Sunday, November 30, 2014

What's Cookin' Sunday

Alright!  It's that time again!  This week is jam-packed with recipes!  I will be posting my usual 2 dinner entrèe recipes PLUS my 2 recipes for Thanksgiving sides (which would also work great for Christmas dinner).

First, let's start with my Thanksgiving recipes!

• 2 bags of whole berry cranberries
• 1 cup Truvia baking blend

• bring water and Truvia to a boil in a large saucepan.
• add cranberries and return to a boil.
• reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


• 2 (40 oz) cans cut yams (reserve juice)
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup Truvia
• dash salt
• 1/2 Country Crock Light
• marshmallows for topping

• place yams in a 9x13 baking dish.
• combine all ingredients except yams in a saucepan.  heat to a gentle boil.
• pour mixture over yams.  heat in oven at 350° for 30 minutes.
• top with marshmallows and broil until browned.  watch closely - takes about 2 minutes.

And now onto what I'm actually cooking today!  I'm doing an Indian dish that is vegan and then I'm doing a Chinese dish in the crockpot.


• 5 lbs (or 10 breasts) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
• 1.5 cup sugarfree orange marmalade
• 1.5 cup sweet'n'spicy BBQ sauce
• 4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

• cube and cook the chicken in the crockpot on high for 3 hours
• drain the juice from the crockpot
• mix the BBQ sauce, marmalade, and soy sauce.  pour over chicken, cover and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.

 ***servings are about 8 oz each***


• 1 onion, chopped in small pieces
• 2 cans reduced sodium chickpeas, drained & rinsed
• 1 can lite coconut milk
• 1 can diced no salt added tomatoes
• 1 (6oz) can no salt added tomato paste
• 2 tbsp oil (I used evoo)
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• 1/2 tsp minced garlic (1 clove)
• 1 tbsp ginger paste
• 1 tbsp garam masala
• 1/2 tsp chili powder/cayenne pepper (or to taste)
• 1/2 tsp cumin
• 1/2 tsp tumeric

• sautè the chopped onion and oil until the onions get soft and translucent.
• add the lemon juice, garlic, ginger paste, garam masala, chili powder, cumin and tumeric.
• purèe the diced tomatoes and the tomato paste and then add to the onion mixture.
• add the chickpeas and simmer until the sauce gets a bit thick and the chickpeas get soft.
• stir in the coconut milk and simmer a bit longer.
• serve over rice (see my Indian rice recipe) and/or with naan.
Happy cooking, my friends!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Friend Making Monday - Let's Talk Turkey

Friend Making Monday: Let’s Talk Turkey!

Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog.  Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions.  If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.

1. Who cooks Thanksgiving dinner in your home?
Right now, me, because I live alone so if I want to eat it, I have to cook it…HA!  But, if I were in Oregon with my family, the matriarchs do the cooking.  My mom,  my aunt, and possibly my sister-in-law, do most of the cooking.  My dad or uncle might help with the turkey, though.

2. What time do you start eating?
Just being by myself, I eat whenever a) I’m hungry or b) when the food is done cooking.  HA!  But, if I was in Oregon, I have to say I honestly don’t know.  It’s been so long since I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with my family.  I want to say around 3 or 4pm?

3. Why do you think people celebrate Thanksgiving Day?
I remember in school, they taught us that it was when the pilgrims where basically starving as they had ran out of food because they had no idea how to grow or gather food in the new world and the native American's came to their rescue.  So, basically, it’s a celebration of selflessness and giving and helping those less fortunate than you…or those that are not able to help themselves.

4. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?
Seeing my entire Oregon family gathered together and enjoying each other.  I know this is vague and sentimental, but it’s true. 

5. What is your worst Thanksgiving memory?
Being 16, with a car, and wanting to be with my friends more than I wanted to be with my family.  I mean, seriously…how rude could I be?  I didn’t enjoy that thanksgiving at all because all I could think about was waiting for a “decent” time to leave and then taking off and meeting up with friends to do who knows what stupid plans we had.  I just really took my family and my time with them for granted at that age.

6. If you had to list your favorite holidays, what number would Thanksgiving be? Why?
It would be #3.  Halloween is #1 because I LOOOOOOVE to dress up (hello…this is one of the main reasons I love renaissance festivals!).  Christmas is #2 because I LOOOOOOOOVE giving presents to people and seeing the look on their face when they open their gift and find that I got them the perfect gift that they never thought to ask for and that they didn’t think I knew that they really wanted. 

