Pineapple “Unfried” Rice

Sage Mountain Farm
Garnish with fresh cilantro for a great lookin’ plate!

Today we will be using a recipe from the YouTube show, The Chef and The Dietician.  They call it Pineapple Unfried Rice.  Ya’ know, fried rice…only not fried.  No oil and veggie-packed folks, about as healthy as you can get!  Bring it on! 

This is a super tasty recipe.  Hubby and kids approved and I, of course, loved it.

I used the veggies that I had on hand from this week’s CSA box instead of the ones that they suggest.

Sage Mountain Farm
Chopped and Ready!

It is a versatile recipe and the combo of pineapple with cilantro is out of this world!  Like, crazy good!  It is easy to throw together on a weeknight and tasty enough to serve to guests.  I think that it is safe to say that this is a hit!  You could easily scale this recipe up or down to fit your appetite and family size.  Though it packs great as a lunch to-go, so I don’t think you should scale it down…just pack it up in individual servings and eat it at school, work or anywhere your adventures take you.

Some things to note:

#1  A confession…You may notice from one of the pictures that I made this recipe using white rice, not the uber-healthy brown version.  Sue me!  I had some leftover and I just went with it.  “Waste not, want not”, right?!

#2  I used shredded carrots, but this is a great place to try out the salad sprinkles that we made earlier this week.  You really could use any combination of veggies that you happen to have on hand, even leafy greens could make up some of the vegetables in this.

#3  They suggest coconut aminos but Bragg’s or regular soy sauce will give you the same flavor profile, use what you have and “taste it as you make it”!

Sage Mountain Farm
Saute in juice…zero added fat.

Pineapple Unfried Rice

Ingredients:

2 cups pineapple chunks

1 cup pineapple juice

3-4 cups chopped or sliced veggies (I used carrots, broccoli, broccoli greens, and green garlic)

Grate some ginger in as well (my addition to the original recipe)

4 cups leftover (meaning already cooked) brown rice

Sage Mountain Farm
Stir in leftover rice.

½ cup soy sauce (Bragg’s or tamari or coconut aminos are all fine here)

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

Heat pan on medium high with ½ cup of the pineapple juice.  Cook your vegetables, garlic and ginger.  Put rice in with the veggies and continue to stir as it all cooks.  Add the other ½ cup pineapple juice if needed and the soy sauce.  Then add the pineapple and cilantro.  Stir to combine.  Serve and enjoy!

I hope that your family likes this as much as mine does.  It really is a great template for any combination of veg that you are enjoying from your CSA box or farmstand purchase.

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Juicing Celery

Sage Mountain Farm
Gather the goods..then juice ’em!

During this past January we had some very cold (for California, sorry East Coast!) overnight temps at the farm and I think that this stressed our celery.  When you open your CSA box and see celery listed on the packing slip you may or may not recognize it.  While celery should be long and tall, our celery turned out short and thin, possibly due to the stresses of winter weather.

No worries, when life gives you lemons…make celery juice!

The celery has a great flavor and loads of nutritional benefits.  Just Google the health benefits of celery and you will be amazed at all of the nutrients packed into this low calorie vegetable.  Most notably, celery is touted to lower blood-pressure.  So really, you can de-stress with our stressed-out celery, lol!

This juice turns out a lovely shade of light green, just perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any day you want the “luck-o-the-Irish”!  It is tangy and spicy from the ginger and lemon with a touch of sweetness from the apple.  It is refreshing, I love it!  I used the recipe called Fresh Apple-Celery Juice with Ginger and Parsley from Food & Wine and I tweaked it to take advantage of what I had on hand.

Sage Mountain Celery Juice

Sage Mountain Farm
Tangy and spicy with a touch of sweetness!

1 whole bunch of organic Sage Mountain juicing celery, ends trimmed

4 small gala apples, cut for your juicer (gala was what I had on hand, you could use any variety)

1 bunch organic parsley

2 inches of fresh ginger, let sit on counter to thaw for 5-10 minutes (if you’ve been listening to me and are storing it frozen)

3 T of lemon juice

Instructions

Follow the instructions for your juicer and juice the first four ingredients.  Once complete, stir in the lemon juice and enjoy!

