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Gingered Brown Rice with Pineapple & Edamame...& Thank You!

Posted Aug 21 2010 2:00pm

Thank you, so much, everyone, for the support--in sweet notes and copious votes--for my Cooking Light entry! I cannot begin to thank you enough!

Alas, I got the news via email last weekend that I had not won. Poop! Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I will say, though, that the winning recipe looks pretty smashing. Eggplant? Portobellos? Double cheese? And it's still "light"? Yes and YES. I am definitely going to make it once the weather turns cool again. That should be right around mid-December.

Umm...winter months. Winter was my least favorite season when we lived in Bloomington, IN for the graduate school adventures. I consider 55F "freezing", so you can imagine my complaints and general irritability when it was 10 degrees and I had to scrape half an inch of ice from my windshield each morn. I remember my bafflement of those who managed to look cute and carefree as they traipsed cross-campus: bright pink cheeks, jauntily-knotted scarves, adorable shearling boots. I was the Quasimodo to their Esmeralda-ness: frozen-featured, runny-nosed, and hunched against the wind with an overstuffed backpack to complete the resemblance.

I recall my Midwestern, mid-winter hideousness to drive home the irony of my new-found longing of the cooler months. Texas will do that to a woman. No complaints, though; I still prefer profuse perspiration and flip flops to numb extremities and ski boots. But I will return to full bon vivant status when the temperature drops below 100.

In the meantime, I am still hungry, so it's nothing but super-easy fare for the time being. Here's my new favorite: Ginger-Lime Brown Rice with Pinapple & Edamame. Cheap, fast, easy, healthy, and most of all, delicious. Bingo.

I served it as a side-dish to grilled pork tenderloin, but would happily eat it as a main dish if my resident meat lovers had other plans. Fresh pineapple has been fabulous the past few weeks: ultra-ripe with bright tropical and floral flavors. It's lush texture works so well with the slight bite of the edamame and the toasty flavor of the brown rice. I like plenty of lime and ginger here, but you can temper it to your preference. And it case it needs saying, it is a perfect midnight nosh (when you cannot put down a favorite read--i.e., Stieg Larsson mysteries !!!) or for lunch the following day.

Ginger-Lime Brown Rice with Pinapple & Edamame

I recommend making the rice earlier in the day (or night before). Then fogedabout it, chilling (or freezing--post cooldown--for up to a month). If you do not want to make and cool brown rice ahead of, use a package of frozen brown rice (yes, it exists! Not everywhere, but look to see if your store has it) or shelf-stable cooked brown rice (e.g., Uncle Ben's brand) as a shortcut.

1-1/4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cups shelled frozen edamame (no need to thaw)
4 cups cooked, cooled brown rice
1-1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
juice and grated zest of 2 medium limes

In a large, deep skillet, bring broth, ginger, and soy sauce to a simmer over medium high heat; add the edamame and cook 8 minutes over medium heat. Add the cooked rice, and pineapple, toss gently and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is hot throughout, 3 to 5 minutes more. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest and serve. Makes 4 main dish or eight side dish servings.
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