Tag Archives: Brown rice

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice

It’s almost unbelievable that it’s been ten years already since that day when, in the midst of my ninth grade ignorance, I found myself watching live footage of a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center with my fellow classmates.  I don’t remember much except being shocked and a little detached–I don’t think I was old enough to really understand the significance of what happened.

Well, ten years later, we’re still here–and I understand a lot more about what happened that day.  I watched an incredibly powerful video in church today documenting the men and woman who, through either circumstance or choice, gave their lives in that tragic and terrible event.  And even just by writing about this on my blog, I’m reminding myself that though ten years can encompass new pets, a couple of boyfriends and a husband, a high school diploma and a degree and a half, several moves across the state, purchasing two cars, and the promise of a brand new niece or nephew, I won’t forget.

September 11th also marks another anniversary–the one year anniversary of my blog!  If you want to see how far I’ve come–here’s the first post I ever wrote (and what an ambitious one it was, making apple pie): A Brand New Beginning.

A couple of people gave me suggestions for what to make with cilantro, and I decided to go with my sister, Erin’s idea, for cilantro and lime rice.  She sent me this recipe, which I used as inspiration for this fresh and yummy side dish.

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice

  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 C uncooked brown rice
  • 2 C hot water
  • 1/4-1/2 C cilantro (I measured the amount before I diced it), finely chopped
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of half a lime (but adjust as you like it–this was about 2-3 T)
  • salt to taste

I decided to make this in a fried-rice style because I love the nutty taste it gives to brown rice.  Start by browning the shallot over medium heat, then toss the dried rice into the oil as well.  Let the rice fry with the shallots for a few minutes until it starts to smell toasty. 

Pour the two cups of hot water over the rice, cover, and reduce the heat to medium low.  Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the lime zest, juice, and cilantro, and season with salt to taste.

I actually loved this rice–very simple flavors, but bright and fresh with the lime and cilantro.  It would be so good with tacos.  So good.

Erin–good call!

I think that for lunch tomorrow I’m going to throw some chickpeas in there to make it a heartier meal and have it as a main dish.  Since Fritz hates cilantro, I’m going to be able to try this rice in a couple different ways.

It’s also quite simple and quick to make, which is always a bonus.

For the remaining cilantro, which was looking a bit wilty, I chopped it up and froze it (see here for a tutorial).  I’m planning on using it in a Thai pork kind of meal (also an inspiration from another blog reader!).

And aren’t these baby red potatoes a beauty?  I cooked ’em as salt potatoes tonight with fantastic results–they were creamy bite size potato packages.

I want to leave you with a question tonight–what is your most powerful memory of 9/11?


Filed under Side Dishes

Brown Rice and Lentil Pilaf

We have officially entered the phase of eating from the bottom shelf of the cabinet–that’d be the dry goods shelf.  The non-perishable (for a really long time) food shelf.  It’s where I turn when everything else in the house is long gone, but I still want a healthy meal.

And when I want that meal to be done cooking before I graduate from PT school, I turn to lentils.

Sometimes I just don’t have the patience for dried beans.

To kick it up a notch, I decided to transform this into a pilaf with a Middle Eastern flair.  With a healthy dose of garam masala (recipe here) and some canned tomatoes, this recipe went from lackluster side dish to spicy and exciting main entree.

Well, I find it exciting.  I am aware that not everyone feels as passionate about ground coriander and brown rice as I do.

Brown Rice and Lentil Pilaf

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C dried red or green lentils (I used red)
  • 1 C uncooked brown rice
  • 2 C broth (I used beef, but you could use chicken or veggie)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 T garam masala
  • 1/2 t dried garlic (or 1 clove fresh), minced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, sauté the onions in olive oil until browned.  Once they are ready, add the spices (garam masala, garlic, and cinnamon stick) and toast for a minute or two until fragrant. 

In a separate pot, bring two cups of water to boil and add the brown rice.  Cook until just about tender–a little al dente is best.

Add the lentils and broth to the spices and onion.  Stir and cover, allowing it to simmer on low until the broth is absorbed and the lentils are cooked (this will go faster with red lentils than green).

When the lentil mixture is ready (and the rice cooked), combine the two and stir.  Add the can of tomatoes and stir in.  If you want, you can add a sprinkle of sugar but it’s not necessary.  Cover for a few minutes until the remaining liquid is absorbed and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.

My favorite way to eat lentils is to broil a green bell pepper cut in half vertically, and fill with the rice and lentil mixture.

Sadly, we had no green bell peppers.

I ran out of grocery money for the month, remember?

Don’t be like me.

We had to eat it plain–but luckily, it was still delicious (not to mention full of essential amino acids).


Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

Remember that Sunday roasted chicken from a few days ago?  Well, it has since been further immortalized in an-almost classic chicken noodle soup form.  I wanted to make it just the teeniest bit healthier, so I substituted brown rice for egg noodles, cooked it a bit longer, and voila!  Still classic, but with an unprocessed edge.

