Category Archives: Rice

Mango Chipotle BBQ Burrito Bowl

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If you are still reading my blog, you are great. Work and busy weekends have taken over my life, leaving little time for blogging. Recently I’ve had a couple friends tell me they keep checking my blog but are disappointed when they find no new posts. That of course made me want to update, and because I miss it!

So it’s August already. Summer always has a way of getting away from you, doesn’t it? Having only been out of school for a couple of years, I’m still getting used to having no formal vacations, deadlines, or breaks built into my schedule. It makes the seasons kind of seem like a blur and sometimes I find myself having no idea what day or even month it is (like a few months ago when I started to write “September” as the date… what?)

Today’s post is inspired by a recipe that I’ve been eyeing forever: Chipotle-Mango BBQ Chicken Salad on Iowa Girl Eats. I’ve been following IGE for a couple years now and it’s one of my favorite food blogs, as well as one of the few I subscribe to. I’ve had this particular recipe saved for a long time and decided it was time to try out this miraculous-sounding BBQ sauce. I decided to take a slightly different take on the recipe and make mine into a burrito bowl instead, because who doesn’t love a good burrito bowl?

This Mango Chipotle BBQ Burrito Bowl is filled with chicken marinated in a sweet and spicy semi-homemade barbecue sauce, rice, and some of my favorite veggies like bell peppers, fresh corn, and avocado! It’s a great summer recipe because most of the ingredients are in season right now and is light enough that you won’t feel guilty eating it. To make the sauce quicker and easier, I added pureed mangoes and chipotle peppers to store-bought BBQ sauce. My favorite thing about recipes like this is that you can completely customize it to your taste and you get a bit of each flavor in every bite!

Mango Chipotle BBQ Burrito Bowl
adapted from Chipotle-Mango BBQ Chicken Salad on Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
makes about 3 burrito bowls

  • For the sauce:
    – 1/2 cup fresh diced mango
    – 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
    – 1/4 cup tomato sauce
    – 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips (I used tenderloins)
  • 1.5 – 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • Assorted toppings of your choice (about 1/3 cup of each):
    – Diced bell peppers
    – Diced tomato
    – Corn
    – Beans
    – Avocado
  • Optional: cheese, sour cream, scallions, cilantro
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Ingredients for the sauce, plus tomato sauce! Always forget to picture at least one ingredient…

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Your delicious toppings!

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine ingredients for the sauce. Blend until smooth. Place chicken in a medium bowl and pour 2/3 of the sauce over it, making sure each piece is thoroughly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 6.
  2. Cook your chicken on the grill or in a frying pan over medium-high heat until cooked throughout. Let rest for about 5 minutes and then cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Start to assemble your burrito bowls: First rice, then chicken, your toppings, and then drizzle with the remaining mango chipotle sauce and enjoy!
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Start by preparing your mango chipotle BBQ sauce: combine diced mango, bbq sauce, chipotle peppers, and tomato sauce, and blend until smooth.

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Pour 2/3 of the sauce over your chicken and stir, making sure each piece is thoroughly coated. Marinate for at least 2 or up to 6 hours in the refrigerator.

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Cook up your chicken, either on the grill on in a frying pan.

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Assemble your delicious burrito bowl! Start with rice, chicken, and your favorite toppings.

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Finish off with the remaining mango chipotle sauce, and optional cheese and sour cream. Enjoy!

{Skinny} Bang Bang Shrimp

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Hello everyone! I feel like I haven’t updated in ages. Things around here have been a bit hectic lately. Not to mention that I  briefly went through a weird phase where I lacked inspiration and motivation to cook, and when I did, I often didn’t enjoy whatever I made. This was especially strange for me because I usually love cooking and love eating. I think I chalked it up to being busy and stressed, and have been feeling back to normal the past week – phew!

