Hearty Mexican Rice


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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Mexican rice is a flavourful rice typically cooked with tomatoes and spices and often served as a side dish. It kind of reminds me of a paella. Traditionally, white rice is used but I’ve decided to use a mix of brown and black rice for the extra health benefits. I’ve also further deviated from the traditional form and added ground beef and roasted red peppers to make it more hearty and filling so it can be served as a main dish as well. This recipe is easy and cooks up quickly. You can serve this on its own or as a side, topped with some sour cream and extra grated cheese. It’s also fantastic as a filling in a stuffed red pepper.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 200g mushrooms, diced
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsps dried oregano
  • 3 tsps ground cumin
  • 3 tsps ground coriander seed
  • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 140g (~1/2 cup) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup black rice (or substitute with more brown rice)
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • (optional: 3 chicken thighs, diced)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced (you can buy them in jars or roast them yourself)

Directions:

In a large skillet over MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add in the ground beef and mushrooms and cook until the beef is browned.

Next add in the spices: cumin, coriander, onion powder, and salt. Sauté for a minute until the spices are all combined, then add in the tomato paste and stir for another minute.

Then add in the rice, corn, chicken stock, water and chicken thigh (if using). Stir and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 30-40mins until the rice is cooked. Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking, otherwise you’ll let the steam escape and will likely need to add in more water for the rice to finish cooking.

Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off and stir in the parmesan cheese and roasted red peppers. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Hearty Mexican Rice

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, easy
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 500g lean ground beef
  • 200g mushrooms, diced
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsps dried oregano
  • 3 tsps ground cumin
  • 3 tsps ground coriander seed
  • 2 tsps onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 140g (~1/2 cup) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup black rice (or substitute with more brown rice)
  • 1 can corn kernels, drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • (optional: 3 chicken thighs, diced)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced (you can buy them in jars or roast them yourself)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  2. Add in the ground beef and mushrooms and cook until the beef is browned.
  3. Next add in the spices: cumin, coriander, onion powder, and salt. Sauté for a minute until the spices are all combined, then add in the tomato paste and stir for another minute.
  4. Then add in the rice, corn, chicken stock, water and chicken thigh (if using). Stir and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 30-40mins until the rice is cooked. Do not lift the lid while the rice is cooking, otherwise you’ll let the steam escape and will likely need to add in more water for the rice to finish cooking. Turn the heat off and stir in the parmesan cheese and roasted red peppers. Enjoy!

Curry Zucchini Soup


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

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This curry zucchini soup is quick, easy and healthy. The bulk of the soup is just zucchinis so its also low in calories as well. This is the perfect weekday meal with minimal effort. Serve it with some croutons, bread, or even toss in leftover shredded roast chicken or vegetables.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).

(A yellow onion will be fine. I only had red onion on hand at the time.)

2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.

3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).

4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Curry Zucchini Soup

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, healthy, easy, mains, <30 mins, low-cal, vegetarian
Serves: 4-6 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 5 zucchinis, diced (~8 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsps curry powder
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1/3 cup basmati rice
  • Cayenne powder to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion starts to soften (~5mins).
  2. Add in the zucchinis, salt, and curry powder and cook for another minute.
  3. Next add the chicken stock and rice. Turn the heat up to HIGH until it boils, then reduce the heat to gently simmer for 30 mins with the lid on (or until the zucchini is very soft).
  4. After 30 mins, take the pot off heat and use a stick blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the pot back onto heat and adjust salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Enjoy!

How to Roast Red Peppers


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: how-to
Prep time: 10 mins (depending on how many you’re roasting) | Cook time: 20 mins

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This past weekend we came across a clearance produce sale and got 45 red peppers for $10!! Say wuuuuut! We can never pass up a good deal…but now we’re stuck with 45 peppers 😂. I’m not a huge fan of eating red peppers raw unless in small amounts in a salad, but roasted is another story! Roasted red peppers are super versatile and so easy to add to any dish including salads, marinades, soups…etc. Therefore I decided to roast pretty much the entire box! They also last much longer when kept roasted in an air tight container. This how-to guide is how I roast red peppers.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Red peppers

Directions:

Preheat oven to 230˚C (450F).

Cut the peppers in half and get rid of the stalk and seeds.

Brush the outside of each peppers with olive oil and arrange them on a baking dish lined with aluminum foil or a reusable liner (caution: baking paper can burn at high temperatures).

Bake in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles, collapses, and the outside is charred (~15-20 mins).

Transfer the peppers to a heat-proof bowl and cover for 10 mins to let it steam. This will let the skin peel off easily. Tip: don’t let it steam for too long or else the skin will become too fragile and be harder to peel off in one piece (I learned this the hard way). Remove the skin and discard. Your peppers are now ready to use!

