Farmer’s Market Fried Rice

 

Last night, I was a lone-diner. No complaints over here though – while Nick was having a love affair with his last Groupon steak, I was whipping up a unique version of fried rice. I stumbled upon this low-cal veggie packed phenomenon while looking for Farmer’s Market recipes. It only has 397 calories per serving! The amount you see on that plate was the perfect amount for dinner last night.

Originally posted by Eating Well, I decided to not mess with the recipe at all. And since my new job has a Whole Foods located right across the street, it was really easy to find all the ingredients it called for.  The thing I like best about Whole Foods is that it’s sort of set up like an outdoor Farmer’s Market in the produce section. Meaning, you can pick up the exact amount of produce that a single recipe calls for. For instance, this recipe called for only four Brussels sprouts, so I wasn’t forced to buy an entire bag sprouts that would eventually spoil. This may not be the same for all grocery stores in the US, but in AZ, it’s really hard to certain veggies, such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, green beans, etc. unbagged.

I had wanted to make this recipe for a while and I’m sad that Nick didn’t get to try it because it’s probably one of my favorite dishes that I have made. Ever.

For those of you with omnivorous significant others and family members, this dish could easily be paired with any type of meat. Steak, chicken, pork, even shrimp. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch diced, peeled and cored parsnips
  • 4 medium Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 cups cold cooked brown rice
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

 The Method:

  1. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 2 teaspoons oil, coating the bottom completely. Add beaten eggs and cook, tilting to cover the surface as thinly as possible to make an egg pancake. When the pancake is just set, 30 seconds to 1 minute, flip using a metal spatula and allow it to set for about 5 seconds. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut into bite-size pieces.
  2. Swirl 1 tablespoon oil into the wok, add garlic and shallots and stir-fry, using a metal spatula, until fragrant, 10 seconds. Add parsnips and Brussels sprouts, reduce the heat to medium-high and stir-fry until the vegetables are nearly cooked through, about 2 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add rice, tomatoes and soy sauce and stir-fry, breaking up the rice, until heated through, 2 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, salt and pepper; add the egg pieces and toss to combine.

Grilled Buffalo Tofu Steaks

Well, it’s been summer for quite some time now – especially in Arizona – we’ve been hitting over 100 since May! The sweltering heat gets us in the mood for grilling on the patio. I had some tofu steaks on hand and Nick had just picked up his meat selection from some Groupon deal he bought awhile ago. Even though I don’t eat meat, I must say his steak choices were gorgeous and had perfect marbling. So perfect, that he didn’t even mess with it before putting it on the grill – just a dash of salt and pepper and he was good to go.

I had a hankering for something spicy and tangy – I think you see where I’m heading. Frank’s Red Hot “Buffalo” style sauce. The great thing about tofu is that it can pick up marinade flavors really well and in a very short amount of time. I just marinated the tofu for about 20 minutes, tossed it on the grill with Nick’s steak and let the grill do it’s thing. I served my tofu with a quick Garlicky-Lime Aioli; it was a nice cooling element with the spiciness.

Here’s a a picture of Nick with his prized steak:

Here is my recipe:

Buffalo Tofu Steaks

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 1/8 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter, melted

The Method:

  1. In a bowl, combine the oil, salt,  paprika, hot sauce and melted butter.
  2. Cut the tofu into steaks and gently toss to coat with the mixture. Let the steaks sit in the mixture for 20 minutes before grilling.
  3. Place each tofu steak in a single layer on the grill. Grill for 5 minutes on each side. (Nick’s steak needed to be cooked for 6 minutes on each side, so we timed it accordingly)

Garlicky-Lime Aioli:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • pinch of paprika
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

The Method:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix and serve.

It was so yummy that even my well-mannered pit bull, Eleanor was begging for table scraps:

Kabocha Squash and Black Soybean Stew

I’ve been MIA again – well from this blog but NOT from the kitchen. Being a vegetarian, I like to dabble in vegan recipes whenever the flavors tickle my fancy. The other night, I made the Black Soybean and Kabocha Squash Stew from page 164 of The Kind Diet.  The Kind Diet is a vegan cookbook crafted by Alicia Silverstone aka Cher Horowitz ;); but it’s not only a cookbook, it’s a lifestyle guide. I am by no means a vegan (I love my cheese and yogurt), but as my bio states, I do like to experiment with recipes and most of the time, they turn out to be delicious.

What surprised me most about this dish was how sweet it turned out to be. I am NOT a fan of sweets but pairing this stew with some rice and greens made the whole dish come together flawlessly. However, I would suggest cutting the mirin suggestion of 1 cup down to ½ cup to avoid it being overly sweet. I can’t wait until the temperature starts to cool down here – this would be a fabulous winter dish to keep you warm and cozy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried black beans (or plain black beans)
  • 1” piece of konbu seaweed (in Asian section of most markets)
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Crushed Red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 ½ cups canned diced tomatoes
  • ½ kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 cup mirin (in Asian section of most markets)
  • 2 teaspoons white miso
  • 2 celery stalks diced

The Method:

  1. Rinse the beans and rub them with a kitchen towel to dry them out.
  2. Toast them in a dry skillet on low heat for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Put beans in a large pot with the kombu and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover for 90 minutes.
    * If you don’t have the time to do these first 3 steps, you can just add one or two cans of black beans. I have done this a few times (using 2 cans because I love beans). The recipe turns out just as tasty, but it really is better to cook with dry, organic beans if you have the time.
  4. While the beans cook, combine the oil, garlic, onion and chili powder in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add a little salt, red pepper flakes and cumin, continue cooking another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, squash, mirin and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.
  7. Using about a ladle of broth from the stew, in a small bowl combine it with the miso until the miso is dissolved, then add back to the pot.
  8. Add the beans and celery, and you’re done!

