Rice/Grains

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Feta Rice

Once again, I’ve been missing. I’ve been home for two weeks over the last two months so I really haven’t been able to cook much, hence not really able to post. Last week, I was away for work and while I was gone, my power went out for two days due to a storm. While I was kind of happy to not be suffering through 90 degree weather without air conditioning, I wasn’t happy about having to toss out everything in my fridge, including tons of frozen chicken breasts, a whole carton of eggs, an unopened bottle of coffee creamer and a whole box of turkey burgers. Not a good feeling. I wasn’t in the mood to cook this weekend so I decided to bring you a dish I made before I headed out of town: Grilled Lemon Chicken with Feta Rice.

Chicken breasts are marinated quickly in a little lemon juice, oil and garlic before being grilled until perfectly cooked. A quick side of precooked brown rice, lemon juice, oil, feta, and basil is the perfect bite to accompany this chicken. I have to tell you, this was one of the best things I have made in a long time. And I make a lot of really good food. There was just something about this. Not just the amazing flavor but also the incredible ease. Take about a perfect summer dinner. Make it!

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Combine chicken, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon oil, and garlic in a zip-top bag; turn to coat. Let stand 5 minutes.

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Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove chicken from marinade, and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; grill 6 minutes on each side.

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While chicken cooks, heat rice according to package directions. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add rice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, feta, and basil; toss.

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Serve rice with chicken.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Red Quinoa with Spinach and Dried Cherries

I’ve had a minor obsession with dried cherries lately. And by lately, I mean the last year. When I was in Chicago visiting my aunt last year, she offered me a huge bag of some dried cherries that she’d gotten at a farmer’s market (or something like that, I can’t remember!).  The dried cherries she had were so plump and sweet yet tart and I had to physically stop myself from consuming an embarrassing amount. Now, I grab dried cherries often to have on hand to eat with peanuts or in plain Greek yogurt. Or I just pop them as a small snack.  I came across this recipe for Red Quinoa with Spinach and Dried Cherries and figured it would be another way to try these dehydrated gems.

Red quinoa (or red rice as the original recipe calls for) is cooked and combined with onion, ginger and dried cherries. Spinach and fresh orange juice are added for yet even more layers of flavor to this superfood-filled dish. I found the red quinoa at my local Target (I have yet to find red rice) but regular ol’ quinoa or rice will work. The zing of the ginger, the sweetness of the orange, and the mild tartness of the cherries combine for a real melody of flavors. And with the quinoa and spinach, this dish is good for you!

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Prepare the red quinoa according to package directions in a medium saucepan. (Or if using red rice, combine rice and water in a medium pan, cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat; reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.)

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Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sprinkle with the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and dried cherries; cook, stirring, until the onion is golden brown, about 7 more minutes.

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Stir the prepared quinoa (or rice) into the onion mixture. Add the baby spinach and orange juice and stir until the spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute.

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Season with salt and pepper.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Red quinoa

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Food Network magazine

Fried Brown Rice with Red Pepper and Almond

I’m not the biggest fast food fan.  We ate fast food here and there when I was a kid but for the most part, my mom usually cooked each night.  Considering she worked a full time job and then came home to make us dinner, I can understand why we had fast food every so often.  But I don’t really have a palette for fast food anymore (unless I’m on a road trip when all I want is French fries and a milkshake) but instead, when I don’t feel like cooking, I instinctively call the Chinese food restaurant for takeout.  My guilty pleasure go-to dish is vegetable fried rice which is probably one of the worst things a) on the menu and b) ever.  Since homemade fried rice dishes are never as good as the real thing, I’m hoping I’ll find a homemade recipe that I like enough to keep me from picking up that phone.  A girl can hope.  This time, I tried Fried Brown Rice with Red Pepper and Almond.

Onion, garlic, red pepper, and sliced almonds are sautéed in peanut oil briefly before adding in precooked rice (a HUGE time saver).  Fresh lime juice, curry paste, and cilantro leaves are adding such unique flavors that you don’t even realize that there isn’t a lick of soy sauce anywhere.  The curry paste is mild and has a very subtle flavor, much different than curry powder, so don’t be scared of it and don’t leave it out.  It really adds a great bold flavor to this rice.  The peppers and onions are sweet and the lime juice really gives this a vibrant flavor boost.  This vegetarian dish comes together quickly so you don’t have to spend much time over the stove after a long day.  Still not your cup of tea?  Try one of the other fried rice recipes in the link.  You just might find one you like that will keep you from order Chinese food or hitting that fast food restaurant.

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The ingredients:

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Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl. Add onion and garlic; stir-fry 1 minute.

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Add bell pepper and nuts; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add rice; stir-fry 1 minute.

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Stir in lime juice, curry paste, cilantro, and salt.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Red curry paste

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

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