Sides

toasted brown rice and mushrooms

Brown rice is a great side dish, especially if you’re looking for a healthy, gluten free, whole grain carbohydrate to make some gains after your workout. However it can be quite the challenge to cook. We’ve had our share of bland and undercooked brown rice disasters, but I finally found the perfect way to make brown rice a dinnertime favorite. In this recipe the rice gets toasted and cooked up with some flavorful onions and garlic, then sautéed with caramelized mushrooms and fresh herbs. What you get is awesome.

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Toasted Brown Rice and Mushrooms

Makes 3.5 cups

Recipe from cookin’ canuck

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves. minced
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 8oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant (don’t let them burn). Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. This toasts the rice and gives it a great flavor.

Stir in the broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook until all the liquid has absorbed, 40-50 minutes. Here is where you could break up this recipe. If you’re prepping this stuff then stop here, let your rice cool and keep it in the fridge to finish later. If making it all right now, keep on truckin’.

Heat your other teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and, stirring occasionally, cook until browning and fragrant (5 minutes). Stir in the thyme and cook for another 30 seconds. In the same skillet, dump in the rice, parsley, and some salt and pepper to taste. If you split things up and your rice is cold give it all some time to toast and heat back up, if not just toss together and serve.

apple cider potato salad

Just when you though potato salad couldn’t get any better, this potato salad will make you want to throw your traditional mayo soaked potato salad right out your window. It combines oven roasted potatoes with a tangy mustard dressing for a lightened up take on the summer time staple. You can make this all in one shot or par-boil the potatoes and whip up the dressing early in the day, then finish the whole thing right before dinner!

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Apple Cider Potato Salad

Serves 4-6

Adapted from eat, live, run

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs red potatoes (skins on)
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, thin sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 oz course mustard
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup white or yellow onion, fine diced

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in potatoes and let cook until tender on the outside, but still IMG_5759firm inside (roughly 20 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes, I periodically tested mine with a fork). Drain the potatoes and allow to cool to room temp.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the green onions, basil, lemon juice, apple cider, olive oil, paprika, pepper, vinegar, mustards, and onion. Allow to sit and macerate (if saving to assemble for later you can cover and put this mix in the fridge now).

Take the potatoes and cut them into medium sized chunks. If saving to assemble later, you can cover these and put them in the fridge. If making now, preheat your oven to 400′ F. Spread your potatoes on a baking sheet and toss in some olive oil. Roast in the oven until golden brown and cooked through (approximately 15-20 more minutes). Take them out and place all the potatoes in a large bowl. Pour the dressing mixture you made earlier over your potatoes (you may not need to use all the dressing depending on how dressed you like your taters) and toss to coat. Serve warm.

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roasted citrus salad

Revamp your salad game to keep from getting bored towards the end of a salad filled summer. Roasted caramelized oranges are just what you need to add depth and complexity to mundane salads. Pair them with the bitter tang of arugula and smooth avocado and you get a salad that’ll feel sinfully gourmet.

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Roasted Citrus & Avocado Salad

Serves 4-6

Adapted from bon appétit

Ingredients:

  • 2 large oranges, peeled and sliced, seeds removed *
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion, thin sliced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

Directions:

IMG_5736Preheat your oven to 425′ F. Toss your citrus slices with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast your citrus, flipping occasionally, until you get a light char and a caramelized sweet scent (10-15 minutes). Let cool. **

 

Meanwhile, combine your onion and lemon juice in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, this will soften and mellow out the flavor of your onions.

In a large serving bowl, combine arugula, romaine, cucumbers, avocado, and roasted citrus. Pour onions and lemon juice over greens. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat

 

* Don’t feel like you’re limited to oranges here. If you’ve got blood oranges or love the taste of grapefruit try those! You could even do lemons for more flavor.

** Feel free to make your oranges ahead of time and keep in the fridge. They stayed pretty nicely for me and were in the fridge all day.

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We ate this tasty little salad with some tangy korean ribs and potato salad (recipes to come), but it was great with some pesto chicken salad the next day too!

 

 

kale and quinoa cakes

It’s amazing to think that just a year or two ago you wouldn’t find a stitch of kale on our family’s dinner table. We had to ease into the leafy green superfood by covering it with bacon (anything that tastes even a little like bacon is usually a thumbs up in our house). Now, it seems like we’ve always got a bunch in our fridge. Kale has worked its way into the dinnertime veggie rotation, sometimes still cooked in bacon, sometimes we let it shine all on its own, and sometimes cooked in little cakes.

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A food that hasn’t had quite the success that kale has in our house is quinoa. The protein packed grain is still trying to find its big break on our dinner table. I’m a fan, but finding ways keep quinoa from eliciting a painful grimace on my dad’s face is proving to be quite the task. These cakes are a step in the right direction.

Here you take cooked quinoa, mix it up with some blanched kale and breadcrumbs and round out the flavor with some salty parmesan cheese, green onions, and minced garlic. They are really tasty right out of the pan! Not as great cold though, so if you’re not already a lover of quinoa and kale I’d suggest reheating them or saving the uncooked mixture in the refrigerator and quick frying them when you’re ready to get eating!

