Recipe Of The Day: Japanese Brown Rice and Fried Egg

Ch-ch-ch-CHIA!

I recently bought chia seeds for the very first time and had absolutely no inspiration as to how to use them, especially in savory dishes. So I went online and found this recipe for sticky chia brown rice and eggs.

Healthy, filling, plus it sounded delicious. Too good to be true, right?

So I looked in my fridge and pantry, and the only rice I had left was that leftover from dinner 2 nights ago, with veggies and soy sauce already added in. No raw brown rice, not even a cup of the usual Uncle Ben’s Converted (which we usually always have at home). No green onions either.

But it was love at first sight with that recipe. And I wanted sticky chia rice. At the very moment. I had just come back from a tough run and I had been looking forward to that moment I’d be eating the oh-so-delicious-sounding dish.

But hey. White rice with soy sauce and sautéed veggies… 1. has an Asian kick to it, which isn’t completely out of context since that sticky rice is a traditional Japanese breakfast and 2. I had shallots. Sure, the taste is different from that of green onions, but the goal is to add an onion-ish taste to the rice!

So I took a chance..

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        A delicious chance! (The yolk did break while the egg was cooking, but shhh. We’ll just say I had already started eating ’cause I couldn’t resist it.)


Recipe for Japanese Brown Rice and Fried Egg (adapted from this recipe on the Daily Burn website) (serves 1):

  • 1 cup leftover cooked rice (if plain, add soy sauce and sautéed veggies to your liking; just make sure that the whole thing is completely chilled before using, to avoid a “mushy” result)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 shallot or green onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp oil of choice to fry the egg (olive or sesame give it the best taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a small saucepan, mix together water, half the onions (if using green onions, use the white part here) and chia seeds. Let rest for long enough for the chia to absorb the water and make a gel, about 20 minutes.
  2. Bring the chia gel mixture to a boil, then add in the already prepared and chilled rice. Mix well, then turn the heat to low, cover and let simmer until the rice reaches a sticky texture.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and cook the egg to your taste (Sunny-side up is the traditional way, feel free to experiment with other cooking methods such as poaching or scrambling). Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  4. When the rice is done, transfer to a plate and put the egg on top. Sprinkle with some more chia seeds as well as the other half of the onions. Serve with steamed or sautéed vegetables.

Nutrition info:

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Sorry for the lack of pictures… I didn’t have the time to take any of the process, as I was also busy making chia crackers! More chia cooking experiments coming up soon! ‘Later!

-AF

Recipe Of The Day: Nature Valley Breakfast Parfait

Breakfast parfaits.

The perfect healthy breakfast for hectic mornings: whipped up in 5 minutes and eaten in 3. Fruit, yogurt and granola make a perfect combination of tasty AND nutritious, with plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and protein.

The only thing is, you can’t predict when you’ll be running late.

And in some households (I’m not talking about mine, what were you thinking..?), healthy eating isn’t the primary grocery shopper’s priority. (I can almost hear the guy in question say “Why would I buy a box of tasteless granola for 5$ when I can get 2 family packs of Honeycomb for the same price?”) And even if you do intend to buy what you want, you don’t always have the time.

This Tuesday morning, I woke up at 6:30 and needed to be out the door by 7. I was longing for a breakfast parfait, but that damn granola was missing again.

Suddenly it dawned on me: I still had leftover Nature Valley bars form my trip to Nicaragua. (Oh, the culinary experiences we made over there. There’s definitely something to write about that…)

So I went for the usual: I diced 2 strawberries…

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          …poured a single serving of yogurt on top…

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          …and then crumbled that granola bar on top!

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          The result?

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          Might as well not buy any granola again until I’m out of Nature Valley bars..! Though I do have a feeling that it won’t be long before they’re all gone… Almost looking forward to the moment I’ll make my next batch of homemade granola (coming up in a future post!)!


          Recipe for Nature Valley Breakfast Parfait (makes 2 small servings… you might as well eat them both for a filling breakfast!):

  • 1/2 cup strawberries (or berries of your choice), diced
  • 2 single servings fat-free yogurt (I used Source Strawberry Vanilla Tango)
  • 1 2-bar pack Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (I used Oats ‘N’ Honey)

          Dice the strawberries and put them into 2 bowls or tall glasses. Pour a single serving of yogurt on top of the berries in both glasses, then crumble a granola bar on top of each.


Nutrition info:

NutritionLabel


          I bought chia seeds for the first time this evening, being new to this whole “healthy-eating” scene… Recipe ideas, anyone? I do like trying out other people’s creations… but I need some inspiration to come up with my own! 😉 So comment away! Thanks in advance guys!

