american

Spicy Rice & Beans with Fresh Salata

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One of my favorite lunch spots serves healthy Lebanese-American food. I love that they offer healthy and nutritious options on their menu like quinoa, kale, brown rice and fresh veggies. A dish I usually crave is made with well seasoned brown rice, beans, cooked vegetables, and topped with fresh Lebanese Salata. I had a serious craving for it and decided to recreate a version of my own. If you like food with a spicy kick, the mix of flavors is amazing!

Ingredients

Rice & Beans

  • 1 Cup Della Basmati Light Brown Rice, uncooked
  • 2 Cups Hot Water
  • 1 “Chicken” Bouillon Cube (I used Celifibr Gluten Free Vegetarian Chicken Bouillon)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley, dried
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pink Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Carton of Simply Balanced Organic Low Sodium Three Bean Blend (at Target), rinsed
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Frozen Peas

Salata:

  • 1 Organic cucumber, chopped
  • Campari Tomatoes, deseeded, chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Add bouillon cube to 2 cups hot water, mix well, and set aside to dissolve.
  2. In a large pot, on medium heat, add olive oil and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in spices and rice and mix well, cooking for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add bouillon water and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until water has absorbed.
  6. While Rice is cooking, chop cucumbers and tomatoes. Add to a medium bowl, and add lemon juice, parsley, granulated garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. When rice is done cooking, add frozen peas, and beans, and stir well. Let cook 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add rice & beans to your bowl and top with fresh salata. Enjoy!

*You can easily add grilled chicken to this dish, as well!

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A Weekend in DC

My boyfriend and I ventured to DC for a fun filled weekend, exploring the unknown.  As we drove into Georgetown, I fell in love with the colonial setting of the shops and restaurants lining M Street. The city had a small town vibe, that was simple to navigate.    In the short period of time during our visit, we walked through the city, touring some of it’s hot spots. A recommendation would be not to travel to the city during the cold Winter month of February, but to our advantage it was the off-season, seeing minimal tourists. Being a health conscious vegan, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that much of the city’s restaurants offered vegan options, or even separate vegan menus.  Any city that offers vegan brunch in multiple non-vegan restaurants, is definitely livable by me. We visited the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars winner, Sticky Fingers Bakery.  The vegan bakery served the most delectable french toast and sticky buns, and they’re cupcakes are pretty amazing too. Busboys & Poets had to be my preferred choice, with it’s unique atmosphere, and amazing offerings of vegan options. Smoke & Barrel offered bbq, along with vegan wings and brunch. Yola, a healthy yogurt bar, was the perfect treat.

We stayed on Capitol Hill, making much of the city’s monuments and museums within close walking distance. The National Museum of American History houses interesting classic pieces, such as the infamous Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers, and dresses that belonged to everyone from Jackie O. to Michelle Obama. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum was a cool hands on experience, complete with interior tours of vintage aircrafts. We weren’t able to view all of the great tourist attractions that the city offers, but we definitely plan to visit again, particularly in the Summer months.