Anywho, I had a few ideas of what to post today but when I saw shrimp on sale at the store I immediately knew what I wanted to make. Recently I’ve seen a lot of recipes for “Bang Bang Shrimp” and they always catch my eye. It’s a dish that includes crispy, breaded shrimp served with a creamy and spicy chili sauce. This dish is served at Bonefish Grill, a restaurant I’ve never been to and therefore have not actually tried the original recipe, but I could tell from the ingredients that I would love it.

I was even more inspired when I saw a lightened up version of the dish over at Cooking for Keeps. I followed this recipe pretty closely, though I opted for Greek yogurt over mayo for the sauce and used regular flour instead of almond flour. I also added a bit of teriyaki sauce which I thought bumped the sauce up a notch. The sauce is rich and flavorful, all while being light on calories. Breading the shrimp is optional – I very lightly breaded mine in flour and cooked them in a bit of coconut butter which was delicious!

I also love this recipe because it looks fancy, but takes less than 30 minutes to make! You can used thawed frozen shrimp and store-bought chili sauce to make the recipe even easier, and I bet you nobody will know the difference. 🙂

Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
adapted from Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp with Homemade Sweet Chili Sauce on Cooking for Keeps

Ingredients:
serves 2

  • 1/2 lb large, raw shrimp (about a 12-count), peeled & de-veined
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp oil (I used coconut, but olive or canola work too)
    For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp sweet chili sauce (I like Frank’s brand)
  • 1 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp Sriracha (2 if you like things spicy)
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • Rice to serve on the side

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Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce and whisk. Set aside.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat your oil over medium heat. Toss the shrimp in the flour and gently place in the hot oil. Fry on each side for 1 – 2 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and breading is crispy.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and pour the sauce over the shrimp. Cook for an additional minute or so, until the sauce is hot. Serve over rice and optional veggie, and enjoy!
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Start by preparing your sauce!

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Lightly coat your shrimp in flour

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Frizzle up your shrimp in the hot oil

 

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It will look something like this when it’s finished cooking!

 

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Pour sauce over your shrimp, cook for another minute, and it’s ready to serve!

 

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🙂

Roasted Beet & Chickpea Veggie Burgers

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Last year I made veggie burgers for the first time, and while I enjoyed the flavors of the chickpeas, lentils, and curry, I found that they were a bit dry and just didn’t have the burger consistency I was looking for.

Fast forward to this year, when I stumble upon a recipe that claims to be the “best-ever” veggie burgers and I’m instantly intrigued as soon as I hear the ingredients list: Roasted beets, beans, brown rice, caramelized onions (!!), and oats. I’ve come to love beets over the past year or so, and caramelized onions are one of my favorite foods of all time. So I decided to put these veggie burgers to the test and I was not disappointed!

To be honest, I’ve only tried a few other veggie burgers to compare these to, but I still think this recipe is a winner. The roasted beets keep the burgers moist and sweet, the onions bring a nice savory flavor, and then there’s mustard and even diced prunes (don’t let them scare you!) for tanginess. The burgers use ground oats rather than bread crumbs, and just one egg to keep them together. I used a combination of chickpeas and cannellini beans rather than black beans because I prefer the flavor, but any type of bean will work. The original recipe also says it makes only 6 burgers, but I was able to make about 9 or 10 good-sized burgers.

These burgers do take a bit of prep work, and the “meat” needs to be chilled, but I think if you cook the beets and brown rice ahead of time, you’ll be able to whip these burgers up in no time. I really enjoyed these veggie burgers and I’m excited to share them with all my veggie and meat-eating friends alike out there!

