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Archive for the ‘Rice’ Category

This past week was a bit of a rough one. Still trying to figure out what hit me. I woke up in the wee hours of Wednesday morning horribly sick. Nothing would stay put. I wasn’t able to eat anything all day, I only drank some Gatorade and a few sips of coconut water. (I was not a fan of the coconut water, even though I know it is better for you than the sugar, artificial flavors and colors of Gatorade. But my nose was being super sensitive and the smell of the coconut water was off-putting.)

For three days, I was only able to eat some Yehuda GF Matzo, Gatorade and water. Luckily I love the matzo and they tasted especially good since they remind me a bit of Saltines, which was “sick food” when I was young. At one point, I attempted some gluten free Chicken Noodle Soup, but even it wasn’t welcomed by my tummy.

After a few days, as I finally began to get better, I knew I needed to get something else into me besides matzo! So I made us some soup for dinner. (I added some chicken to mine (I am not vegetarian), for an extra boost.) It was tasty all around. And quick, to boot.

Chicken (or not) and Rice Soup

Original by Renee

Serves 4-6

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, diced finely

2-3 stalks celery, sliced thin

2-3 carrots, sliced thinly

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups vegetable broth

2 tsp dried oregano

1 cup cooked brown rice *

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 chicken breast, cooked and diced, if desired *

1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, or to taste, it will depend on your choice of broth

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and cook until almost soft and onion is becoming translucent. Stir in garlic and cook till fragrant. Stir in broth and oregano. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Then stir in the cooked rice and beans. Heat through. Turn off heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes:

* I keep pre-cooked rice on hand for occasions such as these. You can find it in vacuum-sealed plastic packaging, microwaveable bowls or frozen. Very handy, especially when I forget to plug in the rice cooker.

* Since I was making this soup for both of us, I left out the chicken and added the beans for some staying power for my husband. Then I cooked up a chicken breast separately and diced part of it to add to my individual serving bowl. If your tummy isn’t a fan of beans, leave them out. Ours do just fine with them.

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We love chickpeas at our house! So I am always looking for new flavor combinations to try with them. I spotted an inspirational recipe a few months ago and it has been sitting here on the desk to try. And finally we did this last week. I switched things up a bit to fit our tastes and dietary needs and it was still delicious.

Chickpeas with Sausage and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Adapted from Dishing Up Delights

Makes 4-6 servings

1 Tbsp oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

12 oz soy chorizo, crumbled *

2 – 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

2-3 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped *

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Sour cream or plain yogurt

Cooked rice or pasta

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute until the onions have softened. Add the sausage and chickpeas and cook until heated through (this vegetarian sausage was pre-cooked). Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and oregano. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, then turn off heat and add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

We served this over brown rice. You could toss with cooked pasta as well. The soy chorizo made this quite spicy so I topped mine with a bit of plain yogurt to cool it off.

Notes:

* I used Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo. It is quite spicy. Also, the texture is more like crumbled ground beef instead of pork sausage.

* We still have fresh oregano growing in the garden but you could just as easily used dried. I would start with about 1 Tbsp and see what you think.

I apologize for the photos over the next few month in advance. Since I have a day job, and the days are much shorter, most of my photos will be taken after dark, under my kitchen lighting, which isn’t very flattering and is pretty orangey, but it will have to do for now. No fancy equipment here…

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Do you like sushi? We sure do! I wish we could go out for sushi more often. Unfortunately we don’t have a sushi place very close to our house. Plenty of New Mexican food, but not a lot of Asian options available, let alone gluten free Asian options.

Of course since my husband is vegetarian we like a lot of vegetarian sushi; cucumber rolls, avocado rolls and before I became intolerant to eggs, tamago nigiri (sweet egg omelet). (I also learned that the tamago often have soy sauce in them, which typically isn’t gluten free.) Now I have branched out from only eating the vegetarian rolls and I like Spicy Tuna and Philadelphia rolls too. My husband will also often get the Green Chile Tempura rolls (only in New Mexico!), which unfortunately are not gluten free.

But simple sushi at home? Yes you can! A few months ago I saw a recipe for sushi rice salad on Dana Treat’s blog, Treat Yourself, and knew I had to try it. We have made sushi rolls before but they are quite a bit of work so I thought this might be easier. And it was! These ‘scattered sushi bowls’ do have an actual name, they are called Chirashizushi.