7. Would you rather be a Pilgrim or a native American and why?
Native American all the way because, well, they were new world smarter than the pilgrims.  This was their home and the pilgrims were the invaders.  The pilgrims were just plain miserable and who wants to be miserable?

8. What does "Thanksgiving" mean to you?
Thanksgiving means family to me…plain and simple.  It means enjoying life and not taking anything for granted.  It means counting your blessings and being thankful for them.

9. How do you cook the turkey?
In the past few years that I’ve cooked a turkey for myself, I just went simple and rubbed it with butter and that was it.  This year, I got a little fancy with it and found a Cranberry Glazed Turkey recipe that turned out AAAAHH-MAAAAY-ZING!  If you’re interested, I posted it in this week’s What’s Cookin’ Sunday post.

10. Do you watch football on Thanksgiving?
Yes.  I love football and there’s nothing better than stuffing yourself with food and kicking back and watching a good football game, even if it’s not one of my favorite teams.  Haha.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

What's Cookin' Sunday

BOOM!  There's the new logo for What's Cookin' Sunday!  How do you like it?  It's not super fancy, but I like it.

Well, this week isn't a big cooking day for me.  Just a turkey.  Well, I'll be cooking a couple things Wednesday morning to take to work with me on Thursday for Thanksgiving.  One will be sugar-free cranberry sauce (just use sweetener instead of sugar...I'll be using Truvia) and the other is a marshmallow yam dish.  I might share that later this week or include it in next Sunday's WCS.
• 1 (12 lb-ish) fresh whole turkey
• 3/4 cup butter, softened (I used Country Crock Light)
• 3 tbsp fine herbs (sad to say, I'm not sure what this meant so I only added 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning)
• 1 tbsp crushed garlic
• 2 tbsp (+ 1/2 cup) orange marmalade, divided
• 2 tbsp dehydrated onion flakes
• 2 tbsp poultry seasoning
• 2 tsp kosher salt (I used sea salt)
• 1 tsp ground pepper
• 2 oranges, sliced
• 1/2 cup orange juice
• 1 can jellied cranberry sauce

• preheat oven to 450°.  remove giblets and neck from turkey and rinse inside and out with cold water.  pat dry with paper towels; set aside.
• in a small bowl, combine softened butter, 1 tbsp fine herbs, crushed garlic, 2 tbsp marmalade and onion flakes.  use a fork to mix together until well combined.
• in a small bowl combine poultry seasoning, 1 tbsp fine herbs, salt and pepper.
• use your hand to carefully loosen the skin around the entire bird.  work half of the butter mixture under the skin and season with the poultry seasoning mixture inside and out.  stuff the inside of the turkey cavity with oranges.  (truss if desired)  insert a pop-up thermometer at an angle about 3 inches down from the neck cavity and 2 inches from the breastbone, in the thickest part of the breast.  place turkey breast side up on a rack in the roasting pan.  place in oven and reduce temperature to 325°.
• combine orange juice, remaining marmalade, jellied cranberries and remaining fine herbs in a small saucepan and simmer until jelly melts.  continue simmering until mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.  keep warm.
• after the turkey has cooked for 2 hours, brush on the glaze mixture.  when the thermometer pops up or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 180°, about 3 hours total.
• remove from oven and let turkey rest at least 15 minutes before carving.
The serving size I used for the nutritional info is 6 ounces.  (also, I minused out about 3.5 lbs to compensate for the bones in the turkey to determine how many 6 ounce servings there would be)

I have to say, I've never lifted the skin off of a turkey before and, while not gross like I thought it would be, it was definitely different...a little weird...kinda fun.  Haha!  And then I got not careful and tore the skin a little.  Oops.  Anyway, I of course messed up the simmering of the glaze and so it never really thickened, so for that final hour in the oven, I just brushed the glaze on the turkey about every 20 minutes.  After I've carved up the turkey, I plan to "marinate" it in the glaze.

This turkey was an attempt to replicate the very first turkey I ever cooked back when I was 20.  I remember it had some sort of cranberry glaze on it.  I know I got the recipe out of one of those grocery store checkout cookbooks.  I long ago lost the cookbook (sad, so sad), so there is no way for me to *actually* replicate that turkey, but I think this will be a close enough effort.