Balsamic Roasted Portobella Caps

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One of the best things about a portobella is it’s meaty texture. Super filling and marinades beautifully for a full flavor meal. This is one of my favorite things to eat post-workout since it’s so satisfying and barely has any calories – can you say win-win? I marinated the mushrooms before I left for the gym and by the time I got back they were ready to be popped into the oven – for 10 minutes. SUPER fast, as long as you’re efficient you can have this meal cooked and ready in under 15 minutes. I paired my mushrooms with a side of cilantro-lime rice, wilted greens and many glasses of red wine for a well-balanced meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1.5 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, small dice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
  • salt, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a shallow 9×9 dish, lay out portobello mushroom caps. Mix together vinegar, shallot, thyme and pinch of salt. Pour over mushrooms. Cover and marinate for at least thirty minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a cooling rack on top of a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place mushrooms on top of cooling rack and place in oven. Roast for 5 minutes. Flip and roast another 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and serve.

Baked Gemelli with Pecorino and Smoked Mozzarella


Yeah… so you may have noticed that I’m kind of in the middle of a love affair with smoked cheeses. They are just so gosh darn yummy!

Since it’s birthday season in my world, my wallet has been a little tight – not to mention Mondays are usually very long days for me with work, gym, boy toy, loving on my dog… you get the picture. I had slacked on my running schedule over the weekend so I really pushed myself yesterday. When I left the gym, all I really wanted to eat was a big heaping bowl of pasta. I wanted a recipe that was full of flavor but required minimal effort.

Enter the simple and oh-so-scrumptious Baked Gemelli. As simple as it was, this is one of my favorite things I’ve made so far. I think Nick would have to agree…

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried Gemelli pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups My Favorite Tomato Sauce (or any type of tomato/marinara sauce)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, half cut into 1/2-inch cubes and half thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound smoked mozzarella, half cut into 1/2-inch cubes and half thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  • Thyme, to taste (I like A LOT)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper or to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, heat the EVOO in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and thyme. Saute until the onions are transparent, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the tomato sauce, sauteed onion/garlic/thyme mixture, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the pecorino, and the cubed mozzarella pieces. Season with the black pepper and red pepper to taste, and mix until well combined. Transfer the pasta to an oiled 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with the sliced mozzarella, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Grilled Tofu with Marinated Tomato Salad and Wilted Spinach

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Tofu ingredients:

  • 1 block of extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tbp. Light Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. sesame oil

Tofu instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a shallow bowl.
  2. Once the tofu has drained, slice five 1-inch strips and toss them in the marinade.
  3. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Throw strips on a medium-high heat grill pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Marinated Tomato Salad ingredients:

  • 6 to 8 ripe tomatoes
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful fresh parsley leaves, lightly chopped
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Marinated Tomato Salad instructions:
  1. Cut the tomatoes into 4 wedges, then cut the wedges in half and add to a bowl. Lop off the tops of the green onions, then slice the white and mostly light green parts really thin. Add to the tomatoes.
  2. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, dash of salt and pepper to a jar. Screw on the lid and shake to combine. Pour the dressing over the tomatoes and toss.
  3. Add the herbs and gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Wilted Spinach with Fried Garlic ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound spinach, washed and stemmed
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Wilted Spinach with Fried Garlic instructions:
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and stir until golden, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add greens in batches, if necessary, and toss until just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

Mediterranean Feast

Ladies, brace yourselves: Bikini Season is just around the corner.

That’s right, I put the stinky fish on the table. Even though summer is a season that most people look forward to, some women most women are paralyzed by fear when thinking about slipping (or stuffing) themselves into that itty-bitty bikini. I don’t blame you, we’re all guilty of indulging during the holidays and colder weather… we need to keep warm somehow, right?

So what are our options? Jenny Craig? Cleanses? Food that tastes like cardboard?

I’m not going to suggest against any of the former methods- well maybe the third one, but there are plenty of websites that have yummy recipes that keep the pounds off (yes, I just shamlessly plugged my own blog… oops, I did it again).

Last night, Nick and I made a Mediterranean inspired meal that boasts only 197 calories per serving. I didn’t even HAVE to feel guilty for having seconds… and thirds ;). It was delicious and very fresh tasting. I think the boy-toy agreed.

Mediterranean Kabobs:

1block of super-firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes (non-veg: 1 lb boneless chicken breast)
For the marinade:
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic, crushed
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
For the salad:
1 1/4 cups cucumber, peeled
1 1/4 cups diced tomato
2 tbsp red onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh dillweed
1 tsp fresh parsley
1/8 tsp dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
4 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup feta cheese, grated

lemon wedges for serving
Directions:
  1. Marinate the tofu at least 2-3 hours or overnight. If using wooden skewers, soak in water at least 30 minutes if grilling outdoors.
  2. Combine the first 12 salad ingredients (cucumbers through salt and black pepper, not the lettuce) and set aside in the refrigerator to let the flavors set.
  3. Thread tofu on 4 skewers and cook on a hot grill (indoor or outdoor grill) until tofu is cooked though, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Divide lettuce between four plates, top with tomato-cucumber salad, fresh grated feta cheese and grilled tofu. Serve with lemon wedges.

Pic of Nick’s dish for good measure: