Brown Rice

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.

Perfect Prepping

I did some prepping this past weekend. Took the trip to Whole Foods, spent my Saturday chopping and dicing and organizing, and then got to enjoy my week without all the food hassle that comes along with packing lunches and scrambling for snacks. It’s been smooth sailing and I wanted to share some of the methods to my prepping madness. Here’s what I did:

  • Made a salad mix:
    • I bought mixed greens (I make my own blend of romaine, mixed, and spinach), a variety of colored peppers, carrots, red cabbage, and cucumbers. I chop them all up and put them in a big container together.IMG_5413
  • Made brown rice & quinoa:
    • Nothing fancy here, just bought some no-gmo basmati brown rice and tri-color quinoa, cooked some of each, and stored them in two separate containers in the fridge to grab whenever I need some healthy carbs in a pinch. They are perfect for salad toppers too!IMG_5410
  • Made snack baggies
    • I put together little snack baggies that I could grab in the morning and stuff in my lunch box so I’m never too hungry during the day. I made carb baggies: few with mixed berries (fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries) and a few with some fresh cherries. I made healthy fat baggies: a few trail mix baggies (roasted unsalted nuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, and a little dried fruit). And a few protein baggies: two hardboiled eggs in a some baggies.IMG_5414
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
    • Having some diced or whole roasted sweet potatoes in the fridge is another essential grab for me. I can take a hunk smothered in cinnamon and almond butter to have with my snack or throw some on my salad. They taste just as good in a cold salad as they do when you make them hot!IMG_5411
  • Got my meats.
    • At the Whole Foods deli, they had thin sliced skirt steak they wrap up like deli meat that I bought for my first few lunches. You can also get chicken like that here!
  • Other ideas include portioning out nut butters or hummus into small containers to grab and go with, make a batch of chicken or tuna salad, grill up some chicken breasts for high quality protein in your lunches, make your own dressing (I like to keep it simple with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, and some chia seeds)

Now that you’re all prepped, here are two killer salads you can make for lunch or dinner using leftovers and the stuff you’ve got in your fridge that take under 10 minutes to throw together on your way out the door.

Steak and Roasted Red Pepper SaladIMG_5447

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 cups salad & veggie base mix
  • 4 oz sliced and diced skirt steak
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (or sub brown rice)
  • 1/6 of an avocado, diced
  • handful roasted red peppers, chef’s cut
  • 1 Tablespoon roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 Tablespoon craisins
  • Dressing (I used roughly 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, pinch salt and pepper and oregano, 1/4 tsp chia seeds all shaken together)

Directions:

Throw all the ingredients except for the dressing into your to-go container or a large bowl. You can layer it pretty or mix everything all up so it’s more evenly distributed. Top with your dressing and eat immediately or close it up and bring your dressing to top it when it’s time to chow down.

 

Go-To Salmon SaladIMG_5444

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2 cups salad and veggie base mix
  • 4 oz leftover salmon filet
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (or brown rice)
  • 1 Tbsp craisins
  • 1/6 avocado, diced
  • almonds & cashews
  • Dressing (I used roughly 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, pinch salt and pepper and oregano, 1/4 tsp chia seeds all shaken together)

Directions: 

Throw all the ingredients except for the dressing into your to-go container or a large bowl. You can layer it pretty or mix everything all up so it’s more evenly distributed. Top with your dressing and eat immediately or close it up and bring your dressing to top it when it’s time to chow down.

fajita salad

Posted by Corie

The fajita. A beautiful union of sizzling hot peppers and onions, with tender, juicy chicken or steak, slathered in guacamole and covered in a mound of fresh tomato salsa. Ditch the tortillas and add a bed of crisp lettuce… ayup, fajitas just became your new best friend.

stepbro

This shit I’m about to drop on you all is super easy. You can make everything from scratch or you can buy some of your favorite brand salsa or guacamole, it’s all up to you. These have tons of muscle building protein from the chicken, vitamins and minerals in all your veggie toppings and healthy fats from avocado. The brown rice is optional, but it definitely gives the dish a faux-chipotle feel and satisfied my complex carb craving. Sometimes, the body wants what the body wants, and it’s important to listen. But if gluten bothers you or you’re going all full-scale paleo, then by all means leave it out. Last note, you can definitely make this with steak or shrimp or a mix. Have fun with it.

friggen’ fresh fajita saladIMG_3629

serves 4-5 w/ leftovers

For the Chicken:

(Feel free to use your own marinade instead)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1.5 tbsp honey

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tbsp grainy mustard

2 tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro

4 cloves garlic, minced

Throw the chicken in a gallon zip lock bag. Season with the salt and pepper. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl, when combined, pour over the chicken. Seal the bag and let that stuff sit in the refrigerator for one to a few hours. If you’re pressed for time, a half hour will do, but you won’t get all the flavor. Also… some adobo sauce would be bangin’ in there, but I didn’t have any.

Take the chicken out and cook over medium high heat on the stove in a sauté pan. Get a nice deep golden brown color on the outsides and then let them cook on low until done throughout. Make sure they are cooked all the way through because we don’t need any cases of salmonella round here. Then slice then and set aside.

For the Rice:

1.5 cups brown rice

pinch of salt

1 tsp coconut oil

juice of 1 lime

chopped, fresh cilantro

put your brown rice and 4 cups water in a pot over high heat. Throw in a pinch of salt and let that come to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed by your rice. Fluff with a fork and then stir in the coconut oil, lime juice, and fresh cilantro.

For the Peppers: 

3/4 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips

2 red, 1 orange, and 1 yellow bell peppers, sliced into thin strips

In a large saute pan, heat the onions and some coconut oil over medium-high. Cook these, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown and caramelize. Throw in the peppers and continue to cook and stir until the same thing happens to them. You want to get a real good color and flavor on these so taste often if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Salsa: 

I made a fresh avocado salsa, but feel free to sub here.

2 large tomatoes, small chopped

1/2 small red onion, small chopped

1.5 avocados, chopped

juice of 1 lime wedge

pinch of salt

fresh cilantro

Just throw it all together and let sit in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to let all those flavors mesh.

Put it all together: 

Over a bed of thin chopped romaine and mixed greens, pile high a small scoop of rice, a healthy handful of those peppers and onions, slices of the chicken, and then the salsa. You can put all the salads together ahead of time or make it like a fajita salad bar where everyone makes their own. Get a good simple dressing, I used a chili-lime vinaigrette my mom picked up at whole foods, and drizzle that all over your salad. DIG IN. Gainz galore.