Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What I Baked on Sunday

Vegetarian Edition

I turned on the Cooking Channel while babysitting on Saturday night and was happy to see Giada on the screen. She is one of my favorite Food Network chef's, mainly because the majority of her recipes involve pasta. On this particular show, she was making a variety of vegetarian dishes including Veronica's Veggie Meatloaf and Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means a vegetarian but sometimes I enjoy a meatless meal. So on Sunday, I decided to get adventurous and try my hand at vegetarian meatloaf.

I used to follow recipes to a T but now I find myself improvising in various ways. This recipe called for Checca Sauce which is a combination of cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic, basil and evoo that you pulse in a food processor. After coming to the realization that we do not have a blender or food processor in my new house on Saturday when I tried to make a smoothie, I decided to take the easy way out and buy salsa instead. Here is the cast of characters I used:
I was excited to find a soup starter mix complete with carrots, celery, and onion. It made the prep super easy and I didn't have to worry about finding ways to use the extra celery stalks or carrot sticks.
 I cooked the rice in vegetable broth and then added in the lentils and veggies.
After cooking for about 30 minutes, I turned the burner off and added the frozen corn to the pan to defrost. Then I combined the rice mixture with the cooked spinach, cheese, beaten eggs and salsa. 
Instead of using a loaf pan, I used a casserole dish. Although I had so much of the mixture, I think I would have needed two loaf pans. I covered the mixture with extra cheese and added tomatoes on half and put it in the oven.
Once the cheese was melted and the dish was warmed throughout, I served it with a side of salsa and roasted broccoli. It was so good - filling and healthy!

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