Archive for Grains
Quinoa made its way into our household after my husband started going to a trainer as a 30th birthday present to himself. After a one hour first visit, Jerry the trainer completely overhauled our meals and introduced Quinoa to our side dish options. Huge thanks to Jerry for steering us in the direction of this tasty grain and for putting me in my place when I accompanied my husband to training. Gloating that I was a Bikram ace, Jerry’s workout was humbling to say the least. I like to argue that it was the pregnancy we were not yet aware of, but truth be told, he kicked my butt and my husband has bragging rights that he could do way more squats than me. This dish is so simple and just fantastically flavorful.
- 2 cups cooked black beans
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup half and half
- 2 diced plum tomatoes
- 2 diced avocados
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon Cholula hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon sugar
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the beans, quinoa and half and half. Continue to cook for 5 minutes before adding the salt, sugar, hot sauce and avocado. Remove from the heat and serve.
I am definitely one to use the good old packaged black beans and rice and add chicken and shrimp rather than opting for the homemade version. There is certainly no shame in that. This time, however, I splurged for homemade for no other reason than I didn’t have a box of the pre-packaged mix in my pantry. I have to believe this version is quite a bit better!
- 4 pieces thick cut bacon, diced
- 1 LB chicken breasts
- 1 LB large shrimp, deveined and shelled
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce
- 1 12 ounce can black beans, drained and cleaned
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- 1 cup diced Capari tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoons butter (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 375°.
Trim fat off chicken and place in a non-stick baking dish. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes or until cooked though the center. Remove chicken from the oven and cool either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Once cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with two forks and set aside.
Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned. Drain the bacon fat from the pan. Add the shrimp to the pan and continue to cook on medium-high until the shrimp turns a bright orange color. Stir in the shredded chicken, tomato sauce, black beans, tomatoes, paprika, salt and cilantro. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Fold in the rice, cheese and butter and continue to cook on low until the cheese is fully melted. Remove from the heat and serve.
- 4 small gold nugget squash
- 1 cup diced thick cut bacon
- 1.5 cups cranberries
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup shredded fontenella cheese
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pre-heat oven to 350°. Pierce the skin of each squash numerous times with a fork or knife. Place on a cookie sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until the exterior of the squash has softened and is easily pierced with a knife.
While the squash is baking heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the bacon and stir frequently until nicely browned. Drain the fat from the pan and return to the stove. Fold in the cranberries, reduce the heat to medium and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The cranberries should be softened at this point. Fold in the rice, walnuts, sugar, salt and cheese and remove from the heat.
Remove the squash from the oven and cut off the top exposing the interior of the squash. Scoop out the seeds, but leave the meat of the squash intact. Stuff the squash with the rice mixture and serve.
- 1 cup brown basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ diced red onion
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon Chinese five -spice
- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 cup spinach
- ¼ cup chopped almonds
- 4 eggs
Combine rice, butter and water in a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer over low heat, cover and cook for 50 minutes.
Coat a wok with the oil and heat over high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the ginger and the Chinese five-spice and fry for 2 more minutes. Mix in the cooked rice, pineapple, peanut butter and soy sauce. Stir until the peanut butter is completely melted. Continue to sauté for 10 minutes. Fold in the spinach and chopped almonds. Remove the wok from the heat.
Heat a small buttered sauté pan over medium heat. Fry the eggs to your liking. Plate one egg atop a few large spoonfuls of the rice per person and serve.
Last night when I was deciding what to make for dinner I was generally unimpressed and bored with my options. I was half out the door on my way to the store to get more ingredients when I decided to clear out my vegetable drawer and re-evaluate my options. I ended up combining all the contents of that drawer into this delightful and wonderfully flavorful side dish. Boring meal and grocery trip in the freezing rain avoided!
- 1 cup black rice
- 2 ¼ cups water
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup finely chopped leeks
- 2 medium carrots, cleaned,
- 1 cup diced apple, cored, skin on
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup gruyere cheese
Combine rice, 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon butter in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir, reduce to a simmer over low heat and cover. Cook for 45-50 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. Remove from heat and uncover.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the carrots and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Add the sugar and the remaining ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer over low heat. Cook for 3 minutes or until the liquid thickens. Add the apples, parsley and salt. Continue to cook for 3 minutes and remove from heat. Fold in the rice one cup at a time until you have a nice ratio of rice to apple mixture. You very well might have some rice left over for another meal. Finally, mix in the cheese and serve.
Today was a particularly miserable weather day in Chicago. Days like this tend to inspire meals that remind me of vacation. This dish certainly accomplished that task- refreshing ingredients, a touch of citrus and super easy.
- ½ cup un-cooked long grain brown rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 small red jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
- 5 small tomatillo’s, roughly chopped
- I clove minced garlic
- 1 LB jumbo shrimp, deveined and shelled
- ¾ cup chopped pineapple
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 avocados, peeled, cored and halved
- ½ cup cream
- Dash of salt
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup low-fat sour cream
Cook rice according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium- high heat in a large sauté pan. Add onion and pepper and cook for 4 minutes, string occasionally. Add tomatillos, garlic and salt. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, or until the tomatillo’s have just softened. Stir in pineapple and shrimp. Cook until shrimp is thoroughly cooked about 2 minutes per side. Fold in rice, remove from heat and cover.
For the sauce, place avocado in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. Remove the chopped avocado from the processor and heat over low heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in cream, cumin, salt and lemon juice. Cook for 2 minutes. Return avocado/cream mixture to food processor and mix until smooth. Fold in sour cream and serve a small dollop along rice and shrimp.