Category: Rice


My son gave me a plantain press, so I decided to try homemade tostones for the first time.  What better day than Cinco de Mayo.  They were a huge success.   I cooked them in the oven along side the chicken while the rice and beans were on the stovetop.

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6 plantains, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 c. grapeseed oil

Salt to taste (we like them pretty salty)

8 chicken patties (I actually used Gardein Crispy Chick’n Patties)

1 jar salsa (I used roasted tomatillo with pineapple)

Cheese to melt on top (I used vegan cheese, which isn’t pretty, but tastes yummy)

Start rice cooking and black beans heating on stovetop.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Toss plantain slices with oil and spread out on a baking sheet.

Place salsa in the bottom of two 13 x 9 taking dishes.  Top with patties and sprinkle with cheese.

Place plantain slices on the lower rack and patties on the upper rack.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove plantains from oven.  Reduce heat to 375F.

Smash plantains and place brown side up on the baking sheet, and return to the oven with the chicken for 15 minutes more.

The rice was done first, so I kept it warm on the stovetop.

We will definitely have this again!

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know we develop favorites which end up on the menu at least once every week or so.  Right now, Kimchi Fried Rice is that favorite!  This recipe makes a lot, but the leftovers go quickly!

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1 lb. thick sliced bacon (I used Greenfield Farms Thick Cut Applewood Bacon)

1 C. kimchi (I used Wildbrine Korean Kimchi)

8 c. cooked rice (I used Lundberg Farms Wildblend Rice)

12 eggs

I start the rice cooking first.  Meanwhile, I cook the bacon in oven at 350.  I use two 13 x 9 baking dishes which will be used to cook the fried rice later.  It takes about 20 minutes.  I take it out and turn it several times.  Before cooking the rice in the oven, turn up heat to 400.

Place the cooked bacon on sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the grease.  The Greenfield Farms bacon was surprisingly lean!  Pour the bacon grease from the baking dishes into the rice that is cooking and set the backing dishes aside.  The residue of the bacon grease in the dish makes the rice crisp up nicely.

 

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I cut up the bacon and chop up the kimchi and put in a bowl together to put in the rice when it’s done.

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I also put the eggs in little dishes to enable me to quickly pour them into the rice to cook in the oven.

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Once the rice is cooked, mix in the bacon, kimchi mixture.  Spoon into the two reserved backing dishes with the bacon grease residue.

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Spread out evenly, and make six wells for the eggs in each baking dish.  Put in the 400 oven for 10 minutes.   Do not put the eggs in yet!  Bake for 10 minutes to get the rice piping hot.  This will help the egg whites to cook quicker.

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Once baking dishes are really hot, pull from the oven and put eggs in the wells.  Return to the oven for 7 minutes.

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That’s it!  Top with siracha, if you like it hot.

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Having lived in Florida, I have been fortunate to have avoided a direct hit by a hurricane.  Trees down.  Crushed tool shed .  Tonight the anticipation of what Hurricane Dorian may bring got to me, so I did some culinary therapy!

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Boneless skinless chicken thighs, risotto, chard and cannelini sauce!

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 bottle marinade of choice (or better yet homemade)

For the risotto:

1 1/2 c aborio rice

5 c.  Broth

3 Tbsp. Butter

1/2 c. Wine

4 Tbsp. Vegan cream cheese

1 c. Vegan cheese shredds

Seasonings of choice

For the chard:

1 pouch frozen chopped chard

1 can cannelini beans

2 Tbsp oil

Seasonings of choice.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2.  Marinade chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish.

3.  Combine rice and 4 x. Broth in Dutch oven.

4.  Place chicken and risotto in oven on low rack.  The need to cook 45 to 50 minutes.

5.  Heat oil in skillet.  Place chard, beans and seasonings over low heat with lid.  Saute until chicken and risotto come out of the oven.

6. Meanwhile, combine cheeses, butter, remaining broth, wine, and seasonings.

7.  Stir cheese mixture into risotto and stir vigorously until creamy.

All in all a successful culinary therapy session!