I should also note that a coworker suggested simmering the turkey in chicken broth/stock (I, of course always use the reduced sodium) for 45 minutes.  He said that makes it SUPER juicy!  So, last night, I did just that.  Thank goodness I bought that 12 quart stock pot a few months ago because it definitely came in handy for this project!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Friend Making Monday, Sara Runs This Weigh style!

Alright, so usually I do a Friend Making Monday that is posted by another blogger, however, the last 3 weeks she has posted no Friend Making Monday posts at all.  Also, I had submitted this list of questions that I’m going to answer here today for her to post for Friend Making Monday on her blog.  However, she responded and said something to the tune of she’s super busy and was thinking of taking a break from doing it anyway.  Ugh.  Then why the heck did you take it over from All The Weigh when she “retired” from doing these Friend Making Monday posts?!?!?!  Anyway, I have decided that I really like doing these Friend Making Monday posts, so I’m going to start doing my own every week.  For next week’s, I’ll have made a new header picture for it.
OH!  Speaking of new header pictures…what do you think of my new banner?  Isn’t it faaaaaabulous?  I think it is.  I discovered a “new-to-me” program called, maybe you’ve heard of it?  Maybe you’re already using it yourself.  You probably are because I am super late to the party with this program.  And let me tell you, just in case you’re not already using it, it is AWESOME!  It is also super easy to use, once you find a couple well-made videos to show you how it works…haha.  So, I will use to make my new Friend Making Monday logo.
Let me catch you up on things since the last couple of things I’ve posted have been only my What’s Cookin’ Sunday posts.  Last weekend (8th & 9th), I started having muscle spasms in my lower back.  Super painful.  Put me off running for a few days the first part of last week.  But, before the spasms really kicked in, I ran the Karaoke 5K Saturday morning.  That was sooooo much fun!!!  It wasn’t SUPER organized, but it wasn’t too bad, really.  Not a lot of people showed up (I’d say around 100?).  This was the first year for it, however it was supposed to happen last year but got canceled due to the weather and apparently also due to management issues.  I dressed up…I wore this green and blue tutu, some green and blue capri tights, a light blue tank and then these fantastic cat shaped goggles I picked up the renaissance festival the weekend before.  The announcer guy kept saying that I was going to win the costume contest (that I wasn’t even aware that they were having…I just wanted to dress up and have fun with this).  Yet, when it was all said and done, the costume contest categories were “family” and “coworker,” no “individual” category.  Harrumph.  Anyway, loved this race and would TOTALLY do it again next year.  I’m going to make the suggestion to the race director that they include an “individual” category to the costume contest, though.
So, Sunday through Tuesday, no running thanks to spasms.  I ran a great 10 miles on Wednesday.  It was my first cold weather run of the year/season.  It would have been fine except the wind was really kickin’!  I also couldn’t get warm the rest of the day, even though I took a nice, hot shower.  Oh well.  Friday, I ran 17 miles!  GEEZ!!!  You’d think I was training for a marathon or something.  Heh.  At around mile 5 of this run, I took in a gel and while I was trying to make sure I got everything out of the gel packet, I wasn’t paying attention to the sidewalk and apparently missed seeing probably just a quarter inch elevation from one sidewalk square to the next and the next thing I knew, I was being propelled toward the ground.  I landed on my left elbow and my left knee.  The next day my shoulder was super sore (it still kind of is) and I have a bruise on my knee (that doesn’t hurt, by the way).
Saturday, I went back to the renaissance festival with my friend Amanda.  We had a great time, but it was chilly, so we didn’t stay all day.  Just like 5 hours.  I got another fantasy portrait done.  Oh!  And since I forgot to post about the first weekend that we went to festival, here’s both of my fantasy portraits I got done:

I got some photos done at Glamour Shots the afternoon after the Karaoke 5K.  The package my Groupon was for had 3 wardrobe changes.  So, I did a casual, a dressy, and a running outfit.  I’m just going to share my running outfit photos with you here.  I’m very happy with them, and honestly, the running outfit photos are my favorites!

Now that I have these professional pictures of me in running gear, I went and got me a 3-photo frame and picked my 3 favorites of me in the running outfit, printed them out and framed them and added them to my running wall. 

