Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

Guess who’s back?  Back again?  Rookie’s back…tell a friend!  Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back…

Ok, that was a total college flashback, but, I’M BACK!!  Wow, life has been CRAZY in The Rookie Baker household, most of which has been the good kind of crazy, but crazy nonetheless.  Shortly after I wrote my last post (8 months ago…), we made the crazy decision to sell our house and buy my in-law’s house in a town 20 minutes away.  What we didn’t expect was for that house to sell in less than 3 weeks, during the husband’s busy travel season.  We survived it, and in early June we finally moved to our new home!  It is much smaller and the kitchen leaves much to be desired (sooooo hoping to do a kitchen renovation in the semi-near future), but we love it here!  My in-laws live 5 minutes away (a good thing for sure!) and our boys have already made friends in our new town.

Speaking of those boys, both of them have had birthdays since my last post!  I am the proud mom of a 5 year old and a 2 year old.  Crazy.  Our oldest started kindergarten in September and is enjoying a swim class four nights a week.  That alone keeps me busy, but then add in the tiny one’s therapy sessions, doctor’s appointments, library story hours, weekly mommy and me swim class, volunteering for the PTA, and the husband’s hectic travel schedule, and I swear all I do is run around like a crazy person!  Cooking has certainly taken a back burner over the last, well, 8 months, but I’m slowly getting back in the kitchen!  Because our schedule is chaotic most weeks, I’ll likely be posting a good number of weeknight friendly recipes that are kid (and adult) tested and approved.

Enough about me, let’s talk about this recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice.  We are HUGE Chipotle fans, and were thrilled when one opened in our old town just five minutes from our house.  Let’s just say we may have singlehandedly kept them in business as we navigated the chaos of selling our house.  I love their burrito bowls and was on the hunt for a recipe I could make at home so I could recreate this family favorite.  Skinny Taste to the rescue!  This rice tastes exactly like the rice at Chipotle, and dare I say it, perhaps even better.  I make this at least once a week as the base for burrito bowls.  Stay tuned for a few great slow cooker recipes that pair perfectly with this rice!  On its own or as the base of a burrito bowl, this rice is truly a family favorite!

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
1/2 lime, juiced
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
3 tsp vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed.

Source:  Skinny Taste


Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

I’m like a little kid when it comes to eating my vegetables. Once I see them, I start the “But Mom, I don’t LIKE [insert evil vegetable name here]!” whining. I guess that’s the fun part about adulthood…you don’t have anyone forcing you to eat the dreaded veggies. Or at least until you have kids. Because now I have to convince two very smart boys that vegetables are delicious! Thankfully, the tiny man is a big fan of the veggies…I’ve actually seen him choose cherry tomatoes or sliced red peppers over cookies. No joke. How is this kid mine?

Because I need to continue the “veggies are great!” routine around here, I really need to embrace eating them, and find some delicious ways to prepare them. Let me tell you, this recipe for green beans is an excellent start! First of all, everything is better with bacon, and that’s where these bad boys start. Add some onions (which I didn’t do this time because I was somehow out of onions), saute for a bit, then add the green beans, water, salt, pepper and sugar, and voila, a tasty green bean side dish in a short amount of time! These do taste better the longer they cook…the first time I made them they only simmered for about 10 minutes, but the second time I let them go for a little over 30 minutes, and they tasted much better the second time around. If you are veggie-phobic as I am, or have veggie-phobic kids/spouses/etc., I recommend giving these a try!

Texas Roadhouse Green Beans

2 (16 ounce) cans of green beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 strips of bacon, diced
1/2 a medium onion, diced

Drain green beans and set aside. Mix water, sugar, pepper and salt until well incorporated. Set aside.

Preheat a deep pan over medium high heat. Add the diced bacon. Cook until just starting to get crispy. Add the onions and cook until they are tender, then add the green beans and liquid mixture. Stir to incorporate. Bring mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Simmer until ready to serve.

Source:  As seen on Taste of Home Cooking, originally slightly modified from The Rookie Chef

Dijon Roasted New Potatoes

These potatoes are amazing.  Seriously.  I’m a huge fan of potatoes in general, but these, well, these are my most favorite potatoes I’ve had to date.  The Dijon mustard makes these crispy on the outside without having to use too much oil.  The husband hates Dijon mustard, and he gobbled these up, so don’t get turned off if you’re not a Dijon fan.  Easy, delicious, and healthy.  Pefection 🙂

Dijon Roasted New Potatoes
Points+: 4 per serving

1 spray cooking spray (I used my Misto)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds uncooked new potatoes, red or white, quartered or halved

Preheat oven to 425.  Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, olive oil, paprika,salt, thyme, and pepper; add potatoes and stir to coat.

Transfer potatoes to prepared baking dish and roast 15 minutes; stir and roast until tender on the inside, about 15 to 20 minutes more.  Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

Source:  Weight Watchers

Parmesan Orzo

This side dish makes an appearance on our dinner table at least once every couple of weeks, and I realized I didn’t have this on my blog!  I love orzo and am always looking for ways to incorporate it into our dinners.  This comes together in about 20 minutes and is an excellent complement to any main dish.  I cannot remember where I got this recipe…I’ve been making this for at least 5 years now and have it memorized at this point.

Parmesan Orzo

1 cup orzo, uncooked
1 Tbsp butter
1 can chicken brother (14.5 ounces)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes

Melt butter in pan over medium heat.  Add orzo and stir 2-3 minutes to lightly toast.  Add broth; bring to a boil for 1 minute.  Turn heat to low, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until broth is almost absorbed and orzo is soft.  add cheese and parsley; stir.

Mexican Rice

This rice was the perfect accompainiment for the Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos we had for Cinco de Mayo.  It comes together in about 25 minutes or so, and only requires a little bit of up front work.  This will definitely be a go-to side dish for our Mexican dinners!

Mexican Rice
Servings: Points+: 5

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin.

Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Source: From Allrecipes

Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese

I love, love, love homemade macaroni and cheese and am continually on the lookout for the perfect recipe.  When I saw this one from Alton Brown, I had a feeling my quest for the perfect recipe would be over.  This mac and cheese, to me, was perfect…rich and creamy and delicious.  Unfortunatly, the husband and toddler still have a preference for the blue box!!  The toddler said it was “too tangy mommy” and the husband said he wasn’t a fan of the sharp cheddar flavor (even though he LOVES sharp cheddar cheese…go figure).  So, the next time I make this, I may use half mild cheddar and half sharp to see if that makes a difference.

Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

Source: From Alton Brown on Food Network’s Website

Crash Hot Potatoes

Oooo, these were so good!  Huge hit with all of us!  I’m always on the lookout for an easy and delicious side dish option, and these potatoes definitely fit that description.  While they are very easy to make, they do take awhile between the boiling and the baking.  I started these later than I should have, which pushed our dinner a little later than I like.  Oh well, they were worth the wait!  Probably the best part of these is that you can use any seasoning/herbs that sound good to you.  Tonight I used lemon pepper on some and Southwest seasoning on others.  We loved the lemon pepper, but weren’t crazy about the Southwest.  Next time I want to use red potatoes instead of the Yukon Gold…the husband said he would have liked the red ones better.  For some reason, my grocery store was out of small red potatoes when I went.  Give these a try…YUM!

Crash Hot Potatoes

12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
Herbs/Seasonings Of Choice To Taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and herbs/seasonings.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Source:  Very slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks