Tag Archives: Cilantro

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?

6 Comments

Filed under Side Dishes

Hot and Spicy Nachos with a Cool Cilantro Sauce

As my test anxiety was building this week, I developed a very intense need for nachos.

A need for nachos.  Not just your average, “oh, I want nachos”, but a need for nachos.  You can’t ignore those kind of things.  When your body tells you that chips, beans, cheese, and chili powder must be in your belly in 15 minutes or you might die, you listen.

Just like when my body tells me I need to watch Christmas movies even though it’s the middle of June.  I listen and I listen well–and I’m currently watching The Family Stone.  (Please don’t judge me–times of high stress make me do weird things).

But back to the nachos.  I wanted to use up some more of my cilantro, so I decided to spice up my nachos and then cool it back down with a yogurt sauce.  Sound good?

And if you don’t like yogurt sauce, or if the smell/taste/look of cilantro makes you die a little bit inside (hi Fritz!), then you can just skip it.  Fritz enjoyed the nachos quite nicely without it.

Hot and Spicy Nachos with a Cool Cilantro Sauce

  • 8 small corn tortillas, sliced into quarters (or corn chips)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1/4-1/2 C jalapeno slices (depending on how much you love your spice!)
  • 1/4-1/2 C Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/2 lemon (about 2 T lemon juice)
  • 1/4 C plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • small bunch cilantro (about 2-3 T chopped)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and arrange your corn chips.  Since I had tortillas in the freezer, I microwaved them for a few seconds, sliced ’em in quarters with a pizza roller, sprinkled with a little salt, and baked them until they were crispy, about 15 minutes.  Obviously you can skip this step if you have some chips handy.

These were vegetarian chips, so I used an entire can of refried beans, but you could easily use half or less and add some meat to make them more hearty.  Once the chips are crisp, add the beans on top.  (By the way, I’ve made refried beans from scratch before, and they didn’t quite taste as yummy as the good ol’ canned version.  Reason why?  Third ingredient on the canned kind is lard.  Yeah.  Maybe not so good.)

Sprinkle with jalapenos and cheese.  Be generous.  With both.

Sprinkle on the spices and pop in the oven for a few minutes until the beans are warmed and the cheese melted.

Meanwhile, process the yogurt, cilantro, and lemon juice (lime would probably be even better if you had it!) until smooth.  Drizzle over the top and enjoy!

We both love, love, loved this dinner treat of nachos.  I definitely would have eaten these with some spicy salsa on the side, but we didn’t have any and there was no way my tummy was allowing me to hold off on the nachos.

Experiment with the spices–if you are the hot and spicy type, some cayenne might be just the thing you need.  And if you haven’t already jumped on the smoked paprika bandwagon, now is the time.

Really.  That stuff is good.

In other good and exciting news, we got our fourth CSA box yesterday!  Check out the goods for this week:

I’ve had a lot of variety in my green monsters lately–using kale, chard, and beet greens instead of only plain ol’ spinach.  For those new readers, I am a first-time CSA user from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm on Long Island–read more about their CSA program here.

Plan for tomorrow–up early for the gym, then a doctor’s appointment and spending a large majority of the day reading (for pleasure!) and definitely baking!  I feel like I haven’t baked anything in ages and I absolutely miss having it around. 

Have a great night!

10 Comments

Filed under Appetizers, Snacks, Vegetarian

How to Store Cilantro (and Other Herbs)

Well, it’s 9:39 and I have yet to start studying for my test coming up (but I did study for a quiz and go over a Powerpoint), so I figured I might as well continue the trend and blog before I get down to business.

Plus, this’ll be another short one (lets see if I can be done by 10:00…it’s now 9:40).

In my CSA box this past week (another one comes tomorrow!), we received a giant bunch of cilantro.  I like cilantro well enough, but Fritz despises even the smell of it.  Seriously.  It makes him gag and whine like a little baby.

That’s not even all of it, and this posed a problem for my ability to finish said herb before it goes bad.  However, there is a solution!  Some herbs take to freezing well (such as basil, mint, chives, and obviously cilantro), and then they are quite easy to use later (or much later!) in soups, stews, and other cooked dishes.

Here’s the trick (9:46–had to upload all the pictures). 

Chop the herbs up veeeery finely and place in an ice-cube tray.  Spoon water over the top just until it’s covered.  Then freeze!

Quick and easy. 

Freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag and label it (frozen herbs look a lot alike when they are finely minced)!  These popped really easily out of the ice tray, and the ice tray doesn’t even smell like cilantro (I was worried, with the whole Fritz-gagging thing).

In other (very exciting) news, we stopped by a garage sale the other day and found tons of lenses on sale that fit my new camera and cost (drumroll!) $20 each!  The owner had something to do with a camera repair shop, and wasn’t sure if the lenses worked or not, so we had to have an impromptu photo shoot (9:50).  Eber quickly complied.

Isn’t she gorgeous?  She was actually standing across the street as I was trying out a  zoom lens (we bought the one that took these pictures).

And one of my personal favorites:

We ended up buying two lenses for $30–quite the steal!  I can’t wait to try them out on some beautiful landscapes when we go on vacation with the family in August to Canada.  Should be a blast.

Unlike studying.  It’s 9:55!  Have a beautiful night!

14 Comments

Filed under Spice Mixes

Herbs–Garden Edition

I planted my baby tomato plants today in a last-ditch effort to save ’em after I accidentally left them outside in direct hot burning sunlight for a full day.  They got sunburned.  Badly.  After a week of TLC, they seemed to recover somewhat, so I figured it was time for them to graduate.

Luckily it was a gray, drizzly day outside, so they weren’t subjected to more intense UV rays while they settled in their new home.

Since the rest of my herb garden is springing up tremendously well, I thought I’d give you a look-see.  We planted this herb garden all from seed last year (and basil and tomatoes from seed again this year), and the ease with which it grew has really astounded me.  Why doesn’t every cook have a garden?  I know from now on I will always have these herbs in my garden–it’s so convenient and cheap!

Maybe I did inherit some of my mom’s green thumb!

We planted some catnip in the back to fuel Henry’s hysterical addiction–it hasn’t been growing well (too sandy?) and I almost gave up hope, but today I found this:

In our herb garden, our littlest baby, basil (can’t wait for some fresh pesto!):

‘Course there’s the chives, which you’ve recently witnessed starring in a vinegar recipe (which has since turned a beautiful pink color!):

Next up, lavender!  Best use of lavender so far has been in this pork chop dry rub–different, and perfect.  I’m excited because this year the lavender is much more plentiful than last year, and up way earlier, so I’m hoping for a lot more flowers.

Can’t have an herb garden without parsley–how else is a girl to garnish everything, or make pasta puttanesca?

We have a large amount of sage, which I’ve used to great success in this garlic and sage bread or in this chicken breakfast sausage:

Of course I have one of my most-used herbs, thyme, which is perfect for any and all soups, including this corn chowder, one of my first recipes on this blog! (Please don’t laugh at the quality of that post!  I was just learning!):

I didn’t plant cilantro this year, and I was kind of sad because I’ve seen a couple of recipes lately that I wanted to try that call for it.  Imagine my joy and surprise today when I discovered some seeds from last year must have regenerated!  I was weeding and just knew I smelled cilantro. Yes!  Hello, open-faced tacos!

And mint.  Ah, mint.  I planted this solely so I could make copious amounts of mojitos all summer long.  But if plenty of fresh alcoholic drinks aren’t your thing, how about some fresh minty green iced tea (recipe coming soon to a blog near you!):

Last but not least, my precious tomatoes.  I hope you live.  I really want to eat you in chili form (pumpkin bowl or not)!

In other garden news, look who bloomed today!  First one of the year!  These irises (iris? irisi?) traveled all the way from my parent’s house two years ago:

Judging by the looks of things around the house, I think it’s rapidly approaching bedtime.  Even Henry’s tuckered out:

(Thanks Mom for the box and its pre-cat contents today!)

Another full day of studying tomorrow–and some procrastinating, I’m sure.  Speaking of which, how do you like the new blog design?  I wanted something bright and summery!

5 Comments

Filed under Non-food things I like