Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick and Simple Healthy Family Meal!

Yet another Pinterst find for me. The original drawing point for me was that it was titled "30 Minute Rice & Peas" and I am all about a dinner that only takes 30 minutes to get on the table. Well, I must not be as much of a chef as I think because this DID NOT take me 30 minutes! It wasn't terribly time consuming, and in my defense, the sweet potato that I added was optional so maybe the original poster wasn't counting potato prep in her timing. With all that being said, with no further ado, my experience with Sweet Potato Peas and Rice :)

The first step I had to take was to peel and chop the sweet potato. I am NOT a regular sweet potato eater. Actually, I've never really eaten them. I've tried recently since I've heard how good they are for you and I just couldn't really bring myself to like them. I realized I just needed to get creative. When I saw that this recipe called for puréed sweet potato I was suddenly at a loss for what I was going to need to do to purée a sweet potato. So, if your sweet potato stupid like me, it's just like a regular potato and mashed potatoes (DUH) I mean, seriously, after I googled this I felt like a complete and total idiot. I can't even count on one hand how many times I've made mashed potatoes since I have had the kids, but this was a STAPLE in my meal planning before children. I'm an idiot. So, basically I just cubed and boiled the taters till they were soft then mashed them in my food processor. That was probably the most time consuming part. Once I had my potatoes boiling, I started simmering the onions and garlic in my EVOO (I bought Bertolli because I read a passionate blog article about not using cheap Extra Virgin Olive Oil) 

Once the onions were transparent, I added the vegetable broth and brown rice and cooked normally. I added the peas to the cooked rice and let simmer until the liquid was mostly soaked up. 

After that it was just a matter of mixing the remaining ingredients. 

I am new to eating shrimp, but I found pre-cooked and de-veined shrimp at the seafood counter at Whole Foods. I soaked them in some organic teriyaki sauce. I recently used the common brand sauce and was super disappointed to discover that one of the prominent ingredients was high fructose corn syrup. Luckily at my local HyVee I was able to find a replacement and trashed the other one. Here are the stats on the two sauces: 

Here is the front of the labels if you'd like to find the brand I used. We love us some Teriyake sauce and this one had great flavor! 

It is the one on the right. 

After the mixing of the final ingredients, this dish is good to go! Here are the details on the recipe:

1 Sweet Potato
1/4 fresh onion, diced
2t minced garlic
2 cups Brown Rice 
4 cups Vegetable Broth 
1 cup fresh or frozen peas 
1 cup Parmesan Cheese 
2 T Parsley (preferably fresh - huge taste difference) 
16 shrimp (optional)

Peel, cube, then boil Sweet Potato until soft. While it's boiling, simmer onions and garlic in EVOO. Once the onions are translucent, dump the vegetable stock into the pan and the rice. Heat to boil, then lower temp and simmer for 15 minutes - while this is cooking, you should have time to run the potato through a food processor and pulverize it. After the 15 minutes, add peas to the rice mixture and cook until excess liquid is gone. I then added the puréed sweet potato, parm, and parsley. I topped each one cup serving with 4 Teriyake-soaked shrimp. 

THIS DISH IS SURPRISINGLY DELICIOUS! It is an absolute keeper in my regular dinner rotation AND it has totally spawned some ideas about using sweet potato in dishes in its puréed form. I *think* I may try to do a similar dish minus peas and shrimp but use macaroni noodles. If I can pass this off as Mac&Cheese to my kids, I will henceforth dub myself queen of the kitchen and require that anyone eating my meals refer to me as such. Muahahahaha *insert evil laugh*

Try this out and let me know what you think!!!

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