I took liberties in calling this “pesto” but I figured any sauce that contains a whole lot of basil could count. This is great for weeknights since it comes together really easily. I used a pressure cooker for my rice/barley to make preparation a bit simpler. Leftovers taste great too!
Barley & Brown Rice Pesto Salad
Cook barley and brown rice using stove-top or pressure cooker methods. Drain both grains after cooking and rinse with cold water. This helps the rice and barley from congealing together when cooled.
Combine the pesto ingredients (except oil) in a food processor or blender. Pulse together until ingredients are finely minced or pureed together. Slowly drizzle in oil or broth until pesto sauce forms.
Dice the cucumber and bell pepper. In a large bowl combine the diced vegetables, barley and brown rice. Add the pesto and toss to coat! Taste best at room temperature.
Serves 6: Calories: 214., 8.5g fat., 5g protein
I think everyone has a favorite version of these. Nothing beats the combination of fresh vegetables and herbs rolled together in a chewy rice wrapper. I love bringing these appetizers to parties, at least I know there will be 1 healthy option for everyone and it’s just as easy as a vegetable tray! Clean out your fridge when you make these, using whatever vegetables and herbs you have lying around. I haven’t found a combination that I didn’t like.
Fresh Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
1 package rice wrappers (Can find at most grocery stores in the international aisles or at Asian markets/whole foods)
1/2 package smoked tofu (Savory or other flavor)
Vermicelli noodles, 8 oz.
Assorted Vegetables, all cut into matchsticks: yellow and red pepper, carrots, lettuce (shredded)
Herbs: Thai basil, mint, and cilantro: chopped and mixed together
Cook vermicelli or other rice noodle according to package directions. Prep the vegetables and herbs while the noodles are cooking. Slice tofu into matchsticks equal size to the vegetables. For easier assembly, I placed all of the finished ingredients into separate ramekins. When making the rolls, I just went down the line of ingredients adding a little from each ramekin onto the roll.
To prepare the rolls: fill a 9X13 casserole dish with hot water. Take 1 spring roll wrapper and place in the casserole dish and submerge for 15-20 seconds until soft. Place the softened wrapper onto a damp paper towel. Place a small pinch of herbs in the center of the wrapper, top with vegetables and then a small handful of vermicelli noodles. If you want to make these more filling, use more of the noodles and vegetables. You decide how thick to make them. Once the are filled, take one end up and over the vegetables, tuck the sides in and roll like a burrito. Place seam side down in a separate dish or plate and continue with the next one.
Spicy Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 lime, juiced
1 pinch red pepper flakes or 1 tsp. sriracha
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. maple syrup
Blend all ingredients together (except the fresh chopped peanuts) in a food processor or bullet. Top with fresh chopped peanuts.
Good afternoon DK followers! Hope the New Year has been good to you, I know I’ve been packed helping people define their new year’s resolutions to get healthier this year. I’ve also been working on a few new recipes that are designed to be easy and quick for meal planning. If you haven’t tried wheat berries before… what are you waiting for? I love this grain and love even more that I can buy it from the bulk food store for $.80 a pound! Oranges are in season now, so you can usually find a good deal for those as well.
Citrus Wheat Berries
1 cup uncooked wheat berries
1 large handful basil
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 red onion, minced
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tbsp. canola or olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Mince onion and place in a small bowl with 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, set aside. Boil 2 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pan and add wheat berries. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 45-50 minutes until berries become tender.
To remove the orange slices: peel the orange with a knife so that no skin or pith remains. Run your knife on either side of the membranes until the orange slice “pops” out. Place slices in a separate bowl and squeeze the juice 0ut of the remaining membrane and skins into a blender/food processor/bullet. You will use this for the dressing. Combine the juice with the remaining vinegar, garlic clove, cayenne and generous pinch salt/pepper. Blend to combine. With blade running, add the olive oil until an emulsion forms. (This dressing is also really yummy on arugula)
Combine the red onions, basil, orange slices, and cooked wheat berries. Toss with the dressing.
Welcome to 2011! If your looking to incorporate more plants into your diet, here are two easy green recipes. If weight loss is your goal in the new year, try eating more filling foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. Swapping these foods for more processed foods will increase your intake of vitamins,minerals and fiber and likely lead to weight loss.
If you have made the same resolutions year after year, ask yourself what’s really stopping you from making changes? Trying to make a big switch overnight might not be the best solution. Smaller, more realistic goals won’t set you up for failure. It also helps to understand how much time you’re willing to dedicate to your new goals. Health should be a top priority. Make the most of your day by taking walks around your workplace during breaks and lunch or making larger meals on the weekends to eat during the weekday. Money doesn’t have to deter you from eating healthy. Dried beans, lentils, and frozen vegetables are some of the cheapest items in the grocery store! Cut back on meat, dairy, and cheese and add more fresh, in season vegetables. Not only is this better for your health, but dairy and meat tend to be the highest cost items. Now, onto the recipes.
Italian Bok Choy
2 shallots, sliced thin
1 large head bok choy, or several baby bok choy
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large pinch red pepper flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
In a medium-hot skillet, add the oil to the pan and allow to warm up. Add the shallots, salt and saute’ for 5-8 minutes. While the shallots are cooking, prep the bok choy. Make sure to clean it well as dirt and bugs can hide in the base of the head. If using a large head, remove the bottom steam, clean the leaves and stack upon one another. Slice into thin strips so it resembles spaghetti.
Add the bok choy to the pan and stir for 3-4 minutes until just wilted. Add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and optional salt/pepper. Toss to combine and serve.
Everyone loves Brussels Sprouts
The secret to this dish is slicing the sprouts very small so they are almost shredded. I have made this dish several times this fall and even people who claim to hate the vegetable enjoy this dish. I use a food processor for faster prep.
1 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed (cut the large bulb on the end off and place in a colander to rinse. As with bok choy, dirt can hide easily)
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt/pepper to season
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a food processor/mandolin or by hand, slice the sprouts very thin until they are shredded. Toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Place sprouts on a roasting pan and cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes until crisp and cooked through.
Seriously, that’s IT. You can also cook them in a dutch oven or skillet pan for a faster meal.