Top 20 Brown Rice and Quinoa List!

The other day, I opened up my blog to type up a recipe and I got a notification.  Most of my notifications are the usual responses to my recipes but this one was different.  I had to read it a couple of times to make sure I was reading it correctly.  Rebecca, from www.simplerecipeideas.com, had compiled a top 20 list of the best Brown Rice and Quinoa recipes and mine made the list! I was honored that my Quinoa, Brown Rice and Black Beans was chosen for her top 20 and thank you Rebecca for including me and mine in your list!

When I came up with this recipe, I was had just discovered the Seeds of Change Brown Rice and Quinoa pouches.  They are so delicious, I could finish a whole pouch in one go (which could usually be enough for 2 servings!).  To make myself feel a little less guilty, I decided to add some veggies and beans, give it a southwest-ish flavor profile, and voila!  I ended up making a delicious meal out of the pouch!  It’s great because this is a 10 minute meal recipe, or a great side dish.  Check it out at the link above and tell me what you think!

Chicken & Rice Soup

Having a toddler who goes to daycare means germs, constant runny noses and lots of cuddles.  As a mom, I also have to think of foods that comfort her, taste good when she’s not feeling well and is something nutritious to help her get better soon.   What better than chicken and rice soup that is quick to make when your 2 year old won’t let you go but packed with protein, vitamin C and fiber.
I used some short cuts that I’ll show you along the way.  I hope you make some and enjoy a bowl of good comfort.

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Boil chicken stock and add a chicken breast to it.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, take the chicken breast out and shred.  Set it aside.

Chop some onions and red bell pepper and set aside (did you know that 1 cup of red bell pepper has 3 times the Vit. C that 1 orange has!).

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In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter (maybe not that healthy ….)

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Add flour and mix well.

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Mix the flour and butter well until it turns golden brown.  You’ll be able to smell the golden deliciousness.  It’s very important to let the flour cook through otherwise you’ll have a grainy flavor that no one really wants to eat.

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Add some turmeric to this.   Did you know turmeric is a great natural healer?  Among other things, it’s an anti-inflammatory plant and strengthens the immune system.  Pretty much what I need for my toddler when she’s not feeling well.

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Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté for a few minutes on high heat.
Add the veggies to the stock pot and stir well.  Add the chicken back to the stock pot also.

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This is my secret!  Ready made rice.  Not only is it rice – it’s brown/red rice, with kale….. and chia seeds!  This is my cheat.  I save time by not making rice on the side but it’s healthy and readily available in most grocery stores.  Add this pouch to the stockpot and stir well.

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Add a small pinch of salt and pepper.  I didn’t add too much seasoning as the chicken stock tends to have a lot of sodium already.   Let the soup simmer for about 8-10 minutes so the flavors mix in well.  Serve hot and enjoy!

Ingredients:
6 cups chicken stock
1 whole chicken breast
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1  tsp turmeric
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pouch Seeds of Change Rice
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Boil the chicken stock and add a chicken breast to it.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, take the chicken breast out and shred.  Set it aside.
In a non-stick skillet, melt the butter and flour to it.  Stir constantly and mix well until the flour is cooked.  Add turmeric to it and mix well to cook.  Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add the onions and bell peppers to the stock pot and mix.  Also add in the chicken and rice to the stockpot and simmer on medium heat for 8-10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Veggie Stuffed Peppers

There are many days recently where we end up eating leftovers because well, with a 4 month old who wants all the attention, it’s hard to spend time in the kitchen when her drooly smile beckons you to play.  Today however, the husband became the center of her attention allowing me a few moments to whip up veggie stuffed peppers.  Layered with rice, veggies and definitely cheese – this is one yummy pepper!

There are a couple different parts to it so bear with me.  Here’s how I made it:

For the rice:

In a nonstick pot, heat up some oil.  Add the cumin and wait till it starts to splutter.  Add the onions and saute till they turn translucent.  Oh boy! The kitchen smelled so good with just the cumin and onions cooking together, I couldn’t wait till it was done so I can just dig in!

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Once the onions are translucent, add in the tomatoes.  Be careful!  Don’t add the tomatoes when the onions are not done cooking.  The acid from the tomatoes prevents the onions from cooking all the way through and this will change the flavor profile.

