RSS Feed

Tag Archives: rice

Dilled Chicken and Asparagus

Posted on

This recipe is the second in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

I found this recipe on Taste of Home about a year ago, and I’m so happy that I did! Originally a recipe to feed two people I thought it would be a great dinner for Steve and I. Of course, we ate the entire skillet-full because it was so good.

Dilled-Chicken-And-Asparagus-Gluten-Free-Healthy-30-Minute-Dinner

Yes, this is an (almost) one pan meal. You cook the rice on it’s own, and add it to the skillet with the chicken and asparagus once it’s cooked. So, you will dirty two pans, yes. But, you don’t need to be attending to both at once since the rice just simmers covered. Of course, this would be even easier with a rice cooker!

My first modification to this recipe was to increase the amount of asparagus. In my mind a few spears apiece just wasn’t enough vegetable content for a full meal. I switch up whether I use brown rice or white rice, but I always use Better Than Bouillon instead of a bouillon cube. Those have so much salt!

I love that there is nothing fake or artificial in the sauce, but it still provides so much flavor. Chicken + Asparagus + Rice sounds a bit cliche and boring, and like it has the potential for that healthy-food-cardboard taste. The sauce and bouillon do away with any potential bland-ness.

Dilled-Chicken-And-Asparagus-Gluten-Free-Healthy-30-Minute-Dinner-2

Best of all though, this dinner will be ready, start to finish, in 30 minutes. That’s why it is one of my top favorites for healthy weeknight dinners. Enjoy!

Dilled-Chicken-And-Asparagus-Healthy-Gluten-Free-30-Minute-Meal-3

Dilled Chicken and Asparagus

Recipe source: Taste of House. This version serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 c rice (use white rice to have this ready within 30 minutes. If you use brown, plan for extra cooking time).
  • 2 c water
  • 2 t Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base (or other type of bouillon)
  • 4 t freshly minced parsley (dried works, too)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T dill weed
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3 inch pieces (amounts vary by the bunch, mine are between 8 and 12 oz).
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

Cooking Direction

  1. Add the rice, water, and bouillon to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is done (longer for brown rice).
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, dill weed, and garlic powder.
  3. Fill a large-ish skillet with about an inch of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the asparagus. Cover, and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Immediately drain the asparagus and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add the chicken and cook at a medium high heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 -5 minute per side (I usually cut a piece in half to see if it’s done. Pink inside? cook more. White and opaque? ready to eat!). Let the chicken sit in the pan for another couple of minutes, burner still on, to get the golden brown crisp on the outside.
  5. Add the asparagus, rice, and sauce mixture to the skillet and stir until sauce is evenly distributed.

Stir Fry Style Carrot Noodles & Rice

Posted on

A light, simple side dish with flavors that can compliment a variety of main dishes. Trade in some carbs for vegetables by combining carrots and rice!

Stir-Fry-Rice-and-Carrot-Noodles-Front

Carbs. Are they good or bad?

I don’t have the answer (I wish I did). It’s something I’ve thought a lot about, though. The food pyramid says we need a whole bunch of carbs, but there are schools of thought in the nutrition world that say we shouldn’t be consuming carbs like bread, rice, and pasta. Navigating the world of healthy eating can be difficult!

Through my own experimentation I’ve figured out that carbs in moderation is what works best for me. Without any, I’m just too hungry, and end up making poor food choices out of hunger. Too many carbs, and I’m burping like crazy and have an upset stomach.

This side dish came out of my desire to decrease my carbohydrate intake. I wanted to replace those cut carbs with something better. Enter carrots. Cooked, they both have a similar texture and consistency to rice. Both also absorb flavors easily. And served with a sprinkling of green onions, the bright colors make it almost impossible to resist.

Stir-Fry-Rice-and-Carrot-Noodles-Close

The carrot noodles couldn’t be simpler to make. After you peel the outer layer of the carrot, just keep peeling! Eventually, the carrot won’t be sturdy enough to peel anymore. You could discard the remaining carrot, or coarsely dice it (which is what I do). Cooked in a bit of olive oil over medium heat, it takes under five minutes for the carrot noodles to soften.

