Category Archives: Starches

Gluten Free Recipes Starches Vegan Vegetarian

This Rice Bowl Has a Secret

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gluten free brown rice kale bowl

I’ll add a pic of the finished dish a bit later but after I posted this teaser on Instagram so many of you have been asking for the recipe that I wanted to get it up here for you all.

I love food that I can make ahead and then just assemble and heat up on a busy day. This dish incorporates several of my make ahead items for a bowl dinner that is a raving fave around here.

The base of this bowl is the brown rice and therein lies the secret. Half of the rice is actually “riced” cauliflower. I always have raw riced cauliflower in the freezer. Basically I throw raw cauliflower florets in the food processor and pulse until it’s the texture of rice. I don’t want it to be mushy. I want each “grain” to be able to stand up on its own. I pack the riced cauliflower into large silicone ice cube trays which hold about 1/3 cup in each well. When it’s fully frozen I remove the cauliflower from the trays and pack them into zip-lock freezer bags. I’m looking for silicone bags I can use in place of the plastic bags but for now this works. It’s so easy to pop out a cube or two or three when I need it for a recipe or just to add to a cup of soup. It’s perfect to add to any rice dish to get more veggies in. Trust me, you’ll never notice that 1/2 the dish is cauliflower instead of rice.

Another thing I always have in the freezer is a cooked veggie mix. For this dish I chose a kale, onion and toasted pecan mix I’d made up last week. All I did was toast chopped pecans in a pan over medium heat. When slightly browned I dumped them into a bowl, added extra-virgin olive oil to the pan along with some onions and when the onions were lightly browned added chopped kale, salt and pepper, and some more EVOO. When the kale was slightly browned in spots I removed the pan from the heat and stirred in the pecans. I like to use this mix over pasta with pesto or just some EVOO, over brown rice, eat as is, add Parmesan or other hard cheese for a change up.

Every now and then I pour myself a glass of dry white wine over ice and then walk away and never drink it. I pour this water and wine into a bottle and save it in the fridge. It’s perfect for making sauces and risotto.

So these are the basic ingredients I used to make this rice bowl.

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine (or broth)

4 cups chicken or beef or bone broth, vegetable broth, or water

1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and black or white pepper (only if using water as your cooking liquid)

2 cups raw riced cauliflower

2 tablespoons butter (optional)

1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan (optional)

Instructions

Heat oil until hot over medium heat, then add rice. Stir occasionally for five minutes. Add wine. Allow to cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, stirring occasionally. While rice is cooking heat broth in microwave or in another pan on the stove. No need to bring it to a boil, but it should be hot. When wine is absorbed add 1/2 cup broth. When the broth is almost absorbed add another 1/2 cup broth. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and cooking it down.

When you still have 1 cup of broth left add the cauliflower and the butter to the rice. It can still be frozen if you didn’t have time to defrost it. Continue adding broth and allowing it to cook down until the rice is tender. Stir in Parmesan if using. The resulting dish should be creamy but not soupy. You may not end up using all 4 cups of broth.

Pour risotto onto one large platter or individual bowls. Top with hot Toasted Pecan Kale mix. You can stop at this point but I drizzled a sauce made from sour cream thinned with white wine onto my bowl. My favorite way to top this though is with a balsamic glaze (reduced balsamic vinegar).

Another Little Secret

I always soak my grains before cooking them. After my morning coffee I put 1 cup of uncooked brown rice in a glass bowl with two tablespoons of an acid such as yogurt, yogurt whey, lemon  or lime juice, or apple cider vinegar. After pouring in enough water to cover the rice about one inch I set it aside for at least seven hours and as long as twenty-four hours. Drain, rinse and you’re ready to cook it although you’ll need half as much cooking liquid as you would need if cooking without soaking.

Gluten Free Low Calorie Paleo Recipes Starches Vegan Vegetarian

Glazed Root Vegetables

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healthy vegetable recipe
This was a lazy cooking day. I was actually surprised that this dish turned out as well as it did. I don’t know why I’m still surprised that extremely simple recipes turn out to be my faves. I guess after years of cooking “five star” meals it’s hard to set aside the idea that you need tons of ingredients and even more time to create something extraordinary.  While I used carrots and jicama for this dish, this works well with any winter squash. Try it with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or acorn squash.
Cut vegetables into chunks, or sticks.

Heat 1 tablespoon cooking oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, place vegetables in pan and lightly salt them. If you use sea salt you can thank me later. Saute for three to five minutes until the veggies just start to get tender. Stir them occasionally. In a small dish mix a scant one tablespoon coconut sugar or honey, two tablespoons water, or juice, or broth, one teaspoon seasoning from the list below. Cook and stir until veggies are glazed and just barely tender.

