Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Burning the Rice, Kale Chips & Plantains

One thing that I learned during my second weekend at IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) was how to make a healthy breakfast. This is crazy to me. I have been eating "healthy" breakfasts my whole life but really I came to realize that my breakfasts have been overly sugary cereals/cereal bars which were "whole grain"(in reality any nutrients that was originally part of that whole grain gets completely disintegrated when the grains are cooked at a temperature over 500 degrees), potato products and lots of bagels. What I ended up making almost every day last week was this:

This recipe was found in handouts provided by IIN graduate, health coach and Top Chef Season 1 contestant Andrea Beaman. For more awesome recipes like this visit her website www.andreabeaman.com. She is a great speaker, and has a really fantastic story.

Breakfast Porridge
Recipe from: Andrea Beaman
Originally prepared by Cara: Monday, March 8, 2010

1 cup leftover brown rice
2 tbsp. rolled oats
1 cup water
2 tbsp. dried cranberries
1 shake of cinnamon
raw honey (I've been using Agave Nectar!)

Bring rice, oats, water, raisins, and cinnamon to
a boil. Lower the flame to simmer and cook for
5-7 minutes, or until creamy. Add raw honey to
sweeten. Serves two.

Another tip that Andrea had given me (and the rest of my 1,000 classmates) was to "Burn the Rice" meaning to cook a lot of food in the beginning of the week that way you can quickly put together recipes like the one above during the weekday. I have tried it now for 2 weeks in a row and it's working out!

Something has changed recently and I looked crazy to my coworkers the other day when I opted to not take home a bagel but instead take the beautiful Kale that was used as decoration under the bagel platter. Kale Chips- I was almost as nervous about these as I was the Bok Choy (something about those dark leafy greens make me nervous). Turns out they are not actually as intimidating as I thought!

Kale Chips:
Recipe from: allrecipes.com
Originally prepared by Cara: Wednesday, March 10, 2010


1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper/foil.
  • With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  • Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

Tonight I had a predicament...I had invited my good friend Melissa over for a feast but once I got home I had no interest in cooking and since it was the first night that it was still light out when I got home and Melissa wasn't coming over until at least 845 I took my pup, Travis Bean for a walk in Prospect Park. By the time I got back to the apartment I had passed hungry and had arrived at cranky/whiny/starving. Bad.News.Bears.
After stomping around the kitchen complaining to Travis Bean about how I didn't even want to cook for myself let alone Melissa I finally got it together, ate some cucumbers and hummus to tide me over and just started cooking rice. A very good place to start. I then took super ripe plantains and started to fry them. Then sauteed red and black beans along with Broccoli in onions and garlic and created the feast I promised. I actually had so much fun with it that I didn't even hear the phone buzzing the first FOUR times Melissa called!

Here are the Plantains starting to Fry and the Beans and Broccoli sauteing:

Fried Plantains:
Recipe from: allrecipes.com
Originally Prepared by Cara: Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Super Ripe Plantains
2 Cups of Oil

  • Heat Oil over Medium Heat
  • Peel plantains
  • Slice them in Half and then into small thin Strips (as you may see I only read as far as half and then made it up as I went along)
  • Fry until they are a golden brown. Pat generously with paper towels

(Left) Dinner is Served!

(Right) One satisfied dinner guest!

Things I did that I never had done before:
1. Cooked with Plantains
2. Fried something
3. cooked 2 kinds of beans together (red AND black)
4. baked my own chips (3 times in a week!)
5. cooked rice

I hope you try these recipes out for your soon to be satisfied dinner guests!

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