Lavender Infused Basmati Brown Rice

Since we have a beautiful lavender plant in our garden, I’ve been obsessed with it! I decided to try to fancy up our brown rice with some delicious lavender. This is super easy and it makes the house smell delicious! The rice comes out fluffy and aromatic. It is a simple way to make your simple meal sound much fancier!

What I put in it:

  • Fresh lavender
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked brown Basmati rice
  • olive oillavender and rice

How I did it:

  • In a small sauce pan I placed the fresh lavender, pinch of salt and waterlavender and rice in the pot
  • Simmer on medium/low for 30-45 minutes
  • Strain the out the lavender and set water asidelavender water
  • In a small sauce pan put 1-2 tb of olive oil over medium heat, once the oil is hot add the rice and stir, so that all the rice is coated in a little olive oil, add 2 cups of lavender water and simmer for 40-45 minutes (this is NOT for quick cook rice, please follow the instructions on your rice packaging)
  • Fluff up and serve!

How we ate it:

  • I love the Trader Joe’s Indian simmer sauces! (I used 1 peeled, cubed eggplant, garlic, onion, and kale with the curry simmer sauce)curry simmer sauce trader joes

Fall Veggie Garden

So, we have been in the house a few weeks and have been steadily making our mark on the kitchen, it will be really amazing to have it all finished.

My husband snagged this shot of me trying to paint the back of the cabinets.  I’m pretty sure this one hasn’t been painted since the house was built, and no the cabinet isn’t huge; I’m tiny.

kitchen painting in the cabinet

While the paint has been drying or I haven’t felt like painting, I’ve been working in the garden, I decided to plant some fall veggies and consulted the friendly folks at the Portland Nursery to see what I could still plant in late August.

I ended up getting some beets, a lettuce blend, very colorful carrots, and arugula! The nursery suggested the brand “Botanical Interests” which have very pretty packaging and very easy to follow directions.

garden seeds

I didn’t have twine or steaks to mark the rows, so instead I broke skewers in half and used some yarn I had leftover from a craft project. The yarn sags a little when it rains, but gets the job done.

garden rows

I haven’t planted anything from seed since I was about 12 years old, so I was a little nervous that despite reading all the directions on the seed packets and measuring and remeasuring that the garden would remain dirt and nothing would grow. But alas, things are growing!  You can see the cute little beet sprouts poking their heads out of the ground!  I basically check the garden everyday to see how much is growing, its really exciting!

garden beets sprouting

Since it is too late to plant onions from seed, we picked up some onion and garlic plants from Home Depot (we were on a paint run) to add a little more spice to garden.

garden onion and garlic

I also hung up this cute little bird feeder that my mother in law got me in San Francisco, I love the way it looks with wooden fence.

new bird feeder

Fried green tomatoes!

Gallery

This gallery contains 3 photos.

So, we have tomatoes in the backyard, delicious, beautiful red tomatoes! We also have… green tomatoes!!! Woo hoo! I have never made fried green tomatoes before, but I figured, as I often do in the kitchen, I will just wing … Continue reading

Goat cheese, Fig, and fresh Basil Crostini Recipe

Perfect for a summer dinner party! Crostini essentially means “little toast” in Italian, and while I don’t know if it really qualifies as an Italian appetizer, this delicious little recipe is super simple, and especially tasty!

What I put in it:crostini ingredients

  • 2/3 loaf of whole wheat baguette
  • 3-4 oz Chevre (goat cheese)
  • 2-3 oz Fig butter (or fig jam)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 7-8 large fresh Basil Leaves

How I did it: 

  • Slice the loaf of bread into 1/4-2/3″ slicescrostini sliced bread
  • Spread a thin layer of goat cheese on each piece
  • Spread a thin layer of fig butter on each piece
  • Apply salt & pepper to taste
  • Place chopped up basil on topcrostini 3steps of prep

Serve on a nice looking cutting board or your favorite summer platter!

crostini up close

 

This super simple appetizer is sure to please!