If you don’t like juicing or don’t have a juicer, our celery is also perfect for use in soups.  The leaves and stalks can be chopped and used in a variety soups.  Basic vegetable, a chicken noodle, or even cream of celery could be made using this fresh organic (if ugly-duckling like) celery!

Let me know if you tried the juice down in the comments, I would love to know!

Fresh Ginger Storage Tip

A long time ago I bought some fresh ginger at the store to make a ginger tea.  Boiling water poured over a few small slices of fresh ginger, let steep, voila!  Ginger Tea!

Then I had a knobby ginger root to store, so I put it in the fridge.  Life has a way of moving along and then you forget about little things like the knobby ginger root that is waiting ever so patiently for you to use it again.  As it turns out, the fridge and/or the counter are not great places to store fresh ginger unless you are going to be using it all up fairly quickly.

Sage Mountain Farm
Keep fresh ginger in the freezer.

The best place, in my experience, to keep fresh ginger is in the freezer.

I place the ginger root in a plastic freezer bag and store it in the door of my freezer so I always have fresh ginger available for tea or for my Citrus Ginger Sauce!

Sage Mountain Farm
Use the back of a spoon to “peel” ginger.

Oh, I almost forgot…another tip (it’s a twofer!), when peeling the papery covering off of fresh ginger, use the back of a spoon and scrape.

Citrus Ginger Sauce

Here it comes, are you ready?  This recipe today is an original recipe that I have come to rely on at least twice a week.  This is the first recipe in a series that will make it easy for you to eat your greens.  Greens alone are a humble powerhouse of nutrition, but not the poster veg for glamour like say, asparagus or artichokes.  This sauce is the little black dress that will boost your greens to the next level!

Citrus Ginger Sauce

Ingredients:

1 whole (large) orange, peeled

3T soy sauce

2 cloves of garlic

½ inch of fresh ginger

1 T honey

Instructions:

Place all of the ingredients in your blender.  Blend until the orange, ginger and garlic are fully broken down and incorporated.  Easy peasy!  Now since oranges are not all the same size and not everyone’s tastes are the same, I would encourage you to taste your sauce.  You can adjust it as necessary by adding more soy sauce or more honey.  This template works for me (as written) almost every time.

Now, how can this sauce be used for greens?  Here’s how I do it.  First I chop my organic greens into bite size pieces.

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Slice greens horizontally

This step is important, especially if you are feeding these greens to a kid or someone who is reluctant to eat greens.  I find that it usually isn’t the flavor of greens that puts people off, it’s the texture of cooked greens that does.  Chopping them into bite size, or smaller, pieces gives the greens a more acceptable texture for most people.

Sage Mountain Farm
Chop your strips into bite sized pieces

Next, I rinse them under cold water.  No need to dry them or drain them completely, just shake ‘em off and toss into your pan.  Into the pan you should now add your sauce and an equal amount of water.  How much sauce and water depends on how much greens you are preparing.  On a typical weeknight I will use one bag of greens to half of the prepared sauce and about a cup of water (this is really just a guide, but it’s what I do).  Give your greens a little stir so that the sauce and water are nicely spread throughout the chopped greens.  Put the lid on your pan and wait until things are steaming and boiling, then turn the heat down low and let the magic happen!  For thicker greens, such as kale, collards, and broccoli greens, expect to cook for about 10 minutes.  For more delicate greens, such as spinach, mesclun or spicy salad mix, you should test them around four to five minutes.  Again, this is all up to your taste.  You can use whatever greens you have on hand with this sauce.  I have even used it for broccoli florets.  The sky’s the limit!  It’s a tasty way to enjoy just about any veggie.  To serve you can use these as a side dish as is, or over some rice (we like ‘em with pineapple chunks) as a main dish!

If I have one piece of advice it’s “taste it as you make it”.  The first time you taste your food should not be as everyone else is sitting down to the table and starting dinner.  Don’t fret, food is fun!  You can’t go wrong if you start with a good template and taste as you go.