Blood Orange Season

Blood orange for breakfast. Yum.

Lots of fun recipes to take advantage of the short Blood Orange season here

Below is one that can be adapted several ways, including substituting navel oranges as needed. Continue reading

Forbidden Rice Revisited with the Instant Pot

Looking through my pantry I realized I hadn’t made Forbidden Rice since I purchased my Multi-Pot electric pressure cooker. I thought it was time to try it out.  The recipe below is updated for  Instant Pot cooking.

From January 2016 (original recipe here and a bunch of other rice recipes at this link)

This recipe was inspired by a bag of black rice, also known as Emperor or Forbidden Rice, in my pantry. It’s a heritage grain and it has a complex flavor – it’s deep, nutty, savory, earthy. I had never even heard of it, much less tasted it. I cooked up a cup of it and it was love at first bite, then I had to decide how best to use it.

It easily overwhelmed chicken and pork, and the flavors did not balance with beef. I did use it with some crumbled Spicy Italian sausage and that worked, the balance was right. What I thought it really needed was a citrus or vinegar pairing, some veggies, I wasn’t sure about nuts. Time to experiment.

Limes were on sale this week, so I settled on a citrus vinaigrette and fresh veggies paired with the rice (pictured above). I think it worked out very well.  Walnuts worked well, cashews were overwhelmed by the rice. I served it warm, but it was good cold today.

If you want to add some cheese, I think a nice Feta would work.

Black “Forbidden” Rice with Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup black rice, rinsed well
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • snow peas (or veggie of your choice)
  • tomatoes (grape tomatoes work well)
  • toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh limejuice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • dash of orange juice
  • pinch of lime zest
  • dash of ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • honey to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

instant pot-style cooker, serving bowl

In the Instant Pot/Multi-Cooker add rice and water.  Cook for 20 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. Fluff with a fork.

Cut snow peas into about four pieces each, half the grape tomatoes, and lightly chop the walnuts.

For the vinaigrette, whisk juices, vinegar, ginger and honey together. Drizzle in oil, whisking constantly. Give it a quick taste and add more ginger and honey as desired.

Toss rice and veggie mixture with vinaigrette and serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

Fresh and Crisp: Jicama Slaw and Cucumber Salsa

With all the holiday baking, it’s nice to have some tasty fresh items around the house to nibble on.

I made the Cucumber Salsa (recipe here) and decided to pulse it in the Vitamix – still crispy pieces, but chopping it finely really upped the flavor meld. It didn’t last but a day before it was all gone.

And today I made a big batch of Jicama Slaw (recipe here) and am always pleasantly surprised how fresh and summery it tastes. A nice change from heavier winter fare.  And it’s healthy to boot.

I’ll have some sweeter holiday treat for gifts later today or tomorrow.

Until then…


 

Creole Veggies with Black Beans And Rice

creole-veggiesWe’re trying to do a vegetarian night a few times a week. This was one of my favorite creations.

Creole Vegetables with Black Beans and Rice

  • 1 cup Jasmine Rice
  • 1 -15 oz can no salt black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 green onions, chopped (including greens)
  • 1/2 each: green, red and orange pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1-14 oz can no salt diced tomatoes
  • salt to taste

Continue reading

Cuba: A Love Story

I went to Havana to do research on my newest novel, the second book in the TJ Wilde Trilogy.  Here are my notes on the people, food and music:

I am still trying to process Cuba and Havana. But I will tell you I left a bit of my heart there. It began with a snafu with our room reservations that showed us the heart of the people of Cuba. We were without a place to stay for all of ten minutes.  And our new hosts not only found room for us but made us feel like family before the day was out. Casa de Sergio y Miriam was only the beginning.

To a person, every Cuban we encountered was kind, helpful and full of joy. We were never lost for long or without a suggestion for something new to see. Someone always stepped in to help. And along the way share their story with us.

And so many places to see. We spent our first day exploring the neighborhoods around our apartment. People watching as everyone went about their day in the narrow, colorful streets. I believe one of the reasons we met so many wonderful people was because we wandered the streets away from the tourist areas.  Read more…


 

Variations On Shortbread: Coconut and Tahini

I was telling a friend I was going to make Tahini shortbread cookies to use up the tahini I had leftover from the Tahini Walnut Rolls (recipe here). She asked if it was dairy free, because she’d like to make shortbread, but was avoiding dairy.

The original recipe wasn’t, but I thought I’d give it a try with just tahini. And then because I Iove coconut, I thought I’d do the same thing with coconut oil. So both of these are dairy free.  Continue reading