Advertisements

Salsa and Rice

I’ll admit a lazy part of me loves the convenience of jarred salsa. Drive to Safeway and spend $2.50 to 4 for a 16 ounce jar is too easy to do but it doesn’t mean the salsa is great tasting. Usually it is pretty sharp tasting but for me to make fresh I have to wait for tomato season. Fresh tomatoes are expensive 10 months out of the year here (all you can get is hot-house ones from BC and they run $4 to 6 a lb…ugh) so I played with making my salsa using canned tomatoes and fresh ingredients, it turned out great.The lime juice takes away the “canned” flavor of the tomatoes.

I used my Ninja Blender’s work bowl and the longest part of making it was adding everything into it!

Homemade Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 2 14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp garlic (2 cloves)
  • ¼ cup parsley – dried or fresh (or cilantro)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 3 big dashes Tabasco sauce

Directions:

Add everything to a high-speed blender work bowl or a food processor, process until the texture you like. Store tightly covered.

I served the salsa with this rice pilaf:

Black Bean and Corn Rice Pilaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1½ cups long grain white rice
  • 3 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn (regular or fire roasted)
  • 15 ounce can lower sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small lime, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, fresh or freeze-dried
  • Southwestern cheese
  • Salsa to top
  • Tortilla chips

Directions:

Heat a large deep skillet over medium, add the oil, onion and peppers. Saute until tender, add in the tomatoes and rice, stir for a few minutes, Add the broth, corn and beans, bring to a boil. COver tightly, turn down to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice and cilantro, tossing to coat.

Serve with cheese and salsa on top, along with some spicy crunchy chips.

Serves 6 large portions.

PS: Also makes a great burrito filling.

~Sarah

Advertisements

Horchata

When we go out for Mexican food Kirk often orders Horchata, a rice based cold drink. He got Walker hooked on it as well and now he expects that he should get a sippy cup of it with his dinner. I decided to see how it was made – I didn’t even know what was in it! So after looking at a number of recipes I came up with this method. It takes some time, since the rice needs to soak overnight but is a fun project you can mostly ignore. A high-speed blender will make the job easier, as will a very fine mesh sieve (the same one I use for rinsing quinoa in).

Horchata

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 3½ cups water
  • 2 medium cinnamon sticks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Rinse the rice under cool water, shake dry. Add it to a high-speed blender work bowl or food processor, pulse until broken up. Scrape into a glass bowl, add the cinnamon sticks and cover with the water. Cover and let sit overnight.

Pour the rice mixture into the blender (with the cinnamon), add the sugar and vanilla, process on high for about 2 minutes or until finely purée.

Using a very fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth lined sieve, pour the milk through, pressing down to squeeze all the liquid out. Discard the solids. I ran mine through the sieve 3 times, rinsing the sieve each time, to remove any remaining pulp.

Chill for at least a couple of hours, stir vigorously and serve over glasses full of ice – and use ice, without it the taste isn’t as vibrant.

Makes about 4 cups.

~Sarah

Caribbean Style Rice and Beans

Caribbean Style Rice and Beans – a very tasty recipe! I saw the recipe on Whole Foods website and had to try it out. I used a green pepper instead of a red one (79 cents vs $2) and used less salt but otherwise followed the recipe (mostly). Quick as well, it was ready in under 30 minutes. The WF recipe collection has some tasty choices!

OK, I admit it…I borrowed their photo. It was way prettier than mine 😀

Caribbean Style Rice and Beans

Ingredients:

  • 14 ounce can light coconut milk, divided
  • ½ tsp salt, divided
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 Tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced (4 cloves or jarred)
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 15 ounce can lower sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

Add ¾ cup coconut milk, 1¼ cups water, ¼ tsp salt and the rice in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Cover and let cook over low for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium-high, melt the oil, add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook till tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spices, cook for a minute.

Add the remaining coconut milk, ½ cup water, the beans and ¼ tsp salt, bring to a simmer. Turn down to medium and let simmer for about 8 minutes,

Fluff up the rice and add into the sauce, stir well. Taste for seasoning, add a bit more salt if desired.

Serves 3 as a main dish, 6 as a side dish.

~Sarah

A Different Take on Red Beans and Rice (Vegan)

Not a traditional red beans and rice – no sausage or thick sauce but rather a healthy plate of beans, rice and tons of vegetables. Add hot sauce to taste (I had mine pretty fiery)!

Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 14 ounce bag bell pepper strips, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced (jarred works well)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 to 16 ounce cans lower sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Hot sauce
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups water

Directions:

In a skillet heat the oil over medium, add the onion, peppers and celery until tender, adding the garlic and thyme in at the end. Stir in the tomatoes and bay leaves, turn up the heat to bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover tightly and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add in the beans and ½ teaspoon hot sauce and let simmer covered for another 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and more hot sauce as desired. (I used Tabasco for my sauce)

Meanwhile bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, add in the rice and lower to medium-low. Cover tightly and let cook for 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes off the heat and fluff up.

Top the rice with the beans.

Serves 4 to 6 (although you might want to make more rice if serving 6).

~Sarah

Creamy Chicken and Spinach Rice

This was a quick dinner to make – and while kind of trashy due to a few processed foods used was tasty. Sometimes I am OK with cheating! A momma has to do what she can!

Creamy Chicken and Spinach Rice

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup roasted red pepper Italian dressing
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 12.5 ounce can chicken breast, drained
  • 3 cups lower sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ounces lower fat cream cheese
  • 3 cups instant rice
  • 6 ounce package fresh spinach, chopped
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat add the dressing and cook the onion in it till tender. Add the chicken, broth and cream cheese, bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir in and turn off the heat. Let sit for 10 minutes, take off the lid, add the spinach on top and cover, let sit for 5 minutes to wilt. Stir in the spinach and the Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Delicious fried rice using a pineapple I spied at Costco this week and I tried something new – I roasted my own cashews from raw ones. Easy and delicious!

Pineapple Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch baked brown rice (see below)
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp roasted garlic (jarred)
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger (jarred is fine)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 14-ounce package bell pepper strips
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews

Directions:

For the rice –

Heat the oven to 375°. Bring 2½ cups water to a boil, add it and  1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1½ cups long grain brown rice to an 8×8″ glass baking pan, cover with foil tightly and bake for 1 hour.

Makes about 4 cups baked.

Once finished cooking, let cool for a few minutes and then transfer to a large heat safe mixing bowl and chill for at least a couple of hours.

For the Fried Rice –
Break up the chilled rice in its bowl and work in 1 Tablespoon of the oil, set aside.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large non-stick skillet. Add the onion and cook for a minute, add in the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, cook for another minute. Add the egg, scramble until done. Scoop out into a bowl and set aside.
Add the last Tablespoon of oil to the skillet and turn up to high heat, add in the peppers and green beans, cook until thawed, stirring often. Add in the pineapple and continue cooking until the pineapple is turning golden and the vegetables are crispy.
Turn back down to medium-high , add the egg mixture back in and the cold rice and start stirring. Stir in the cashews.
Drizzle over the soy sauce and curry over the rice and keep stirring until the rice is hot/sizzling.

Serves 4.

Want to roast cashews?

Preheat your oven to 350° and spread how many raw cashews you need on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-20 minutes, checking every 5 minutes and shaking the pan to distribute. Keep a close eye on the cashews, they roast very fast, take out when turning golden brown and smelling very intense. Let cool before storing.

~Sarah

Sesame Fried Rice

This recipe is a bit more labor intensive but is worth it. Mixing in the flavorings when the rice is hot it seeps into the rice. Make it up the night before while you make dinner, then the next night’s dinner is easy to do!

Sesame Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 4 cusp water
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 3 Tbsp sweet chile sauce
  • 3 Tbsp sesame ginger dressing
  • 2 Tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp dry or fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp gave nectar (raw if you have it)
  • ¼ tsp grated ginger (jarred is fine)
  • ¼ tsp granulated garlic

Directions:

Bring the water to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, add the rice and return to a boil. Stir well, lower the heat to medium-low, cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the peas and corn to a large heat safe mixing bowl, toss with the hot rice.

In a small mixing bowl whisk the dressing together, drizzle over the hot rice and toss to coat.

Let chill for a couple of hours or overnight.

Heat a Tablespoon or two of canola oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add in the rice and stir-fry until hot and starting to crust a bit.

Serve with more soy sauce or sweet chile sauce as desired.

Serves 3.

~Sarah

Fajita Bowls

A quick dinner for a very hot evening! Served with crunchy chips on the side 🙂

Fajita Bowls

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups white rice
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 15 ounce can lower sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 16 ounce jar salsa
  • Corn chips
  • Vegan cheddar cheeze, if desired

Directions:

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the rice and turn to medium-low, cook tightly covered for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile heat the oil over medium-high in a large skillet. Add the peppers and onion, cook until golden and crisp-tender. Add in the beans and salsa, heat through,

Serve the bean and veggies over the rice, serve with cheese on top and chips for dipping.

Serves 3-4.

~Sarah

%d bloggers like this: