Tag Archives: rice

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

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

Savory Baked Apples

I remember when I first saw the recipe for these Savory Baked Apples, my jaw dropped and my mouth watered so there may or may not have been some drooling involved.  And since every time I come across it I remind myself how much I want to make them, I’m shocked that it’s taken me so long to actually get around to doing it.  Let’s be honest, the thought of scooping out apple pulp to make hollowed out apples sounds awful but it really wasn’t that bad. I’d scooped out tomatoes for a similar dish once and it was much, much worse than this (my kitchen counter looked like I’d slaughtered something). The key is patience, which I don’t have.  But the reality is, even if you mess it up and it looks awful, it’ll still taste the same so who cares?  This is one quintessential autumn dish that is worth it.

Apples are baked in the oven until soft and filled with a cooked mixture of sweet sausage, brown rice, carrots, onion, walnuts, apple cider, dried cranberries, and scallions.  Shredded Swiss cheese is added to the top and broiled adding the perfect cheesy bite as a finale.  Cinnamon, sage and cayenne pepper, combined with the sweet smell of the baked apples, give this dish an overall aroma of Fall that makes your whole house smell like a big warm hug.  The end result is a comforting dish that’s both savory and a little bit sweet.  Want something a little bit different for Thanksgiving?  Look here.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.

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Combine cranberries and cider in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add mixture to rice.

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Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out centers of apples, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell, and chop apple flesh. Brush the inside of apples with 1 tablespoon butter. Place apples on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until just tender.

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Preheat broiler to high. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan; drain.

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Wipe skillet, and melt remaining butter in pan. Add chopped apple, yellow onion, and next 3 ingredients (through pepper); sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

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Add sausage, onion mixture, walnuts, and next 3 ingredients (through sage) to rice; toss.

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Divide rice mixture evenly among apples; top with cheese. Broil for 5 minutes or until golden.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Sweet turkey sausage

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

California-Style Bibimbap

I went to a Korean restaurant with my friends Jade and Scott a while back and, not knowing much about Korean food, couldn’t bring myself to eat anything other than chicken teriyaki.  I kept eyeballing Jade’s bibimbap because if it weren’t for the meat, this seemed like a dish I would totally be all over: rice, veggies, chili paste, egg, yum!  So when I came across this vegetarian version, California-Style Bibimbap, I stared in disbelief – could it be true?  I was all over it.

Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish usually made with beef but this version takes the beef out and instead uses spinach (or kale), peppers, and avocado.  The spinach and pepper are sautéed until the spinach is wilted and the pepper is slightly soft and spooned over fluffy jasmine rice (hello…a new fave, even if it is a dreaded white rice).  Fresh avocado is added and an egg (either fried or over-easy) tops the dish.  The whole bowl is then dressed with a sesame oil-soy sauce mixture and dotted (or splattered if you so incline) with hot and spicy sriracha.  I cannot even begin to tell you how obsessed with this dish I am.  I plan on making tons of (non-traditional) variations of this using broccoli, carrots, celery, bok choy, mushrooms, asparagus or chicken in the future.  I made this on Sunday, texted Jade a picture right away, and continued to eat it all day long.  It’s no wonder that I couldn’t get Hanson’s “MMMBop” out of my head all day.

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The ingredients (I forgot the avocado):

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Put rice and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook rice until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, heat grapeseed oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Cook kale, bell pepper, and garlic with salt over medium heat until kale is wilted, 3 to 5 minutes.

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Divide rice among 4 bowls and top with vegetable mixture and avocado.  Fry eggs in the same pan until done the way you like. Slide each egg into a bowl.

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Mix sesame oil and soy sauce and drizzle over bowls.

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Drizzle with Sriracha or sprinkle with togarashi.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Sunset Magazine

Spring Green Fried Rice

I have to say I’m really enjoying our Spring in Philadelphia lately.  Normally, Spring lasts all of 3 days before it either gets cold again or boiling hot.  But we’ve had so many crystal clear blue skies and moderate temperatures that I’m just beside myself.  Having nicer weather not only puts me in a better mood but it tends to make me eat better also.  This Spring Green Fried Rice is a perfect Spring meal.  Sure, fried rice doesn’t sound like the healthiest thing but this version is flavorful, packed with veggies and not at all fattening.

Crunchy cabbage, sweet peas, crisp edamame and fresh ginger are mixed with brown rice and soy sauce.  Lightly fried, this rice is also mixed with eggs to give it the typical eggy addition commonly found in fried rice.  If you don’t like ginger, you can leave it out but I think the flavor of the ginger in this dish is really the best part.  Instead of running to get take out fried rice next time, consider making this.  You’ll save calories and money and you be happy with the results.

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The ingredients:

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In a small bowl beat egg and 1 tsp. soy sauce; set aside.

