1. Recipe: Spanish Brown Rice
So easy you will wonder why you have not made it before! 
What do you do when all the refrigerator contains is an onion and maybe a stray carrot?  You make rice! I am rounding the corner towards finals week and unfortunately have not made it to the grocery store. I started this meal by dicing the onion and throwing the remains along with any overly frozen vegetables I have into a pot of water. Bring it to a boil and you have a quick homemade broth! 
I use brown rice in this recipe to add a little fiber to my diet and make this a more nutritious meal. If you are one of those people who hate brown rice, give it a try and I bet you cannot tell the difference. The substitution of brown rice nutritionally will provide your body with 3.5 grams of Fiber, 5 g of Protein, along with the % DV of 12% Thiamin (Vit B1), 15% Niacin (Vit B3), 21% Magnesium, 14% Vitamin B6, and a whopping 88% of Manganese in a 1 cup serving [1]. Still not convinced? Ok, it also contains 603 mg of Omega-6 Fatty acids and 27.3 mg of Omega-3 FA. These Omega Fatty acids cannot be produced by our bodies and are essential in keep our brains functioning, regulating metabolism and maintaining bone health [2]. Worried about heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or colon cancer? Eat a cup of brown rice and rest assured your body will thank you. 
Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Olive Oil1/2 medium Onion, chopped3 Garlic Cloves, minced1/2 cup Organic Brown Rice4 oz Tomato sauce or Canned Diced Tomatoes1 cup Vegetable Broth1/3 cup Organic Peas, frozen1 tsp Oregano, ground1 tsp Cumin, ground (optional) Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Start off by adding the oil to a sauce pan, bring to a medium heat. Add add onions and garlic, saute till they start to become translucent.  Add the rice, stirring frequently, making sure it does not burn. Cook till the rice also starts to become translucent and golden brown.

Add tomatoes and broth, stir to evenly distribute.


I like to add the frozen peas on top, you can also add chopped carrots!.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30-45 minutes, till rice is tender.  Once the rice is tender add the ground oregano, salt and pepper.

Heat some black beans and you have a meal!
Sources: 
1. Self Nutrition Data, Know what you eat
2. Omega-6 Fatty Acids, University of Maryland Medical Center
  2. Swiss Chard, Potato and Leek Gratin
4 Tbsp Butter1 Small Onion, finely chopped1 Bundle of Swiss Chard, leaves and stems separately cut into 1-inch pieces2 Leeks, chopped into 1/4 inch rounds2 cups Yogurt2 Garlic Cloves, minced2 Tbsp Flour2 lbs Potatoes, peeled and sliced with mandolin into rounds3 Tbsp Chives, chopped1/2 Tbsp Rosemary, finely ground1/3 cup WaterSea SaltFreshly Ground Black Pepper1 1/4 cups Goat Cheese
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 400°F; Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in sauce pan over medium heat, add onions. Cook onions till they become translucent.  

Add chard stems and leeks, season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5  minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chard leaves and cook until they are slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper and transfer greens to a bowl, set off to the side.
In small saucepan combine yogurt and garlic, bring to a simmer.

In a saucepan heat two tablespoons butter over medium heat. 

Slowly add flour while whisking.

Cook for about one minute whisking the entire time.

Slowly whisk in yogurt and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Spread a layer of potatoes along the bottom of greased dish, overlapping as you go.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a quarter of the chives, rosemary and of the cheese.

Distribute a quarter of the greens mixture over the cheese, then pour sauce over. 

Repeat with each layer and sprinkle with the last 1/4 of cheese on top.  Add water to dish and put into oven.

Bake for about 1 hour, until golden and bubbly, and most of the liquid is absorbed. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  3. Cilantro Potato Salad
Ingredients:
3 pounds Red Potatoes1 cup Mayonnaise1 Jalapeno, minced1/3 cup Cilantro, Chopped3 Green Onions, chopped2 Tbsp Lime Juice1 Garlic Clove, minced1/2 tsp White Pepper2 Tbsp SaltCilantro, chopped as garnish
Instructions:

Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook till tender. Drain and cool.  Stir together mayonnaise, with jalapeno, cilantro, green onion, garlic and cilantro.  Add potatoes, and toss to coat.

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and chill.

Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro
  4. Shrimp in a Garlic Lemon Basil Broth
1 lb Shrimp, uncooked
5 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Lemons, juiced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tomato, chopped (keep juice also)
1/2 cup Basil, chopped
1 tsp Butter
Instructions: 
Marinate shrimp in lemon and 3 garlic cloves.  Leave in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.  In a sauce pan add olive oil and heat on medium.  Add garlic, cook till becomes transparent.  Add tomato, cook till they start to break down, about 3 minutes.  Add shrimp, when shrimp starts to turn pink add basil and butter. Cook till shrimp is pink all over.

Remove from heat and serve with fresh chopped basil.
  5. Mushroom, Feta and Spinach Casserole
This one is inspired from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I’m a big fan of her blog and recipes. I decided to try my hand at a breakfast casserole and I was not disappointed. These are so easy to make and perfect for on the go. 
Ingredients: 
1 Large Shallot, sliced1 Clove Garlic, minced8 oz Mushrooms, sliced4 oz Feta Cheese3 cups Spinach10 Eggs3 Tbsp Milk
Nutritional Information:
5 Servings302.81 kcal19.05 g Protein7.51 g Carbohydrate22.33 g Fat
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick spray. Spray sauce pan lightly with olive oil, add shallots and saute.  When these become translucent add sliced mushrooms. 

Cook till tender.  Add mushrooms and shallots, to baking dish. 

Add feta on top of mushrooms and shallots.

Add garlic and spinach to the same pan, cook about 3-4 minutes, till the  leaves have softened.  Add the spinach to the baking dish. 

Mix eggs with milk then poor over layers in dish.

Place in oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes depending on how you like your eggs done.
  6. Mushroom Stuffed Artichokes
I served these over a bed of lemon pepper pasta with a light drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.  
Ingredients:3 Tbsp Olive Oil2 cups Button Mushrooms, chopped1/2 cup Onion, diced3 Garlic Cloves, chopped1 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese1/2 tsp Salt1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper2 Artichokes1 Lemon, juiced
Instructions:
Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a sauce pan, add garlic, onions and mushrooms.  Cook till the onions become translucent.  Set aside in a bowl to cool for a about 5 minutes.

Clean artichokes by cutting the top and bottom 1/4 off. 

Remove any old leaves and trim to remove thorns. Expose the center and remove the prickly center if present. On older artichokes scrape out the cavity.  Coat with lemon juice to reduce oxidation.

To the mushroom mixture add cilantro, Parmesan, salt and pepper; mix thoroughly. 

Open the artichoke by spreading all the leaves wide. Stuff spoonfuls of the mushroom mixture in between each leaf till full.

Place artichokes in the sauce pan, add an inch of water to the bottom of the sauce pan and lemon juice. Drizzle about 1 Tbsp of oil over each artichoke.

Bring water to a simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes, till the artichokes are tender. Serve immediately.
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