As I’m sure many of you know, my finals week starts on Monday.  That means that I’ve been doing an unusual amount of studying, and therefore I am extra miserable and will most likely being doing copious amounts of cooking to make up for it.  However, Christmas is coming and soon I’ll be going to Alberta, CA to see Fritz’s family–and that thought is what sustains me.  That, and the fact that as of December 18th, I will have more than a month off from school.

That’s right.  A MONTH OFF!  It’s like being in undergrad again…and I love it.

Back to Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

  • 6-8 C chicken broth (I made my own with the roasted chicken leftovers.  So worth it.)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 C chopped carrots
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 C brown rice
  • 1/4 t salt, pepper to taste
  • 4 sprigs dried thyme (or fresh!)
  • 1/2 t dried parsley

First order of business is to start the broth.  After removing whatever edible meat I could find on the chicken, I submerged the bones in about 6 cups water, added a sprinkle of salt, some dried thyme, and 2 bay leaves and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.  I didn’t take any pictures of this, because it’s really difficult to make a drowned chicken carcass look appetizing…but you can use your imagination!  When I was ready to use the broth, I strained it to get rid of any undesirable pieces before adding it into the soup.

The rest of the soup is a piece of cake.  Chop the celery, carrots, and onion, and saute them over medium high heat in a T of canola oil until they are softened.  Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until the rice is starting to brown (to get that nutty flavor I love in rice!).  Add the chicken broth (and however much water you need to fully cover everything, with an inch or so of liquid at the top), and bring to a boil. 

Cover and simmer until the rice is fully cooked, about 40 minutes.  Season with salt to taste, and spoon into giant bowls (that might just be me–I was hungry!).  Grate fresh black pepper over the top and eat up!

Perfect for a scary week of finals preparation.

Because we are leaving to go to Canada in a few weeks, Fritz and I did some research to figure out what to do with Henry.  After realizing how obnoxious it would be to drop him off at Eber’s house for the week (that involves carrying Henry and all of his accessories–he’s like a Barbie–onto the train and into the city and back), we decided to buy an automatic feeder.  It came in the mail a few days ago, and Henry immediately knew what it was.  How are cats so smart?

He’s been lingering around it ever since, trying to will it into action with the power of positive thinking.

Coming up soon (maybe tomorrow, depending on how much procrastination I need to catch up on), is an amazing recipe, perfect for Christmas gifts!  Sadly, it’s not good for your body, but it’s the best for your spirit–and I’ve eaten it nonstop since yesterday morning. 



Filed under Soups/Stews

Saffron Rice

Every year us kids get a large variety of amazing (and occasionally weird) goods in our Christmas stockings, including paperclips, nail buffers, and a personal favorite, purple tights.  Last year my mom gave me a few fun ingredients that I took as a personal challenge: find something cool to make with them that is also delicious.  These ingredients included lemon champagne vinegar and red wine vinegar (yum on both counts) and saffron threads.

I found a recipe for saffron rice in my favorite Indian food cookbook, and couldn’t wait to try it out.  Instead of using Basmati or Patna rice, I used brown rice because you all know I’m-a tryin’ to be a little more healthy.  The rice switch was not noticeable to anyone who tried it, so I managed to sneak another one in under the radar!  Score.

I served this rice with a chicken cauliflower curry (oh, the alliteration!) and Fritz and his friend Jun Oh chowed down while watching the Grand Prix and Jenny and I used it as an energy booster before we headed to the mall for some Christmas shopping.  Oh–and did I mention that we saw Harry Potter VII.1 yesterday morning?  I loved it–but now I can’t wait for the second installment.  Really really can’t wait.

Don’t judge me.

Instead, make some rice!

Saffron Rice (adapted from Complete Indian Cooking)

  • 1/2 t saffron threads
  • 3 C boiling water
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 C brown rice
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Put the saffron threads in a small bowl with 1 T boiling water and set aside for 30 minutes to soak.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan, and put in the onions.  Cook for four to five minutes until softened.  Wash and drain the rice, and add it to the pot, stirring in the cloves, cardamom, salt and pepper.  Fry for three minutes, stirring often.

Pour the remaining boiling water into the pan along with the saffron threads and their soaking liquid.  Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked.  Traditionally, the rice can be served with varq, an edible silver leaf.

I didn’t have that on hand.

This is a beautiful yellow color and taste great on its own as a side dish, and would be amazing with grilled veggies as the main dish.

Now, cooking can be very dangerous from time to time (I have the scars to prove it), but I’ve found that the best way to stay safe is to have your cat be a lookout:

Nothing gets past this guy.  He is diligent, dedicated, and determined.

I love alliteration.


Filed under Side Dishes