Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Apple with a Smart Hat

As I said before, I'm trying to get a few more cute elements into lunches.  This time around it was a food pick extravaganza!  I'm particularly pleased with the apple hat.  I've also gotten out of the habit of sending vegetarian meals more often than not.  So when I found this lentil rice cooker recipe I knew we'd have a tasty vegan dish!

Cooking lentils in the rice cooker was a stroke of genius!  I used this recipe as a base but diva'd it up a little bit.  I added red pepper flakes, ground cumin, a bay leaf and an additional 3/4c of water.  It took probably 10 minutes for the garlic to lose that really raw smell instead of the 3 it says on the site.  Once everything was in the pot I just let it go.  My house smelled garlic-y all night.  I woke up about 4 hours into cooking and all of the water was cooked out.  I stirred in an extra 1/4c of water and let it go for another 2 or 3 hours and then when I woke up that time, I turned the warmer function off so they wouldn't burn.  I think they would've been fine if I had slept through the night with them on "keep warm" so if you decide to make them this way don't worry too much about tending to them repeatedly.  In the morning I sprinkled a little salt on top and wanted to snarf them all down before I could get any into Monstro's lunch!  They were the 2nd best lentils I've ever had!  I served them as-is but they would make a really great lentil salad mixed with a light mustard vin and some veggies.

The top tier has the lentils, a carrot "fence" and some broccoli.  On the bottom we have apple bunnies - 1 with a jaunty chapeau, sliced fuyu persimmon, more apple slices and mashed roasted butternut with cinnamon.  I pulled out a few different animals for picks, plus the hat.  I didn't get the very top tier in the photo but it had a small spoon and 1/2 of an orange-chocolate chip cookie.

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