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In a wok or large skillet heat toasted sesame oil over medium heat.  Add egg mixture; stir gently until set.  Remove egg; cool slightly.  Using your hands to roll the cooked egg into a log.  Use a sharp knife, slice the egg into strips; set aside.

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In the same skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and ginger, cook 30 seconds.  Add cabbage; cook and stir 2 minutes.

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Add edamame and peas; cook for 2 minutes.

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Add rice and 2 Tbsp. soy sauce.  Cook and stir for 2 to 4 minutes or until heated through.  Add egg mixture and green onion; cook and stir about 1 minute or until heated through.

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Top with crushed red pepper, if desired.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Rice-Nut Loaf

Yes, this a vegetarian loaf – don’t freak out.  It’s an oldie and a goodie.  As I’ve mentioned, I was a vegetarian for 13 years and grew accustomed to making a plate at holiday meals of nothing but a bunch of sides which sounds good but ultimately isn’t satisfying.  Then, one year for Thanksgiving, my aunt pulled out one of her favorite vegetarian cookbooks and made this Rice-Nut Loaf.  At first glance, there really isn’t anything appetizing, interesting or appealing about the name of this dish or the list of ingredients.  But once combined, these ingredients have come to make not just my favorite vegetarian dish ever but my favorite Thanksgiving dish ever.  Hands down.

Brown rice is mixed with wheat germ, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cheese and onion and then binded with eggs and baked to golden brown perfection.  Served alone, with gravy or a scoop of mashed potatoes, this meatless meatloaf-like dish is a perfect high protein addition to any dinner table, especially for the picky vegetarian in your family.  Even better, true to Thanksgiving form, slices of this loaf sandwich perfectly between two slices of bread, spread with cranberry sauce and stuffing for the days after.  Give this a try and maybe you might start to think of vegetarian loaves as a little less weird.  It’s tasty enough for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.  This year, I ate this instead of turkey for Thanksgiving.  And I’m not even vegetarian anymore.

Rice-Nut Loaf (makes 6 servings)

From Nikki & David Goldbeck’s American Wholefoods Cuisine

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped sunflower seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Combine all ingredients and pack into a 9-inch loaf pan coated in oil or non-stick spray.  Bake for about 50 minutes until firm.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes; unmold and slice.

The ingredients:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Combine all ingredients and pack into a 9-inch loaf pan coated in oil or non-stick spray.

Bake for about 50 minutes until firm.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Unmold and slice.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Nikki & David Goldbeck’s American Wholefoods Cuisine

Chicken Fried Rice

I’ve mentioned before certain foods that I would want to have if I was stuck on a deserted island:  s’mores and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are just a few.  Yes, you know I have a sweet tooth.  I could probably add deviled eggs to that list too.  But another food that I never tire of and could eat every single day is fried rice.  And I mean every. single. day.  I normally eat vegetable fried rice (a habit going back to my vegetarian days) but as much as I love it, I don’t ever try to make it at home.  After all, the Chinese food restaurant is right around the corner and can have my fried rice ready for me in 15 minutes, right?  Well, the problem we all know is that fried rice isn’t exactly healthy and shouldn’t be eaten often, if ever.  But I can’t give it up so why not give in and try to make it, when I can control the oil and the ingredients myself?  This recipe for Chicken Fried Rice seems like a good place to start.

Chicken, scrambled egg, peas, and rice are combined with a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar and lime juice.  Fresh garlic and grated ginger provide additional layers of flavor to this rich dish.  The lime juice really provides an additional unexpected freshness and the chili sauce gives it a slight kick, which I love.  I used precooked chicken strips since I had them on hand but thin-cut chicken would work well here too since it cooks quickly.  Since I try to eat brown rice as much as possible, I also used ready-made whole grain brown rice in place of the boil-in-bag rice but any kind of rice will work here.  While this isn’t restaurant-style fried rice, this was a tasty and satisfying fried rice dish that isn’t as oily and doesn’t leave you feeling guilty after eating it.  What’s also great about this is you can add adapt it to your own taste by adding other vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, baby corn, grean beans or bean sprouts.  I’ll definitely make this again, maybe even leaving out the chicken, to satisfy that vegetable fried rice craving I get oh-so often.

The ingredients:

Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, cornstarch, and chicken in a bowl; toss well.  Combine remaining 4 teaspoons soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice and chili paste in a small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken mixture and stir-fry 4 minutes or until lightly browned. (If using pre-cooked chicken like I did, stir-fry just until heated through.)

Push chicken to one side of skillet and add eggs to open side of pan.  Cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir eggs and chicken mixture together.

Remove chicken mixture from pan and keep warm.  Return pan to medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan.  Add onion, ginger, and garlic and cook 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Add rice and cook 1 minute.

Add peas and cook 1 minute.

Add chicken mixture and soy sauce mixture.  Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Stir in green onions.

Additions:  None

Omissions:   None

Substitutions

  • Pre-cooked chicken strips
  • Ready-made brown rice

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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