Roasted Beet & Chickpea Veggie Burgers
slightly adapted from Best-Ever Veggie Burger on The Kitchn

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Ingredients:
makes 9 – 10 burgers

  • 1 lb. fresh beets (about 3 large ones)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or cannellini beans)
  • 1/4 cup prunes, chopped
  • 2 – 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Spices:
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder, or cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper for extra heat
    • 1/2 tsp dried basil
    • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg, whisked
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Your ingredients (ignore that pesky jalapeno…)

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And your spices

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Prepare your beets by washing them and removing skin with a vegetable peeler. Chop them into large chunks and toss them with about 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Place in a small baking dish and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes, until they are nice and caramelized and can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to let cool.
  2. While your beets are roasting, cook your brown rice according to box directions and also begin caramelizing your onions. Heat diced onions over medium heat with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt, stirring every few minutes, until they are golden-brown. Add minced garlic in the last 2 – 3 minutes and remove from heat.
  3. Pulse your oats in a food processor until they resemble a fine powder and set aside.
  4. Combine beans, prunes, scallions, olive oil, mustard, and lemon juice in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, but not to the point of being puréed. (If you have a small food processor, you may have to do this in batches.) Remove from food processor and place in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Once your beets are cooled, grind them up in your food processor until shredded. Place in mixing bowl with beans, and then add in your caramelized onions, rice, spices, ground oats, and egg. Stir until well combined, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. After the burgers are chilled, form into patties about 3 inches wide. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, and cook the burgers for 3 – 5 minutes on each side. I found that covering them for half of the cook time helped to get the inside of the burgers cooked faster and more thoroughly.*
  7. Once burgers are finished cooking, serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, or atop a salad and enjoy! I loved them topped off with Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing, spinach, and arugula.

*For an extra crispy crust, sprinkle Panko breadcrumbs on the burgers before cooking!

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Begin by peeling, chopping, and roasting your beets. Don’t the peeled beets have a cool design on them?

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While the beets are roasting, cook your rice to box directions and caramelize your onions. When they’re done they’ll look something like this.

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Combine your rinsed and drained beans, prunes, scallions, mustard, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.

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Pulse your beets separately until finely shredded.

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Combine your shredded beets with the bean mixture and rice, along with your spices. Stir in oat flour and eggs until well combined.

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Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Notice how it resembles ground beef?)

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Once mixture is chilled, form into patties and frizzle up in your frying pan with olive oil and optional breadcrumbs.

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Enjoy burgers with your favorite toppings! Here I have mine on a Sandwich Thin with Goddess dressing, red onion, and spinach. Bon appétit!

Mongolian Beef

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Hello everyone! I apologize for my absence in the past week or so. Last week was a very busy week for me and I couldn’t find the time to write a blog post, let alone make nice meals for myself! I think I cooked one large meal last week and have been eating the leftovers for almost 5 days in a row… time for something new fo sho.

Mongolian Beef is a meal often found at Chinese restaurants in America made from thinly sliced flank steak and green onions in a sweet and slightly spicy sauce. I admit I’ve never actually tried Mongolian Beef from a restaurant and it’s not something that would have appealed to me a few years ago, but lately I’ve been craving an Asian-inspired meal. I’ve come across a few recipes for Mongolian Beef or other similar beef stir-fry recipes, and yesterday when I found sirloin tips on sale at the store, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

After browsing a few more recipes, I decided this one from The Daring Gourmet appealed to me most. Thinly sliced steak is sautéed in vegetable oil, and then cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce made from soy sauce, hoisin sauce, green onions, and other spices. I’ve heard hoisin sauce described as the “Chinese version of barbecue sauce” and it can be found in most international/Asian sections of grocery stores. I also threw in some vegetables for some extra color and texture, and served it over chow mein noodles.

This is one of the few times I’ve cooked steak on my own, and the first time I’ve posted a steak recipe on this blog. I really loved this meal and it inspired me to incorporate a little more red meat into my diet. It isn’t the healthiest recipe I’ve posted on here, but oh man was it good.

