rice

Mexican Style Brown Rice

This might not be the quickest recipe, but I assure you it is well worth the time!

Mexican Style Brown Rice

All white rice starts out as brown rice. A milling process removes the rice's husk, bran, and germ. This process increases white rice's shelf life but removes much of its nutrition, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals... so when choosing rice for your meals, opt for brown rice whenever possible!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oil of choice
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 jalapeno minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2.5 cups vegetable stock or water you can use chicken stock if you wish, too
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • seasonings; salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper, chili powder to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place tomato, onion and garlic in a food processor and blend until almost smooth. You’ll need 2 cups of this mixture; you can use the rest if there is any for something else. Salsa maybe?

  2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan, add the rice and minced jalapeno and mix until the rice is slightly browned; about 2-3 minutes. Pour in the tomato mixture, veggie stock and tomato paste, stir to combine. Add your seasonings now!

  3. Bring to a boil before turning down the heat, cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour stirring occasionally.

  4. Before serving, mix in chopped cilantro and serve with your favourite tacos, refried beans or whatever you want!

 


stock

DIY Vegetable Stock

My life has changed completely when it comes to soup stock. I’ve made a few batches of this now, most recently included a Chinook salmon head from when I won a free salmon from Cascade Organic, LLC here in Portland! They’ve been bringing people locally sourced, common sense food for over a decade. Cascade Organic is proud to work with local family fisherman and Native Americans to provide the freshest seafood available!

So, GET WEIRD. Gather up some veggies and let’s get cooking! Read More


zucchini cake

Chocolate Zucchini Birthday Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Being a part of the weight loss surgery community, I’ve been able to build friendships with people from all over the globe. Thankfully before moving to the PNW, I became friends with Anna. She and her hubby are VSG rockstars and I had the pleasure to bake her birthday cake last week for her dirrrrrrty thirrrrty.

This recipe is perfect when you’re looking to make a single cake to frost, but you can obviously scale up the recipe to make a layered cake, if that’s what you want.

But me? One and done.

For now.

zucchini cake

 

Chocolate Zucchini Birthday Cake with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

CAKE

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon optional
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt vanilla or plain
  • 1 cup zucchini grated; about 1 medium
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or butterscotch chips

Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese full fat or 1/3 fat is ok, but don't use fat free
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling!
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 Tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar

Instructions

  1. Make the frosting first by mixing all of the ingredients together with a hand mixer. Put it in the fridge until you’re ready to frost the cake.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare an 8-inch cake pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and lubing it up with non-stick spray and set aside.

  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon if you’re using it, chocolate chips and mix until combined. Set aside.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and oil until well mixed and add eggs one at a time until fully incorporated. Add vanilla, yoghurt; mix and then finally… fold in the shredded zucchini.

  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, make sure it it completely mixed before pouring into the prepared cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

  6. Let the cake cool COMPLETELY before slathering on the pumpkin cream cheese frosting; otherwise its going to melt.

ENJOY! Every day can be your birthday when you make a cake with zucchini!


potato coins

Perfect Oven Baked Potato Coins

 

JordanShrinks did this 30 day potato diet cleanse a while ago and she has me thinking about nothing BUT potatoes.

You can check out her video on what the potato cleanse is and how she did it!

While I’ll never do any kind of diet cleanse or what have you, she did seem to get the perfect, tasty potatoes every time. I guess if that’s most of what you’re eating morning, noon, and night you’ll get really good at preparing them, right?

Wash, slice, roast and devour. Its really that easy. If you’re thinking, “BUT WHITE POTATOES ARE BAD” Lemmie show you this:

potatoes
Just eat your damn veggies, ok?

Perfect Potato Coins

You can cut these anywhere from 1/8″-1/2″ thick depending on how you like them, so play around with thickness and cooking time to find what you like best. Thicker potatoes = longer cooking time. Duh 😉

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • potatoes; DUH
  • seasonings of choice I end up always using garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper and thyme
  • drizzle of oil if that's your thing... I don't normally us any.

Instructions

  1. preheat oven to 425F

  2. wash and cut up your potatoes into coins no thicker than 1/2″ thick, toss them in a sealed bag with seasonings and shake em up! The moisture from washing them makes the seasonings stick instead of using oil 😉

  3. place them in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and crispy


soup

Roasted Vegetable Bisque

IT’S ALMOST FALL. Are you excited? I’m really excited.

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This recipe can use any combination of vegetables that you can think of; squash, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower.. the possibilities are endless! It’s brilliant orange colour is perfect for a fall feast and you can make it at sweet or as spicy as you’d like.