Seasoning:

Cumin
Ginger
Curry
Hot sauce
Cayenne
Crushed peppers
Kid Friendly Recipes Starches Vegan Vegetarian

Quinoa Burritos

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quinoa-burritoes

Not all UnDieters are following Paleo or Low Carb so I wanted to give you all one of my favorite burrito recipes. Vegans can forgo the cheese and this will still be a delicious recipe. As with most of my recipes there are many variations which I’ll share with you at the end after the basic recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chopped vegetables such as zucchini, onions, or bell peppers, or a mix

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

one 15 ounce can black, pinto, or kidney beans

2 cups tomato salsa or salsa verde

8 whole wheat tortillas

1t o 2 cups shredded cheddar, pepper Jack, or Mexican cheese blend

Instructions

Rinse quinoa well. Drain and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, paprika, vegetables and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir in beans and 1 cup salsa. Place one tortilla in an oiled baking dish. Fill with 1 cup of the quinoa mixture. Fold over. Continue filling and folding tortillas until all 8 tortillas are filled. Top with 1 cup of salsa and the cheese. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until hot and bubbling.

Vegan Variation

Use soy cheese in place of the cheese or just eliminate the cheese altogether.

Spice Change Up

Change up the paprika with taco seasoning or fajita seasoning.

Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic to the quinoa while boiling it.

For really cheesy burritos add 1 cup cheese to the quinoa mixture before rolling it up in the tortillas. You’ll have extra filling left over which you can set aside for another meal or just use a couple extra tortillas.

Top It Off

After removing from the oven garnish with chopped avocado, sour cream, sliced green onion, chopped roasted green chilies, sliced olives, chopped red onion …

Gluten Free Kid Friendly Paleo Recipes Starches Vegan Vegetarian

Sweet Potato “Fries”

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baked sweet potato friesI’ve been posting a lot of recipes lately with quotation marks around them. “Fries”, “rice”, “potato”, “guac”. Oh well, this one is one of my favorites. It’s quite simple and really nothing new but I thought I’d post it anyway as a reminder of how easy it is to eat healthy and enjoy what you’re eating. Why feel deprived while eating to lose weight and get healthy if you don’t have to?

I peeled these potatoes because they were a little old, but I prefer these “fries” with the skin on. Cut sweet potatoes into fry shaped sticks or wedges. You can cut them as thin or as thick as you like, the important thing is to cut them all roughly the same size so they’ll cook evenly.

Place them on a baking sheet. Spray or toss them with your choice of oil, coconut oil or olive oil are my oils of choice with these. Sprinkle with sea salt and arrange so they’re in one layer and not too crowded. Pop them into an oven preheated to 450 degrees. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how large your slices are. Take out of the oven and flip them after 15 minutes, 10 minutes if your slices are especially thin.

Variations

1 teaspoon (per potato) of a spice or spice combination of your choice:

  • chipotle powder (small pinch)
  • wasabe powder (small pinch)
  • smoked paprika
  • fajita seasoning
  • taco seasoning
  • Chinese five-spice
  • cumin
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • garam masala
  • Cajun seasoning

Eat them as is or serve them up with ketchup, mustard, mayo or as you’ll see in the photo above I served mine with mayo to which I’d added mashed cloves of roasted garlic.

You can thank me later :)

Gluten Free Recipes Starches Vegetarian

Brown Rice Milk Semi-fail

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brown-rice-polentaMy attempt to make brown rice milk by using a blender to buzz cooked brown rice and water was a complete failure. It tasted like dirty water. However I decided to make this into a creative challenge and see if I could make it into something edible.

I poured the water and rice into a pot and started heating it up. After being buzzed in the blender the rice was almost a mash. Once it got hot it very quickly thickened up into what looked like a porridge. I added a vegetable bouillon cube, tasted and was in seventh heaven. What I had was a savory porridge or rice polenta. Since I’d picked up some spinach from the farmers market that morning I decided to add some curry to my rice polenta, spoon it onto a platter, top it with spinach and onions sauteed with some garlic and call it a meal.

While the brown rice milk experiment was a complete fail, I’m excited to try some variations of my rice polenta. Here are some of my ideas:

– Use nondairy milk instead of water, add some raisins or dates, and your sweetener of choice for a delicious rice pudding. Top with diced or pureed berries.

– Use canned roasted tomatoes with their juice in place of the water.

