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When it comes to eating protein, I’m pretty predictable – non-dairy milk or whey protein in my oatmeal, egg whites or Applegate-brand cold cuts, any and all nut butters, and chicken breasts.  I dabble in the meat selections for the boys – sausages, beef, pork, shrimp, etc. – but I honestly don’t eat more than a few bites.  (I’ll eat whatever surrounds the sausage/beef/pork by the spoonful, though, since it usually involves pasta, grains or vegetables!)  I’m a creature of habit, what can I say.  My Dad and in-laws, though, eats tons of seafood and fish, in particular.  Over the years, I’ve tried to cook more fish.  It’s good for you, right?  But Rice Kernel isn’t that enthusiastic.  Unless there’s ketschup.  Or panko.

I don’t do that red sauce.  I can’t ever bear the smell.  And while I love crispy, pan-fried foods, there’s only so much panko-breaded salmon and white fish you can eat before your mouth longs for something juicier.  So I started searching for recipes.  This is the first I’ve tried.  I figure the sauce was red… like ketschup.  That didn’t do it for my little boy, though.  Fortunately he was happy with “naked fish,” as he dubbed it (sans sauce).  And I was happy with “dressed fish,” aka tomato cream sauce.

Cod with Tomato Cream Sauce

Recipe here.

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One of the most prolific, easiest vegetables to grow – sugar snap peas.  Infinitely more tender and sweeter than store-bought varieties, they are delicious raw from the garden – the way Rice Kernel enjoys.  If you have the space, I would recommend including these in your garden.

Although we typically stir-fry them in a bit of garlic, salt, and pepper, this “salad” is a nice change of pace and delicious cold or at room temperature.

Sugar Snap and Bean Sprout Salad

Instructions

1 pound bean sprouts (remove hair if you wish)
1 cup sugar snap peas, (8 ounces), trimmed
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal

Directions

  1. Cook peas in lightly salted boiling water in a medium saucepan until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.  At the last minute, add bean sprouts. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
  2. Whisk vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add scallions and the peas; toss to coat. Serve within 1 hour.

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This unpretentious cake has a slight tang and a moist, almost custard-like texture.  It is so addictive.  We’ve baked four in the past week.  I swear we didn’t eat them all…. just most of them.

Chocolate Chip Yogurt Cake

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter or oil, at room temperature (I get away with 1/3 cup canola, but we are used to less greasy cakes)
3/4 cup sugar (I cut to 1/2)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the two flours, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the yogurt mixture and stir to mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  (I used a 9″ round.)
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes.

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This is one of my favorite rice preparations.  Simple and moist, chicken stock makes a big flavor difference.  Rice Kernel’s meat preference isn’t for chicken chunks – it’s chicken apple sausage, which is what we used tonight.

Arroz con Pollo

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil; more as needed
1-1/2 lb. chicken pieces, patted dry and liberally seasoned with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 lb. sausage, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut in 1/2-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 cup peeled, chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine or beer (or stock)
2 cups medium-grain rice
2 cups water or chicken stock
1/4 cup salsa or tomato sauce
1/4-1/2 Chopped spinach, optional

Directions

  1. In a deep, heavy-based pot (such as a Dutch oven), heat the oil on medium high. Sauté the chicken, in batches if necessary, until golden on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Sauté the sausage until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the platter. Pour off and discard the excess oil, leaving about 1 Tbs. in the pan.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the onion, pepper, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken and sausage to the pot and add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, and turmeric, if using, stirring to distribute the spices. Cook for 1 minute and then add the tomatoes, wine (or beer), and salsa/tomato sauce. Increase the heat to medium high, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. (If the rice is done but still very soupy, remove the cover and cook very gently until the liquid evaporates, taking care not to burn the rice.) Give a toss, stir in spinach and then let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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Welcome Claire

We are excited to announce the birth of Claire on February 15.  She was 7 lb 10 oz and 20 inches long.  We have some recipes lined up for the mnext few weeks, which we hope you enjoy.  Be back in the kitchen soon!

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Thank you to everyone who participated in the Chobani giveaway. I wish I could send every one of you samples to meet your ideal specifications!

The random numbers chosen were 7 and 4.  That makes D and Jwfong the winners of the Orange Vanilla and Chocolate Chip yogurt samples.  You will both receive 12 cups of each flavor.  Enjoy!  I’ll be in touch via email to get your addresses. Happy eating and thank you for reading.

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Chobani has generously offered two cases of their new Chobani Champion Kids Yogurt (3 packs Orange Vanilla/ 3 packs Vanilla Choc Chunk) to give away to two of Rice Kernel’s readers. 

This is the first Greek yogurt formulated for kids.  We just received our cases and are looking forward to trying these new protein-packed snacks.  For a chance to win, subscribe to Rice Kernel or leave a comment with your favorite way(s) to enjoy this anytime treat!  Giveaway will end Friday, February 10 at 9 pm EST. 

For more information about the product, visit Chobani Champions

 

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