Okay, I think that pretty much catches everyone up on what’s been going on with me over the last week+.  Now onto Friend Making Monday.  Let me tell you how it works.  You copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog.  Then you come back here and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions.  If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.
1. We just passed Halloween…do you celebrate Halloween?  If so, what do you do?
Yes I do.  Sort of.  I don’t decorate, but if I have a party to go to, I do dress up.
2. If you dressed up for Halloween, what did you dress up as? (share pics)
I didn’t go to any parties this year.  The one I was going to go to was canceled.  But, I did do a Halloween themed half marathon and dressed up for that
3. Did you go to any Halloween parties?  (share pics)
Nope.  Not this year, unfortunately.
4. October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, did you do anything to raise awareness?
At my job, we wear a uniform (we’re a law enforcement agency) and, if you buy one, you can wear a pink badge on your uniform.  Also, you can wear a pink undershirt instead of the standard black or white undershirt.  I also signed up for a 100 miles in a month challenge called Rocktober and bought a shirt from them that says “Stronger by the Mile” and, once I sewed it to make it smaller, I love it.
5. November is also known as Movember…do/will you participate in any activities that are Movember-related?
My agency allows the men, as long as they pay a $25 fee that is mostly donated to a men’s health charity, to grow facial hair beyond the standard mustache.  I obviously cannot participate in that.  BUT!  There is the Mustache Dache 5K that happens this coming Saturday here in Austin, TX that I will be doing.  I’m going to have loads of fun with it too!
6. Thanksgiving is right around the corner…what are your plans?
I have to work…crime doesn’t stop just because it’s a holiday, unfortunately.  This coming Sunday, I’ll be making my own turkey (watch for my recipe in What’s Cookin’ Sunday next week).  But, I live alone so I won’t be sharing.  Haha!  Also, since I have to work ON thanksgiving, we’re doing a potluck spread at work.  I’ll be making sugar-free cranberry sauce and my family’s marshmallow yams recipe to bring into work.  Also, before work, I’ll be participating in a 5-mile Turkey Trot.
7. Next month is Christmas, do you celebrate?  If you don’t celebrate Christmas, do you celebrate something else?
Yes, I celebrate Christmas…again, sort of.  I’m not religious, so I don’t go to mass or any church functions.  I also do not decorate for this holiday either.  I have cats and they would get up in a tree if I put one up and make a mess.  So I just don’t.  but, I do a gift exchange with a couple/few people every year.
8. If you celebrate Christmas, do you decorate?
Oops…answered this question already.  Nope.  I don’t decorate.  Maybe when I buy a house, I’ll do lights and some lawn décor. 
9. Do you do gift exchanges?
Dang it, I keep getting ahead of myself.  Yes, I do gift exchanges with a couple/few people and I love it!
10. What is your favorite gift you have ever received?
I have to say, out of all the Christmases I’ve had, my favorite gift was from last year.  My awesome friend Patricia gifted me with my amazing race medal holder.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What's Cookin' Sunday

I couldn't really think of 2 things to cook today.  I knew last week that I wanted to make crockpot meatloaf today.  So, I set about finding a recipe that looked good to me...and I found 2!  What did I do?  I mix the 2 recipes together and am hoping for the best!  Haha!


• 1 lb extra lean ground beef
• 1 lb lean ground turkey
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 3/4 cup 100% whole grain bread crumbs
• 3/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk
• 1 whole medium onion, chopped
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp ground sage
• 1/2 tsp black pepper
• 1 packet dry onion soup mix (I used Target's house brand, Market Pantry Onion Soup Mix)

• crack eggs into large mixing bowl and beat.
• add milk and dry ingredients.
• chop onion and add to bowl.
• add ground beef and turkey and mix all of it together with your hands.  make sure the turkey and the beef are completely mixed together and that there are no clumps of dry ingredients anywhere.
• place entire mixture into your crockpot, set on low and cook for 8 hours.

The other thing I decided to make this week was sweet potatoes in the crockpot.  This is SUPER easy.  You get 3-5 medium sized sweet potatoes and wrap them all in foil.  Place in crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.  Then, top as you desire and eat.  I plan to eat them with a little butter, sweetener and cinnamon.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What's Cookin' Sunday

I'm a little broke right now, so this week's What's Cookin' is simple and there's only 1 recipe.  There was going to be a ham cooked, but what I thought was a ham that was being given to me was actually a pork shoulder roast...I just cooked one of those last week in the crockpot, so I just stuck it in the freezer for later.  This week, we have spaghetti sauce!