Storage:

  • They store well in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week.
  • Store them in olive oil for 2 weeks.
  • Place in a freezer back and store for longer.

Summarized Recipe:

How to Roast Red Peppers

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: how-to
Prep time: 10 mins (depending on how many you’re roasting) | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Red peppers

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 230˚C (450F).
  2. Cut the peppers in half and get rid of the stalk and seeds.
  3. Brush the outside of each pepper with olive oil and arrange them on a baking dish lined with aluminum foil or a reusable liner (caution: baking paper can burn at high temperatures).
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the skin wrinkles, collapses, and the outside is charred (~15-20 mins).
  5. Transfer the peppers to a heat-proof bowl and cover for 10 mins to let it steam. This will let the skin peel off easily. Tip: don’t let it steam for too long or else the skin will become too fragile and be harder to peel off in one piece (I learned this the hard way). Remove the skin and discard. Your peppers are now ready to use!

Roasted Red Pepper Zucchini Fritters


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, snacks, easy, healthy, < 15mins, appetizers, low cal, vegetarian
Serves: 8 large fritters | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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This past weekend Toby and I discovered a discount produce market only 10 mins near our new place in Western Australia. The market is held every Saturday at a large produce distribution centre and at the end of every week they sell BOXES of leftover produce that didn’t get sold to the shops for CHEAP. We got an entire box of zucchinis (that’s ~40 zucchinis!) for only $5. We also got a box of 45 red bell peppers (known as capsicums in Oz) for only $10. The deals were insaneeeeee. Toby and I love a good market and even better yet we LOVE a good deal. So now we have a shit ton of zucchini and capsicums that we have to use up – we just can’t pass a good deal. For the past week I’ve been researching and experimenting with different zucchini and capsicum recipes. I decided to roast most of the capsicums so they keep longer and its just so versatile to use in sauces, spreads, topping in salads, marinades…etc. With the zucchinis I’ve made a few soups that have turned out pretty well and of course this fritters recipe has definitely been a winner. I’m sharing this recipe as the first of many capsicum/zucchini recipes that is to come. We’ve made these twice now and they’ve turned out great each time. They’re so easy to make, packed full of vegetables, healthy, and quick to make.

Only $15 for the lot!!

This recipe makes 8 large patties. You can eat these on their own, in a burger, or served with a dipping sauce. Our favourite is to have it with a side of garlic aioli. You can even form them smaller and serve it as an appetizer or a snack. They store pretty well in the freezer as long as you cook them first. To keep it healthy, we’ve air-fried them (which was actually a bit of a pain to do them in batches because we only have a small air-frier 😅), but you can also shallow-fry them for optimal crunch, or bake them.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 5 cups (~3 medium) zucchini, grated* (see note)
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced small (you can buy them in jars to roast them yourself)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 4 large eggs, beaten

*Grate the zucchini with a food processor if you have one so the zucchini retains its moisture. If you grate it by hand, the zucchini becomes watery and your batter will be more wet. If you don’t have a food processor and only have a box grater, then add a couple tablespoons of flour to your batter until you get a consistency thick enough to form into patties.

Directions:

  1. Combine everything except for the eggs in a large bowl and mix well: zucchini, roasted red peppers, red onion, panko, parmesan, salt, and white pepper.

2. Once everything is combined, add in the beaten eggs and form the batter into 8 evenly-sized patties. (If your batter is a little wet, add in a few tablespoons of flour to thicken it up.)

3. Air-fry at 180˚C for 10-15mins until crispy on the outside. Alternatively you can fry them with some oil in a shallow pan until crispy or bake them at 200˚C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Serve on its own or with a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Roasted Red Pepper Zucchini Fritters

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, snacks, easy, healthy, < 15mins, appetizers, low cal, vegetarian
Serves: 8 large fritters | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups (~3 medium) zucchini, grated* (see note)
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced small (you can buy them in jars to roast them yourself)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 4 large eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. (Preheat the oven to 200˚C if you’re going to be baking them.)
  2. Combine everything except for the eggs in a large bowl and mix well: zucchini, roasted red peppers, red onion, panko, parmesan, salt, and white pepper.
  3. Once everything is combined, add in the beaten eggs and form the batter into 8 evenly-sized patties. (If your batter is a little wet, add in a few tablespoons of flour to thicken it up.)
  4. 3. Air-fry at 180˚C for 10-15mins until crispy on the outside. Alternatively you can fry them with some oil in a shallow pan until crispy or bake them at 200˚C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve on its own or with a dipping sauce. Enjoy!