Monthly Archives: August 2021

Pineapple-Coconut Jasmine Brown Rice

Discovered this rice originally at a local waterside dive bar/restaurant called ZigZag Scallop on the west coast of Florida in Hernando Beach and had to recreate it. Their food is phenomenal if you’re ever in the area. They had used regular jasmine rice but we prefer the jasmine brown. It’s not very dark but it is brown rice. I get my rice at Trader Joe’s because it’s the one place I know I can always find it. Sometimes the supermarkets or specialty markets have it but Trader Joe’s has the best price. I buy several bags when we go and store in the fridge, even unopened. Because anyone who lives in Florida knows that the ants here are beyond tenacious and determined to get into ANYTHING! I lost a whole unopened bag of this rice that was in my pantry as they ate through the plastic. So in the fridge it goes. I also make my rice in a rice cooker these days. So much easier if you ask me. For years I swore I’d never buy one and finally broke down and was so glad I did. I love it!

Use fresh pineapple if you can, it makes a HUGE difference. But if canned is all you can get try to get the best quality canned you can find. Do not use crushed. You want the chunks.

I use this recipe with my Tuna Poke recipe and served it warm. But it is also delicious cold. This recipe is a doubled so I will have extra. Feel free to cut it in half.

This can definitely be made on the stove top or in a rice cooker. Just follow the directions for both and all will be fine. I don’t go by the instructions for the rice cooker on their liquid amounts, they are not really accurate and the rice gets over-cooked.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups jasmine brown rice

1 can of light coconut milk (15-16 oz) (I also get mine from Trader Joe’s, but any brand is fine)

6 cups water

2-3 cups fresh pineapple, diced (if using frozen or canned, drain the juice)

1-2 limes juiced

1 tsp salt or to taste

1/2 cup fresh cilantro or about 1 TBS dried, or leave it out if you don’t like cilantro, I did not use it.

2/3 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened, toasted if desired

1-2 scallions thinly sliced

Directions:

Rice Cooker:

Combine the rice, coconut milk and water in the cooker. Cook until done. (my rice cooker turns off when complete.) Check to make sure it’s not too dried out, if it is just add a little more water and cook for a few minutes.

When cooker turns off and goes to warm (as mine does) add the pineapple chunks, salt, cilantro, scallions, coconut and lime juice. Stir to combine. Serve warm or cold.

Stovetop:

In a medium pot, combine the rice, coconut milk and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low right away.

Simmer on low for about 40-60 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Keep covered and remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

Add the pineapple chunks, salt, cilantro, scallions, coconut and lime juice. Stir to combine. Serve warm or cold.

Tuna Poke

Another post by popular request! I have been making my own poke (po-kay) now for about 6 months or so. Once I found out how easy it was I was hooked. And I do it on a budget without losing flavor! I have adapted my own version from several recipes online, but my main inspiration came from Jimmy Buffet’s book, Margaritaville The Cookbook. You can purchase your favorite sushi-grade tuna where you choose but I have purchased mine from either Aldi (12 oz. bag with 2-3 steaks in the freezer section) or from BJs Wholesale Club (Priced by weight, also frozen section). Both are equally excellent choices.

I try to cut the tuna same day I am using to keep it as fresh as possible. So when defrosting in fridge you can cut it into cubes (1/2″ or so) when it is still slightly frozen. This makes it easier to cut. But cutting it thawed is fine also. Just use a very sharp knife. I always try to keep a bag of frozen steaks in my freezer for when the poke craving hits.

The last time I made it I added a new variation on it and added cooked shrimp. Phenomenal. My guests were not disappointed! The poke can be served as is, or with tortilla chips or my favorite, Pineapple-coconut Jasmine Brown Rice. I will post recipe for that soon.

This is best eaten same day obviously, but it will last 1 more day, sometimes 2, just remember it won’t look as vibrant as day 1. But it will still taste great! And this is such a low calorie, guilt free recipe you’ll love making it over and over! No cooking involved!

Ingredients:

12-16 ounces fresh/frozen sushi-grade ahi tuna

6 scallions, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup minced fresh ginger (this is key that it is fresh)

1/4-1/2 medium cucumber, seeded and diced small (English style cucumbers work best)

large handful fresh Cilantro leaves, minced (or about 1 TBS dried)

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (best if from actual orange and not juice from a container)

1 1/2 TBS ponzu or teriyaki sauce (I will include my own sugar-free teriyaki recipe below)

1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 1/2 tsp honey or agave (both work fine)

1 tsp wasabi paste (not absolutely necessary if you don’t want it)

1 tsp or more kosher salt

1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and diced. (Ripe but not TOO soft, better if a little firm)

1 TBS fresh lime juice (again fresh is best)

2 tsp toasted or un-toasted sesame seeds (can use white or black or both)

1/2 lb cooked chopped shrimp if desired

Directions:

Using a very sharp knife cut the tuna into approximately 1/2″ cubes. Easier to do this if tuna is slightly frozen.

Place tuna in a large bowl and added the scallions, garlic, ginger, cucumber, cilantro, orange juice, ponzu or teriyaki (recipe below), sesame oil, honey or agave, wasabi paste and salt.

Gently stir everything together. Taste to see if more salt is needed. Transfer to serving dish.

Top with chopped avocado and drizzle the lime juice over the avocado. Stir if you want and then sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve immediately.

Sesame Teiyaki Sauce (sugar free)

I usually double this recipe to always have some on hand. Also if you don’t like using sucralose use regular sugar.

1/2 Cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 TBS sucralose

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp fresh minced ginger (can use dried but the taste won’t be the same)

1 clove garlic, minced (can use garlic powder but fresh is best)

Whisk all ingredients together. Store in fridge. I store mine in a glass jar (like the ball/mason jars)

Sluggo approves!

Italian Chicken Sausage, Spinach and Orzo Skillet

So the slacker blogger is back. I thought I would have posted long before now but being a slacker I didn’t. But the dish I made for dinner last night prompted me to get my butt in gear and post something! I had found this recipe about a month or so ago and kept saying I’d make it. Finally made it! I had to change a couple things from the original recipe 5 Ingredient Chicken Sausage and Orzo Skillet.

Original recipe called for arugula which I did not have, and I added halved grape/cherry tomatoes. I also subsituted grated parmesan cheese for the shaved and I cut down the amount they called for. You can always add more later!

I also cut the recipe in half as it’s just me and the hubby and even though we definitely LOVE leftovers we decided it was best to cut back a bit. I used Wellsley Farms Italian chicken sausage with tomato, mozzarella and basil. Delish! But feel free to use any kind you like.

The recipe is so easy and I just love using 1 pan to cook. Less to clean later!

Ingredients:

6 Italian style chicken sausages, sliced into rounds

2 cups dried orzo

8 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

6-8 oz. fresh spinach (remember it shrinks down to almost nothing.)

1 cup or more slice grape tomatoes

2 TBS olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken sausage and cook for 2 minutes each side, or just keep mixing till all sides are nice and golden.
  2. Add garlic, orzo and red pepper flakes. Toss for 1-2 minutes until orzo is slightly toasted and garlic is really fragrant.
  3. Pour in chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is cooked. Keep stirring every so often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the spinach and tomatoes just before the orzo is almost cooked and mix well. Cover for a minute or so and let the spinach reduced.
  5. Add the parmesan cheese and serve!
  6. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

This makes 4-6 servings.

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