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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

mexican rice

you know that delicious, fluffy, reddish-colored rice you get at mexican restaurants? it isn't spanish rice. it isn't a cilantro-lime type rice. it's a perfect side dish with burritos, tacos or its great in salads. you know the one i'm talking about.

well, i found it. then i made it healthier. and quicker. you're welcome. :)

mexican rice
8-10 side dish servings
modified from here, where everyone said it was the mexican rice they'd been looking for for years!

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 medium white onion
2-3 medium jalapenos
2 cups long grain white rice
1 tablespoon olive oil (or none if you prefer really low cal - original recipe was 1/3 cup!)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 lime (optional)

1. process tomato and onion in processor or blender until pureed and smooth. transfer mixture to measuring cup and reserve exactly 2 cups. save excess to use in something else (a smaller batch of rice, the filling for your enchiladas, dump it into a tortilla soup).
2. remove ribs and seeds from 2-3 jalapenos and discard. mince flesh and set aside.
3. place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear - about 1 1/2 minutes. shake rice vigorously to remove excess water. this step removes the starch from the rice so it will not stick. if you omit this step your rice will not be dry and fluffy.
4. heat oil in large skillet (or just heat skillet) over medium heat. add rice and stir fry until rice is light golden and translucent, about 5 minutes.
5. reduce heat to medium, add garlic and jalapeno and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.
6. stir in broth, pureed mixture and salt. increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
7. cover pan with tight fitting lid and reduce heat to low. cook 20-25 minutes until liquid is gone and rice is done.
8. stir in cilantro and squeeze lime over the top if desired.

this rice is amazing in a cafe rio style salad with this sweet and spicy slow cooker chicken and cilantro lime vinaigrette dressing. okay, now i'm drooling.

up next - a super yummy 4th of july desert i made 4 years ago... yes it will include a terrible picture of the skinny bovine. :) look for it thursday so you have time to make it for this weekend's festivities!

Monday, June 14, 2010

wheaties fuel no bake cookies

sorry for the lack of blogging, but we got some weird stomach bug and didn't eat pretty much all last week. we just felt yucky.

luckily, we're back to our favorite family activity - eating. :)

i've been wanting to create something delicious with wheaties fuel cereal since i got a couple of boxes really cheap couponing. they have a super yummy honey flavor and i like to eat them as a snack with a tiny spoonful of peanut butter mixed in. add a few more ingredients and you've got a seriously show stopping cookie. i like these lots better than regular no bake cookies (our friends we shared them with last night did too) and they don't have any butter so they are way less unhealthy for you! and they were super easy and quick. enjoy!

wheaties fuel no bake cookies
2 1/2 dozen cookies

3/4 cup light caro syrup
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 heaping cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 heaping cup wheaties fuel cereal

1. combine caro syrup, sugar and cocoa powder in good sized sauce pan (you're going to add the rest of the ingredients to the pan so make sure you have enough space). stir frequently over medium heat until it begins boiling. stir constantly once boiling and only leave it on the heat long enough that all of the ingredients are combined and smooth.
2. remove from heat. stir in peanut butter and vanilla until melted and smooth. add oats and cereal. stir until combined.
3. drop by rounded tablespoonfuls (i used my cookie scooper) onto wax paper and let cool. store in an air tight container.

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!