Saturday, June 13, 2015

currently eating: dirty brown &black rice with shrimp

You know how life just gets in the way of things and then you don't accomplish any of the things you wanted/thought you would? Well my life has gotten in the way of things and blogging has very obviously become one of the things have not been accomplished. At this point, I'm going to stop considering myself a blogger. Cuz let's be real. After a few months of non-blogging, you've just gotta stop fooling yourself.

But in spite of all of that, I'm going to at least TRY to blog... sometimes. I mean, I paid for the URL. I might as well kind-of use it. And at this point, since it's been so long and my last few posts all had lame excuses as to why I haven't had time... I'm just going to not acknowledge it anymore and pretend I've been blogging this entire time.

While I never really get a chance to cook anymore (on account of being disgustingly busy), I will say that I at least try once and a while. Mark can only cook so many times in a week and eating out is starting to make my wallet ache. But after the 5th round of TJs frozen orange chicken, you've just gotta try something new.

In comes the SkinnyTaste recipe blog. I don't use them as often as I'd like, but I do love perusing for some inspiration and ideas. All the recipes are pretty healthy (or at the very least healthier versions of things you love) and some of them are so simple to make! (She also puts in all the nutritional values and Weight Watchers points if your calorie/point counting. That's how you know she's legit with the skinny in her name.) This particular night, I went for the Dirty Brown Rice with Shrimp. I made a bunch of adjustments based on what I had and knowing that I wanted this to be a bit meatier, and it still came out ridiculously satisfying. (But I will admit that my picture doesn't look nearly as appetizing as SkinyTaste's picture) So here's how it went:

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1/2 cup black rice
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/8 + 1/4 tsp cayenne - divided
  • 1/8 + 1/2 tsp paprika - divided
  • 1/8 + 1/2 tsp thyme - divided
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp extra light olive oil
  • 1/2 extra large yellow onion - diced
  • 3 stalks of celery - diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper - diced
  • 1 red bell pepper - diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic - minced
  • 1 lb of 83% lean ground beef
  • 1 lb of jumbo shrimp - peeled and cut into 1/3rds
    • (medium shrimp is probably better but this is what I had in my freezer)
  • 1/8th cup of ground chia seed
  • 3 scallions chopped 
  • a hand full of baby spinach - sliced into strips

  1. Cooked brown rice according to directions (I used my rice cooker) with chicken bouillon, 2 bay leaves, and 1/8 each of cayenne, paprika and thyme.
  2. When the rice is almost done cooking, heat a large saucepan on medium heat. Add beef, pepper, and remaining paprika, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Drain fat. (I use a metal strainer to get as much out as possible) Set aside.
  3. Wipe down saucepan and heat olive oil. Add garlic, onions, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, celery and 1 bay leaf. Saute on medium-low heat until soft (about 5 minutes). 
  4. Combine the cooked beef and add in shrimp. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. 
  5. When brown rice is cooked, toss in cooked beef and shrimp until mixed well. 
  6. Cook black rice according to directions. When cooked, add black rice, scallions, spinach strips, and ground Chia seeds into mixture. Toss until well combined.
  7. Serve and eat until you explode with Cajun tasting goodness.
(note: I'm sure if you mix the brown and black rice and cook together it will taste just fine, but it will look a bit discolored from the black rice. Since I used my rice cooker, the extra step didn't take too much more effort, and I ended up with a nice looking mix of grains. I'm considering quinoa for the next round. - Also, if your don't have cayenne, paprika, and thyme, I've cheated with cajun seasoning mixes and it turned out just as yummy)

My favorite part of the recipe is how much it makes and how easy it was to use for meal planning during the week. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I've got a weird thing for mason jars (and by "weird thing" I mean a totally practical love because I could use them for basically everything and their airtight). So I broke out the above into a couple of 16 oz mason jars and kept them ready in the fridge to grab and go! Gourmet tasting, home cooked meal on the go. How is that not a total win?

Ugh. Time to go. I've got a threenager yelling at me and I'm seeing a time-out in his future. 

Monster pajamas  - Carter's at Target

Coolest reward chart ever - KetonKids

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