All posts tagged rice

Double Drive Thru Veggie Burgers

Published October 17, 2016 by jenmatteson

It’s football season, which means parties, junk food, and lots of drinks! And all of those things tastes so much better when you are playing your biggest rival. For us, that means our Vikings are playing the Pack. It was an evening game, so instead of making snacks and appetizers, I wanted to make a meal; something indulgent. Well, seemingly anyway.


I’ve had this recipe for some time, and figured this was the perfect opportunity to make these delicious sounding burgers! I was a little too excited for the game I think, as I burned the buns ūüė¶ Thankfully I had more in the freezer, so I didn’t have to do the old scrape-the-burn-parts-off-with-a-knife-into-the-sink trick. I actually threw something away if you can believe it. But, just look at them…who would save them?


I was pleasantly surprised at the consistency of these burgers when forming them as they stayed together very nicely. Even better, they browned up and actually kind of looked like hamburger patties.


Building the burgers proved to be a bit of a challenge, as they kept falling to one side of the other. A toothpick wouldn’t have helped since they are so huge! Speaking of huge, Nate refused to eat it with both patties, he had to deconstruct the burger. I powered through, squashed it down, and shoveled it in! The burger has some heft from the lentils, and the crunch from the walnuts was a nice added texture.

I haven’t even talked about the sauce yet. It was out of this world! I was a little hesitant with the tofu because I don’t work with it, well, ever. I like it, I eat it, but I’ve never made anything with tofu. The sauce really tasted like it had a mayo base. I think I even fooled Nate and my parents. My parents had us over for a fish fry the following day and so I brought this sauce thinking it would be good on the fish in place of tartar. It was fantastic! So don’t worry if you have too much, it can be put to many uses! Oh, and in case you were wondering, the Vikings won ūüôā


Double Drive Thru Veggie Burgers

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 4


6 oz soft tofu, cubed
3 tbsp. ketchup
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp agave or honey
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
1 tbsp. fresh dill
Kosher salt

5 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
1 cup cooked brown rice
1-15 oz can cooked lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp dried basil
4 hamburger buns, plus 4 bun bottoms, toasted
tomato slices, dill pickle chips, lettuce and thinly sliced red onion for garnish


  1. Make the sauce. In the bowl of a food processor combine tofu, ketchup, mustard, agave, garlic, pickle relish and dill. Puree until well combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
  2. Make the burgers. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. oil. Add onion and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with salt. In the bowl of a food processor, combine onion and garlic mixture, rice, lentils, walnuts, flour and dried basil. Pulse until the mixture just comes together and whole grains of rice are still visible. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Using lightly oiled hands, press 1/3 cup of the mixture into 1/2-inch thick patties and transfer to a plate, making a total of 8 patties.
  4. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties until bottoms are browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the other side is browned and patty is heated through, about 5 more minutes.
  5. Starting with the bottom bun, layer spread, burger patty, toppings, another bottom bun, spread, burger patty, toppings, spread and top bun. Repeat for remaining 3 servings.

General Tso’s Chicken – Lightened up!

Published September 8, 2013 by jenmatteson

Don’t you hate it when you are looking forward to a bowl of cereal in the morning, only to find your sig other had finished off the milk without alerting you or purchasing more? ¬†Sadly, this happens to me quite frequently. ¬†Sometimes Nate makes his protien shakes with water, and sometimes he makes them with milk. ¬†Of course, when I am expecting to have a bowl of cereal in the morning, that happens to be the day that he uses up the rest of the milk for his shakes. ¬†But, when we don’t have cereal, but still have a half-gallon of milk left, he chooses this time to use water. ¬†I will never understand.

General Tso's Chicken

The most recent time this happened, I had left over Special K. ¬†I remembered that I had this General Tso’s Chicken recipe made with corn flakes, and decided Special K would be an easy swap for Corn Flakes. ¬†Mind you, this is the regular Special K, not any special flavor with¬†the red berries or yogurt or anything of that sort. ¬†That would probably be weird.

General Tso's Chicken

The chicken is breaded and baked, and it stays nice and crispy after coating it with this yummy sauce. ¬†I didn’t add any extra heat to the sauce, but you better believe that I added Sriracha to my plate! ¬†I could have easily added veggies to this dish, but I’m embarrassed to say, I didn’t have any on hand, so this was an easy go to! ¬†Don’t be afraid to step outside your box when you’re in a pinch. ¬†You might find something you like, or even love!

General Tso's Chicken

Lightened Up General Tso’s Chicken

Source: Adapted from Dainty Chef
Servings: 4-6


1/4 all-purpose flour
3 large egg whites
4 cups Special K cereal, finely crushed (I used my food processor)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
olive oil spray

1 2/3 cup water
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup apricot jam
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes


1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack on top, and spray with olive oil.  Set aside.

2. Pulse cereal until fine and pour into shallow dish.  Whisk egg whites in another shallow dish.  Add flour to gallon size zip-top bag.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to bag with flour, close, and shake until all chicken is coated evenly with flour.  Piece by piece, remove chicken, shaking off any excess flour, dip in egg whites, then into crushed cereal, then place on wire rack.    Spray with olive oil and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the sauce.  In a small bowl, whisk water, soy sauce, apricot jam, hoisin, cornstarch and vinegar together.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in small sauce pan.  Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about one minute.  Whisk in soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Simmer until sauce thickens, about two minutes.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

4. Once chicken is cooked, place in a large bowl, and toss with desired amount of sauce. ¬†Unless you like it really saucy, you probably won’t use it all. ¬†Serve over rice and garnish with green onion or chives if desired.

