Lentil and Rice Casserole? Yup, I said it.

Okay, not one of my best pictures. Its hard to make lentils pretty, but, I have to say, this was pretty tasty and healthy, not to mention, cheap. Gotta love cheap these days. I know I have dissed the whole casserole concept in the past and rightly so. I promise we will not be calling on cream of mushroom soup or crumbled cornflakes, not even a whisper.

The ground red pepper delivers a nice tolerable heat, but if you’re one of those people (wimp) who can’t handle the heat, you can omit it. The original recipe came from Southern Living 1993 Annual Recipe, (which by the way, you could by used for a penny on Amazon.com right now.) Pretty funny.

The only changes were the addition of a can of tomato juice and switching out butter for the margarine. I don’t stock margarine.

Lentils and Rice Casserole

1 cup dried lentils
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomotos, with liquid
1 can tomato juice (6 Fl. oz)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups cooked brown rice
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 cups shredded low fat cheddar cheese

Cook lentils according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain lentils, and set aside.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add onions, green pepper, and garlic, and cook until tender, stirring often. Stir in lentils, tomatoes, tomato juice, and next 4 ingredients; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spoon brown rice into a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; pour lentil mixture over rice. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes; sprinkle with cheese, and coat with cooking spray. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Yield; 5 servings (311 calories per serving)