Monday, September 14, 2009

Rice Pilaf with Vermicelli

Who doesn't love the "San Francisco Treat"? Rice-a-Roni is comfort food at its best, but unfortunately, the boxed stuff usually isn't compatible with the MSPI diet.

So Martha Stewart to the rescue! I found this recipe over at Everyday Food. It's super good and super easy -- well, not as easy as a box, but close!

Rice Pilaf with Vermicelli

1 oz. angel-hair pasta
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2/3 cup long-grain white rice
1 can (14.5 ounces) MSPI-friendly chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Hold pasta upright in a medium bowl, and, using kitchen shears, cut into 1/2-inch lengths; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice, pasta, and remaining tablespoon oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until pasta is browned, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Add parsley, and season with salt and pepper; fluff pilaf with a fork.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gazpacho Salad

So what's a girl to do when she's got a whole lot of cucumbers and tomatoes -- and she wants to have Mexican for dinner? Well, she makes Gazpacho Salad!

I found the original recipe at Taste of Home. I messed around with the amounts of the ingredients and left a few things out (because of personal taste and what I had on hand) but feel free to go with the original. It's completely MSPI-friendly as is.

Also, the Taste of Home version says to stack everything in layers. I'm not that fancy; I just mixed it all up in a bowl.

Gazpacho Salad

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 green peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cumin

In a large bowl, gently toss together the first four ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Tip: Although the flavors intensify as this salad sits, it's still delicious served immediately without the wait.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes