Thanks to Alton Brown we can all always count on making perfect rice!! If you have the time this is my all time favorite way to make rice now. I use brown jasmine or brown basmati rice. It comes out perfect every time. The best part, our home will smell like delicious toasting rice!
BAKED BROWN RICE (slightly tweaked from Alton's Baked Brown Rice recipe)
brown rice of your choice (I use Trader Joe's Brown Jasmine Rice)
1 tbsp butter or olive oil (I omit this ingredient)
1 tsp fresh cracked salt (I omit this ingredient)
aluminum foil (Alton calls for heavy-duty, I just use two sheets of regular)
Preheat oven to 375
Measure out ingredients based on your package stovetop cooking instructions.
Trader Joe's Brown Jasmine Rice calls for:
2 cups water
1 cup rice
Place the rice into an 8" square glass baking dish.
Bring the water (butter/olive oil and salt if using) to a boil in a small pot.
Once the water comes to a rolling boil, pour it over the rice, stir to combine and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, remove from the oven, fluff the rice (scraping the bottom) and enjoy
Perfect for an on-the-go breakfast or an afternoon snack! Simply spinach, fresh dill, feta
and egg whites. (You can easily make this vegan by taking out the cheese and swapping flax egg for the egg.)
DILLY SPINACH BITES
***TIPS: 1. Spray your muffin tins (even the liner if using). 2. Let set for a few minutes once out of the oven.***
1 bag frozen chopped spinach
fresh dill, chopped - about 1/4 cup
fresh cracked pepper
egg whites (or 2-3 whole eggs/2-3 flax eggs)
12 muffin baking tin
Preheat oven to 350
Defrost and drain the spinach.
Mix 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill with the spinach, season with fresh cracked pepper, set aside.
If you're not using egg whites, now is the time to prep your eggs:
For whole eggs: whisk until well incorporated.
For flax egg: mix 1 tbsp of water to 2-3 tbsps flax meal (per egg) and set aside.
Put a couple rounded tablespoons chopped spinach in each tin (NOTE: I used 6 muffins tins, not all 12). Top with some crumbled feta (to your taste).
Now add equal amounts of your egg white, egg or flax egg to each bite.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes before removing from muffin tin.
Trader Joe's has come out with a red lentil pasta that I think is absolutely delicious! Organic Red Lentil Sedanini has a fair amount of fiber and good amount of protein (nutrition info at bottom of link). I'm finding that just a small portion is super filling!
For lunch today I made some fresh tomato sauce, sautéed kale, and Trader Joe's Organic Red Lentil Sedanini. It is absolutely delicious!
The tomato sauce I made is very basic (see rough recipe below). I also sautéed about 1 1/2 cup chopped kale on a high heat for roughly 5 minutes. Once all of the elements were cooked (pasta, tomato sauce, kale) I tossed together 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup cooked pasta and all of the kale together. I highly suggest topping it with some crushed red pepper flakes and a drizzle of EVOO. It is very satisfying lunch!
***note: I add the garlic near the end of the cooking so it doesn't burn***
1 rounded cup fresh grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 - 1/2 cup onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1-3 tbsps of balsamic vinegar (depends how sweet you want your sauce)
fresh cracked salt & pepper
Cook (tomato, onion, olive oil) for 5-10 minutes. Season with fresh cracked salt and pepperStart breaking down the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Add the garlic, continue cooking and breaking down tomatoes. Once most of the tomatoes are broken down/mashed, transfer the sauce to a food processor. Pulse a few times until a mostly puréed (not too smooth!). Return to pot, add the balsamic vinegar and simmer for another 30mins.
OPTIONAL (but highly recommended): top with crushed red pepper flakes and drizzle or two of EVOO.
Pomegranate seeds are delicious little jewels. For a while, during peak season, I was eating two a week. That's a lot of good healthy antioxidants!
Did you know pomegranates grow on trees about as big as your typical apple tree here on the east coast? I was visiting a friend in California right at the start of the season and her tree was already full! I picked about 20 pomegranates that were perfectly ripe. It was quite an experience!
Though eating pomegranate seeds plain is great, here are
a few other ideas to get your "creative juices" flowing:
put them through a proper juicer, the flavor is amazing. I have yet to find any jarred pomegranate juice that even comes close to this fresh juice. You can toss them into a warm rice salad or a cold kale salad. Try adding some to your favorite chili or soup recipe, or just enjoy them with a delicious cheese! These seeds can be added to pretty much anything and they will give your dish a delicious burst of juice in every bite.
Below is one of my favorite treats!
YOGURT WITH POMEGRANATE SEEDS
6oz 0% Fage Yogurt
1 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
2-3 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup or 1 tbsp local honey
The flavor combination of these ingredients is a real treat! ENJOY!
Just following up on a great lunch I prepared last week. It's super simple and very satisfying.
