Friday, December 14, 2012

Healthier Spanish Rice

I love Spanish rice, and I'm not really a rice kind of gal.  I think my love of Spanish rice has something to do with the tomatoes and onions in it.  They give it some texture so it's not just a bowl of rice grains.  The only problem with Spanish rice is that it tends to be very unhealthy (and often cooked with chicken stock), so I decided to make a version using brown rice!  Boy it turned out great!

It really is quite simple and does most of the work itself.  You could easily make this with white rice if you wanted, or a combination of white and brown.  No matter what, it will be delicious!  It really is the perfect side to any home-cooked Mexican dinner.  We love it with my Crock Pot "Refried" Beans!


2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 C chopped onion
1 1/2 C brown rice
2 C Imagine No-Chicken Broth (or veggie broth)
1 C chunky salsa (not salsa fresca, good ol' salsa-in-a-jar works best)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add rice to the skillet and stir.  Cook until the rice begins to brown, about 5-10 mins.  
  3. Stir in broth and salsa.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.  

Adapted from ilovetocook

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Pecans

Beets are one of my daughter's favorite vegetables.  I'm not sure if it's because they are so sweet or if it's the bright red color.  :)  Either way, she always gets excited to bring some home.  I love finding new ways to enjoy them, and this is a delightful option.  It is very convenient that this can be made ahead of time.  It is best at room temperature, so it is perfect to bring to a holiday pot luck (doesn't hurt that is has festive red and green colors too!).  The sweet beets, mild goat cheese, and crunchy pecans give this dish an interesting texture and range of flavors.  It is sure to please a crowd!


2 bunches beets, washed and greens removed
2 Tbsp raspberry vinegar
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 C toasted pecans, chopped
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp chopped parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the beets in a baking dish and toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil to evenly coat.  Cover and bake approximately 1 hour, or until the largest beet is easily pierced with a knife.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Remove the skins and cut into small wedges.  Place into a bowl and toss with vinegar, remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Top with pecans and goat cheese.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Top with parsley.  Enjoy!

Adapted from  Parents Magazine 12/12

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekly Menu

Welcome to the start of another great week!  I am so excited because it is going to be beautiful here with a great mix of sun and showers.  It's really feeling like winter (well, as "winter-y" as it get's in Southern California) and we are taking full advantage.  We made our gingerbread house this past weekend, have had some lovely fires in the fireplace, and enjoyed snuggling under blankets.  But in the midst of all that, we got some great food from the farms this week!  We selected some kale, chard, beets, cilantro, orange and green cauliflower, red potatoes, parsnips, persimmons, guava, carrots, baby sweet onion, and tomatoes (I KNOW!  I can't believe they are still growing!)  With this variety, we will be enjoying the following meals:

  • Spinach and Cheese Ravioli with my Farm Fresh Marinara and Beet Salad with Pecans and Goat Cheese
    • using the beets

  • Creamy Chard and Spinach Cold-Weather Soup with Roasted Root Vegetables
    • using the chard and some spinach from last week, carrots, parsnips, and potatoes

  • I will be having the Kaleslaw for lunch
    • using the kale

  • We will be making Cauliflower Popcorn for a snack and enjoying the persimmons and guava (how fun is that?!) as treats.

What's on your menu this week?  I'd love to know!