– Top with any of the following:

  • cubes of non-dairy cheese
  • sauteed tofu
  • cubed tempeh
  • soy chorizo, non-dairy cheese, avocado, salsa
  • roasted veggies
  • ratatouille
  • vegetable stew

Please share with us in the comments below if you try this rice polenta with your own spin.

 

Gluten Free Kid Friendly Low Carb Recipes Starches Vegan Vegetarian

Maple Cream Cheese Spread

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maple sweetened vegan cream cheese spread

I’m not going to give you exact amounts for this one because it would ruin the fact that this delish spread is so darn easy. So here’s the “recipe” – mix real maple syrup into cream cheese or vegan cream cheese. That’s it. No need to add anything else. I experimented a bit to see if adding things like vanilla, sea salt, orange zest would make it any better and they really don’t, although you could add orange zest just to give it a slightly different flavor.

Recipes Starches

Honey Flaxseed Bread

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Is flaxseed the new miracle food? That’s a big claim to live up to, yet this tiny little seed provides 3 incredible benefits for your diet. Dr. Oz highly recommends a daily dose of flaxseed as a great source of fiber, omega-3 and lignans which reduce the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. And if all that isn’t enough to get you on the flaxseed wagon, flaxseed  has been known to reduce hot flashes. Go flaxseed!

I’ll take any opportunity to get some flaxseed into a meal. I’ll sprinkle it into fruit smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and bread is a great way to get lots of flaxseed into your diet.

I prefer golden flaxseed as it has a much lighter flavor. Don’t buy pre-ground flaxseed. Grind it yourself in a coffee grinder or a blender. Flaxseed starts to degenerate as soon as its exposed to heat and air so a bag of pre-ground flaxseed sitting on a shelf in a grocery store is not an option for me. Besides it’s super easy to grind it yourself.

This recipe makes one loaf. You can of course double the recipe if you’ll be serving a lot of bread this week, or set aside one loaf after the first rise, wrap it in plastic and freeze it. Then when you’re ready to bake it up, thaw it at room temperature or in the fridge, do the second rising in the loaf pan and bake it up. So much easier than making the entire recipe twice.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup flaxseed

1-3/4 cups lukewarm water

1 tablespoon honey

2 1/4 cups whole grain flour, whole wheat, white whole wheat, pumpemickel, or rye

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

Instructions:

In food processor grind flaxseed into a coarse meal. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir water and honey until honey is dissolved, or pulse in food processor. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand until yeast bubbles, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup flour, salt and ground flaxseed. With a wooden spoon, stir vigorously in the same direction until batter is smooth or pulse in a food processor. Alternatively, mix dough in a stand-up mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Gradually stir in 1 cup flour until mixture becomes too difficult to stir comfortably. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding only enough of the remaining bread flour to keep it from sticking, until dough is smooth and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky.

Lightly oil a large bowl. To save on dishes if I’ve mixed this in a bowl rather than a food processor I use a spatula to scrape out as much of the dough as I can into an oiled loaf pan, then oil the bowl. Place dough back into the bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise in a warm place such as the top of a television set or the refrigerator on in the sun until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Lightly oil a loaf pan. Punch dough down. Flatten into a disk and tightly roll the dough into a log. Place seam-side down in loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough comes over the top of the pan, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake bread for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bread is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Turn bread out onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing. Although I have to admit I can never resist cutting off the ends to eat as soon as the loaf is cool enough to handle.

$$$avers Recipes Starches

Healthy Dip – Prepare Your Own Hummus Recipe

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Mediterranean cuisine has introduced us to our a different kind of healthy dip or spread. Hummus is a popular alternative to sour cream dips or cream cheese spreads. Some people buy hummus from a specialty shop already prepared. However, because the cost of preparing a hummus recipe on your own is very inexpensive and so easy to make, you could whip up your own hummus dip in just a few minutes and save yourself a bit of cash also. And the varieties  – you can make lemon or garlic flavored or even a super spicy dip for the adventurous palate. You can add spinach or roasted peppers or even roasted eggplant.

Ingredients

There are two basic ingredients – chickpeas and tahini. In some other recipes, garbanzo beans are listed as the main ingredient. Chickpeas and garbanzos are the same thing, garbanzo being the Spanish term for chickpea. Tahini is the other main ingredient used in every hummus recipe. These are sesame seeds that are ground until the seeds achieve the consistency of a paste. You can make this yourself in a food processor or pick up a jar of tahini.

