Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Breaking News

Deprivation can be a marvelous thing. In fact, it often leads to appreciation. Such is the case regarding my breaking news ... Alert the media! ... Film at 11 ! ... I'm going to eat some brown rice. Can you at all sense the excitement here?

Maybe my news flash doesn't sound like a big deal to you, but I've thought about, planned for and dreamt of this day for nearly a month. Why its been looming like a holiday ... I may even declare it such, chez Diva, and wear an extra sparkly crown. Having gone without most starches for so long, it is possible that I am, perhaps, over estimating the news-worthy-ness of such an event. So sue me, I'm excited! I've missed my carbs and I am prepared to celebrate and appreciate them, in moderation, of course.

In honor of such an august and glorious occasion I will now divulge my most cherished recipe for brown rice, so that you may join in the merriment.

Steamed Brown Rice:

  • Locate the nearest Chinese Restaurant
  • Place an order for steamed brown rice
  • Serve when ready
  • Repeat as needed

Oh, were you expecting something more? ~blink~

No, you're right, this magnificent rice holiday demands a bit more enhancement, shall we say. In that case, I suggest you top the miraculous Chinese take-out rice with the following ...

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-fry:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 cup of thin French green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 2/3 cup sliced Crimini or Shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 tbsp. ginger root, peeled and minced or grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • hot red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 cup non-fat chicken broth (reduced sodium)
  • 4 tbsp. reduced sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. corn starch mixed with 2 tsp. chicken broth
Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet, add the shrimp and cook, stirring frequently, until pink and just cooked throughout. Remove shrimp from pan and cover to keep warm.

Add the red peppers, green beans, sugar snap peas and mushrooms to the skillet and cook on medium-high heat, stirring often, until vegetables are crisp/tender - @ 4 minutes. You may need to add some broth to the pan if it is too dry. Add the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes (if desired) and sautée for 1 minute.

Return the shrimp to the pan. Add one cup of the chicken broth and the soy sauce and stir to combine. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it has boiled, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring the skillet to the boil again and add the cornstarch/broth mixture, stir to combine until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the sesame oil and the sesame seeds. Stir to combine.

Serve over the brown rice and enjoy!

As written this recipe will serve four, but the portions are not huge. As is the case with most stir-fry recipes (and all of my recipes) feel free to tinker with it. Add more shrimp, change the veggies, add more soy sauce, whatever, its all good. This is a quick and very satisfying meal, the perfect dish to celebrate my reunion with rice. And, no, I'm not kidding about ordering the take-out rice ... that's my secret recipe and I'm sticking to it.


Deb said...

Now I know you love to cook so next time you're reaching for that chinese menu - STOP and cook it yourself. Brown rice just requires a little more time and flavorings to be sublimely edible. I cut up onions and anything else I fell like adding - red peppers, shredded carrots zucchine and brown those in a small amount of olive oil, add rice and coat with oil after veggies have softened and then add liquid preferably chicken stock. Cover and cook til done YUMMY!


The Diva on a Diet said...

Morning, Deb!

Your recipe for the brown rice sounds delish! I will def. try it and report back. I have made the rice myself in the past, but the steamed brown rice from the Chinese place is so darn good ... and frankly its better than mine. Something about the texture just isn't right when I cook it myself. The Chinese rice kind of pops in your mouth and I dig that!

I actually prefer the brown over white rice, so there's no hardship here. But I love the sound of yours and will print it out.

Thank you!

~ Tara

pixelgal said...

Dear Diva;
I laughed out loud (LOL)when I read this section and want to tell you how much I enjoy reading your new additions each day. I had lunch with my friends yesterday and all commented on what a great writer you are and how you really need to do something about it. I hope all your readers will comment on how much they enjoy reading it and trying the delicious recipes so you'll be encouraged and keep 'em coming. I like Deb's additions as well and will try some brown rice with veges tonight. Thanks so much for this happy addition to my day. I have some recipes to add as well for the future.


rachel said...

And then you can get really crazy and try some of the other healthier grains. I like quinoa - mostly because I recently learned how to pronounce it (kee-nwa) and it comes in a festive red hue, and eating it makes me feel healthier!

I'm also a big fan of the brown rice - and will happily dish out the extra buck for Hunan Balcony to make my maki rolls with it...

The Diva on a Diet said...

Hiya Rach - you're right, it is fun to say quinoa! You reminded me that I used to make a wonderful quinoa tabbouleh ... must find that recipe so I can post it. It was delish!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Hey pixelgal - please thank your posse for the props on my blog. I appreciate it! You can tell them I am doing something with my writing ... its called a blog! LOL :)

Will look forward to some recipes from you in the near future. xoxo