Stir-Fry-Rice-and-Carrot-Noodles-Square

The flavors here are simple intentionally. Just a tablespoon of soy sauce and an optional teaspoon of sriracha. The idea is that as a stand alone side dish it will have flavor, but it can also be served along side a variety of main dishes and compliment that flavor well. I’ve found that this rice and carrot combo is just as good as plain rice when it’s mixed with a stir fry. It also works quite well as an accompaniment to fish.  Specifically, Thai Basil Chicken, Five Spice Chicken Tenders, and Asparagus and Chicken Stir Fry, and just three recipes from this blog that would be a yummy match.

Stir-Fry-Carrot-Noodles-with-Rice-Carrot-Tall

Stir Fry Style Carrot Noodles & Rice

Ingredients
  • 1/2 c uncooked rice (white or brown will work)
  • 1 c water
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 green onions, slice
  • 1 tbs gluten free soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Amino Acids)
  • 1 tsp sriracha (optional)
Directions
  1. Put the rice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover, at let simmer.
  2. While the rice is simmering, peel both of the carrots. After you have discarded the outer layer, keep peeling the carrots. You’ll end up with a bunch of thin, noodle like carrot strands. When the carrot is too small to keep peeling just coarsely dice the rest of the carrot. If you’d like, you can cut the “noodles” into smaller pieces, or leave them as is.
  3. When the rice is almost finished cooking heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  4. When the oil is warm, add the carrot noodles and stir to coat them with the oil.
  5. Keep stirring the carrot noodles as they cook to prevent sticking. When the carrot noodles reach an al dente consistency (about 3 -5 minutes) add the now cooked rice into the skillet and stir to combine.
  6. Add the GF soy sauce and sriracha, stirring enough to make sure the sauce is evenly distributed throughout the rice & carrots.
  7. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the green onions before serving.

 

 

Tomato & Asparagus Risotto

Posted on

Here’s a risotto recipe that is healthy, not indulgent. It’s creamy and smooth, like any risotto should be, but there’s no cheese or dairy in sight. This makes a great lunch or side dish. It’s naturally vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. Perfect use for that spring, framer’s market asparagus!

dOe1x

Back in college, I had a great tomato risotto recipe. I can remember preparing it on my parents range, along with some chicken. It was just as yummy as the cheese-laden risottos I often made at that time, but so much healthier. I’ve searched far and wide for that recipe and have yet to find it. I finally decided it was time to stop the search and use my cooking skills to come up with my own tomato risotto recipe.

Tomato-Risotto-With-Asparagus-Gluten-Free

I’ve tested this recipe a few times, with a few different ingredient variations, and it seems to be foolproof. Add some broth and a tomato-y liquid. Stir. Keep stirring. Add more liquid. It’s simple. For the broth, I’ve used stock from a carton as well as Better Than Buillion + water, with identical results. Homemade stock would be great here, too!

To get the tomato flavor you can use a plain tomato sauce or a pasta sauce. The pasta sauce had tons of flavor from the herbs and spices, but that trade off was a more processed meal with higher calories. When I used plain old tomato sauce I added a bit of Italian seasoning (I used Penzey’s Frozen Pizza Seasoning that I just got a few weeks ago), just for fun.

Tomato-Risotto-with-Asparagus-Close

Serve with asparagus on top like I did or stir the asparagus spears into the risotto. The crisp asparagus with the smooth risotto do go wonderfully together. Pair with a clean eating protein of choice and you’ll have a well rounded, clean, healthy, meal!