Now, every time I make spaghetti sauce, it is different.  I like to include fresh sauteed veggies.  I don't make the base sauce from scratch.  I use store bought jarred sauces.  I don't always use the same one.  I'll just look at the selection on the shelves and see which one looks good to me that day.  Today, Ragu Super Chunky Mushroom sauce just "spoke" to me.  Haha.  So, I bought that and an onion and headed home.  I already had a pound of 93% lean ground beef, canned no salt added diced tomatoes and tomato paste at home.

Sara's Spaghetti Sauce

• 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
• 1 medium yellow/sweet onion, chopped
• 1 small can tomato paste
• 1 15oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
• 1 jar store bought red pasta sauce
• spices of your own choosing (this time I used garlic pepper and Italian seasoning)

• chop onion and saute in pan over medium high heat until translucent.
• add ground beef and cook until browned.
• add your spices and cook for about 30 seconds.
• add tomato paste and mix until coated.
• add in the diced tomatoes and pasta sauce.
• serve with your favorite pasta (mine is quinoa pasta) and sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.
info for sauce only, not including pasta or any cheese

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Running In The Rain

I think I like running in the rain…almost love it, in fact.  I don’t overheat in the rain and, growing up in Oregon, rain is just a part of who I am.  I’m serious.  When I was in high school and was emo before emo was known as emo, I would go for long walks in the rain, in the dark, without an umbrella.  I would just walk and walk and think about life.  It was very cathartic for me and it continues to be. 

Last week when I went to run 15 miles, I wasn’t looking forward to it.  I was verging on dreading it.  In fact, I was thinking at some point after the run, maybe over the weekend, that I don’t seem to much care for running farther than a half marathon distance and that maybe this will be the only marathon I ever run because I haven’t found any joy in running longer than the half marathon distance.  It was different today.  today I ran the entire 16 miles in the rain.  While it was slow, about 12:41 average per mile (which is perfect because I could have held that pace all day if I needed to and it was only 11 seconds slower than my marathon goal pace), it was still a great run.  Unlike where I wasn’t looking forward to last week’s 15 miles, I didn’t have to talk myself into making it out the door this morning.  I was looking forward to running in the rain! 

I set out to run slow.  I didn’t want to go fast and burn out and then go SUPER slow the last couple/few miles like I did a few weeks ago when I ran 14 miles in the rain.  I succeeded.  I was and am very happy with how today’s run went.  I got an odd pain…my right knee was hurting.  If I have to stop at an intersection and wait for the light to change to cross, I usually will stretch at least my calves, but today my quads were feeling tight, so I stretched those first and then the calves if there was still time. 

Not only was it raining today, but it was COLD.  When it’s colder, I don’t feel the need to drink as much water.  Also, when it’s raining, I wear my hydration pack under my rain jacket, so, while not difficult to unzip the jacket a little and get out the drinking tube, it’s a bit of a hassle.  So I decided to just drink when I felt the need to instead of my usual every mile.  Part of the reason for that was that my Garmin was covered by my jacket sleeve, so I couldn’t look at it as easily to see where I was in regards to the next mile.  So, it just ended up I only drank when I took in a gel at miles 5, 9 and 12.5.  I felt good throughout the whole run.  My fastest mile was 12:06 and my slowest was 13:09 (and I think that was when I forgot to pause my Garmin when I stopped to wait for an intersection light to change in my favor).  Most of my miles were in the 12:40’s and the 12:50’s, so I was pretty steady with holding my pace.

But, anyway, I have now run the furthest I have ever run in my life: 16 miles!!!  Of course, that will change when I run 17 miles next week, but hey, for now, I’ve ran my longest!

Monday, November 3, 2014

What's Cookin' Monday

Yes, this is mostly going to be a weekly installment that occurs on Sundays, but this weekend I was out of town, so the cooking is happening today, Monday.  I did cook one thing yesterday when I got home and that was a shredded BBQ pork shoulder roast.  I just put it in the crockpot before I went to bed and set the timer.  This morning, I added a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's hickory and brown sugar BBQ sauce.  The pork shoulder roast I used was about 2 lbs.  I set the portions to be 4oz each.  Here's the nutrition info:
 The first thing I cooked today was the Chicken Tandoori.  The recipe calls for using a whole chicken, however, to make portioning and such easier for me (and the fact that I prefer dark meat over light meat when it comes to poultry), I used about 3.5 lbs of boneless-skinless chicken thighs instead.