Meatless Monday: Spicy Bean and Rice Tacos

Published June 17, 2013 by jenmatteson

Once again, it’s Meatless Monday!¬† For this edition, I decided to go with Jaida’s spicy bean and rice tacos from Sweet Beginnings.¬† I’ve made her avocado and lime black bean tacos in the past for a recipe swap and saved this one as well.¬† We love tacos, so I anticipate we’ll be back to try several more of her taco Tuesday creations.¬† What a fantastic idea!

Spicy Bean and Rice Tacos

This really seems like a burrito-taco¬†to me, seeing as though it has rice and beans, but honestly, I’m not sure what constitutes a taco or a burrito.¬† I am going with tacos though, because they are in a taco shell, and not wrapped up like a burrito.¬† That makes perfect sense, right?¬†¬†These tacos came together so quickly and incorporated ingredients that are always in my pantry or fridge.¬† I added a little extra cayenne pepper, as we like it spicy, but other than that, these were perfect.¬† Add some choice toppings and you’re good to go!¬† We used the leftovers as salad toppers, as we do for most of our leftovers when applicable.

Spicy Bean and Rice Taco

Spicy Bean and Rice Tacos

Source: Slightly adapted from Sweet Beginnings
Servings: 6


1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 cup water or vegetable broth
1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked whole grain rice
flour tortillas
toppings as desired (lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, Greek yogurt, etc.)


1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, chipotle pepper in adobo, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add the beans and water to the pan and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Partially mash the beans with the back of a wooden spoon.

3. Remove from heat and add rice.  Stir until well combined.  Scoop mixture into tortilla shells and top as desired.

Spicy Pineapple Chicken

Published October 27, 2012 by jenmatteson

Elly posted this recipe on Thursday morning, and I made it for dinner on Thursday night.¬† It’s not often that recipes make it to my dinner table same day, let alone same week.¬† But I just so happened to have all the ingredients, and I had purchased chicken breasts at the grocery store over the weekend (on sale, of course) that I had been meaning to freeze, but still hadn’t gotten around to.¬† I figured I should at least make two of them for dinner tonight, which will force me to¬†freezer-zip-top-baggie¬†the other two and store in the freezer.¬† However, I just couldn’t decide what to make.¬† I was thinking buffalo chicken wraps, then chicken tacos, then possibly a salad (I have a gala this weekend and must look good in my dress!), but nothing really seemed to excite me.¬† Thankfully, I was on my cooking board and Elly, from Elly says Opa!, posted this recipe (pictures didn’t hurt either!).

I had leftover pineapple from mango-habanero chicken sandwiches, and it’s not like I couldn’t just eat the pineapple alone, but it’s always more fun to make something from it.

I didn’t change much, but I only had a half can of pineapple w/juice left, so that left me with about 1/2 cup of pineapple juice.¬† I made it work, but I’d suggest the full cup if you have it.¬† Also, I added a little more chili sauce, as we like things with a little more kick.¬† I would have added sliced green onions to the finished product, but I didn’t have any, so I used some cilantro, just to add some color.¬† Everything else is pretty much as the recipe was written, and it was delicious.¬† Definitely better than take out and a good creation for my uninspiring chicken breasts!

Spicy Pineapple Chicken

Source: Elly Says Opa!
Servings: 4


For the sauce:
1 cup pineapple juice
1-2 tbsp chili sauce (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 tsp cornstarch

For the chicken and vegetables:
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced thick
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped pineapple


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together pineapple juice, chili sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, water and cornstarch.  Set aside.

2. Salt and pepper¬†sliced chicken breasts, then toss¬†with cornstarch.¬† Ensure all pieces are coated with the cornstarch.¬† Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a skillet, and heat over medium-high heat.¬† Once oil is hot,¬†add chicken¬†and cook on each side until cooked through, 3-5 minutes.¬† You may have to add the chicken in¬†two batches so you don’t¬†crowd the pan.¬† You want your chicken to get a nice crust.

3. If needed, add a small amount more oil to the pan and saute onions and peppers for about 3 minutes, until they start to  become soft.  Add garlic and cook for one minute more.   Stir in the sauce and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 3-5 more minutes, until sauce begins to thicken.  Add chopped pineapple and chicken.  Toss to coat chicken with sauce.  Serve over prepared whole grain rice.

Fried Rice

Published April 15, 2012 by jenmatteson

Nate asks me to make fried rice at any opportunity – usually when we are having anything Asian for dinner. ¬†Unfortunately, the secret to really good fried rice is to use leftover rice, rice that is refrigerator cold. ¬†Using warm rice just doesn’t yield the same results.

I would consider this a somewhat healthy fried rice; I used whole grain rice instead of white, olive oil instead of canola, egg substitute instead of eggs, and low sodium soy sauce.

Fried Rice

Source: Pigzilla Original
Servings: 6


2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup egg substitute (or 2 eggs, lightly beaten)
2 cups whole grain rice, cooked and cold
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (or vegetable of your choice)
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
salt and pepper


1. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add egg substitute and stir until lightly scrambled.  Add rice and cook over medium high heat until rice begins to brown and become slightly crisp, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add frozen vegetables and continue to cook over medium high heat until vegetables are warmed through.  Reduce heat to medium low and add soy sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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