Home Sweet Home

I'm back from the land of citrus and warm winters, and I'm dying for some home-cooked food!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to eat out at any wonderful restaurants while I was in Orlando - I ended up having dinners with collaborators at mostly chain restaurants or Disneyworld favorites and breakfast and lunch were spent trying to find something cheap and fast. Thanks to the suggestion from Faith in Orlando, who commented on my site before I left, I was able to try some southern Indian cuisine because I suggested it to a friend who tried it and brought back the extras (delicious!). I suppose I should have guessed this would be the case with no car, an extremely modest budget, and being at the mercy of my own desire to follow around and socialize with distinguished scientists in my field who didn't have the world of fine-dining in mind while at the conference. Not to say that many scientists don't like food as much as myself (they do!) but they either had different tastes - "anything but Indian food" (Damn!) or "let's just eat next door at Chilis because the line at this place is so long and I have to work on my talk" (noooooo!!!!). Ah, such is life.

I did, however, get my hands on some lovely, freshly picked, bright yellow home-grown grapefruits to bring back some sunshine to my very wet and very flooded Eugene, courtesy of a University of Florida faculty member up in Gainesville. I felt like my prayers had been answered! In the airport in Phoenix, I also picked up some heirloom popcorn and some prickly pear cactus jellies. So, all was not lost!

So, in an effort to re-gain my feeling of being home, I want to share with you one of Loving Boyfriend and my own favorite recipes: Lentil Enchiladas. This is one of those recipes I've been cooking for ages and have cooked over and over. It's perfect for a dinner at home for two (even the leftovers are great), or nice enough to make for guests. It's also a vegetarian dish that even a carnivore could love. And even better? It's also healthy, one of my goals for how I'd like to see my cooking evolve this year (Inspired by recent posts by Vickie at the Moveable Feast Food Blog and Ilva at Lucullian Delights). I'm not even sure where it came from, but it's been good enough to have stood the test of time...and in a kitchen like mine, where I cook something new nearly every night, that's saying a lot!

Lentil Enchiladas
Serves: 4

1/2 cup lentils (I use the brown variety usually)
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup avocado
4 tortillas
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 limes, quartered
(for garnish)

1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup corn kernels
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. lime juice
1/2 - 1 seeded and chopped jalapeno
salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer the lentils until all the liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes). While this is cooking, mix together the ingredients for the salsa. When the lentils are finished, remove from heat and add red onion, red wine vinegar, cumin, and salt and pepper and mix together. Fold in the avocado.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray or rub it with a bit of olive oil. Warm the tortillas in the oven (wrapped in foil) or microwave (NOT wrapped in foil, try paper towels), then fill each with 1/2 cup of the lentil mixture and roll them up, placing them in the baking dish seam side down. Sprinkle with tops with cheese and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese melts and becomes bubbly. Serve topped with salsa and lime wedges.

15 comments from you:

Joe said...

Welcome back from your trip!

kitchenmage said...

the contrast between this post and te previous one is striking -- citrus to ice! and as an expat from bajaOregon, i miss my citrus...

glad you had fun, good to have you back here in the northwet, and boy has it ever been wet...

ilva said...

well, now I selfishly hope that you will remain where you are and concentrate on cooking and blogging!! Science, pfsiusufh!

vlb5757 said...

Michelle, I am tickled that you are home where we all know you belong! I know coming some sunshine to the liquid stuff must have been slightly depressing, but the thought of eating sunshine from FL. should cast away the blues that rain brings. I know you had a good time soaking (yes pun intended) up all the other scientist words, but give us some of yours now...

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Michelle, I am so happy you are back home and bloggin'! We missed you. The recipe for the lentils enchilada looks delicious and easy enough for a nice quick meal. Thank you! Hugs,

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Michelle, I have a "welcome home meme" for you!!! This is the link: http://panamagourmet.blogs.com/tastydesign/2006/01/the_seven_meme.html

Clare Eats said...

this looks great! Casey and I will love it!

Glad you had a good time at the conference :)

michelle said...

Hi Joe! Why thank you! It's good to be home!

Hi Kitchenmage! I do have to admit that I didn't miss the rain, at all. But the citrus sure is a nice stand-in for the sunshine (though if offered a trade, I might just give up the rain).

Hi Ilva! Hee hee hee - I plan to!

Hi Vickie! Aw, shucks, I missed you too! I'll see what I can do...there are lots of new recipes I want to try...

Hi Melissa! I'll get right on that meme...thanks for the tag! It's sure good to be back home and back in touch with all of you!

Hi Clare! I hope so - it's one of our favorites. I hope Australia is treating you well. A confession: I finished off all those chocolate goodies and wasabi snacks in the few days I've been back. YUMMY!

Dawn said...

Welcome back!! I'm glad you had a good trip and at least it wasn't completely devoid of a couple of food experiences! What did you think of the cactus candy?

Shauna said...

Thank goodness you're back. I was starting to think you had been kidnapped by Mickey Mouse. Yum on these enchiladas. yay to more posts!

michelle said...

Hi Dawn! It's great to be back! I finally tried the cactus candy last night (spawned by your comment) and it was definitely tasty...but my favorite was the mesquite bean...it tasted like a cross between vanilla, cream soda and a little tartness thrown in to the mix...really tough to describe, but surprisingly delicious! Of course, the 'margarita' flavored one was also a favorite, but I already figured that one would be good!

Hi Shauna! Aw, thank you my dear. I'm happy to be back reading your posts too!

Aria said...

I REALLY want to make these lentil enchiladas, but neither the list of ingredients or the instructions seem to make sense. Any chance you could check on your end and see if I'm going crazy???? Thanks!

michelle said...

Hi Aria,
Thanks for bringing that to my attention! Play around with these a little bit, as I did change the amounts of things when I made them last for a newspaper article here (way too much garlic for one thing - but I changed that in the recipe above too, so one clove should be good). We eat these often and I've had friends ask for the recipe before, so I hope that you like them - don't be shy to come back and let me know any suggestions you may have to improve them too!!

Aria said...

Delicious! Thanks for updating it.

michelle said...

Hi Aria,
Great - I'm glad you enjoyed them!