Hummus recipe preparation

Preparing the hummus dip does not require any culinary expertise and preparation can take as little as 5 minutes. You just  place the ingredients in a food processor, run the small appliance until the chickpeas are crushed and processed to achieve the desired consistency. If you need to add liquid to get the hummus to the desired consistency you can add extra-virgin olive oil, broth, water or even tomato juice. Taste and add salt to taste (if needed). Truly – it takes less than 5 minutes.

Nutrients

As this dip is made from beans (chickpeas or garbanzos beans) and seeds, hummus is rich in protein. The two ingredients both come from the plant kingdom like the main ingredient of any quinoa recipe. Thus both hummus and quinoa recipes are loaded with protein. Other nutrients in a hummus dip are iron, folic acid and monosaturated fats. With sesame seeds in the tahini paste, the hummus dip is a good source of amino acid. Again, like quinoa, hummus is a good source of protein and dietary fiber.

Due to the simple way to prepare the dip and the availability and affordability of the ingredients, you can serve hummus dip very frequently. If you want to have hummus dip with a twist, add other ingredients for a different taste. Hummus is also good for vegetarians and goes well with chips, breads and fruits.

NOTE FROM UNDIET: We like hummus also because it is a good way to have a healthy spread or dip when having a Starch meal. We generally will add vegetables to the hummus to cut down on calories and to add a nice flavor.

Recipes Starches Vegetarian

Comfort Food Without The Calories – A Healthy Minestrone Soup

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As fall starts to come the chill in the air starts to make you want warm comfort foods, instead of reaching for the creamy cheesy carbohydrate loaded concoction that you think might make you feel warm and cozy, go for another warm food that won’t wreak havoc on your diet. When looking for how to lose belly fat through your diet, this low-fat, healthy, Minestrone soup is a a great option. This lean soup is full of vegetables, and a great source of lean protein. Soup is an excellent meal choice when you’re watching your diet because it’s very filling. You want to be sure you stick to the water-based soups, and not cream based soups. Cream based soups are typically high in fat and calories.

Healthy Minestrone Soup Ingredients:
2 TBS olive oil
5 red potatoes, cubed
5 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
6 cups of water
3 TBS diced fresh basil
2 TBS diced fresh oregano
1 TBS salt
2 cups uncooked small shaped pasta

Combine olive oil, potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic in a large pot over medium heat. Mix in tomato paste, beans, water and broth. Add basil, oregano and salt. Cook for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Continue to stir. Add pasta to pot. Continue cooking until pasta is tender. You really can add any vegetables you want to this soup to up your servings of vegetables for the day. Also, to save yourself time you can use frozen vegetables, and pre-cook the pasta while the rest of the soup is cooking, and then stir it in at the end.

This is a great meal for a cold day. Serve up with some whole grain bread and you’re set. Continue reading for more fat burning recipes

Beverages High Protein Starches Vegetarian

More Recipes for Losing Weight – Creamy Rice Soup

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Here’s another one of our UnDiet recipes for losing weight that also works for a vegetarian losing weight and adheres to the principles of food combining. Call it a three-fer!

I love Trader Joes! They are my go-to source for quick and easy meals. A few choice purchases and I have the makings for several entirely different meals. I recently picked up a small tub of their Parmesan Artichoke Dip which has a cream cheese base. I spread it on top of a toasted piece of their whole wheat naan bread, then added some thinly sliced fresh tomatoes. Delicious! Then I had some dental work and couldn’t chew for a few days. I didn’t want the artichoke dip to go to waste so I mixed up this Creamy Rice Soup and I was in heaven!

Remember that I put amounts in my recipes to make it easier to give my readers an idea of what I’m doing, but there is no need to use exact measurements. A large spoonful can serve as a 1/4 cup measure, a coffee mug (which is usually what I use to serve soup in) holds about 1 & 1/2 cups, etc.

This is not a chicken and rice soup recipe though because that would be a bad food combination. See the notes at the end of the post.

Stir together and heat until very hot:
2 cups broth (I used french onion broth but any vegetable broth will do)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice or brown rice pilaf

Alternatively you could use 2 cups of leftover whole grain pasta or shirataki noodles.

Remove rice from heat and stir in 1/4 cup each of Trader Joes Artichoke Parmesan Dip and diced soy cheese. Grab a spoon and I guarantee you’ll be in heaven too!

You can also add more rice so that you have a stew rather than a soup.

If you are not a vegetarian losing weight you might be tempted to stir in some cooked chicken or turkey for a very hearty soup but it’s not a good idea when practicing food combining to mix a grain (the rice) with a protein (chicken or turkey).

I hope you’ll enjoy these recipes for losing weight for dinner tonight! And if you want to be prepared for those nights when you’re not up to cooking, pick up one or more of the delish brown rice mixes below.