          -AF

Cooking Tips: Making that hard brown sugar laying in your pantry usable

We’ve all been there, people: in the middle of making a dish, when suddenly, a terrible realization dawns on us:

There’s an ingredient missing.

Or, in some cases, an ingredient has gone bad.

Or, in the case of brown sugar, it hasn’t gone bad, but it’s so hard and dry you can’t even pat it down in your measuring cup.

Well, I’ve got some news for you guys: that almost full bag of brown sugar that you bought last year for the sole purpose of making a batch of cream fudge (I’ve grown up with cream fudge… my mom’s is awesome, and it’s made in the microwave! Yet another recipe to share here eventually…) is still usable.

With the help of every student’s best friend: the microwave.

Yes, you read that right. The microwave. Along with a mug of water.

Put your block of brown sugar in a bowl and pour some water in a mug…

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then put them in the microwave for a few minutes.

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          The brown sugar will get moist from the steam of the water… and there you go! Just make sure to use it in the minutes after reheating, or else it’ll dry out again.

Almost halfway through this hectic week… chances are we won’t be posting every day, but we’ll try our best to keep this blog going… ‘later!

-AF

Recipe Of The Day: Decadent Date Squares

Remember that picture from my last post about my homemade iced tea?

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Ah, good ol’ times. Seems like just yesterday.

          Admit it. Mondays suck. Even if it’s getting hotter outside, you ARE craving that sweet, indulgent dessert to get through the rest of your day. You guys are lucky, ’cause I’ve got the perfect combination of sweetness, fat and a little fiber to clear your conscience.

          Date squares!

          …and when you think about it, it can’t be that bad with a nice scoop of vanilla iced cream. Served on a tong-shaped plate (or even on that ugly Christmas plate you got as a gift for the Holidays in 1994), it’ll most definitely get that summer touch you’ve been longing for.

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Okay, maybe not on that ugly Christmas plate you got for the Holidays in 1994.

          Plus they’re quick and easy to make using ingredients you probably already have at home! Which means… no harmful chemicals or hydrogenated oils like you’d find in boxed desserts… even though they’ll be ready in the same time as it would take you to make that cake from the mix!

          I bet some of you are already telling themselves: “Oh God, will she ever stop bragging and get to the damn recipe..!” Well, you guys are served, ’cause here it is!


          Recipe for Homemade Date Squares (makes 16 servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (preferably rolled or steel-cut, quick oats will make the crust too crumbly)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (white or pastry, haven’t tried gluten-free, if someone does let us know in the comments)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened (very important or else the crust won’t have a uniform texture)
  • 3/4 diced pitted dates (I used a small pack of Medjool dates)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (to cut off some of the sweetness)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, 1 cup brown sugar, and baking soda. Mix in the butter until crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch square pan.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the dates, water, and 1/3 cup brown sugar to a boil, and cook until thickened. Add in lemon juice, then remove from heat. Spread the date mixture over the crust, and pat the remaining crumb mixture on top.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until top is golden. Cool, then cut into squares.

Nutrition info:

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Maybe a little (way) too much on the dense side considering the serving size… but hey, Mondays suck and you deserve a treat! 😉 ¡Hasta la próxima!

-AF


Recipe Of The Day: Homemade Iced Tea

…told you it would come soon!

I’m a runner. I just love running. At first I only did it to lose weight (5’3″, 160 lbs around Easter of 2012, now 120), but over time I developed a genuine passion. I recently ran my first official 10k:

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(I had to exchange running packages with a girl from my group who wanted to run the 5k, so that I could have the orange set which gave me the right to run the 10k and that she could have the purple one to run the 5. Ah, organizational trouble, we all love it, right?)

          Anyway. When I get back home from a long run, it’s always nice to have a refreshing drink on hand.

          My mom and I are big fans of loose-leaf tea. So at some point, I just wondered “Hey, why not make it iced?”

          So I went to our local tea shops and got the Pom-Tango (mango and pomegranate) black tea from the summer collection and a mix of Raspberry Balsamico and Limeade Twist fruit infusions (the one in the picture), steeped them twice as strong as I normally would…

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Already getting some coloration after 15 seconds…

          slightly sweetened them with a touch of honey…

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… then let them chill and poured them over ice. The result?

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(Here’s the final result for the Pom-Tango variety)

          A tasty, refreshing summer treat that will sure be a hit! Perfect with a rich and decadent dessert like my homemade date squares (coming up soon)!


