The Only Rice Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Okay so I have to admit – this is not my recipe. A wonderful woman taught me how to make rice years ago and I will forever love her for it! I used to always under or overcook my rice and it was so bland, but never again! Most of the time, especially if I have several meals planned that require rice, I will make a lot at once (2-3 cups dry rice) and save what I don’t need for later meals or to take as a side for my lunch. So here it is step by step!

  1. Pour about 1-2 Tbsp (depending on how much rice) of olive oil in your pan and put on medium heat.
  2. Mince 3-6 cloves of garlic, or more if you love garlic! And sauté in olive oil.
  3. Once the garlic is sizzling a bit (don’t let it brown) add your rice DRY! Sauté the dry rice until it starts to turn brighter.
  4. Add warm water, a dash of salt, and place a lid on the pot. Let cook (stirring occasionally) until all of the water is absorbed or evaporated and DONE.

FOR WHITE RICE: Use a ratio of 2 cups of water for every one cup of rice and tilt the lid a tiny bit while it cooks. Will take 15-30 minutes to cook depending on the quantity.

FOR BROWN RICE: Use a ratio of 3 cups of water for every cup of rice and leave the lid placed normally on the pan. Will take 30-40 minutes to cook depending on the quantity.

As far as the kind of rice I use, I definitely prefer Jasmine but I’ve used this method with other varieties and have had no issues. If you’re interested these are the exact brands I stock up on (at Aldi – big surprise!). However, I almost exclusively buy brown rice now, wheat pasta, and whole grain bread because it makes a HUGE difference with blood sugar control for me.

Specially Selected Brown Basmati RiceSpecially Selected Jasmine Rice

 

May you never have mushy, crunchy, or bland rice again!

-Shelby

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A Diabetic Foodie’s Lament

I love cookiimg_1062ng, and while having Type 1 Diabetes can really put a damper on exploration, lately I’ve been taking it as a challenge.

My first endocrinologist was the most inspirational woman and doctor I have ever met. She told you like it was, but that made you trust her even more – even if you just wanted to ignore what she said. She told me that diabetes didn’t have to control my life, but it would if I let it. Only now – as I begin to fear passing my illness to my children, worry about making my husband follow my diet unintentionally, and become overwhelmed by envy as my friends boast about hiking the Appalachian Trail, running marathons, and biking 100 miles in a day – do I realize what she meant.

It is not the disease that controls you, but your own fear of it and your anger toward it.

But I’m determined not to live in fear, anger, and envy. We have too many resources at our disposal to give in to those emotions that so easily consume us. So, my challenge to myself has been to conquer my biggest temptation – “I can eat whatever I want as long as I take insulin.”

Don’t kid yourself. You know what it feels like four hours after you give into a gourmet pizza because it’s a special occasion, a donut while you’re on a road trip, or pasta because it’s just sooo easy. These are of course things that I have learned to steer clear of because no matter how much insulin I take over whatever amount of time – I PAY.

BUT! My way of conquering is not just depriving myself of those scrumptious eats, it’s to find something better. American diets are so unbalanced in favor of starchy fillers like bread, pasta, rice, beans, and potatoes that we forget to EXPLORE. We should be bored of them by now! Really all this comes down to is I have some great recipe ideas to share for Diabetics who are tired of boring salads when their sugar is high and settling for raw carrots time and again when all you want is a friggen snack.

Best thing about it is – I’m no chef – so these are things anyone can make!

#LowCarbLife Recipes

Overnight cereal: 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1 Tbs chia seeds, and 1/2 cup of milk then top with walnuts, blueberries, and cinnamon and soak overnight for a quick breakfast.

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Chicken Kabobs: Soak kabobs for at least 20 minutes. Cube chicken breast and marinate in olive oil, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and sriracha. (or whatever you want!) “Cube” (or chunk really) zucchini, summer squash, red onion, and baby ‘bella mushrooms then toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Load up the sticks and grill or bake (400) them for about 10-15 min.

 

 

 

Pasta ANYTHING: Spaghetti squash is the way to go whenever you’re craving something saucy and Italian. Always throw in the squash first though because it should bake for about 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400, halve the squash lengthwise, brush on some olive oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. In the meantime, fix your sauce, protein, veggies, etc. When it’s done you should be able to stick a fork into the flesh and easily pull apart it’s stringy goodness! You can throw your sauce and toppings on right away or mix it all up and return it to the oven for that southern comfort of baked pasta. Best part? A comparable serving of spaghetti squash is 10-15 carbs as opposed to the easy 40-50 of any given pasta.

