Friday, October 29, 2010

Veggie Rice

It's been exactly a month since Sheesh's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding and the most fun I've had (past 10 pm) in a long while. Also, the food was amazing. My favorite things were the delicious short ribs and the "veggie paella" (which was basically veggies and rice). It was so delicious and the kicker was that it was vegan, so no chicken stock, no butter! I have no idea how they did it. But I set out to make a non-vegan version of the dish. It came out good, nowhere near as yummy as the original, but good. And I of course had to resort to my old flavor standbys of chicken stock and a little butter.

Here's the recipe:

Veggie Rice
tblsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup white rice
2 cups chicken stock
1-2 cups diced veggies (I used red pepper and carrot and was going to use mushrooms, but forgot and left them sitting in the fridge)
1-2 tblsp butter
kosher salt to taste

In a medium pan heat olive oil, onions, and other veggies on medium heat for about 6-8 minutes.
Add rice and stir into the veggies until everything is combined. Let the rice cook like this for about 5 minutes to get a little bit toasty.
Add chicken stock, throw in the butter and a pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer covered for 15-20 minutes.

I serve the rice with salmon which was seasoned with Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joes and broiled for about 7 minutes and kale that was cooked a la salty chard, but with less salt. Overall it was a good meal!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Not All Markets Are Created Equal

So, I went to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market a couple of weeks ago. I usually don't, because it's not close to where I live. But my friend was in town, so I met her there. There are pony rides and there's live music. It's a fun Sunday morning activity for sure.

However, when it came to the actual buying of produce, that's where it got a little suspect. My first stop was at a stand that sold fruit. I got three peaches and a couple bunches of grapes. When I went to pay the man said that it would be $11. $11?!? For three peaches and some grapes? WTF? I looked at him in shock for a second and then begrudgingly pulled out my cash.

At the markets that I normally go to, these items would have been half as much. I guess, like everything else, if you're in a high-rent district, you're going to pay more.

Lesson learned: Go to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market for the pony rides, not for the peaches.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What's In Season- Early Autumn?

This applies to California. We Californians are so lucky because we pretty much grow everything here! It might apply to other states too, I'm not sure. I hope this color-coded list is helpful.

Valencia Oranges
Pears, Asian

Beans, Green
Brussels Sprouts
Peas, Black-eyed

Lemon Pesto Chicken & Roasted Vegetables

This is an easy and delicious and farmer's market-tastic meal:

Pesto is delicious and so easy to make. I never actually measure anything and it always comes out great!

1 bunch basil
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
pinch of Kosher salt
some good olive oil
some good parmesan cheese, grated

Blend basil, garlic, nuts, salt in food processor until well-pulverized. Then drizzle in olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.
Remove from food processor and stir in parmesan cheese.

(*Pesto freezes well, but if you are going to freeze some, leave the cheese out and add it once you have defrosted it)

Marinate chicken in good olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a tblsp.
of the pesto
Grill or pan fry until cooked through (about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on thickness of the chicken)


Pre-heat oven to 375
Clean, peel (if necessary) and chop vegetables into similar sized chunks (root vegetables work well- potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips. Pretty much anything in season will be delicious!)
Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread out on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and roasty!

Sprinkle with dried parsley flakes, for a little color and pizzaz.

Side note: My husband complimented me on the roasted vegetables (score one for me!)