 

Tuesday night is girls’ wine club, and I always try to make something that everyone, even my grandsons, will like.  The local market had frozen plantains on a BOGO sale, so my menu inspiration started there!  The chicken was cooked in the crock pot all day.  When I got home,  I shredded the chicken, I put the rice in the rice cooker, and heated up the black beans.  It’s more appealing to the eye if you serve each component up separately, but with our gang, I put it all back in the crock pot on warm so it stays ready to eat until everyone is ready to eat.  I put the plantains in the oven late, after the other food was ready, so not the best planning I’ve ever done!

Chicken, yellow rice, black beans and plantains

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 pouch Frontera fajita sauce

6 c. cooked yellow rice

2 cans black beans

2 pouches frozen plantains

Olive oil to cook the plantains

Cook thighs in fajita sauce in crock pot on low 8-9 hours.

Cook rice in rice cooker and meanwhile heat up black beans in a saucepan.

Cut up or shred the chicken and add in the rice and beans, and keep warm in crock pot.

You can either make the plantains while the rice is cooking, or after you’ve put everything in the crock pot.  I bought frozen, like I said, that was on sale.

Toss frozen plantains with oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet.   Bake at 400 F until plantains are golden and crispy.  It took 25 – 30 minutes.

Plantains

 

Lucky’s (the sip and stroll store) had some beautiful sockeye salmon on sale that called out to me!  My surrogate daughter Beth, who is vegetarian, was over.  I wanted to make a hearty  side for her to join us!  We all loved the rice, and the lentils and garbanzo beans provided her with a little protien.  The color is not as pretty when you cook the veggies in the rice cooker as opposed to stir frying them and adding them in at the end.  It is, however, much easier to throw it all in the rice cooker and walk away!  It tastes yummy, but if I was having guests, I would opt for the stir fry method for prettier presentation.  I threw together some things I had on hand for the marinade and it was a hit!  The non-fish eaters had boneless chicken with the same marinade and said it was good too.

Rice and Lentils with Salmon

Marinade salmon filet in a mixture of Italian dressing and balasamic glaze (2 to 1 ratio), with a little minced ginger added.  My marinade was about 2 Tbsp. dressing, 1 Tbsp.  balsamic glaze and 1/2 tsp. ginger for each serving of fish.  The filet was 1.2 lbs. and I cut it into three servings.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F and start the rice in the rice cooker, because it will take about twice as long as the salmon will.

For the rice:

2 C. brown rice

1/2 C. wild rice

1/2 C. dried lentils

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 bag broccoli slaw or other coarsely chopped vegetables

3 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. seasoned salt or other seasoning blend

6 C. water

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

Combine all except garbanzo beans and cook in a rice cooker (one of my favorite small appliances!).  It will take about 40-45 minutes, so set the timer for 20 minutes, then put the salmon in the oven in a shallow baking dish, pouring remaining marinade over it.

When the liquid in the rice cooker was almost gone, I stirred in the garbanzo beans.  My rice cooker has a tendency to overcook towards the end, causing some of the rice to stick and over cook, so I usually stir in a little olive oil while there’s still a little liquid left to keep this from happening.

 

 

What’s even more fun that cooking?  Cooking with friends!!  Jeannine came over today for a to make veggie burgers.  We shared ingredients.  We shared thoughts on future variations.  We chopped.  We seasoned.  We ground.  It was fun!

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I cooked up some brown rice with wild rice mixture.  I seasoned it with garlic and salt while it cooked in the rice cooker.

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I gathered the ingredients, condiments, and seasonings, so it was all laid out.

Jeannine did the same.

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It all gets combined in a big container.

 

It then gets run through a meat grinder to make it the right consistency to make into burgers and meatballs.  I taste some of the rice to make sure it’s seasoned well enough.  If it tastes good raw, it will taste amazing cooked!

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Amazing how much it looks like meat, right?

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I put this in the fridge until tomorrow, when I make the burgers and meatballs.  I use an ice cream scoop for uniformity of size.  It keeps up to a week with no problem.

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As usual, I did a double batch.  This makes 8 burgers and approximately 16-18 meatballs.

6 c. oatmeal

3-4 c. cooked rice

1 large can black beans, drained and rinsed.