Tomato-Risotto-Tall-Gluten-Free

Tomato & Asparagus Risotto

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 2 c chicken or vegetable stock (read label to verify that it is gluten free)
  • 20 oz tomato sauce or spaghetti/pizza sauce (read label to verify that it is gluten free)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots (may replace with an onion)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into spears
Directions
  1. Finely mince the garlic and shallots.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large sized skillet, over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the garlic and shallots. Cook for about 5, stirring frequently, until both garlic and shallots have softened some.
  3. Add the rice to the skillet, and stir very frequently. Watch for the edges of the rice to turn translucent.
  4. When the majority of the rice has turned translucent on the edges, add about half a cup of the stock. Keep stirring. It will likely absorb into the rice very quickly. When most of the rice is absorbed, stir in another half cup of stock. Keep stirring frequently (if not constantly) while the rice absorbs the stock.
  5. For the rest of the cooking time, alternate between adding tomato sauce and stock each time the liquid the liquid has absorbed, stirring very frequently. The liquid will most likely be absorbing slower than it was at the beginning, but keep adding it!
  6. When you’re on the final liquid addition, it’s time to cook the asparagus. Lay it in a small skillet in a single layer, and fill the skillet with water, just enough to cover the asparagus. Heat to boil, and then reduce to medium heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the asparagus is soft, but still has a bit of a crunch. Test firmness using a fork.
  7. Drain the asparagus in a strainer. Either stir it into the finished risotto or just lay it on top.

Spanikorizo (Spinach & Rice)

Posted on

I LOVE Spanikopita! The dill and feta cheese have give it such a strong, unique flavors. It’s chock-full of spinach to make you strong and healthy. What’s not to love? Well, if you’re a celiac, the phyllo dough.

Spanikorizo 1

One of the foods I was saddest about giving up after finding out I had celiac was Spanikopita. I tried making my own phyllo dough but it took so much time and was nothing like the original. It just wasn’t worth the effort.

Over the years I have come up with a few GF Spanikopita “hacks”. This one is called Spanikorizo, which means “Spinach & Rice”. It’s not my own idea by any means. Spanikoriza is another Greek dish that is very similar to Spanikopita. Instead of using phyllo dough Spanikorizo uses rice and is cooked right on the stove top. I crafted my own version to accomplish two things: first, have all of the strong, Greek, flavors I love and second, use up the ingredients I buy specifically for this meal. You won’t end up with half a bunch of dill and a cup of leftover spinach.

Spanikorizo 2

Spinach and rice doesn’t sound like the most desirable, tasty meal, but trust me, this stuff is good. I probably spent a full year eating this for lunch nearly everyday. It cooks up with little effort and tastes just as good leftover. It’s a great GF choice for healthy eating, and (like all of my other favorite recipes) is full of flavor!

Spanikorizo 3

Spanikorizo

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 10 oz frozen spinach
  • 1 bunch dill, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced (use both green and white ends)
  • 1 c rice (white or brown)
  • 2 c water (may need up to 4 c for brown rice)
  • 4 oz crumbled feta cheese
Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is warm add the minced onion and saute until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the spinach, green onions, and dill to the skillet and mix, breaking up the spinach as it defrosts.
  3. When the spinach has mostly defrosted add the rice and water to the skillet. Cook until the rice is done (time will vary, about 20 min for white rice and about 40 min for brown rice. If needed, add more water).
  4. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese and serve hot.

Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Posted on

I posted a picture of these burrito bowls in one of my Daniel Fast updates. Last week I shared my personal favorite version of Cilantro Lime Rice. Now, here’s an entire-meal application for that rice!

Black Bean Burrito Bowl 2

These burrito bowls are healthy and delicious. I’m thinking as I’m typing this that I rarely believe it when other bloggers say that same thing. A bunch of vegetables usually tastes like a bunch of vegetables. The pictures always look nice but that doesn’t mean I’m actually going to want to go chow down on a big bowl of vegetables. The difference (for me at least) between these burritos and other health foods is that they are seasoned very well. I usually love to put taco sauce and cheese on anything Mexican-ish but I wasn’t missing either of those in this bowl. The seasoned black beans and the cilantro lime rice together in one mouthful was plenty of flavor! And thinking about it, that’s why I add all the cheese and taco sauce to a regular burrito – because I’m trying to pack in more flavor.

As is, this dinner is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free (I think – PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong!!), nut free, vegetarian, and vegan (again, I think – If I’m wrong let me know)! Everything in this recipe is a whole food or spice. Don’t you love knowing that you are putting real food into your body? I know I do.

My half-eaten bowl.