 

Avocado “Succotash” Summer Salad

salad overhead plateAs a kid and even into adulthood I have refused to eat whole corn kernels.  This summer I have embarked on a corn adventure, grilling, sauteing, boiling, ect.  If a recipe calls for corn, I no longer cower in fear, but proceed with confidence and a growling stomach!  It has become a new summer staple for us.  Fresh corn on the cob is really affordable and works great incorporated into a salad or as a side!  For this salad I was inspired by a recipe in Better Homes & Gardens, but I’m not going to lie, mine is a whole lot healthier and meat free!salad ingredients 2

What I put in it:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 limes
  • 2 TB almond milk
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 oz frozen edamame (if you have a soy allergy you can use lima beans)
  • 2 fresh ears of corn, shucked
  • 1/2 cup finly chopped red onion
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped to manageable pieces
  • 1-2 handfulls of Arugula (optional)
  • 4 oz regular goat cheese crumbled

How I did it:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, once boiling place corn in and cook for 5 minutes, remove, set aside to cool, once cool cut the kernels off and place in a medium sized mixing bowl
  • In the same boiling water, toss in the edamame and let boil for 5-6 minutes, then drain, set aside and let cool.
  • In a food processor combine avocado (no peel or pit), juice from 2 limes, olive oil, almond milk, and cayenne pepper, Process until smooth.  *Note: your avocado must be ready for eating, an unripened avocado will not blend well or taste good! Place in the fridge for about 5 minutes for all the flavors to start to meld together
  • In the medium bowl, combine corn, edamame and red onion.  Add avocado mixture and mix until avocado mixture is evenly distributed.
  • Place your lettuce in a large salad bowl, place the corn, edamame, red onion, avo mixture on top, sprinkle the goat cheese crumbles on top and serve!

salad upcloseThis recipe can easily be modified to fit your dietary restrictions.  If you are vegan, try vegan feta crumbles instead of goat cheese, if you are going soy free, exchange the edamame for lima beans! If you don’t like eating yummy food, try a different recipe!

Strawberry Ricotta Muffins!

Strawberries are in season here in Oregon and the U-pick farms are all open and ripe for the picking! What better way to usher in summer eats than picking fresh fruit and baking it into deliciousness! A friend and I crawled around in the field for a half hour and came out with flats of delicious vibrant strawberries!strawberry field

I was inspired by this recipe from The Parsley Thief.

What I put in it:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 lb fresh strawberries
  • Coconut cooking spray

strawberries

How I did it:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350F
  • Quarter berries, and place on a cookie sheet (use a cookie sheet with sides, the berries will get very juicy) (if you don’t have a non-stick cookie sheet, spray with cooking spray)
  • Place strawberries in the oven and let bake for about 20 minutes, take them off the tray and place in a colander to let the extra juices drain off.
  • Raise oven heat to 400F
  • In a large bowl whisk eggs, butter, vanilla and cheese until mixture is smooth.
  • Add sugar, flour, baking powder and soda and stir until the mixture is consistent.  It will be thick, so don’t over mix.
  • Gently fold in the strawberries.
  • Spray your muffin pan with the coconut cooking spray and evenly distribute the batter into 12 muffins.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool and eat!

These muffins are pretty simple and a great addition to any summer meal!

muffins

Sweet Potato Quesadillas

Cut back on cheese and load up on healthy!

I love cheesy delicious quesadillas, but for a an actual meal, I need more substance!

What I put in them:

  • 2 small-medium sweet potatoes pealed, chopped 
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion(either red onion or chives add the most flavor)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 can black or pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese

How I did it:

  • Boil sweet potatoes in medium pot in water until soft, drain, add chili powder and smash
  • Heat up a medium size pan or griddle to medium
  • Create your quesadillas!  Spread a thin layer of the sweet potato and then add onion, cilantro, beans, spinach, top with a layer of cheese
  • Cook in your pan or griddle until hot and the cheese is melted.
  • Eat! I thought they went really well with some Mexican style brown rice, guacamole and salsa!sweetpotatoequesadilla

Stir-Fry Pasta Recipe

I was inspired by a recipe that I found in the Better Homes & Gardens magazine.  While I have neither a home or a garden, I do love this magazine because it is cheap and elegant! This is a new favorite recipe of ours and it seriously hits the spot!

What I put in it:pasta ingredients

  • 6.5 oz whole grain spaghetti pasta
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 12 oz asparagus cut into 2″ pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 cup mini heirloom tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1/2 cup low fat/ fat free feta (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

How I made it:

  • Boil large pot of water and cook pasta according to package instructions
  • Once water is boiling for the pasta, heat a large saute pan on High/Medium high.
  • Add 2 TB olive oil to the saute pan and once a few water droplets sizzle, add asparagus and cook for 2-3 min
  • Add tomatoes and garlic and saute for another minute
  • Add olives and basil and saute for 1-2 minutes or until pasta is cooked and drained
  • Place cooked & drained pasta back into the large pot with 1 TB olive oil and the saute pan contents, mix all the ingredients together and serve topped with feta cheese.pasta in bowl

This recipe is a great way to kick off Spring! Light and healthy!

Serves 4