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Guac Burger: Bunless burgers don’t need to be boring. Sautee some onions and mushrooms and top with swiss cheese to mix it up. OR make my awesome guacamole and you can’t go wrong.

Cube 2 avocados, dice 4 cloves of garlic, 1/2 a red onion, chop a small handful of cilantro mash to desired texture (smoother is better for burgers), squeeze in half a lime and toss in some salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper – add a jalepeno if you like it spicy.

 

One more for my love avocados….

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Baked Egg & Avocado: Preheat the oven to 400. Scoop out a little extra of the avocado before cracking an egg into the center. Top with cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, grape tomatoes, and white cheddar. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how hard you like your eggs.

 

 

 

 

I hope you all enjoy these simple recipes and are inspired by the revelation I shared.

Cheers!

Shelby

Save Money. Eat Healthy.

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There are so many reasons why I struggle to eat healthy, but I’ve realized my excuses are pretty weak. “Quality food is more expensive.” “I don’t have time to cook every day.” “It’s too much effort to cook for myself.” If any of these thoughts sound familiar, keep reading! I’m going to share my tips and tricks for how to prove yourself wrong.

Quality food is NOT more expensive:

My favorite places to shop are Aldi and Kroger. Aldi not only because they has amazing prices, but their produce is fantastic. There are some limitations as to what you can get there, but my method is always to get as much as I can at Aldi and get the rest at Kroger. If you do shop at Aldi, don’t forget a quarter for a cart (you get it back when you put the cart away) and reusable bags (they charge a tiny bit for the bags they do have). Things I always get at Aldi:

  • Frozen fruit
  • Pasta
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Eggs

I have also found that there are great ways to say money at Kroger between keeping up with sales, using their online coupons, and using your membership card every time you shop. You can easily register online, and once you have an account you can read their weekly sales, download coupons that are automatically applied when you use your card at the register, and get member discounts on certain items. ALSO! Look out for the “Wahoo! Manager’s Special” sales. I often get specialty breads, salad greens, spinach and mushrooms on these sales.

In addition to conscientious shopping, I also use an app called Ibotta to get rebates on items I buy. The amounts are small, but they add up over time if you stay vigilant. You can also save money when you know how to properly store different produce items and even learn about vegetables that regrow themselves!

Cooking doesn’t have to be a daily chore:

The other big thing that gets in the way of eating healthy is the dreaded chore of cooking, but it doesn’t have to be a daily thing! Prepping once a week can be a big help, as well as making more than you need for one meal when you do cook. Things that I often prep in advance are rice, black beans, vegetables, fruits, and stock. Here are some specific tips!

  • Freeze berries for smoothies when theres a good sale.
  • Make 3-4 cups of rice to use throughout the week.
  • Make a whole pound of beans to use for two weeks!
  • Cut half the carrots you buy and store in water for snacks.
  • Freeze vegetable scraps to make stock later.
  • Freeze spinach for use in soups and smoothies.

You can also cut back on the amount of cooking you have to do by making more when you do cook. This means you have leftovers for later in the week! Soups, mashed potatoes, rice, beans, and meats are all good examples of this. If you are baking chicken one night, make everything you have and make wraps, salads, burritos, or chicken salad later on!

I know that this can all feel a little overwhelming, but it’s exactly the opposite once you get the hang of it. No more last minute trips to the grocery or being so hungry after work that you resort to fast food because you don’t have anything ready at home. If you simply have trouble with cooking, check out my recipes and keep an eye out for more to come! I try very hard to keep it simple and use ingredients that you would generally keep around. I hate making a grocery trip just for one recipe.

So go out, buy some pyrex containers, and get healthy. I believe in you!

-Shelby

P.S. If you have any requests for recipes you’d like me to post, message me through my contact page and I’d be happy to do so!

P.P.S. You might also be interested in my post on meal planning.

Breakfast Nacho Casserole

 

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I have to credit this one to my fiancé! He comes up with some fantastic breakfast concoctions. This one is essentially an enchilada egg scramble baked over tortilla chips and topped with sharp cheddar.

Serves 2-3

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes (canned)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • Cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, & pepper to taste
  • 3-4 eggs
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Sautée tomatoes, black beans, and onions in olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add spices to mixture.
  4. After about 5 minutes add eggs.
  5. Place a generous layer of tortilla chips in the bottom of a casserole dish.
  6. When the eggs are done, pour the scramble over the chips, shred cheese on top, and place in the oven for about 5 minutes.