Below I have adapted her recipe to better suit our tastes. One particular change I made was to broil the tofu. I like tofu fairly dry and chewy. You could also try dry-frying it. We also felt like there was too much of the vinegar-sugar sauce for the amount of rice, so we upped the rice quite a bit.

Sushi Rice Bowls

Adapted from Dana Treat, Treat Yourself

Serves 4-6

2 cups long grain rice or brown rice, uncooked

8 oz. extra firm tofu, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

finely chopped pickled ginger

green onions, thinly sliced

shredded carrots

cucumber, seeded and chopped

1 sheet nori (seaweed), cut with kitchen shears into small pieces

avocado, chopped

toasted sesame seeds

Dressing:

1 tsp. wasabi paste

3 tbsp. water

2 tbsp. soy sauce, gluten free

2 tsp. pickled ginger juice

Start cooking the rice in your rice cooker or on the stove.

Turn on broiler. Cut tofu slabs into small 1/4-1/2″ cubes. Place in a greased, foil-lined baking dish. Place under the broiler for 10 minutes, stir and broil for 10 more minutes. Allow to cool. (Don’t place your rack too close to the broiler as you don’t want the tofu to burn but instead dry out and firm up. Your oven may be different from mine. Check your tofu frequently until you know how it does under your broiler. My oven is feisty. Also, I cooked up the entire pound of tofu and put half in the frig for something else. Pictures below.)

When the rice is finished cooking, transfer to a large, shallow bowl and spread out to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir rice vinegar into sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and stir often, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Pour over cooled rice, drizzle oil over rice and stir gently to mix.

Mix together dressing ingredients. Add more wasabi if you wish. (My husband does not like too much wasabi, just a tad so you taste it. This is surprising coming from He-Who-Loves-to-Sweat-While-Eating.)

Spoon rice into bowls. Top with remaining ingredients and a couple spoonfuls of the dressing. Enjoy!

Notes:

* Rice vinegar, pickled ginger, nori and wasabi can be found in the Asian food section of most large supermarkets. Also, toasted sesame seeds can often be found there in large containers for a cheaper price than in the regular spice section.

* I have also made a Philadelphia Roll version of this before by adding tiny bits of cream cheese, cucumber and chopped smoked salmon instead of the cucumber, carrots, green onions, avocado and tofu. I have also been known to add chopped tomato. Yum!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Thanks, Amy! And also, Gluten Free Wednesdays over at The Gluten Free Homemaker.

 

Tofu cubes before they went under the broiler.

 

 

Broiled tofu cubes.

 

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Mattar paneer, muttar paneer, mutter paneer, matar paneer…however you spell it, it is wonderful! Paneer is a fresh, ‘homemade’ cheese typically used in Indian cuisine. Cook it up with some tomatoes, spices and green peas and you have heaven.

Last month we took a trip to the international market and I bought a pound of frozen paneer. Then the search was on for just the right recipe in which to use it. When I came to the Matar Paneer recipe in one of our favorite cookbooks, Indian Vegetarian Cooking From An American Kitchen, I knew I had to make it. It was really quite a simple recipe. With absolutely delicious results!! My husband said this meal was ‘restaurant quality’ and that the flavor was right on. And then he asked where I found the recipe and when I told him, he asked “Why did we wait so long to make this?” We have had this cookbook for years but I had just never searched out the paneer. But now we know.

I also had a box of Dosa mix that I had picked up at a local Indian restaurant and so we served it with these. Dosas are essentially crepes made from rice and dal (lentils and beans). I like the flavor of dosas but this particular mix was heavy on the spice (I think it was fenugreek) and it was overpowering in contrast to the flavors of the paneer. Next time I would try a more neutral flavored bread like naan (if it was gluten free) or some idlis. Or if I made my own dosas (haha!) I could spice them however I desire. But I won’t. Fermenting the rice and dal seems like more work than I want to engage in. So the box mixes work for me.

Do you have a favorite vegetarian Indian meal? Please share!

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Another favorite, especially in the summer. It is a great side dish to take to a barbecue, picnic or potluck as there are no dairy ingredients in it to go bad!

I am not sure where I originally found this recipe. It is one of those I wrote down years ago and didn’t note it. I am also not sure why it is called tabouli…I guess anything that has parsley, lemon juice and mint in it can be considered tabouli (or tabbouleh), right? Regardless, I love these flavors together.