          Recipe for Homemade Iced Tea (makes 24 oz of tea, 48 oz with ice; 6 servings)

  • 24 oz boiling water
  • 7,5 tsp loose-leaf tea (I used 3 perfect teaspoons from David’s Tea) (If you don’t have loose-leaf tea, replace it with 6-8 teabags)
  • 1-3 tbsp honey (depending on the type of tea used, as well as your personal taste: if using straight, strong black tea, you might want to use more; cut back if using fruity teas or infusions)
  • 24 oz ice
  1. Bring the water to a boil and transfer to a Mason jar (or any other heatproof container).
  2. Steep the tea for the same amount of time as you normally would (5 minutes is a common time for black teas and fruit infusions, if in doubt look at the package), then discard tea and add honey. Let chill until warm, about an hour and a half.
  3. Let the tea cool completely in the refrigerator for about 1 more hour. When it’s time to serve, either pour over ice in a pitcher or fill glasses halfway with ice to make individual servings. Drink in the 2-3 days after making to ensure the best flavor.

Nutrition info (numbers based on a total 8 oz serving, 4 oz tea and 4 oz ice, with 4 tsp honey added to the whole jar):

NutritionLabel (1)


Just made a new batch… plus my grandma’s taking me to “tea time” this afternoon as a graduation gift… more about that soon… I’m out guys! Gotta run off all these indulgences to deserve them! 😉 ‘Later!

-AF


EDIT: As of 05/25/15, my recipe for Decadent Date Squares is available here.

1 month ’til summer! (Recipe Of The Day: Fresh Greek Salad)

Ah, summer: the season we’re all waiting for. (At least here in Quebec, after this year’s 5-month winter.)

It’s almost here: only 1 month!

But can I wait for one more month?

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          I guess the answer’s no. I was so determined to eat cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream that I took a Oreo and chopped it in my scoop of vanilla ice cream.

          And you know what? I craved what I never thought I’d crave a single time in my life.

          Salad.

          Get me right: I do try (emphasis on the word TRY) to eat healthy and exercise, but I’ve never been the salad type.

          And yet, at lunch, I longed for a fresh summer salad.

          So I whipped up this quick, inexpensive, healthy AND tasty Greek salad while waiting for my homemade iced tea (recipe coming soon…) to finish cooling.

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        Fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, paired with feta cheese and sliced kalamata olives, are given a fresh twist with the addition of extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. A nice, light (okay, maybe not SO light given the veggie-to-cheese ratio… but it tastes so good!) meal for a hot summer day (or a cold spring day like today where you just feel like eating something refreshing). It goes along perfect with tortilla or pita chips (*coughcough tostitos were all that was left in my pantry *coughcough*) and a tall glass of iced tea (homemade tastes the best! I swear that recipe’s coming up in the next few days!)


          Recipe for Fresh Greek Salad (serves 1):

  • 3/4 cup cucumber slices
  • 1/4 of a tomato
  • 30g feta cheese (approx. 3cm cube), thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp sliced kalamata olives (I used the jarred kind and put some of the juice in, if using fresh olives then add slightly more lemon juice)
  • 1/2 shallot, cut into small slices
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a single-serving bowl, mix cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, olives and shallots. Add in lemon juice and olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (You could even add in some fresh herbs if you feel like it..! Mint would definitely give it a hint of freshness.) Eat as-is or serve with tortilla or pita chips, or whole-grain crackers (Triscuits are one of my faves).


As for the nutrition info:

NutritionLabel

          (The fat content does seem high, but the olive oil contains lots of heart-healthy monoinsaturated and polyinsaturated fats, which are not specified on the label.)


          Only one more month until summer… one month’s worth of 70-page chemistry study guides…

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          …and 20-page world politics essays…

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          We’re all in this together, fellow students; we’ll make it through!

          Only 1 more month to go! Alright guys, gotta go, still got 5 more pages to write on that essay… I promise I’ll post my recipe (if you can even call it a recipe, it’s so simple) for homemade iced tea within a week!

          -AF


EDIT: As of 05/24/15, you can find my recipe for homemade iced tea here!

Just another Saturday afternoon…

-Hey, I feel like starting a food blog. I’m posting way too many food pictures on Facebook. Wanna join in?

-Yeah, sure, I’ll help you anyway I can! 🙂

-Cool, I’ll post recipes and stuff, you could do restaurant critics if you want?

-Sure, I could be the photographer as well!

-Alright then. likemindedfoodies.wordpress.com: does that sound right to you?

-Perfect!

-Okay, then lemme just create you an account so you can log in and post.

…and this, people, is how this blog saw the light of day. Two friends who share the same passion for food… as well as their student-on-a-budget status.

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(Charming picture from January 2014… a night filled with memories of joy and stomach aches after that hot-chocolate-and-donuts Tim Horton’s meal and the 1:00 AM plate of nachos.)

I (on the left) love trying out new recipes and Naomi (right) is an amazing photographer; as a team we’ll be joining our forces to make the best out of this blog! Next post coming up soon…

-AF