Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Festive and healthy

My Pyrex bowls can get quite a work out this time of year...usually making something that contains chocolate or cream cheese (seriously)...
but yesterday I cooked up something festive that didn't contain sugar! You might even be able to call it healthy (if you don't serve it over tortilla chips like we did with the leftovers last night!)
 The main ingredient in Festive Rice Salad is this yummy ingredient that I found at my new favorite grocery store, Trader Joe's. This rice product contains barley and radish seeds, (who knew there was such a thing) but any long grain rice will work.
 Here's the recipe just in case you'd like to try it:

Festive Rice Salad
2/3 cup long grain rice
1 1/3 cup water
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 tsp. bottled crushed garlic (or equivalent)
1 1/2 cup chopped chicken
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup salted peanuts
1 Tbs. dried cilantro
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
Prepare rice according to directions on the package. Let stand at least 5 minutes, rinse with cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl. In a small skillet, saute' green pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro and carrot in vegetable oil till tender crisp. Add to rice. Stir in corn, beans, chicken, tomatoes, and peanuts. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, cayenne and cumin to make dressing. Pour over the vegetable/rice mixture and stir to coat well. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. This is great just like this, or may be served over crushed tortilla chips or even in a soft tortilla shell. Enjoy!

I always associate good food with my mother. Cooking was her way of showing love to her family, especially during holidays. I miss her a lot. Two of the many ornaments on my Christmas tree decorated my mom's tree for many years. I enjoy hanging them on my tree and remembering her.This plastic Santa was given to Mom by one of her 5 children...maybe it was me, I don't remember....
 My favorite is this little nativity, so sweet and tiny....
 We lost my mother-in-law a few years ago. I helped her trim her tree for many years and always enjoyed hanging this darling angel made from pasta. Now she graces my tree.
I love her so.


  1. Christmas ornaments certainly provoke great memories. I have that same pasta angel on my cute! Thanks for the recipe...sure does look yummy!

  2. Many of the ornaments on our tree are the same ones that hung on the trees of my childhood. It's wonderful to have those old memories there to share with newer members of the family, isn't it?

  3. I have lots of Pyrex too, I love them and will pull them out this week to do extra duty!
    Your ornaments are so special, have a very Merry Christmas!

  4. Thanks for the recipe. I was planning a trip to TJ today anyway!

  5. Okay I am loving the sound of that salad! Must do that for a quick meal all in one bowl. Merry Christmas to you and yours .

  6. The Pyrex bowls sure look familiar, and like new! Do you use them ONLY at Christmas, to keep them looking so good?! The recipe sounds great. Since I already know how good your recipes are, this is definitely one I'll try. Your sentimental ornaments are nice. Very special. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I totally would eat it with tortilla chips!! Those ornaments are so sweet and precious :)