Easy Curry Rice Bake

"Real Food" and "good food" don't need to be hard, or complicated.  The trick to eating well is to have a few go-to recipes in your back pocket that you can count on in a pinch.

I've not been feeling well the last few days, due to an unfortunate "glutening" at a restaurant.  I wanted something comforting and nourishing for my Sunday supper, but had zero energy to cook.

Enter, Easy Curry Rice Bake.  Vegan.  Gluten Free.  Easy Peasy.

{{Photo that I was too tired to take goes here}}

Easy Curry Rice Bake

2c Assorted frozen vegetables* (my favorites are onions, spinich, broccoli, or bell peppers)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained* (I was out of chickpeas, so omitted them this time)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes*
1 14oz can light coconut milk*
1 1/4 c brown rice
1/2 teas. diced garlic (I keep a jar in the fridge, for "emergencies")
1 teas. salt (to taste)
1 - 2 tbsp curry powder (to taste)

Throw it all in a covered casserole dish and into a 350 degree oven.  In an hour, you'll have a happy tummy.

*Of course, for maximum nutrition, fresh is always best.  Also, canned goods can leach BPA, a hormone disrupter.  I mostly avoid canned goods, but hey, sometimes a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do to get fed!

Nutritional bonuses:
- Pack as many veggies as you want into this dish... more phytochemical goodness is always welcome!
- One of the main ingredients in curry powder is tumeric, which is a powerful anti-inflamatory.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think my sofa is calling....


Welcoming Early Summer

This week, I had the opportunity to have dinner with some new friends.  My mother always taught me that one never shows up to a gathering empty-handed, and I love to cook for others, so I offered to bring the desert.
It was to be a warm, sunny, perfect early-summer day, so I wanted a desert to reflect the bourgeoning season.  To me, nothing says the arrival of June like strawberries and rhubarb.  And thus, a desert was born.
I'd missed the morning's farmer's market, so off to the co-op I schlepped, Cream City Pooch in tow, for supplies.  Organic berries.  Local Rhubarb.  Sassy Cow vanilla ice cream.
For inspiration, I reached out to two of my favorite gluten-free recipe sources, Gluten Free Girl and Gluten Free Goddess.
Here's what resulted:

Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

1 qt       Fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (Buy organic!  Strawberries are part of the Dirty Dozen.)
2 C.      Rhubarb, chopped
1 T       Cornstarch
1 1/2 T Sugar
1 tea     Vanilla

1/2 C.   Almond flour
1/2 C.   Gluten-free Oats
1/2 C.   Brown rice flour
1/2 C.   Cornmeal
1 tea     Baking powder
1/2 tea  Salt
3/4 C.   Brown sugar
1 C.      Butter, frozen

Preheat oven to 375. In a buttered baking dish (8x8, or shallow casserole works fine), toss fruit with cornstarch and sugar.  Drizzle with vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry topping ingredients and brown sugar.  Using a box grater or microplane, grate in frozen butter. (This breaks up the butter into small pieces and makes it easy to combine with the dry ingredients.)  With a fork or pastry cutter, incorporate butter into the dry ingredients.  When the mixture looks like pea-sized crumbles, you're ready to rock.
Dump the topping on top of the fruit mixture in the baking dish.  Spread it out so that all the fruit is covered.
Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned and the fruit juices begin to bubble up through.
Cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in.  Serve with fresh whipped dairy cream or coconut milk, or with ice cream.
Sit back, sigh, and welcome summer into your home and your mouth.

(Please excuse the bad phone photos...)


...just like starting over

It's been just over a year since I've posted here to Cream City Green.  When I welcomed 2011, I had little clue what was in store.
There were some definite high points (like the new career that curtailed my blogging efforts), and some lows (like losing an important relationship).
As the sine wave of life seems to be tempering, I'm hoping to redouble my efforts at this whole blogging affair.  There will likely be more posts about food.  There may be some armchair philosophy.  There will certainly be bad puns.

For now, a photo of a recent day trip to The House on the Rock

Welcome back, Cotter.