Autumn Picnic in Central Park

How excited are you for the first day of fall?!? It’s my favorite season, and there’s definitely (finally!) an autumn vibe in the air. I’ve noticed a few colorful leaves this week, and it’s been getting dark earlier and earlier.

The weather is cooling off, too. It’s been in the seventies, which I love. My husband often teases me that I’m only happy when it’s 72 and sunny, so I’m in heaven right now!

Of course, this perfect weather won’t last much longer. So I decided to take advantage of it and planned an autumn picnic in Central Park last weekend.

Autumn Picnic in Central Park with recipes for Brie & Apple Baguettes and Carrot-Cabbage Slaw! | Hello Little Home #style #vegetarian #fall

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Pineapple Fried Brown Rice

NYC grocery shopping is a major pain. Like many New Yorkers, I don’t have a car. Although even if I did, most of the stores around me don’t have a parking lot. So the days of full carts and stocking up are gone (unless I order online; which has its own challenges).

The nearest grocery store is a few blocks away from my apartment, which is convenient, but I still can’t handle more than two bags at one time. This means that I generally make multiple trips to the store every week. Did I mention that I never liked grocery shopping to begin with?

All this also means that sometimes I get super lazy. That’s exactly what happened to me last week. I’d been avoiding the store for a few days, and my cupboards were pretty bare. I had a few scraps of this and that, and I was trying to come up with something to make.

That’s how I came up with this Pineapple Fried Brown Rice!

Pineapple Fried Brown Rice | Hello Little Home #FriedRice #Recipe

Fried rice is one of the best way to use up the odds and ends in your refrigerator. This pineapple version just so happens to be one of my favorite meals, too!

Let’s start by talking about the rice. To make good fried rice, you need to start with leftover (cold) rice. If you’re in a pinch, you can use freshly cooked rice, but the texture will be a soft and mushy. So use up those takeout leftovers, or simply make a batch of rice the night before and refrigerate it overnight (that’s what I usually do).

The rice is important, but it’s everything else that goes in the dish that makes it taste so good! My Pineapple Fried Brown Rice is full of vegetables, tofu (sub your favorite protein), crunchy cashews, and sweet pineapple. It’s a little sweet, a touch spicy, a bit salty, and oh so good!

Clean out your fridge and make this fried rice tonight!

Pineapple Fried Brown Rice

Yield: 4 main dish servings, 6-8 side dish servings

Pineapple Fried Brown Rice

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 tsp. + 1 tbsp. olive oil, separated
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice, cold (see note)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups chopped cabbage (about 1/4 of a small head)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
  • 1 large green onion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (8 oz.) package baked tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add cashews and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Return pan to stove, add 2 tsp. olive oil, and set burner to medium-high.
  4. Add onion and carrots to pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until edges start to brown.
  5. Stir cabbage into onions and carrots. Cook, stirring, until cabbage begins to wilt.
  6. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil, garlic, white part of green onions, and crushed red pepper flakes to pan.
  7. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds to 1 minutes).
  8. Run a fork through the brown rice to separate the grains. Add to vegetables.
  9. Cook until rice is hot and then reduce to medium.
  10. Add tofu and pineapple to pan. Cook until heated through.
  11. Push rice mixture to one side of pan.
  12. Pour eggs into pan and scramble.
  13. When eggs are almost cooked through, mix them in with the rice. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan, making sure to get all the eggs.
  14. Stir in the green onions and cashews.
  15. Drizzle rice with soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir well.
  16. Season with additional soy sauce, if desired, and remove from heat.
  17. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • - To prepare 3 cups cooked rice, combine 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until tender and water is absorbed (about 35-45 minutes). Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • - When cooking over high temperatures, make sure to stir the ingredients frequently. This will help avoid burning.
  • - If you like spicy food, add additional crushed red pepper flakes or serve with sriracha or rooster sauce.

http://hellolittlehome.com/pineapple-fried-brown-rice/

Pineapple Fried Brown Rice | Hello Little Home #FriedRice #RecipePineapple Fried Brown Rice | Hello Little Home #FriedRice #RecipeWhat is your favorite meal when your cupboards are almost bare?

