Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Veggies and Rice with Parmesan

Steamed veggies and rice is a favorite dish of mine. This was one of my go-to orders at restaurants when I was living in L.A.  I don't really see it on menus anymore, even when I visit Southern Cali. I never did see it on a menu outside of the L.A. area. Oh, well.

Steamed veggies and rice is yummy, simple to make, healthy and cheap.

If you have a couple of pots and a steamer, you are good to go.

Veggies and Rice with Parmesan

1 cup brown Texmati rice (or the rice that you prefer)

2 ¼ cups water (you may need more or less water if using another rice, I always check on my rice periodically anyway--sometimes the water recomended is just not enough)

¼ tsp. salt


1 tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves garlic- minced

3 green onions-chopped

8 oz. raw broccoli florets

12 oz. cauliflower florets

9 oz. carrots - sliced to about ¼” thickness

11 oz. zucchini (1 zucchini)-sliced to about 1/3” thickness

5 ½ oz. yellow squash (1 squash)-sliced to about 1/3” thickness

8 oz. green beans-trimmed

10 oz. butternut squash-peeled and chopped into 1” pieces

(if you aren’t sure how to peel butternut squash, A Veggie Venture will show you).

It's really easy!

2 oz. parmesan - grated

Spray butter

Heat olive oil in a medium sized pot. Add garlic and cook till light brown. Add rice and water. Add salt and pepper. Heat to a boil.

Then reduce the heat and simmer with a lid on the pot. About 15 minutes before the rice was done, add the green onions. I needed to add more water than what I was supposed to need, so you should check the rice periodically and stir.

Heat the oven to about 325 F.

Prepare the pot for steaming the veggies--it should be big (like a pot you’d cook a good sized batch of pasta in). I used one that was about 10” across and 6” high. I use an old school metal steamer that opens up like a flower. Mine is ancient, but it works great. Add water to just below the steamer bottom.

Add the butternut squash to the steamer pot.

Add the other veggies to the steamer pot and steam them however long you like them steamed.  I layered my veggies. I put the longer cooking veggies on the bottom, so as the top layer was finished cooking, Cover and cook.

Check the water once in a while so you don't scorch the pot. I have done this. Often.

This is how long I cooked my veggies:

Zucchini - 9 minutes

Yellow squash - 9 minutes

Green beans - 15 minutes

Broccoli - 17 minutes

Cauliflower - 17 minutes

Carrots - 17 minutes

Butternut Squash - 30 minutes (till they feel right when you pierce them with a fork, however you like your squash done)

When the rice is done, toss in the parmesan (save some for sprinkling on top, if you like).

Put the rice in an oven safe dish. Top with the cooked veggies. Sprinkle with a little cheese. Put in the oven for a few minutes to heat a bit, less than five would be great.

Some of the restauarants I ordered steamed veggies and rice from gave the option of adding cheddar cheese on the veggies. They heated that so it was all melt-y, and it was hecka yummy.  If you are watching cholesterol, I would go light on the cheese. They do have lowfat cheddar, though. 

I have made this dish for folks that aren't into healthy foods, and they really liked it. Even the kids were digging in.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Connie's Barbecue Sauce

This barbecue sauce is the easiest bbq sauce ever. And it’s super good.
Basically, you throw some ingredients in a pot, boil, and it's done.

I love using it on grilled shrimp, but I have used it on turkey burgers, and grilled chicken, too.  It’s so good, I can the stuff and give it to friends at Christmas time, and they always want more.

Connie’s Barbecue Sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp chili powder

2 dashes hot sauce
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 tbsp. brown sugar
Stir ingredients in a pot and boil.

I used green onion this time. I usually use purple onions.
Marinate whatever meat you are using for an hour or more. Baste, especially in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grape-Nuts Cookies

Once again, I was in “trying to get healthy mode,” so I picked up Grape-Nuts Cereal at the store.  When I got home, I noticed a cookie recipe on the box.  Grape-Nuts Cookies--yes!  I immediately began to make cookies.  I have not yet had a bowl of cereal. 

The recipe called for ingredients to be mixed with an electric mixer, and I haven’t seen mine since a friend borrowed it a few years back, so the mixer I used was me.

I was super happy this recipe requires rolled oats. I have an unopened box that will finally get put to good use.  I have never been a fan of rolled oats, but I picked those up on another day I was thinking of being healthy. The oatmeal has been kept very safely in the cupboard ever since. I dusted it off and it was fine. 

The recipe called for dark brown sugar, but I only had light brown sugar.  It worked quite well.

I tore my kitchen apart looking for cookie sheets, with no luck. I got to thinking about it,  and to tell you the truth, I haven’t made cookies in so many years, they’d probably be rusted through if I did have any cookie sheets.  I found a lasagna-style bake pan, so I decided to make due with that.  

Grape-Nuts Cookies
(printable recipe)

½ cup softened butter

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. honey
2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour
1 cup Post Grape-Nuts cereal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter and sugar till the mix is smooth. Add honey, eggs and vanilla and mix. 


Add baking soda, salt, rolled oats, flour and Grape-Nuts. Combine till just mixed.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto lined or greased cookie sheet, 2” apart. Bake 10-14 minutes or till golden brown.

Cool 2-3 minutes, then remove from baking sheet. Cool completely on wire racks. When cool, you can store the cookies you have left in an airtight container (if you are like me, you have already started eating them at this point).

Makes 4 dozen cookies, or 24 servings (2 cookies per serving).

They were delicious!

My neighbor came by and tried one. She loved them!  I would give a direct quote, but she used a series of expletives to declare her praise.

The only thing I would like to change about this recipe is the butter. I am going to try these again, and replace the butter with applesauce.  The cookies should come out fine--but I will try it to make sure.  I will update the recipe with the applesauce option, if all goes well.