Mongolian Beef
adapted from The Daring Gourmet

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Ingredients:
serves 2

  • For the sauce:
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 tsp hoisin sauce
    • 1 tsp minced ginger + 2 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 tsp Sambal Oelek chili paste or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 lb. flank steak or sirloin, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1-2 tsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • noodles or rice, to serve
  • optional: sliced onion and red bell pepper for stir-frying, sesame seeds to garnish

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Ingredients for the stir fry portion

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Ingredients for the sauce

Directions:

  1. To prepare the sauce, simply whisk together all of the ingredients for it in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. If including stir-fried veggies, start by cooking them in 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan or wok until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. If serving meal with rice or noodles, prepare those at this time as well.
  3. Spread the thinly sliced steak onto a cutting board or plate and sprinkle with cornstarch. Heat the vegetable and sesame oil in your pan over medium heat and add steak. Cook until steak is browned on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside with the veggies.
  4. In your empty pan, pour in the sauce and let it cook over medium-low heat. When the sauce begins to simmer, whisk it gently for about 1 minute. Once sauce is thickened, stir in cooked steak and vegetables, along with the green onions. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.
  5. Serve the beef and veggies over noodles or rice and enjoy!

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Start by frizzling up some veggies. Set aside.

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To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients for it and whisk together.

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Next, prepare your steak for cooking by slicing in thinly (I actually recommend slicing it thinner than I did) and sprinkle it with the cornstarch.

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Heat vegetable and sesame oil in your frying pan and saute the steak until browned, about 6-8 minutes.

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After removing steak from the pan, pour in your sauce and cook over medium-low heat. Once the sauce begins to simmer, whisk it for about a minute until it’s thickened.

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Stir in your steak, veggies, and green onions and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

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Serve your awesome meal over cooked noodles or rice and enjoy!

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🙂

 

Lentil Chickpea Coconut Curry

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Since trying lentils for the first time last summer, I’ve become mildly obsessed with them and usually cook them anywhere from one to three times a month. I love lentils with brown rice, or with sausage, but my favorite way to eat lentils is in a delicious curry. I was originally going to post a recipe for Chana Masala (chickpea curry), but decided I needed to include my beloved lentils and also some greens.

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If you enjoy curry, I definitely recommend giving this recipe a try. Hearty lentils and chickpeas are simmered in a flavorful tomato-curry sauce with kale and coconut milk, served over rice. This meal is so filling and satisfying, I bet most wouldn’t guess that it’s vegan. I admit I sometimes miss meat in a vegetarian or vegan meal, but this isn’t one of them. Lentils and chickpeas are both packed with protein, very low in fat and diet superfoods in my book. I’ve been making this meal in some variation or another for months now, and it really has become one of my favorites. This is the first time I made it with coconut milk and I love the way it mellows out the strong flavors a bit. The amount of spices are based off my personal preferences, so you may find you want more or less of something – just have fun playing around with it!

Lentil Chickpea Coconut Curry

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Ingredients:
serves 5-6

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of water, veggie stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry brown or green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15 oz. can fire-roasted tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
  • 5-6 stalks kale, torn into small pieces or 4-5 cups spinach (I used both)
  • 1 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp red curry powder or garam masala
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp cumin + 1 tsp coriander (or 2 tsp cumin if coriander is not available)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (feel free to use the whole can if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime (about 2 Tbsp)
  • fresh cilantro and scallions to garnish, warmed Naan to serve

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Directions:

  1. In medium saucepan, cook rice according to box directions. You can do this step in advance, or let the rice cook while you’re preparing the rest of the meal.
  2. In a 3-4 quart cooking pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low heat. Add diced onion and carrots and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and continue cooking.
  3. Once veggies have softened and browned a bit (about 15-20 minutes), add water or stock to the pot, along with your lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then return to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato sauce or diced tomato to the pot and stir in kale. (If using spinach, don’t add it until later – see step number 5.) Season with all of the spices (yellow curry powder through red pepper flakes) and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until kale is tender and the curry has thickened.
  5. Stir in chickpeas, coconut milk, and lime juice (and spinach, if using) and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve curry over rice, with a garnish of fresh cilantro, scallions, and warmed Naan. 🙂
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Start by sauteing your veggies

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Once veggies are tender, add 3 cups of water or stock to the pot, along with lentils and 1 bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes.

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Stir in tomato sauce, kale and spices and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

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Once kale is tender, add chickpeas, coconut milk, and lime juice to the curry. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.

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The finished product!

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