P.S. If you like this recipe, make sure to check out my Spicy Tomato Basil Fried Rice, too!

I’m linking up with these link parties, as well as Creative Inspirations, Much Ado About Monday, Lou Lou Girls, The Scoop, Inspire Me Tuesday, Tweak It Tuesday, Wine’d Down Wednesday, Create & Share, Make Bake Create, Work It Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Pin It Thursday, I Heart Naptime, Best of the Weekend, Flaunt It Friday, Frugal Friday, Say G’Day, Saturday Sparks, ShowliciousLink It or Lump It, and Your Designs This Time.

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Spicy Black-Eyed Peas in the Crockpot

It’s hard to believe, but 2013 is drawing to a close! This has been a year full of changes, so I’ve done a lot of reflecting lately. Overall, it has been a good year, but there have been quite a few challenges, and I’m definitely ready to welcome 2014.

One of my favorite traditions at the start of a new year is to serve black-eyed peas. Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a Southern tradition, and the beans are thought to bring prosperity in the new year. Now, you’re supposed to serve the black-eyed peas with greens (to bring wealth), which I usually do, and hog jowl or fatback (to ensure health?!?), which I skip. I’m not Southern or superstitious, so I figure any substitutions I make are okay!

My favorite way to serve black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day or at any time of year is stewed in a crock pot with spicy chipotle peppers, which give the beans a rich, smoky flavor. They couldn’t be easier to make or more delicious to eat.

Spicy Chipotle Black-Eyed Peas in the Crock Pot | Hello Little HomeSpicy Chipotle Black-Eyed Peas

Serves 6 as a Main Dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. bag dried black-eyed peas
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • salt
  • brown rice, optional
  • cilantro or parsley, optional

Pick over peas and rinse thoroughly.

Prepare vegetables: peel garlic cloves (leave whole); peel and slice carrots; slice celery; and peel and quarter onion.

Small dice the chipotle pepper.

Add black-eyed peas, vegetables, and diced chipotles (along with a few spoonfuls of adobo sauce) to a crock pot.

Add Ingredients to Crock Pot | Hello Little HomeCover with vegetable broth and stir well.

Cover Veggies and Beans with Broth | Hello Little HomePlace cover on crock pot and set to high. Cook for 1.5 – 2 hours or until beans are tender. Optional: remove whole garlic cloves and large chunks of onion.

Season beans with salt to taste. Serve over brown rice, garnished with cilantro or parsley, if you wish, or just enjoy a big bowlful!

Spicy Chipotle Black-Eyed Peas in the Crock Pot | Hello Little HomeCooked greens are a natural counterpart to the black-eyed peas. An easy way to cook greens (I like kale, collard greens, or a mix of greens) is to saute a few cloves minced garlic in olive oil, along with a pinch of salt and some red pepper flakes. When garlic is fragant add chopped greens and half a cup of broth. Cover and cook until green are tender, stirring occasionally. Yum!

Do you have any favorite New Year’s traditions?

I’m linking up with Huckleberry Love’s Much Ado About Monday, Give Me the Goods Monday, A Stroll Through Life’s Inspire Me Tuesday, Time to Sparkle, The Scoop, Coastal Charm’s Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Cozy Little House’s Tweak It Tuesday, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia’s Tuesday’s Treasures, 52 Mantels’ Thursdays Are Your Days, Live Laugh Rowe’s Live Laugh Linky, Lamberts Lately’s Create It Thursday, No Minimalist Here’s Open House Blog Party, Sweet Bella Roos’ Pin It Thursday, Put a Bird on It’s Link’n Blogs, Embracing Change’s Creative Inspirations, Craft Frenzy Friday, Inspire Me Please, Link Party Palooza, Pinworthy Projects Party, The Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday, The Party Bunch, Craft, Create & Inspire, Pieced Pastimes’ Saturday Sparks, Sewlicious Home Decor, Get Schooled Saturday, Your Homebased Mom’s Finding the Pretty & Delicious, Twigg Studios’ Sunday Show Off, Flamingo Toes’ Think Pink Sunday, Suburbs Mama’s Sunday Linky, Link It or Lump It, Creations by Kara, Saturday Night Fever, and Craft-O-Maniac Monday.

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