My half-eaten bowl.

Of course, depending on your preferences you could add any number of things to these bowls. Tomatoes or green onions, broken up tortillas chips for some crunch, shredded cheese, hot sauce, etc. You could even add lettuce for a taco salad. The options are endless!

Black Bean Burrito Bowl 1

Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 16 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1 c frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 recipe Cilantro Lime Rice
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. When the oil is hot add the onion and cook until softened.
  2. While the onion is cooking, mix the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, and salt.
  3. Add the black beans into the skillet. Stir in the seasoning mix and water. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the beans are heated through.
  4. To serve, fill bowls with rice. Top with some of the black bean/onion mixture, corn, and avocado.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Posted on

This version of Cilantro Lime Rice promises more flavor per bite than your average rice dish!

Cilantro Lime Rice 4

I love Chipotle. Apparently a lot of other people do, too, because I keep seeing copycat Chipotle recipes all over the internet.

I feel in love with Chipotle the first time I ate there. It’s a decent option for anyone eating GF, but what I really love most are the bold flavors. The spicy salsa is truly spicy! When I took a few bites of my first Chiptole taco and then had to drink some water because of the heat/spice I was a happy girl.

Maybe not everyone loves the hot salsa at Chipotle, but it seems that everyone loves the cilantro lime rice. After making my first copycat cilantro lime rice recipe a while ago (it must have been at least a year ago, but I can’t say for sure) I’ve been making it as a side for almost every Mexican-ish meal we have.

Cilantro Lime Rice 1

Since I can hardly stick to a written out recipe my version of cilantro lime rice has morphed from those copycat recipes. I no longer add oil to the rice – it seems unnecessary for having a good end result. I’ve also increased the lime juice and cilantro. I’m all about eating foods full of flavor and this rice is no exception.

Cilantro Lime Rice 2

As a side dish, cilantro lime rice is so much more interesting than plain rice. As a filling for burritos and tacos (or in taco bowls that I posted a picture of on Monday) this will add a whole new flavor into the mix!

Cilanro Lime RIce 3

Cilantro Lime Rice

Ingredients
  • 1 c rice (white or brown)
  • 2 c water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 c fresh, chopped cilantro
  • salt (optional)
Directions
  1. Put the rice and water in a medium sauce. Set the bay leaves gently on top of the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water has absorbed and the rice is cooked. About 20-30 minutes for white rice, and about 45 minutes for brown rice.
  3. For best results, turn the burner off and let the pan sit on the burner, covered, for an additional 30 min.
  4. Stir the lime juice and cilantro into the rice. Seasoning with salt, if desired.
  5. Serve as a side dish or for a burrito or taco filling.

Lemon Risotto

Posted on

Risotto has the reputation of being difficult to make. All that stirring.

Lemon Risotto 1

My introduction to risotto was through my first boyfriend’s mother.

Oh, high school relationships.

I was a senior in high school at the time and had done some cooking before, but this woman made things far more fancy and complicated than I was used to at home. My parents weren’t bad cooks or anything like that, but they didn’t enjoy cooking the same way she did. Naturally, people who enjoy cooking tend to spend more time in the kitchen creating intricate dishes than just your normal weeknight dinner.

Anyway, risotto. This boyfriend’s mom had told me how complicated risotto was. That it took so long to make. And the stirring, so much stirring. Me, being competitive, thought “psh, I can do that”. I went online to the Food Network, printed off a risotto recipe and tried my hand at it.

Lemon Risotto 2

That first risotto was a success, and it quickly became one of my favorite foods! It’s a comfort food for me, really. Risotto is so smooth and creamy, yet it fits my qualifications of not having any of the fatty, overly processed type ingredients (I don’t even add any cheese to my risotto anymore. It creamy enough as it is, and you really won’t notice the cheese is gone)! Sure, risotto is essentially a fancy white rice – not the healthiest, but definitely not the worst. I just eat it in moderation. The evening I made and photographed this particular risotto I also had some oven baked tilapia and some vegetable (asparagus, I think).