1 c. matchstick carrots

1 c. cubed cooked beets

1/2 c. riced cauliflower

2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

1 Tbsp. spicy mustard

1 Tbsp. coriander lime seasoning

1 Tbsp. sriracha

Combine all ingredients.  Taste the mixture to see if the seasoning is sufficient (I tend to underseason).

Run through the meat grinder, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Form into burgers or meatballs at least 8 hours before use.

I store them in the fridge on a baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil, covered with plastic wrap until use.

Bake at 400F for 15-25 minutes.  I brush the tops with oil to make them get a little more golden.

I bake the meatballs ahead too, at the same time I’m cooking the burgers, and then the night we are having them, re-bake them in a sauce.

 

 

 

 

I bought some fresh Mahi Mahi yesterday and brought it home and marinated it in Gourmet Warehouse Key Lime marinade, to which I added some lime zest and balsamic glaze.  I only used about half the bottle.  The other half is marinating some boneless chicken breasts for another night.  The sauteed Swiss chard, carrot, with Cannelini and Zatarain’s Cilantro Lime Rice mixed with brown and wild rice were the perfect accompaniments.

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Put the fish in the marinade as soon as you bring it home.  Start the rice about 40 minutes before you want to eat.

For the rice:

1 box Zatarain’s Cilantro Lime Rice

1 C. brown rice

1/2 C. wild rice mixture

5 C. Water

2 Tbsp. butter

Place ingredients in rice cooker and cook.

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For the fish:

1 – 1 1/2 lb. Mahi Mahi filet, skin removed

1/2 bottle Gourmet Warehouse Key Lime marinade

Drizzle balsamic glaze

Marinade fish at least 30 minutes.    Bake at  350F for 20-25 minutes depending on thickness.  So ideally, this gets put in the oven about 15 minutes in to the rice cooking.

Gourmet Whse Key Lime

As soon as you put the fish in, start your veggies.

For the sauteed veggies:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 pouch frozen Swiss Chard (I used Cascadian Farms brand)

1 pouch frozen multicolor carrots (I used Cascadian Farms brand)

1 can low sodium Cannelini beans, drained

Saute frozen carrots over low to medium low heat, till thawed and beginning to cook, about 10 minutes.  Add in chard and cook another 5 minutes  Add in beans and stir.  Heat through about 5 minutes.

 

 

I again made a batch of veggie burgers and veggie meatballs in anticipation of Molly and Lein coming for a visit.  We had the meatballs in General Tso sauce over vegetable fried rice/quinoa.  Adding kimchi and/or banh mi veggies on top gave it a nice crunchy fresh texture.

Gen Tso Meatballs

The veggie burgers and meatballs are quite a bit of work, I’ll admit, but well worth the effort!  This is a double recipe to make two night’s meals of either burgers or meatballs.  I more or less doubled the original recipe I found.  The variations are endless, but basically, I use a grain (rice or rice mixture), oatmeal, beans, beets, celery, carrots, mushrooms, onion, and then a liquid, like the balsamic glaze and vinaigrette last time.  This time, I had some beet chutney on hand, and that served as the liquid.  This is the variation I tried this time.  Remember – this is a big batch – enough for 2 meals.

Something interesting I learned at Chef Jean-Pierre’s cooking school.  He asked “how do you know what size to dice something if the recipe doesn’t specify?”  The answer – it depends on how long your cooking time is.  The longer it will cook, the larger the pieces so they don’t disintegrate.  Which makes perfect sense.  The veggies in this recipe are going through a meat grinder.  I used a medium dice on the onion and celery.

6 cups cooked brown rice/wild rice mixture (I can’t wait to try other grains!)
1 cup packed oatmeal
1 can black beans (I will soon be trying this with Cannilini)
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cups diced onions
1 small can cubed beets
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup button mushrooms cut in 1/4 -inch slices
1 tablespoon garlic
1 small jar beet chutney  (The original recipe called for sweet soy sauce)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Drain and wash beans. Drain beets. Place all ingredients in large plastic mixing bowl and mix well.
2. Run ingredients through a meat grinder. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.
3. Portion into patties or balls, shaping them how you will be baking them on a baking sheet lined with foil and brushed with olive oil in the fridge and refrigerate at least overnight. I used my standard ice cream scoop.  (I’ve kept them up to 5 days and they were still delicious).  This keeps the burgers from falling apart. (Patties must never get above 40 F or they will fall apart.)  If you don’t have an extra fridge like I do, you might want to put them in a tupperware with waxed paper between layers.

