Now that I’m back to my healthy ways, I made dinner at home last night for my roommate and I. When I went grocery shopping last Sunday, I bought the ingredients for last night’s dinner so I would be prepared to cook when I had a free night this week. I made Red Lentil-Rice Cakes with Simple Tomato Salsa from Cooking Light.   This was a recipe I ripped out of the October 2008 edition and it’s been in my recipe binder ever since.

I generally followed the recipe ingredients-wise but to speed up the cooking process, I used canned kidney beans  and just rinsed them off before use. Canned beans are preserved with sodium so as long as you rinse them well beforehand, the health benefits are the same as when cooking with fresh beans. I also used brown rice instead of basmati, for more whole grains. Beans and brown rice are an excellent source of fiber and fiber keeps you full!

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Ok, the results. I thought this meal was good, but not great. I think it lacked a little flavor and those who also reviewed the recipe online seemed to think so too (too bad I didn’t see those reviews before last night). These bean and rice cakes do have a nice mix of flavors but next time I think I’ll use a bolder cheese instead of mozzarella and maybe add some cumin or a dash of cayenne pepper. This recipe is definitely worth making with a few simple additions. On the positive side, this meal was filling and healthy (with about 300 calories for two cakes and the salsa).

Happy weekend everyone! I have some excercise, cleaning, shopping, eating, cooking and relaxation planned. How about you?

BLOG NOTE: I’ve added a new tab, “Recipes,” to the blog. All my recipes are now listed in alphabetical order by meal for your reference and mine!