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Rice

I have been doing a pretty poor job of both working out and cooking lately. The Spring seems to be doing me in. We have a great outdoor living space and lately I have been taking advantage of it more than I should. After work it seems much more appealing to lounge on our outdoor sofa reading a book than it does to make dinner or, gasp, go to the gym. Eventually that may catch up with me, but for now I’m just rolling with it.

Yesterday morning I went to my first PT appointment to get fitted for orthotics, learn a set of exercises to improve the stability of my left foot, and get my back to running program. Now that working out involves running, I have a feeling that I will be more driven to get my tail out the door. That whole cooking dinner on a regular basis thing may still be out the window though. Chris has been on a pizza-making kick and I’m quite comfortable with eating as much pizza as he is willing to make.

So how about this Curried Pineapple Qunioa? After serving some pretty disappointing and bland quinoa on Saturday night, I decided that the leftovers needed to become something spectacular for Sunday’s dinner. Ok, spectacular is a strong word to use to describe any grain based dish, but this hit the spot. The cold sweet pineapple made this dish light enough to serve outside on a hot, not quite summer day while the curry, red onion, and cilnatro packed a flavorful punch!

 Adapted from Poor Girl Eats Well.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple tidbits
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Curry Vinaigrette:
    • 1.5 tbsp canola oil
    • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 2 1/2 tsp curry powder
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • salt to taste

 Directions:

  • Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together to combine. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients and toss together.
  • Fold in the dressing until well mixed.
  • Serve cold or room temperature.

Servings ~ 6
Calories ~ 206, Fat ~ 5.5 g, Carbohydrates ~ 36.1 g, Protein ~ 4.3 g

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I’m not really one for making rice. It’s not that I don’t like rice, it is just that I usually get more excited about other foods. Fortunately, I gave this recipe a shot. It is awesome, especially topped with the leftover filling from my (wildly successful) Gali Ji Baos. Chris thinks that the Gali Ji Bao filling served with this rice would be ‘servable to other people’.

We have an interesting food rating system at Duke’s house. Many of our dinner guests have more discriminating palates than we do, so we rate things on a scale of ‘never make it again’, ‘make it for us, but not for others’, and ‘Who can we invite over to share this awesomeness with?’

Chris had a friend over when I served the baos, and I couldn’t help but wonder if he was amused by them or thankful that his wife sticks with more typical culinary endeavors. Who knows? In any case, I think I’m pretty lucky that Chris will eat any of the concoctions that I decide to make.

After making the baos, I had a decent amount of filling left over and an open can of coconut milk that was begging to be used. I recalled a recipe that I read recently on Branny Boils Over and decided to go for it! Later I found out that you can freeze coconut milk to save it until you need it. Good thing, because I anticipate using the other half of the can soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice (I used Jasmine because that’s what we owned.)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 30 g raisins (about 1/4 cup)

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients to a pot with a lid.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed the liquid.

Servings ~ 4
Calories ~ 239, Fat ~ 6 g, Carbohydrates ~ 43 g, Protein ~ 4 g

My tofu alfredo experiment turned out so well that I could not wait to hit up the Asian grocery store for more silken tofu. On Saturday, I finally made it over there and I bought four boxes of silken tofu and a few other treasures, including massive amounts of cinnamon, and cha siu bao “mix”. Cha siu baos are Chinese barbecue pork buns. Chris loves them. This was the find that I am most excited about, partly because Chris will be so excited to eat them and partly because I found the steamer attachment for my rice cooker and I can’t wait to try it out.

I had been hoping to do the ‘real’ grocery shopping after the Asian Grocery Store and get pork for the cha siu baos, but Chris had been pushed beyond his shopping capacity, so we went home instead. No problem. I figured that I could try out the Lentil Taboulli and Salmon recipe that I had found in Runner’s World instead. Wrong. We were out of lentils. On the shelf where the lentils should have been, I found a bag of arborio rice. Risotto it is! But not just any risotto, silken tofu risotto. If the silken tofu could approximate the taste and texture of an alfredo sauce, why not make risotto out of it?

I was not able to find many examples on the internet, let alone any that I had the proper ingredients for, so I cobbled this together. It ended up being very good. I don’t think it could pass for a non-tofu, full-fat risotto, but it is really creamy and delicious. Another one of those dishes that tastes way more ‘bad’ than it really is. I meant to serve this with salmon, but we never got around to cooking the salmon. Oh well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock could be used)
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 box silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped (these can be canned or fresh, I went with canned)
  • 1 tbsp basil (or 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped finely)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • In a large pan, I used my big cast iron skillet, combine rice, wine, and chicken or vegetable stock.
  • Simmer until all water has been absorbed and rice is tender but still firm.
  • While the rice is cooking, puree the silken tofu in a food processor until it is smooth and creamy.
  • Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil until the onions are transparent. Add mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.
  • After the rice is finished cooking, stir the pureed tofu, onion and mushroom mixture, and basil into the pot of rice.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook for several more minutes.
  • Serve warm.

Servings ~ 6
Calories ~ 272, Fat ~ 4 g, Carbohydrates ~ 49 g, Protein ~ 11 g