I topped my risotto with a bit of extra spinach. Other garnishes could be freshly grated parmesan or mozzarella, or parsley, oregano, or basil.

Lemon Risotto 3

Lemon Risotto

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2/3 c arborio rice
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 3 c chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 c chopped spinach
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is warm add the garlic and shallot and cook about 3-4 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add the arborio rice. Let this mixture cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until the ends of the grains of rice are translucent.
  3. Pour in the lemon juice and let it absorb, stirring frequently.
  4. When the lemon juice has absorbed add about 1/2 c of the chicken or vegetable stock. Again, stir this frequently. When the liquid is mostly absorbed, add another half cup of broth and repeat until all of the broth has been added and absorbed. This will take some time and lots of stirring.
  5. Finally, stir in the chopped spinach and let the risotto cook for just a minute or two more while the spinach wilts.
  6. Optional: garnish risotto with extra spinach, freshly grated cheese, or herbs before serving.

 

Sweet & Tangy Thai Chicken with Rice and Edamame

Posted on

Image

As a gardener, one of my dreams is to have huge, bushy basil plants. I LOVE to use fresh herbs in cooking. It’s so exciting to go outside, snip a few leaves off for tonight’s dinner, and be able to do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day . . . 

This year I have three types of basil in my garden: Genovese, Lemon, and Thai. Each of my plants if huge! A gardener/cook’s dream come true! I’m taking every opportunity to use my fresh herbs. 

Image

My Thai basil plant that is providing me with tons of fresh basil!

So, Thai food is tasty. Wether it’s sweet or spicy that you desire, there is something in Thai cuisine for you. There’s a Thai restaurant nearby that we go to from time to time. They offer four levels of spiciness: mild, medium, American hot, and Thai hot. My husband will get something mild with a sweet sauce. I get my food American hot with garlic and soak up as much of the spicy sauce as possible with tofu. We obviously have different flavor preferences! 

As I’m exploring different ways to use my Thai basil I set out to create something we would both enjoy. This was definitely a hit. The rice and edamame is coated in a sweet Thai chili and peanut sauce. The chicken is marinated in spicy asian sauces. The combination was amazing. 

Image

The grilled chicken. I recommend using a flat, metal skewer, like this one.

I topped mine with . . . you guessed it . . . Thai basil! If you don’t have access to fresh Thai basil you can also get it in a jar some grocery stores. You can also sub in a more common basil.

ImageMy husband mixed his food all together and added some extra sweet chili sauce.

ImageNow, this recipe might seem daunting with all the different flavors and sauces. Think of it this way: You’ll mix up the chicken marinate the night before. It’ll be quick. When you are ready to make the rest of the meal, you will already have some of the work already done. The rice and edamame cook in the same pot, so you’ll just mix the sweet chili sauce and grill the chicken while it’s simmering. I promise; the flavors are worth the effort!

ImageSweet & Tangy Thai Chicken with Rice and Edamame

Ingredients
Marinade:
  • 1 tsp chili garlic paste (or more, to taste)
  • 2 Tbs lime juice
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 2 shakes cayenne pepper

Sweet Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 tsp sugar substitute or 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbs lime juice
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • 1/2 Tbs distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs sweet chili sauce

 

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1c brown rice
  • 2c water
  • 1c edamame (I used frozen)
  • 1/4c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4c thai basil, chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, top half, chopped
Cooking Directions:
  1. Mix marinade ingredients. Add chicken chunks to marinade and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Mix the sweet chili sauce, and chop the cilantro, Thai basil, and green onions if you haven’t already done so.
  3. Bring the rice and water to a boil in a large saucepan. When it boils, reduce heat to low and cover.
  4. While rice is cooking, skewer the chicken (I use flat metal skewers) and grill. I use a gas grill, between 350°F and 400°F. It takes a few minutes on each side to cook through).
  5. When rice has nearly absorbed all of the water, stir the edamame into the pot.
  6. When rice is fully cooked, stir in cilantro, Thai basil, green onions, and the sweet chili sauce you mixed.
  7. Serve with the grilled chicken. Top with additional herbs or sweet chili sauce, if desired.

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: