Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quick and Healthy Side Dish

I made a really easy side dish today in my rice cooker. Healthy and very tasty too!

Diane's Wild Rice and Veggies

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder

1 cup wild rice

1 veggie or chicken bouillon cube
3 cups water
1 bag frozen fiesta veggie mix (beans of all types, carrots, broccoli)

In rice cooker add first 4 ingredients. Stir to mix. Add wild rice. Stir to coat the rice with the oil and flavors. Add bouillon cube and water. Set rice cooker to white or brown rice. (Depending on your preference: the white setting will stop when the wild rice is still nutty in texture and the brown setting will stop when the wild rice is a bit softer.)

About 2-5 minutes before the wild rice is done, add the bag of frozen fiesta veggie mix. Stir to mix. Close rice cooker and wait till it turns to keep warm. ENJOY!!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Rice Cooker Pasta

Perhaps you think that it can't be done. Or if you know it can be done, perhaps you think no gourmet would do it. Or, no self respecting Italian anyway.

But, you would be wrong. Pasta cooked in a rice cooker can be marvelous. If you remember enough liquid and to save some of the sauce for the keep warm cycle it can be even gourmet!

Here is one of my favorites:

Curried Pasta with Meatballs
Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons curry powder (I use far more, we love it spicy)
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 vegetable or chicken bouillon cubes

4 cups water
1 pound orzo
8 meatballs (from a previous recipe or frozen bag works well)
1 package frozen spinach

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

In the rice cooker, melt the butter and add the curry powder. Stir to combine. Add next 3 ingredients. Mix well. Add water,orzo, frozen spinach (no need to thaw) and meatballs (no need to thaw).

For my rice cooker, I set it on mixed and press start. I believe that a white rice setting will work as well.

When cooker turns to keep warm, add frozen peas and stir enough to thaw.

Serve with cilantro and green onions to garnish.



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Using up Jam and Jelly

So you finish up a jar of jelly or jam. Well, you finish it as well as you can. There seems to be all sorts of bits and parts stuck to the jar.

One way to use up the last of the jar is to add a mild vinegar and shake to release all the bits. Then add some shallots, garlic and pepper. Shake well, then add in some mild vegetable oil. You can also add chopped fruit or zest of the fruit that was the original flavor of the jar. Shake well and use as a salad dressing or a marinade for fish or chicken.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Diane's Menu 7/15/2010 - 7/22/2010

Diane's Menu 7/15/2010 - 7/22/2010

7/15 Thu - Spicy Kielbasa and Black Eyed Peas
7/16 Fri - Pork and Broccoli Stir Fry with Brown Rice
7/17 Sat - Mock Fried Chicken and Corn on the Cob
7/18 Sun - Mac and Cheese
7/19 Mon - Take Out Pizza
7/20 Tue - Chicken, Bean and Wild Rice Salad **
7/21 Wed - Chicken Parmesan
7/22 Thu - Pasta Amatriciana
7/23 Fri - Indian Chickpea and Rice Casserole **
7/24 Sat - Dinner out

** Recipe follows

Chicken, Bean and Wild Rice Salad

Makes 6 servings (about 1 cup each)
Preparation Time: 10 to 15 minutes

1 package (6.2 ounces) fast-cooking long grain and wild rice, cooked without spice packet, cooled (I will be making my own using brown rice with the long grain rice)
1 can (15 ounces) Light or Dark Red Kidney beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Light or Dark Red Kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 ounces) Black beans or Pinto beans or 1 1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged Black beans or Pinto beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (11 ounces) Mandarin orange segments, drained
1 cup frozen, thawed peas

Raspberry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 cups spinach leaves
12 to 16 ounces broiled or grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced or cubed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecan halves (optional)


Combine rice, beans, orange segments, and peas; pour 2/3 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette over and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon salad onto spinach-lined plates, arrange chicken on salad; spoon beets to the side. Drizzle remaining 1/3 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette over beets and chicken. Sprinkle with pecans, if desired.

Raspberry Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup raspberry or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or red onion
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice


Whisk together the all ingredients. Prepared ahead, refrigerate until serving time. Mix again before using.

TIP: To save time, prepared raspberry vinaigrette dressing can be used. To cool rice quickly, spread cooked rice on a cookie sheet and refrigerate.
NOTE: Although bean recipes usually call for a specific variety, any canned or dry-packaged bean variety can be easily substituted for another.

Nutrient Information

Per serving: Calories 445; Fat 13g; % Calories from Fat 24; Carbohydrate 65g; Folate 240mcg; Sodium 1326mg; Protein 26g; Dietary Fiber 12g; Cholesterol 37mg


Indian Chickpea-Rice Casserole

2 tsp. canola oil
2 Tbs. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup cooked chickpeas, or canned chickpeas, drained
1/3 cup dried currants
1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and shredded
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
1/3 cup roasted cashews, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F. Heat 1 tsp. oil in 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds begin to pop (after about 30 seconds), turn off heat, and transfer spice mixture to small bowl; set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and ginger, and cook, stirring often, 6 minutes, or until onion is softened. Stir in spice mixture, broth, rice, chickpeas, currants and carrot.
Cover and bake 45 minutes, or until rice is tender and broth is absorbed. Garnish with cilantro and cashews, and serve hot.

Serves 6

Source: Vegetarian Times Issue: March 1, 2006 p.47
Formatted by Chupa Babi: 06.22.08

Nutritional Information Per SERVING: Calories: 257, Protein: 7g, Total fat: 7g, Carbs: 43g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 159mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 9g

Heating and popping the mustard seeds make their flavor a nutty, not hot, addition to this fragrant rice casserole. For best results, use a mild vegetable broth, such as Imagine or Swanson, preferably one not made with tomatoes.

Pickle Juice?

Do you like pickles? I love them.

When I open a new jar of pickles it is tough for me to stop eating the whole thing. When I am done with the jar, there is always quite a bit of flavorful brine left. I always have a hard time throwing it out. Well not anymore!! There are so many uses for the brine.

I use it as a base for marinating chicken, beef and pork. I use it as a base for a cole slaw dressing. Use it as the starter for a salad dressing. Mix with yogurt for a great salad or cole slaw dressing. I use it to marinate vegetables to be roasted. And, for those more adventurous souls.....don't forget to try a pickletini. Yup! Use a good quality vodka and the pickle juice. Serve with a dill pickle spear as a garnish. It's YUMMY!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Diane's Menu 7/8/2010 - 7/14/2010

Diane's Menu 7/8/2010 - 7/14/2010

7/8 Thu - BBQ Country Style Pork Ribs, Bean and Corn Salad
7/9 Fri - Grilled Chicken, Brown Rice Pilaf, Salad
7/10 Sat - Rib Eye Steak, Baked Potatoes, Cucumber and Tomato Salad
7/11 Sun - Pasta and Peas
7/12 Mon - Take out pizza
7/13 Tue - Hot Buffalo Meatballs over Brown Rice, Salad
7/14 Wed - Asian Grilled Pork Chops, Asian Slaw