Real Simple is one of my favorite magazines. I love all the tips on organizing, decorating, and entertaining, and the magazine is also a great resource for recipes. The November issue had a whole section featuring Thanksgiving planning tips, ideas, and recipes, including this recipe for Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf with Cranberries. It’s a combination of wild rice, cranberries, sautéed mushrooms and onions, and fresh herbs. These flavors pair wonderfully together, and the red cranberries and green parsley make the rice look very festive! This would be a great side dish for Thanksgiving, or a good thing to make after Thanksgiving to serve with leftover turkey. I made it for dinner last week and served it alongside a chicken breast. It was a healthy, filling, and delicious dinner!
Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf with Cranberries
- 1 ½ cups long-grain and wild rice blend
- ¾ cup dried cranberries
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
- kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Cook the rice blend according to the package directions. Fold in the cranberries, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing frequently, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes more. Add the wine and simmer until evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the parsley.
- Add the mushroom mixture to the rice and toss to combine.
Source: Adapted from Real Simple Magazine, November 2010 issue
This is a great recipe for an easy and healthy weeknight dinner. I made it a few nights ago and really enjoyed it. There is a nice mixture of flavors and textures in this dish that complement each other well. I’ve always liked “one pot meal” recipes because they tend to be easy to make and easy to clean up. This particular recipe has vegetables (broccoli and onions), protein (chicken), and grains (couscous), making it a well balanced meal. In addition, it has toasted almonds, raisins, and parsley for a little crunch and extra flavor. Enjoy!
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- One 10-ounce box couscous
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 head broccoli, broken into small florets
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a work surface, let cool, then shred; reserve the skillet.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 2 cups chicken broth and 1 tablespoon olive oil to a boil; season with salt and pepper. Add the couscous, cover and remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
- In the reserved skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and the remaining 1 cup chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, raisins, parsley and couscous; season with salt and pepper. Toss with the almonds before serving.
Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine, December/January 2010
Published June 24, 2010
Rice , Shrimp
Tags: Rice, Shrimp, Vegetables
Shrimp Fried Rice
I love ordering fried rice at Chinese restaurants, but until last weekend, I hadn’t made it since my senior year of college (5 years ago)! I have no idea why I waited so long to make it again. This recipe was delicious. The soy sauce, garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, and peanut oil made the dish really flavorful.
What’s nice about fried rice is that it’s a very versatile dish. You can add whatever vegetables and meat you like to it, or you can just keep it vegetarian. You can use white rice, or brown rice. It can be a main course or a side dish, and the best part is that it’s super easy to make.
I cooked this in a wok, but if you don’t have one you can just use a frying pan. If you like to cook Chinese food, I highly recommend getting a wok for your kitchen. It’s great for cooking stir fried dishes, and the deep rounded sides hold a lot more ingredients than a regular frying pan. Enjoy!
Shrimp Fried Rice
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 2 cups cooked white or brown rice
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 teaspoons canola oil
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 lb asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into ½ -inch pieces
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in the pan over medium-high. Add shrimp and cook until done, a couple minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside. Chop each shrimp in half, and then season the shrimp with salt & pepper.
- Add remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil to the pan. Then add the mushrooms and cook for two minutes. Add asparagus, bell pepper, and carrots, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just tender, approximately 2 minutes. Then add the scallions, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
- Scoot all the veggies to one side of your pan and add the eggs. Cook and scramble for about 1 minute. Then mix into the vegetables.
- Add the cooked rice, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar snap peas, and frozen peas to the pan. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cooked shrimp and sesame oil, and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.
Source: Adapted from Meet Me in the Kitchen Blog; Originally from Eating Well
Published April 15, 2010
Rice , Sausage , Shrimp
Tags: Cooking Light, dutch oven, healthy, one pot meal, Rice, Sausage, Shrimp, spicy
Whenever I am in the mood for a spicy and flavorful dinner, I make jambalaya. I have been making this Cooking Light recipe for years, and it’s no surprise that it has a 5 star rating on www.cookinglight.com, because it really is that good! It’s full of shrimp, spicy andouille sausage, peppers, onions, and garlic, all of which give it tons of flavor. The recipe calls for half a teaspoon of hot pepper sauce, but I usually omit it to cut back on the spiciness. I think the andouille sausage provides plenty of spice, but if you like really spicy food, you should definitely add the hot pepper sauce. And like some of my other favorite Cooking Light recipes (such as this, this, this or this one), it is pretty healthy — each (1.5 cup) serving has only 426 calories! I hope you enjoy!
Recipe from: Cooking Light Magazine , April 2005 issue
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
- 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
- ½ pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, minced garlic, and sausage; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Add rice and the next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 2 minutes. Add broth, water, tomato paste, hot pepper sauce (if using), and diced tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add shrimp; cook 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Stir in parsley.
Yield: 4 (1.5 cup) servings
Before you start cooking the jambalaya, it’s very helpful to measure out all of the spices and combine them in a small prep bowl. That way, when it’s time to add the spices to the pot, you can just throw them all in at once.
