Right Living Now Blog

Healthy recipes I know you'll love

Posted by Teresa Apperson on April 9, 2017

Fast & Easy Meal-in-One Pan Spanish Rice

A recipe that’s been around a LONG time in our family is my mom’s Spanish Rice recipe. There is nothing fancy about it. But, it served as a meal-in-one dish many times for us as I was growing up and my brother and I loved it!   Here it is for you as passed on to me. Then I’ll tell you how I make it.

Ingredients

1lb hamburger
1 c uncooked long grain rice
¼ c butter
1 medium onion thinly sliced
½ medium green pepper, diced
2 c stewed tomatoes with juice
1 tsp. salt Dash black pepper
1 c water

Instructions

  1. Brown hamburger.
  2. Heat butter in saucepan, add onion, green pepper and rice.
  3. Cook and stir mixture over high heat until lightly browned.
  4. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and hamburger. Mix well. Bring to gentle boil. Cover tightly. Simmer 30 minutes.
  5. In a large skillet with a heavy bottom, cook the hamburger breaking it up in small pieces (I just get it done. If you have time to brown it, it will taste all the better). If it has a lot of fat, drain off the fat or put it in a colander to drain while you sauté the veggies and rice.
  6. Push the meat to the edge of the pan, add the onion and green pepper to the middle and sauté (this is where the heavy bottomed pan really comes in handy for not having to add the butter).
  7. When it’s translucent, stir it together with the meat and push it all to the edge of the pan. If there’s no fat left in your pan you may need to add the butter to the middle of the pan. Most of the time, I don’t add the butter.
  8. Add rice to the middle of the pan and stir it around with the butter if you’re using it, until it browns a little. I usually make an attempt at this, then say “phoey on this, I’ve got other things to do”.
  9. Stir it all together, add the rest of the ingredients (usually pouring in 1 quart of tomatoes and omitting the water), put the lid on, get it to a simmer, turn it down to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Notes

I have been known to add a dash or two of cumin and chili powder sometimes. Spices have super health benefits.
 If you’re watching your carb count, try replacing the white rice with brown rice or better still, use rice made from cauliflower (use the s-blade in your food processor to chop it up or grate it on a food grater). I think you would need to omit the water from the recipe if using cauliflower (not the juice from the tomatoes). I’m usually in a hurry for something fast when I make this recipe and haven’t tried it with cauliflower yet. If you do try it with cauliflower, let me know how it turns out.
Enjoy!
T
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Posted by Teresa Apperson on April 9, 2017

Winter Squash/Pumpkin Muffins & the Perfect Boiled Egg

Winter Squash/Pumpkin Muffins & Perfect Boiled Eggs

Winter Squash/Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

1 c winter squash or pumpkin

4 eggs

¾ tsp cinnamon

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

¼ tsp salt

1/3 c honey

3 tsp almond butter

1 tsp melted coconut oil or avocado oil

2 c almond flour

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

1 ¼ tsp baking soda

¼ c chopped pecans (can be omitted or more added, I really liked the pecans and would probably add a little more next time)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add paper muffin cup to muffin tin (I do not like cleaning a muffin tin!)
  2. Put the first 8 ingredients in mixer and mix well (mainly get the eggs mixed up so there’s no chunky egg pieces after muffins are baked). Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix it all up and pour evenly into muffin tins.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Muffin, boiled egg and a hot cup of green tea with honey makes for a great breakfast. I had 2 (2 eggs and 2 muffins). 🙂

Perfect Boiled Eggs

Add eggs to pot, cover with cold water, cover pot with lid.

Turn burner on medium (if you start them too fast/hot the eggs will crack), when water starts to boil, turn burner down to low to simmer and set timer for 10 minutes for hard boiled eggs.

As soon as timer goes off, pour off water and rinse eggs with cold water 2 or 3 times leaving covered with cold water.

Holding egg in the middle hit the fat, round end on something to crack it, do the same with the other end, then the sides. Return to pot, crack the others, then remove the shell.

The shell will easily slide off.

Notes:

If you just got those eggs out from under the hen within the past few days, then there’s nothing that’s going to make that shell turn loose, you’re just going to have to take the white off with the shell. Be thankful you have fresh eggs!

And Enjoy!
T
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Posted by Teresa Apperson on April 8, 2017

Pumpkin Pie

My favorite Pumpkin Pie recipe using real pumpkin i.e. not from a can (yes, you can use the canned variety, but, it won’t be as good).

Ingrediants

2 c mashed cooked pumpkin
½ tsp salt
1 c milk (If I have any evaporated milk, half & half, whipping cream, .. left over from another recipe, I’ll use this in place of the regular whole milk and finish out the cup with regular milk if needed, it makes it that much better. But, I don’t go to the extra expense of buying something special).
3 eggs
*¾ c brown sugar (packed) (see note below)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice OR ½ tsp each ginger & cloves and 1 tsp cinnamon if you’re out of pumpkin pie spice
2 8” pie shells

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients together using mixer, food processor, blender, stick blender. Pour into pie shells. I’ll usually start with eggs and sugar and add my milk last if I’m using the mixer so it doesn’t slosh out and the eggs get broken up so you don’t see a chunk when you’re eating it.
    Pour into pie shell(s) and bake 425 degrees, 40-45 minutes. Makes 2 thin 8” pies. I prefer to use a 9” deep dish pan and make a thick pie.
  2. Let it cool a bit. Slice a big chunk, add a dollop of fresh whipped cream (or the canned stuff if that’s all you have) – Um-um good!
  3. In the picture, it’s not as thick as it normally would have been had I put the whole recipe in one 9” deep dish pan. For some reason my gluten free pie crust drew up when I par-baked it for 10 minutes prior to putting in my filling and there wasn’t enough crust to hold all the filling without running over in the pan. I didn’t want to clean that up, so I made a couple custard type containers putting them in a shallow pan of water in the oven to cook with the pie.
  4. The gluten-free crust was a bit tough but still eatable (I’ve made some that you couldn’t cut with a knife – seriously! I don’t think I par-baked this one long enough before adding the filling because the crackers I made with the leftover dough were wonderful. This crust recipe is the best I’ve come across, so far. When I get it perfected I’ll share it with you. 🙂

Enjoy your pie!

T

Notes

I’ve been hearing some really bad stuff about sugar and how it feeds cancer, promotes inflammation, has something to do with hastening Alzheimer’s … Alzheimer’s runs in my family and I have a “marker” for it. I don’t plan to activate that gene/marker!
There’s a lot of bad stuff highly processed, refined, bleached sugar is doing to our bodies this is the normal stuff we use everyday and we won’t even start on high fructose corn syrup.   Anyway, I’ve been modifying my recipes to be healthier.   In this recipe, instead of ¾ c packed brown sugar, sometimes I use ½ cup coconut palm sugar and ¼ molasses or 2/3 c Sugar in the Raw.  It just depends on what I have on hand at the time.    I’m looking to go as close to nature as possible and stay away from the highly processed stuff.   Just thought you should know that tidbit in case you wanted to modify your recipe as well.
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Posted by Teresa Apperson on April 8, 2017

How to Cook Out a “Cookin’ Pumpkin”

Fall is here!

Mornings are cool with it warming up nicely by mid-afternoon. Decorations with pumpkins are everywhere. If you’re thinking about fall decorations and want to not be watefull, I suggest something like the picture bellow.

You can carve one side of the bright orange pumpkins for Halloween. Then turn them around after Halloween and enjoy the un-carved backside until Thanksgiving or its demise.

The light colored pumpkins are what old timers call “cookin’ punkins” and are delicious. Just because it is light colored on the outside, the inside will still be bright orange, healthy, delicious, nutritious pumpkin, brimming with beta-carotene and other good for you stuff.

When you’re ready to change your display, you can “cook out” your pumpkin(s) and eat it. It will make the best pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin dip, …. Much better than what comes from a can.

There’s a much easier way to cook a pumpkin than the way the old timers did it. They would cut it into chunks, peel it, put it in a pot with a little water and “cook it down”. If you’ve ever tried to peel a pumpkin, you know it’s no easy feat.

Prepare an eating/cookin’ pumpkin for pies, bread, muffins, smoothies, etc.

  1. Wash and cut it in half
  2. Get the seeds out (roast for a yummy treat) and some of the stringy stuff ( you don’t have to be too particular)
  3. Place in a pan with 1” sides or more, cut side down
  4. Bake 350 degrees (if you’re in a hurry) for about 1 hour, depending on the size and thickness of your pumpkin
  5. Pierce with a long prong fork. It will be tough getting the fork through the skin, but once through the tough outer skin it should be soft. If not, cook another 15-20 minutes and check again.
  6. Once pumpkin flesh is tender, remove from oven being careful not to spill hot liquid that has cooked out of the pumpkin on you. (If your pumpkin was too big to get both halves in the oven at the same time, now’s the time to put the other half in.)
  7. Let cooked pumpkin cool enough to handle
  8. Pour off liquid that has accumulated in the pan
  9. Separate pumpkin flesh from skin, discard skin
    If pumpkin flesh is stringy, use a stick blender, food processor, potato masher, whatever gadget you have on hand to puree it
  10. Place 2 cups of pumpkin puree in Ziplock type freezer bag, mash out air, date and freeze until ready to use. Make smaller portions of 1 cup for recipes like pumpkin dip and smoothies.

Some say it will keep for 6-8 months in the freezer. But, it will keep for a couple years or more in a freezer that doesn’t defrost itself. Don’t tell the freezer police I said that. ☺

Enjoy!
T

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