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Saute the tomatoes for a couple more minutes until they are tender.  Add in the rice and saute for a couple of minutes so it can soak in some of the flavor.  Then add in the veggie broth, salt, and taco seasoning.  Mix well and let it cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender.  Turn off the heat and cover the pot.  This is key whenever I make any type of rice – letting the rice sit in its own steam for 5 minutes.  This ensures the rice is nice and fluffy and makes it taste so much better!

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For the Veggie Stuffing:

Heat some oil in a nonstick pan.  Add the onions and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add in the yellow squash and zucchini and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.  Add in the black beans, salt, fajita seasoning, cayenne pepper and cumin powder.  Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

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To assemble the peppers:

Preheat oven to 375°.  Spray some cooking spray on a cookie sheet and line the peppers.  Spoon some rice into the peppers, followed by the veggies and repeat till you reach the top.  Sprinkle some cheese on the top and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the peppers are tender.  Serve hot and enjoy!
I’ve included the full recipe below.  I hope you like it just as much as we did.

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For the rice:
1/2c rice
1c low sodium veggie broth
1tsp onions
1/2c finely diced onions
1/2c chopped tomatoes
1Tbsp taco seasoning
1Tbsp Olive Oil
salt to taste

In a nonstick pot, heat up some oil.  Add the cumin and wait till it starts to splutter.  Add the onions and saute till they turn translucent.  Once the onions are translucent, add in the tomatoes.  Saute the tomatoes for a couple more minutes until they are tender.  Add in the rice and saute for a couple of minutes so it can soak in some of the flavor.  Then add in the veggie broth, salt, and taco seasoning.  Mix well and let it cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is tender.  Turn off the heat and cover the pot.

For the Veggie Stuffing:
1/2c diced zucchini
1/2c diced yellow squash
1/2c finely diced onions
1 14oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1Tbsp Olive Oil
1Tbsp Fajita Seasoning
1tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp cumin powder
salt to taste

Heat some oil in a nonstick pan.  Add the onions and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Add in the yellow squash and zucchini and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.  Add in the black beans, salt, fajita seasoning, cayenne pepper and cumin powder.  Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

To assemble the peppers:
2 bell peppers, halved, deseeded
1cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.  Spray some cooking spray on a cookie sheet and line the peppers.  Spoon some rice into the peppers, followed by the veggies and repeat till you reach the top.  Sprinkle some cheese on the top and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the peppers are tender.  Serve hot and enjoy!

Quinoa, Brown Rice and Black Beans

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Loaded with protein and yummy veggies, this is one of my new favorite go-to’s.  Simple to make and you can add whatever veggies you choose – I had colored bell peppers, tomatoes and onions in my fridge so that’s what I went with today.

Here’s how I made it:

Soak 1/3c Quinoa in some warm water for about 20 minutes.  This helps the seeds cook easier and softer.

Also soak 1/2c Brown Rice for 20 minutes.  Brown Rice can be tough to cook as it usually takes longer than white rice to make but if you soak it first, it comes out really nice and soft.

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Finely Dice colored Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions and a couple of cloves of garlic.

In a nonstick pot, heat oil and ad the cumin.   Add the onions. garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers and mix well.

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Cook for 5 minutes, then add in the quinoa, rice and black beans.  Add some salt, pepper and just a touch of hot sauce – it adds that magical touch!   Add the water and bring to a boil.  Cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.  20150922_191538

Just before serving, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the rice.  The extra zing tastes really good!  There you have it!  This is a great make ahead recipe and perfect for the fall.

Here’s the recipe all in one spot!

Ingredients:
½ c diced onions
½ c diced tomatoes
1c diced bell peppers (I like to include a variety of colors)
1 can (14oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 c Quinoa
½ c Brown Rice
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1 tsp, freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
2 c Water
a couple dashes of hot sauce

Instructions:
Soak quinoa and brown rice in warm water for 20 minutes.
In a nonstick pot, heat oil and add the cumin.   Add the onions. garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers and mix well.
Cook for 5 minutes, and then add in the quinoa, rice and black beans.  Add some salt, pepper and the hot sauce.
Add the water and bring to a boil.  Cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Just before serving, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the rice.