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Kale & Quinoa Cakes

Makes 8-10 cakes. Recipe adapted from Yummy Supper

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup cooked quinoa *
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 spring onion, sliced thin
  • 1.5 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup blanched kale, chopped **
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat, but gluten free would work too)
  • 1 tsp olive or coconut oil

Directions:

In a large bowl combine quinoa, eggs, cheese, onion, garlic, salt, kale, and breadcrumbs. Mix well and then let sit for a few minutes to allow the liquid time to absorb. You want your mixture to be moist but not runny.

Heat your olive or coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Form your cakes and place into pan. (be sure not to overcrowd) Cover the pan and let the cakes cook for 7-10 minutes. The bottoms should be a nice deep golden brown when you flip. Now cook the other sides for another 7 minutes. Let the patties rest on a cooling rack. I needed to do 2 batches but that may differ depending on the size of your pan.

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We ate ours alongside some ribs and asparagus at dinner time, but these would also be great topped with a little avocado and lemon juice, maybe some chicken salad… yum!

* If you don’t have already cooked quinoa lying around, just cook some up! You can do as much or as little as you’d like but the rule of thumb is 1 cup uncooked quinoa needs 2 cups of water to cook and should yield about 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa. Throw your uncooked quinoa and water into a pot, allow it all to come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook until all the liquid has absorbed and the quinoa is nice and tender. Fluff and let cool to room temp.

** To blanch your kale bring a large pot of water to a boil. Submerge kale entirely and drain immediately.

 

 

the best pineapple salsa

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Oh baby, have I got the salsa for you. Sweet caramelized pineapple, cooked low and slow with mild bell pepper and juicy tomatoes, all blended together with just the right amount of lime and cilantro. It may look like mush, but this is one mush you’re gonna want to put on everything. I used it on my crusted mahi tacos (recipe to come!).

Sweet Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pineapple, cored and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes
  • juice from 1 lime
  • cilantro

In a cast iron skillet (or regular nonstick pan) over medium heat, cook pineapple chunks and yellow bell pepper until they begin to turn golden brown(you may need to add a splash or two of water to the mix if too dry and the pineapple isn’t caramelizing well). Throw in cherry tomatoes and continue to cook until their skin blisters. Let cool.

Add pineapple, pepper, and tomato mix to a blender. Add in the juice of 1 lime and desired amount of cilantro (I like to go light on the cilantro, just a few tablespoons for me). Pulse until salsa is well blended, but still thick. Serve in salsas, eat with chips, whatever your heart desires.

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shredded sprout salad

Posted by Corie

images-3Thanksgiving is comin’ in hot. Before you know it, there’ll be turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and then all the other stuff that’s always on the table, but no one talks about. You know what I mean. There’s always like one or two vegetables that get passed around and everyone feels obligated to take, but really we all just want another scoop of mashed potatoes covered in gravy ’cause that’s the shit that tastes good. Well, in honor of this phenomenon, today’s post is all about finding new appreciation for one of those unappreciated Thanksgiving veggies… the Brussels sprout.

 

900c8a714b5c6897b53069c1342ce9b2206322e2bb5caab7c2c53cbdc4c54df6Brussels sprouts look like cute little bundles of cabbage. They are a cruciferous vegetable meaning they are in the same class as broccoli, kale, bok choy, and cauliflower. Cruciferous veggies are rich in nutrients like carotenoids, vitamins C, E, and K, minerals, and fiber. They are even being studied for their association with cancer prevention. They get a bad rap for being smelly and tasting bad, but that’s just because all those people saying that haven’t had them this way yet.

Shredded Sprout Salad

For the Salad:

3 tbsp fine chopped shallots

1 pound brussels sprouts, shredded

2-3 large handfuls spinach or kale

 

Last night was a feeding frenzy, but I managed to get a picture of the sprouts in my salad today!

Last night was a feeding frenzy, but I managed to get a picture of the sprouts in my salad today!

For the Dressing:

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, diced

1 tbsp minced shallot

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (1 tsp dried)

1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp water

Salt & Pepper to taste

To make the dressing, combine the mustard, garlic, shallot, thyme, and hazelnuts in a blender. Blend on medium while adding in oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and water. Add salt and some pepper to taste.

In a large saucepan heat up shallots in an oil of your choice [you could use coconut oil, olive oil, or even just throw some bacon in there] until transparent and fragrant. Throw in your Brussels sprouts and continue to cook until they begin to soften. Add the dressing and the kale or spinach to the pan. Work it all together and cook until the kale or spinach begins to wilt.

Remove from the pan and plate. If you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts this dish will change your mind. If you already love Brussels sprouts… why haven’t you started making this yet? Go! Go! Go!

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recipe adapted from edible Jersey

Resources:

http://www.cancer.gov

http://www.cancer.org

whfoods.org