Bake in 400F oven 40 minutes for the burgers, 25 for the meatballs, if you are going to bake them a second time with a sauce, like I do.

I used a bottled sauce (Fusia brand), which was surprisingly low in sodium and  delicious.

After the meatballs are baked, I placed a little of the sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil, and then topped them with the rest of the sauce.  I then baked them for another 15 minutes

The fried rice was actually rice cooked in a rice cooker that I tossed with some stir fried broccoli slaw.  No egg this time.

 

As you can see, I’m still on the Asian food kick!  I had some leftover pulled pork from the Banh Mi meal, and decided it could use a Korean BBQ sauce and be recreated into an, as it turned out, quite delicious casserole!

Korean BBQ take 3

3-4 C. pulled pork (chicken and ground meats would work well for this too)

3-4 C. cooked rice (I used a wild and brown mix that was – oh yeah – leftover)

1 can Cannelloni beans (always in my pantry, but any beans such as garbanzo or black beans would work too!)

2 C. assorted vegetables (I used celery, carrots, and onions, that I softened in a little oil, butter, and garlic and had in the fridge ready to use.  They also freeze well.)

1/4 C. Korean BBQ sauce (homemade or store bought) – a mix of soy, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and chile.

1 C. shredded cheese (I used mac and cheese mix for one dish and Daiya shreds for the other, since I have a son who can’t have dairy.

Combine pork, rice, beans, vegetables, and Korean BBQ sauce.  Place in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  Top with cheese or shreds.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until cheese is golden, meanwhile roasting any vegetables you want to have on the side!

We used “Pickled” cucumbers, onions and carrots as a topping – also from the Banh Mi meal.  (Mostly cucumbers, since my kids and grandkids attached the onions and carrots first!)

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Roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts on the side were prepared by my cousin, who came over with my 90 year old uncle for dinner.

 

I am crazy about Asian food.  Last night we had Korean Barbecue Chicken and a Rice Melange.  It was delish!

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3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts marinated in Korean BBQ sauce

Sauce:

1 C. soy sauce

3/4 c. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 tsp. each ginger and sesame oil

1 Tbsp. each water and corn starch (in a slurry to thicken)

Bring to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add slurry and turn down to low.  Slowly simmer till it thickens.  Pour over chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  (I have bought a bottled Korean BBQ Sauce (Kalbi Bulgogi) from a company called Ajumma Republic and it is really good).  You can marinade the chicken overnight or even freeze it in the sauce for future use.  Once defrosted, bake for 35-40 minutes.  Chop into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears, stir around in sauce, and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.

Rice Melange:

1 box Near East rosemary garlic brown rice and quinoa (I have found that one packet of seasoning from these boxed rice mixes goes a long way, so no additional seasoning was added to the rice)

1 c. Lundberg Wild Blend Rice

1 c. brown rice

3 c. broth (I used unsalted chicken)

2 1/2 c. water

3 Tbsp. butter

Place in rice cooker.  The rice cooker knows its done when it runs out of liquid, so unplug and remove from heat as soon as the rice cooker clicks over to warm.  Add into the cooked veggies to serve.

Veggies for Rice Melange:

Heat oil of choice in large pot with a little butter.

Saute veggies of choice over low heat.  I used what I had on hand:

1 bag riced cauliflower

1 carrot, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 yellow squash, diced finely.

1 can Cannelloni beans, low sodium

1 tsp. seasoning blend of choice.  I used an Asian inspired one to stay on theme.

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After about 25-30 minutes over low heat, add in one can of beans.  I added Cannelloni because they are our favorite and I always have them on hand.  This way, anyone wanting to stay vegetarian (if you use veggie broth instead of chicken) can eat the rice melange.

 

@myfoodswings

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