Thursday, March 13, 2008

|contains almonds|

So I bought this tasty-looking little package of frozen green beans with toasted almonds made by Birds Eye. I opened it up and discovered the almonds were in a separate little clear plastic bag (which totally makes sense). But the hysterical part was this: printed on the outside of the CLEAR plastic bag which obviously had almonds inside of it were two words....

"CONTAINS ALMONDS"

God bless the simple joys that come from living in an overly-litigious society. Hysterical.

Monday, March 10, 2008

|indian convenience food|

Sometimes, coming up with new recipes gets old. And so does eating the same old stuff. So we were pleasantly surprised to discover an entire half-aisle at our local grocery store of what I'm gonna call "Indian convenience food." We don't usually shop those middle aisles too much because most of the stuff there is way too high in points for us to eat. But we were low on ideas of what to cook this week and browsing the aisles.

Our favorite local grocery store is family-owned and has the best romaine lettuce ever. They also have organic milk cheaper than the big box store. And they have a rockin' bulk food section. And - will wonders never cease - they also have a whole aisle of ready-to-eat Asian and Indian food.

So we were looking at the Indian food and found a little pouch of Dal Makhani. I've never had it before, but it says it's "lentils in tomato cream sauce." Sounds good to me. Nutritional info says its 2-3 points per serving. We figure we'll serve it over rice - adding another 4 points for a 6 point entree.

Let me tell you about the joy of preparing this dish. There is a plastic pouch. You snip the edge. You stick it in the microwave for 2 minutes. You take it out, open it up and pour it over rice (cooked in the rice-cooker, of course!).

Verdict? It was AWESOME. Really excited about this find and eager to try other varieties.

Oh, yeah, as I'm sure you're wondering - it does have 16% of my daily sodium. But I don't want to hear about it because I'm already watching calories, fiber, fat, protein. And not eating meat. And trying to buy outside the industrial food complex. There's only so much I can worry about.

Sodium isn't on my list.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

|pizzadillas|

We made quesadillas the other night and were thinking it would be fun to try pizza-style ones. We were right - it was. Here's what we did...

PIZZADILLAS:

  1. Saute some veggies (we used onions, red peppers, and mushrooms).
  2. Lay tortillas flat on a hot skillet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Let them heat for a couple minutes.
  3. When they start to crisp on the bottom, put some marinara sauce on top, then the veggies, then mozzarella.
  4. Put them on a cookie sheet under the broiler until the cheese melts.
  5. Remove from broiler and fold in half.

Monday, March 3, 2008

|fun with the rice cooker|

If you're like me, you think that rice cookers are for making nice, sticky white rice without having to worry about it burning. You would be right. And even if that was all your rice cooker could do, it would be an amazing appliance.

We decided we wanted a rice cooker after I learned from my friend Suzanne that you can also make brown rice in it. Brown rice is usually such a royal pain to cook...so we asked for a rice cooker for Christmas.

My mom, being the best gift-giver in the whole wide universe, gave us a rice cooker AND a great little book with recipes for things you can cook in the rice cooker. Holy moley! Who knew you could cook so many things in there?!? You can make bulgur, quinoa, couscous, polenta, oatmeal...basically anything that's a grain.

And - wait for it - you can also ADD STUFF TO YOUR RICE while it's IN THE COOKER. God be praised. Who knew this was possible? We have made some really tasty things since we got this cookbook. I'll share with you one of recipes that we just discovered tonight. And if you want to buy the whole darn book, get thee to Amazon post haste. You won't regret it (unless you don't have a rice cooker).

VINTER'S RICE
1) Saute some grated onion in a little butter in a skillet. If your rice cooker doesn't have a stupid weight-enabled safety feature like ours, you can even do this IN your rice cooker. Seriously. It's amazing.
2) Once the onion gets soft, add 1 cup of rice. Saute for about 10 minutes until it starts to get golden (low heat). Put some pepper on it.
3) Put it in your cooker. Put three thin slices of lemon and a bay leaf on top of the rice. Add 1/2 cup of white wine, 1 3/4 cup of broth. Add a little salt.
4) Put the cover on and let it cook till your cooker says it's done. Fluff and serve (remove the bay leaf and lemon slices first).

Enjoy!