side

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.

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zucchini ribbon salad

Summer is coming. Fire up the grill. Pick up some fresh zucchini. Make an awesome salad that will convince your friends that you’re a master of all things grilled, fresh, and delicious. Eat said salad. Repeat.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 small – medium zucchini
  • 2-3 handfuls greens ( I used a baby chard, arugula, spinach mix)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2-4 oz cheese (I used a sheep’s milk cheese similar to gorgonzola in flavor, feta would be delicious as would parmesan)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • dijon mustard
  • crushed garlic
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt & crushed black pepper

Directions:

Preheat your grill. With a vegetable peeler, cut thin lengthwise “ribbons” of your zucchini. You could also use a mandolin to make the long thin strips. Massage the ribbons with some olive oil. Lay on your grill until cooked and you get some beautiful golden brown grate marks. Remove and set in a bowl.

To make your dressing mix 3 parts extra virgin olive oil to one part red wine vinegar. Whisk in 1-2 tsp dijon mustard, 1 crushed garlic clove, and some crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper to taste.

Toss your grilled zucchini ribbons with the greens, toasted pine nuts, crumbled cheese, and a few tablespoons of dressing.

We ate our salad with some grilled salmon (recipe to follow) and a hearty serving of roasted sweet potatoes!