-for the glaze:
• 1/2 tsp garam masala
• 1/2 tsp cumin powder
• 1 tbsp oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
• 4 tbsp cilantro (I don't like cilantro, so I didn't include it, but if you like it, then you can use it)

-for the main dish:
• 3.5 lbs boneless-skinless chicken thighs
• 1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder
• 1 tbsp tandoori masala powder
• 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
• 1 shallot, chopped
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tsp ground clove
• 1/2 tsp garam masala

• pat the chicken dry and slice slits in it.
• in a small bowl, mix together the garam masala, tandoori masala, lemon juice, kashmiri chili powder, salt, and ginger garlic.
• add in the yogurt and mix well.
• rub this mixture onto the chicken and then sprinkle with the ground clove.
• place the chicken in the slow cooker. (if using a whole chicken, place it breast side up)
• add in the shallots and place the lid on top.
• cook on high heat for 1 hour and then reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 more hours.
• once the chicken is done cooking, place a saucepan on the stove over medium low heat and allow the oil to warm.
• once hot, add in the garam masala and cumin.
• remove the chicken from the crockpot along with the shallots.
• pour the juices from the slow cooker into the saucepan and stir.
• allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the glaze is thick.
• pour the glaze over the chicken and then serve.


• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2 pods of green cardamom (or 1 tsp of ground cardamom)
• 2 whole cloves (or 1 tsp of ground cloves)
• 1 tbsp cumin seed
• 1.5 cups long-grain basmati rice
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 onion
• 2.5 cups water

• soak the rice for 20-30 minutes, the closer to 30 minutes the better.
• heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. (make sure the pot you're using has a lid!)
• after the oil has heated for a minute or so, it's time to add in your seasonings.  they'll need to be cooked and stirred for another minute.  in no particular order, add 1 cinnamon stick, the cardamom, the cloves and the cumin seed.
• after the seasonings have had a minute or so to cook and absorb some oil, add your sliced onion.  saute the onion and the seasonings until the onion starts to turn a rich, golden brown.  you'll see it turning colors and growing softer and softer. (this will take around 10 minutes, depending on the heat radiated through the pot and the size of your onion)
• with a colander, drain your soaking rice.  try to get as much water out as possible.  then, throw it into your pot with the spices and the onion.  cook and stir the rice for 2-3 minutes; you want the outsides to be just lightly toasted.  at this point, add the salt.
• add 2.5 cups of water to the pot.  give the rice a stir to separate the grains and to fully immerse it in the oil and seasonings.  give it a couple minutes to come to a boil.
• once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover it with a lid.  make sure it's on LOW!  any higher and the water will evaporate too quickly and your rice will burn.  simmer for 15 minutes.  do not lift the lid during this 15 minutes.
• remove the rice from the stove and let it stand for 5 minutes.  it will continue to steam and cook during this time.

Based on the rice packaging, a serving is 1/4 cup dry or approximately 3/4 cup cooked.  This mean this recipe makes 10 servings. 
sauteing the sliced onion in the oil and spices

added the rice in

rice is done and ready to be portioned out!



• 1 tbsp chili powder
• 1/2 tsp garlic salt (I didn't have garlic salt, so I used garlic pepper)
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1.5 lbs medium shrimp
• cooking spray
• 2 tbsp lime juice
• 1/5 cups whole kernel corn
• 3/4 cup bottled salsa
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (again, I left this out because I don't like cilantro, but you can use it if you like it)
• 1 15oz can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

• heat a skillet over medium heat.
• mix chili powder, garlic salt/pepper, and cumin in a bowl and add the shrimp.  make sure the shrimp are thoroughly coated.
• coat the pan with cooking spray.  toss in the shrimp and saute for 3 minutes or until shrimp are thoroughly cooked.
• add 1 tbsp of lime juice to the pan and stir for a bit.
• remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
• add the corn to the pan and saute for 1 minute.  pour the salsa, cilantro and black beans and cook for another 30 seconds.  pour the remaining lime juice and stir.
• pour corn and black bean mixture into a serving dish and place shrimp on top.
the shrimp coated with the spice mixture

the corn, salsa and black bean mixture

the whole thing all mixed together

If you decide to make any of these, let me know how they turn out for you!  Enjoy!

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