Weekly Dish: Green Rice

A few of the new recipes I have made recently and that have been on my Weekly Menus have turned out to be duds. Or at least less than blog-worthy. Some will be okay with a little tweaking. But I obviously can’t post until it’s perfect. SO, here’s one from the recipe book archives:

This is a “real food” adaptation of my Nana’s recipe and a family favorite. She’s gone now, but would be proud to have one of her recipes on the Internet!  It is actually a Rice Pilaf recipe, but when I was little, I am told that I re-named it Green Rice and it stuck.

Green Rice

1 C long-grain brown rice
2 T butter
2 C homemade chicken stock
1 Bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground thyme
2 Tablespoons butter
1 10-oz package chopped spinach
salt & pepper, to taste
Melt butter, add onion and rice and cook until onions are limp. Add chicken stock and heat.
Put in casserole dish and add salt and pepper. Sprinkle thyme on top and drop in bay leaf.
Cover and bake in oven 400 degrees for 30 minutes-1 hour or until liquid is absorbed.
Melt butter, add defrosted spinach and toss in skillet just until heated well.
Remove bay leaf and lightly toss spinach and rice together.
Do not stir as rice will get gummy.
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Sweet and Sour Lentils

Wow, it’s been a long time since anything was posted on here. It has been a very busy past two months and I am just now getting back into some sort of routine. Soon to come: more recipes, new homeschool/housework schedules, and lots of thoughts on REAL food!

This recipe was different and yummy! Even Mr. 4-year-old “I don’t like lentils all of a sudden” liked this meal. It is sort of a compromise because of all the sweetness in it, even if it is made with natural sweeteners. But once in a while a sweet main dish is good after a lot of savory ones!

Sweet and Sour Lentils

1 cup green lentils, soaked overnight or for 7 hours to remove anti-nutrients
1 bay leaf
2.5 cups water or broth
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced bell pepper
1/4 cup sugar (sucanat/rapadura or maple syrup)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fruit juice (apple, pineapple, mango, papaya, etc…)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves

1. Simmer the lentils and bay leaf in the broth for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
2. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add in carrots and saute another 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and saute until all veggies are crisp tender.
3. Combine maple syrup, vinegar, juice, salt, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.
4. Deglaze the veggie pan with the dressing mixture. Heat through.
5.  Remove bay leaf from lentils. Add lentils to the veggies and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve over arugula or rice/quinoa/couscous/other grain…

Quinoa and Black Beans

Another bowl of slop… but so good! And again, so cheap.  This is like rice and beans, but with quinoa instead of rice.

QUINOA & BLACK BEANS

  • 1 tsp. butter or olive or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 C uncooked quinoa, soaked for 24 hours. (See importance of soaking here and see how to soak quinoa here.)
  • 1 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin (or more)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional… or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 C frozen corn
  • 2 15oz cans black beans (or 3-4 cups)
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream and shredded cheese for garnish (optional)

1. Heat oil and saute onion until browned. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant.

2. Rinse and drain quinoa. Put into saucepan and cover with chicken stock and spices. Add cooked onion and garlic to saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmer 20 minutes or so.

3. Add frozen corn and continue to simmer about 5 minutes or until corn is heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro and serve.

[Note: I upped the amount of spices I put in mine but I didn’t make the exact amounts of anything either. Make sure you taste and add more if it is too bland.]

Variations:  Add steak, chicken, or shrimp. Add red, yellow or green peppers. Add jalapenos for heat.

[photo credit]