Monday, March 16, 2015

Brown Rice Peanut Bowl with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Black Beans


This is my idea of comfort food. Creamy sweet potatoes & that salty sweet spicy peanut sauce are a match made in heaven. Plus, if you get the rice going, then get the potatoes roasting, you can prepare the sauce and rinse a can of beans by the time the rice & potatoes are done. Fast & easy!

INGREDIENTS:

For rice:
1 cup brown rice, rinsed
2 1/2 cups water
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon coconut oil

For roasted sweet potatoes:
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
1.5 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
salt and pepper, to taste

For peanut sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup water
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon sriracha

For beans:
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare rice:
Cook rice according to package directions (or follow my directions for perfect brown rice).

Roast sweet potatoes:
Preheat oven to 400. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss sweet potatoes with coconut oil, salt & pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake 10 minutes more.

For peanut sauce:
Whisk all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth and slightly thickened.

Layer brown rice, sweet potatoes, peanut sauce & beans in a bowl. Enjoy!

Yield: 2 servings

P.S. peanut butter is good for you <3

Friday, March 13, 2015

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

For those times when you have half of an avocado leftover from dinner.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse:
1/2 avocado
1/4 coconut milk (or preferred nondairy milk)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
tiny pinch of salt

Blend until smooth in food processor or blender. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Here's to the arrival (almost) of spring!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Oil-Free Fettuccine Alfredo



I crave fat. Avocado, cashew cream & coconut milk are my gotos for a creamy fix. Since I know I get enough fat in my diet, I try to decrease the amount of oil I consume, so I've started to saute without oil--and I can't tell the difference!

When sauteing onions without oil, I stir a big pinch of salt into the onions to sweat them. I keep the heat on medium & the pot covered (to hold the moisture in the pan) and stir frequently. If the onions start to stick, add a splash of water or vegetable broth.

I also look for methods of achieving creaminess without the use of high-fat ingredients like avocados, cashews & coconut. In this alfredo sauce, silken tofu and pureed cooked onions do the trick.

Oil-Free Fettuccine Alfredo:

1 lb. linguine or fettuccine noodles
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 12-ounce package firm silken tofu
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1.5 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions.

Saute onions in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir in a big pinch of salt to sweat onions, cover, and stir frequently. Let cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. If onions start to stick, add a splash of water or vegetable broth. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Blend onions, garlic, silken tofu, vegetable broth, lemon juice, salt, nutmeg & black pepper until smooth. Transfer back to pot and cook over medium-low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring or whisking frequently.

Add sauce to cooked noodles, along with peas, and mix well. Serve hot! If reheating later, you may need to add a splash of vegetable broth if sauce thickens in the fridge.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, March 2, 2015

Antioxidant Berry Smoothie


I've always known berries to be rich in antioxidants, but what I didn't know is that flaxseeds are too! I've been trying to eat more flaxseeds because of their high omega-3 fatty acid content, but now I have another reason to include this superfood in my daily diet. And what's easier than adding a tablespoon to your morning smoothie?

Antioxidant Berry Smoothie:

2 cups mixed berries
1.5 cups coconut water
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 date, pitted

Blend until smooth.

Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I only recently mastered the art of cooking brown rice. Most of the time it came out too crunchy and sometimes it was too mushy. The culprit was my water to rice ratio. I always used a 2:1 ratio. Recently I actually READ the directions on a bag of brown rice and it advised using a 2.5:1 ratio water to rice. And it worked!

I used this 2.5:1 ratio in my rice cooker for a few months, but I recently tried it on the stovetop and it was so easy I've switched over to this stovetop method exclusively (plus, this method doesn't leave a bunch of rice stuck to the bottom of the pan like my rice cooker does).

So if you've been wanting to eat more brown rice but have had trouble cooking it, try this method. It works flawlessly for me. One cup of brown rice makes enough for me and Pete, but if you have more than two people or you want some leftover, use 5 cups water to 2 cups dry brown rice.

How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice:
  1. In a medium saucepan with a fitted lid, boil 2.5 cups water. Add a big pinch salt and a small spoonful coconut oil. Keep covered.
  2. While you wait for water to boil, rinse your 1 cup rice well in a strainer and drain well.
  3. When water comes to a boil, add your rice, stir and cover immediately. Turn heat down to low (I have a gas stove and turn it to the lowest I can without the flame going out).
  4. Let steam 40 minutes.
  5. After 40 minutes, remove from heat and keep covered for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove cover. Serve warm.