I also recommend preparing all of the ingredients before you start cooking. First, gather all of the pantry items (chicken broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes). Then chop the onion, bell pepper, garlic, parsley, and sausage. After that, measure the correct amount of rice. (You can prep and peel the shrimp while the jambalaya is simmering).
Rice with Black Beans & Corn
Rice with black beans and corn is super easy to make and it is really tasty. I served it burrito-style with sliced grilled chicken breasts. It would also be a great side dish. The chicken broth adds a lot of flavor to the rice, and the red bell pepper, black beans, yellow corn, and green cilantro make it very colorful!
Adapted from: www.annies-eats.com, originally from Cook’s Illustrated
Rice with Black Beans & Corn
4 tsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 red or yellow bell peppers, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 ¼ cups water
1 ½ cups long-grain brown rice
1 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup corn kernels (fresh from cob, or frozen & thawed)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375° F. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and tender, about 12-14 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken broth and water to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the rice and salt, and cover. Bake until the rice is tender, 65-70 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the oven and uncover. Fluff the rice with a fork, stir in the beans and corn, and replace the lid. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then mix in the cilantro and black pepper.
The onion and bell peppers should be cooked until they are well browned and tender.
Published January 14, 2010
Beef , Rice
Tags: Beef, bell pepper, Rice
I first made this recipe for Stuffed Peppers a few months ago and they were really good. I originally found the recipe in the book “Cook Smart, Eat Well” by Cooking Light. It’s a collection of easy and healthy recipes, and with each recipe, the book creates a simple menu so that you have a complete meal. The book recommends serving these peppers with sugar snap peas and sautéed cabbage. I didn’t feel like cabbage, so I just served steamed sugar snap peas on the side. The peppers were just as good the second time around, and the snap peas were a great side dish.
The nice thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, and it is super easy to make. You can use any color pepper (I used a mixture of red & green peppers). The filling is a combination of ground sirloin, rice, sautéed onions, a few spices, and Parmesan cheese. The second time making these, I omitted the wine and it didn’t affect the flavor at all. The filling also requires jarred pasta sauce, so this is the perfect recipe to make if you have leftover sauce in the fridge that you need to use. And, like all Cooking Light recipes, it is fairly low-calorie – only 347 calories per bell pepper!
Adapted from: Cooking Light, January 2003
- 1 (3 ½ -ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
- 4 medium red bell peppers
- ¾ pound ground sirloin
- 1 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 cups bottled tomato-and-basil pasta sauce, divided
- ½ cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup dry red wine
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Set aside.
- While rice cooks, cut tops off bell peppers; reserve tops. Discard seeds and membranes. Place peppers, cut sides down, in an 8-inch square baking dish; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at high 2 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender. Cool.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, parsley, paprika, salt, and allspice; cook 4 minutes or until beef is lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from heat. Add rice, 1 cup pasta sauce, and cheese to beef mixture, stirring to combine.
- While beef cooks, combine 1 cup pasta sauce and wine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
- Spoon about ¾ cup beef mixture into each pepper. Place peppers in a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; add wine mixture to pan. Cover with foil.
- Bake at 450° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake an additional 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve peppers with sauce. Garnish with pepper tops, if desired.
Published December 21, 2009
Pasta , Rice
Tags: italian sausage, Rice, risotto
A few nights ago, Eric and I made risotto for the first time. Eric really likes risotto and often orders it in restaurants. I haven’t had a lot of risotto (aside from a few random bites that I’ve tasted), so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this dish. After reading the recipe and seeing that it had all of the ingredients that I love (Italian sausage, mushrooms, peppers, etc.), I figured it couldn’t be too bad.
This dish turned out to be amazing! It far exceeded my expectations, and it was one of the best new recipes that we’ve made in a long time. We devoured it that night, and then had the leftovers for lunch the next day. It was great served with a simple side of steamed asparagus. It was very filling so I recommend serving it with something light such as a salad or steamed vegetables. I can’t wait to make this risotto again!
Recipe adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker blog, originally from Giada De Laurentiis
Italian Sausage, Red Pepper, & Mushroom Risotto
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed (2 Italian sausages)
- ¾ cup finely chopped onion (approximately 1 small onion)
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (we didn’t have a red pepper, so we used a green one)
- ¾ cup chopped mushrooms (cremini or white buttons)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups Arborio rice
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley or basil
- In a medium saucepan bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the broth and keep warm over low heat.
- In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sausage and sauté, crumbling, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté until tender, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 1 minute.
- Add ½ cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in ¾ of the Parmesan. Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley (or basil) and the remaining Parmesan. Serve immediately.
A mixture of red & green bell peppers adds color to the dish.
Step 2: Add the onion, bell pepper, & mushrooms to the sausage and saute until the vegetables are tender.
Step 3: Add the rice and stir to coat.