Wild Rice Tabouli

1 cup wild rice, dry, cook per package directions *

1/2 – 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin *

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup green onions

1 package mint leaves, torn *

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

Dressing:

2 Tbsp soy sauce *

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp black pepper

Cook wild rice according to package instructions. Drain and cool. Combine rice, tomatoes, parsley, onions and mint in a bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together. Toss to coat rice. Stir in pine nuts.

Notes:

* I buy my wild rice at Trader Joe’s.

* Try to find sun-dried tomatoes that are dry, not packed in oil. If they are really dry, hydrate them in some hot water for about 20 minutes and then slice thin.

* One of those plastic packages of mint at the grocery store is the equivalent of about 2/3 cup of mint from your garden. Mint is super easy to grow. In fact some consider it a weed. If you do want to grow it, contain it in a pot as it will travel all over your yard and garden where you don’t want it.

* If you are cooking gluten free, be sure to use a gluten free soy sauce or tamari. LaChoy and San-J Wheat Free Tamari are both safe.

This post is linked up to Gluten Free Wednesdays over at The Gluten Free Homemaker, Friday Foodie Fix at The WHOLE Gang and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Go check them out for some other ideas.

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This is a simple, quick, go-to recipe of ours. Be sure to turn on the rice cooker before you start chopping up the onions and peppers. You can dice the onions and peppers as finely as you wish but I like them chopped fairly coarse, like a 1/2″ chop. This is a good dish to use up bell peppers that have been sitting a little too long in the refrigerator and it uses some basic pantry staples that I try to keep around in case I need something quick. Tonight I served it with a simple tossed salad with lettuce from the garden and homemade Italian salad dressing – the recipe in the good old, red and white Betty Crocker classic cookbook.


Red Beans and Rice

1 tbsp oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 green bell peppers, chopped

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1-8 oz. can tomato sauce (no salt added if you can find it)

1/2 – 1 cup water

hot sauce to taste

2-15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Cooked rice – we prefer white rice with this meal

Sour cream

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Cook until the onions are getting soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and paprika and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in beans and tomato sauce. Stir in enough water to make the sauce liquid enough to simmer the beans in; start with about a half cup. Add the hot sauce (if desired) and simmer about 10 minutes. Serve over rice with a dollop of sour cream.

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I originally found these recipes in one of those free magazines you can pick up at the health food stores. There were a couple of recipes that we tried from this one cookbook and I thought they were so good that I was inspired to buy the cookbook from which they were from. But I am not as enamored with the cookbook as with these specific recipes. If you are a flexitarian or carnivore, you may appreciate the cookbook more as there are a lot of meat based Thai dishes. I also need to pull the cookbook back out and look through it again.

The tofu dish we have had quite a few times before and we really like it. As usual, I added more vegetables to this recipe. I also changed the sauce slightly from the original.

This was the first time I made the cucumber salad and my husband dug into that right away. He gave it ‘two thumbs up’ before I even got sat down in my chair. I’ll admit that I couldn’t keep my fingers out of it while I was making the tofu.

Spicy Tofu with Vegetables and Rice

Adapted from Complete Book of Thai Cooking by Linda Stephen

3 tbsp canola oil, divided

1 pound of extra-firm tofu, sliced

3 shallots, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups baby carrots, sliced into thin slivers

1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

2 cups french green beans, fresh or frozen, in 1-inch pieces

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp lime juice

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp black pepper

Turn on rice cooker. Slice tofu into 8 slices and place between the layers of a clean, dry towel. Place something heavy on top and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Slice each tofu slice into 8 squares.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in large wok or skillet. Carefully add tofu – it will splatter. Let cook for 3-4 minutes and then flip and let cook for 3-4 more minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel covered plate.

Add 1 tbsp oil to hot pan. Add shallots and garlic. Stir fry for one minute – careful not to burn the garlic. Add the carrots, bell pepper and green beans. Let cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and let cook for a couple more minutes or until carrots are tender-crisp. Add tofu back to pan and cook until heated through. Serve with rice.

Cucumber Salad

Adapted from Complete Book of Thai Cooking by Linda Stephen

3 tbsp rice vinegar, gluten free

1 tbsp soy sauce, gluten free

2 tsp sugar

1 large English cucumber, sliced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped

Mix together vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Add remaining ingredients, except peanuts, and let sit for 15 minutes. Serve topped with peanuts.

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