So easy, and SO delicious! Sometimes the creativity of a former bachelor can have fantastic results in the kitchen. 🙂

Cheers & Enjoy!

Shelby

Oh-So-Easy Sweet Potato Fries!

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Sweet potato fries are one of my favorite indulgences, and I have tried SOOO many recipes to get just the right texture and flavor. This is by far the simplest and quickest recipe you’ll find. No more “bake for this long on this temperature and this long on another” or “soak the potatoes for 24 hours” no, no, NO. When a girl wants some fries, she WANTS some fries!

What you need:

  • Frying pan (cast iron preferred)
  • 1-2 Sweet Potatoes (1 is a good amount for 2-3 people)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sea Salt

What to do:

  1. Fill your pan with vegetable oil until there is about 1/2 an inch of oil.
  2. Heat on Medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. While waiting for the oil to heat, peel and cut potato(s) into fry size. I find it easiest to cut the potato in to quarters, each quarter into 1/4 inch slices, then each slice into strips…. maybe I’ll post pictures of that later. 🙂
  4. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the future fries into the pan, DO NOT drop them in!! You’ll want to do a couple batches so your fries don’t overlap.
  5. Fry the fries… 🙂 for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. This very dependent on the pan, stove, and how long the oil has been heating up though. A good way to check is to poke the biggest ones with a fork and see if they’re tender.
  6. Transfer to a plate with wax paper or a paper towel and immediately sprinkle with salt.
  7. Lay another piece of wax paper on top of the finish batch and keep frying until they’re all done!!

Viola! So easy and super tasty! Cheers!

Shelby

 

 

Light n’ Healthy Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is easy to make and keeps really well! It’s great to have on hand for a quick sandwich before work or with crackers for a light snack. I personally HATE mayonnaise, so this is my version with Greek yogurt!
Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts pulled/shredded

2 stalks of celery

20 grapes halved or quartered

2 Tablespoons of onion

1/2 cup (at least) of Greek yogurt

1/4 cup of chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, and walnuts are great!)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Bake the chicken breasts at 350 for 45 minutes. Try rubbing them with olive oil beforehand so they’re nice and tender.

Meanwhile, chop your onions and nuts and slice your celery and grapes.

Once your chicken has cooled enough to handle, pull it apart into small, thin shreds. You can also chop it, but I like the texture that shredding gives the salad.

Place the shredded chicken into a mixing bowl and add half a cup of Greek yogurt. Add your other ingredients and stir to combine. You may want to add a couple more spoonfuls of yogurt, it’s all up to what texture you want. I like mine reaaaaal creamy!

Now add salt and pepper to taste and violá!

Tips:

Need a quicker fix? Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the store!

Serve with croissants! They’re my fav.

Looking for a low carb option? Try serving it on a salad wrap.

Try craisins if you don’t have grapes!

Butternut Squash Soup

I love cooking fresh, fuhlaaaavorful meals. It’s healthy, thrifty, and a great chance to be creative. I made one of my favorite soups today, butternut squash soup, and decided it was too yummy not to share! Besides, tis the season for soup, is it not?! Let me know what you think!
  
 Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

2 large butternut squashes

2 tablespoons of butter

2-3 green apples

1/2 white onion

1.5 cups of half and half

4 cups of chicken stock

20 leaves of fresh sage

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Cut squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. 

Lightly oil a baking sheet (I used coconut oil), place the squash cut side up, and season with salt and pepper. 

Bake for 30-45 minutes, maybe more depending on the size and ripeness. 

Meanwhile, peel, core and chop the apples as well as half an onion. Then melt the butter in a large pot (cast iron crocks are the best for soup!) and sauté the onion and apple together on medium-low heat then cover to soften them up a bit. 

Use a food processor (or a blender will do if you don’t have one) to combine the sage leaves an half and half. 

Add chicken stock and sage/half and half blend to the onion and apple mixture and keep covered over medium heat until squash is ready. 

Once the squash is tender enough to cut easily, use a spoon to scoop it out of the skin and into the pot. 

Bring the soup to a boil on medium-high heat, then let simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

Be sure to break up any large piece with a spoon then bring down to low heat and blend using an immersion blender.* 

*If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer 2-3 cups at a time into a traditional stand mixer or into a large bowl to use a hand mixer. 

Serve with a crusty bread, drizzle some heavy cream on top and garnish with some fresh sage! Yummmmm enjoy!!

-Shelby