Thinking about making your own baby food? This might actually be perfect, too.

Roasted Vegetable Bisque

This recipe can use any combination of vegetables that you can think of; squash, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower.. the possibilities are endless! It's brilliant orange colour is perfect for a fall feast and you can make it at sweet or as spicy as you'd like.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5-6 carrots diced
  • 1 sweet potato; with or without skin, I always keep them on diced
  • 1 small butternut squash peeled, scooped and diced
  • 2 Tbsp oil of choice
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4-5 cups vegetable stock or more depending on how thick you want it
  • seasonings of choice; I used thyme, salt, pepper and some red pepper flakes and a few bay leaves to taste
  • splash of coconut milk optional

Instructions

  1. preheat the oven to 425F and put the diced carrots, sweet potato, and squash on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until tender; about 40-45 minutes.

  2. In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions, cooking until translucent; about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant; about 30 seconds. Add in all the roasted veggies, stock, and seasonings and bring to a boil.

  3. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, take out the bay leaves and put it in your blender to cool before blending to oblivion OR you can attack it with an immersion blender. Either way, blend until its smooth.

  4. At this point, you can add more stock if the consistency is too thick. Mine came out the consistency of baby food… but it was delicious baby food. You could also add a splash of coconut milk to thin it out, too.


REFRIED beans

Refried Black Beans from scratch

I’ve been obsessed with buying bulk dried goods. Flour, rice, pasta, oatmeal and BEANS.

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No, not this kind of Bean.

This recipe has lots of hands off time, so all you have to do is soak, drain, season, simmer, and smash and you’ll have the tastiest and easiest refried black beans that don’t taste like the inside of a tin can. Win/win wouldn’t you say?

Refried Black Beans from Scratch

This recipe has lots of hands off time, so all you have to do is soak, drain, season, simmer, and smash and you’ll have the tastiest and easiest refried black beans that don’t taste like the inside of a tin can. Win/win wouldn’t you say?

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
soaking time (if using dried beans) 12 hours
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried black beans soaked overnight in water
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • cumin, salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter or coconut oil to refry!

Instructions

  1. After soaking your dry beans over night (or opening your can), drain, rinse and transfer to a medium sized pot covered in 2inches of water.

  2. Add the garlic, onion and seasoning and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer on low heat until the water has reduced and created a thick sauce; about 90 minutes-2 hours.

  3. Heat up butter in a cast iron pan pour in the bean. Smash the up with the back of a spoon, fork, potato masher OR an immersion blender if you like it super smooth, OR leave a little but of texture. Its up to you!

Recipe Notes

You can top it with cheese and serve as a side with Mexican Style brown ricecarnitas, tacos, or anything else that suits your fancy. These are super easy and they practically cook themselves! Give it a try and let me know how you like them!

 


oven fried perfection

Oven Fried Chicken – Gluten Free!

OOOOOH BOY! Do I have a surprise for you.

I, like most people, love the crunch of fried chicken. I’m always looking for healthier ways to make my favourite foods and I think I’ve found the answer to this one.

Brown rice cereal.

rice cereal

YUP. That’s right. While these aren’t a particularly tasty breakfast cereal on their own, crumble them up with some seasoning, slap it on some chicken and you will be in HEAVEN

chicken.gif

Gluten Free Oven-Fried Chicken

By using a healthier alternative to breadcrumbs and deep-fried oils, you can feel free to indulge in a second helping of this oven-fried chicken that uses brown rice cereal for its big time CRUNCH.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • ~1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 cup crispy brown rice cereal
  • 1 Tbsp seasonings of choice I used TJ's 21 Seasoning Salute and Spice and Tea Exchange cheese seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp ranch dressing (or a beaten egg) this is for the crumbs to stick to!

Instructions

  1. preheat oven to 375F and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment and placing a wire rack on top, then spray the rack with non-stick spray. PRO TIP: Lifting it up off of the parchment, helps the air circulate and make the underside crispier

  2. pulverize the brown rice cereal and seasoning together in a food processor or crush it up in a ziplock bag

  3. pat your chicken dry with a paper towel before coating in ranch or beaten egg and then press the chicken into the rice cereal crumbs. REALLY press the crumb mixture into the chicken to make sure it sticks well!

  4. Once the chicken is well-coated, place on the prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165F. You can flip it halfway through if you’d like to see if it’ll crunch up the underside a little better, but it turned out awesome without doing it!

  5. Serve with a side of your choice or cut it up and toss it in a salad!

Recipe Notes

I used one big chicken boob, probably ~1lb. You can cut it into chunks to make nuggets or coat the whole thing instead!