Stuffer Mushrooms, Diced
1-2 Carrots, Diced
1 Stalk Celery, Diced
1 Can of Tomatoes
1-14 ounce Can of Black Olives, Drained and Chopped
Pinch of Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste
3 Cups Low Fat Mozzarella (or Substitute) Grated

Bring the Stock to a boil and add the lentils. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally for 1-2 hours, until plump and softened. Turn off the heat and allow the lentils to sit in the remaining stock while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery, sauteing for 3-4 minutes Add the red pepper and mushrooms and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking into smaller pieces if they weren't diced to begin with. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Drain the lentils and add to the tomato-vegetable mixture. Using the same pot that you did for the lentils, fill it with water and cook the gluten free rotini until just tender-firm (al dente).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large casserole dish (a lasagna dish works perfectly), pour in the tomato mixture, add the olives, pasta, 1/2 of the cheese, and mix well. Top with the rest of the cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.
Serve with salad, and if you want to be really full, serve with toasted garlic bread also.
Makes about 8 servings - Enjoy!!

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