(note: pretty/colorful salads are always tastier/healthier salads)
CURLY KALE SALAD (any kale would work just fine)
1-2 well rounded cups of cleaned/chopped curly kale
1/4 cup diced boiled beets
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp feta, crumbled
1 tbsp chopped raisins
1/2 cup chopped LightLife Three Grain tempeh (for tempeh preparation see below)
lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
1 package LightLife Three Grain tempeh
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup beet juice (from boiled beets, from a can or fresh juice)
1 tbsp soy sauce
two dashes of vegan worcestershire
Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4" thick slices of tempeh at an angle. Combine the ingredients for marinade (garlic - worcestershire). Place tempeh slices in a container, top with marinade and seal. Let marinate for 5-6 hours. Alternatively, you can steam the whole tempeh for a few minutes, prepare as above, and marinate for around 2 hours.
(The marinating/steaming takes the slightly bitter flavor out of the tempeh.)
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Place tempeh in the skillet in a single layer (ok if pieces or touching a little). Cook tempeh a little bit, then add some marinade to the pan and cook a bit longer. Once slightly browned flip to brown the other side. Total cooking time about 15 mins.
(Though this is a rough recipe, I hope it inspires you to give tempeh a try!)
Mix all salad ingredients (except tempeh) together in a large bowl. Toss until well combined. Top with bite sized piece of cooked tempeh.
I often get ideas for things to cook up and don't have all the "necessary" ingredients. Don't get discouraged from making different dishes just because you're missing one or two ingredients. Take a look in the pantry or refrigerator and "think outside the box".
For example, my friend mentioned she was making turkey meatloaf for dinner...which of course got me wanting turkey meatloaf. I happened to have some ground turkey breast from the farmers' market, but no breadcrumbs or panko. I found some wheat germ "hidden" in the back of the refrigerator and gave it a try. It worked quite well! A rough recipe below...
TURKEY MEATLOAF WITH VEGGIES (served with a side salad of beets, cucumber and romaine)
1lb ground turkey breast
1/2 cup sautéed minced vegetables (onion, garlic, red bell pepper, baby bellas) - cooled
1 egg, beaten
1-2 tbsp wheat germ (or panko)
a dash of vegan worcestershire sauce (it's what I had, regular will work fine)
pizza sauce, tomato sauce, salsa or ketchup for your topping
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, folding them together with a spatula or your hands.
Don't over mix, just until everything is all incorporated.
Fold your meatloaf mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Form into a loaf,
about 1.5" thick.
Brush with your topping of choice. I happened to have some pizza sauce on hand
so used that and it turned out quite well.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cooked through and slightly browned on top.
Well, I know it’s been a while since my last post…and I apologize! I’ve been cooking up plenty but just haven’t had the time to sit down and work out my recipes. I will post some photos and brief descriptions of what I’ve been up to the past few months, so please do stay tuned!
In the meantime, here is a delicious recipe to get you started. I’ve been interested in trying out one of the more popular food trends…cauliflower pizza crust….for quite sometime. It always seemed too complicated with many ingredients/steps…call me lazy! But after recently seeing a fitness instructor of mine post his version, I thought why not give it a shot. And lucky for me I already had some frozen riced cauliflower in my freezer! Most recipes call for panko, but I only had wheat germ to use (next time I will try with panko). I also cut my recipe in half, which made more of a personal pizza. This worked out to be a perfect portion for me.
"PERSONAL PAN” CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA
1. you’ll want to bake this on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
2. recipe can easily be doubled
1 c riced cauliflower (rounded cup)
1-2 tbsp panko (I used wheat germ)
1/4 c shredded pecorino romano (rounded cup)
2 tsp granulated garlic (to taste)
This is your preference. I used the following:
Whole Foods Pizza Sauce
sliced red bell pepper
sliced white onion
fresh chopped parsley
red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 450º
Combine all ingredients for the pizza crust.
Pour pizza crust mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet, form into a circle about 1/4” thick.
Bake for 25-30mins or until edges have browned/crisped a bit and the top has browned a little bit.
Take out of the oven and using a spatula, make sure your pizza crust can shift easily.
Now is the fun part! Add whatever toppings you like…sauce no sauce, meat no meat, cheese no cheese…anyway you make this pizza I guarantee it will be satisfying. I recommend only a thin layer of tomato sauce to avoid a soggy pizza.
Bake for another 10-15mins or until your vegetables are a little tender and/or your cheese has melted.
And the summer sandwich kick continues. This one works with fresh mozzarella or extra firm tofu. You will need a farm fresh ripe tomato, basil, olive oil, and some balsamic for this one. It’s basically summer in a sandwich…no joke. The flavors and aromas as you take a bit while sitting in your humid NYC apartment…it just screams summer!
TOFU "CAPRESE" SANDWICH
1 small ciabatta
1 slice extra firm tofu, 1/2” thick
OR 1 slice of fresh mozzarella
2 slices fresh tomato
3-4 fresh basil leaves
fresh cracked salt and pepper
Slice your ciabatta in half. Drizzle the top and bottom with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Season lightly with fresh cracked salt and pepper.
Place the tofu (or mozzarella) on the bottom slice, top with the tomato slices.
The next layer is all basil. You can use the whole leaf or julienne the leaves.