I’ve realized that I’m still trying to decide what I want this blog to be. Lately I’ve been posting recipes that are a bit on the…shall we say…unhealthy side. But butter makes everything better, right? Obviously.
Case and point….Oatmeal Cookies:
Based on the last two recipes I posted, you’d never know that I have a passion for healthy living. While I am not an authority on the topic, I do wholeheartedly believe that everything, in moderation, has a place in a healthy lifestyle. I’m talking about everything from lazy days on the couch to half-marathons, taking a scenic walk and drinking hot chocolate just because it reminds you of blustery winter days when you were a child. Balance is a key ingredient to living a good life.
Finding balance is the difficult part. Sometimes you just get lifed. Maybe you feel pressure at work, school, or home. Maybe it’s more than pressure and you have to assess your priorities. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to take a step back, a deep breath, and realize that this too shall pass. Know this- it will. All you can do is try your best, which is a different for each of us.
To me, trying my best doesn’t mean striving for perfection. I’m not perfect and I’d hate to think about how dull life would be if I were. Trying my best means doing all that I can to remain happy, healthy, and wise (ha!). So, maybe I indulge in a fabulous glass – or 2 – of wine when I get home? After all, it compliments my Veggie Paella oh-so-well. There’s my balance. We’re very active in this household and generally eat healthy, meat free meals: if a treat finds its way into my diet once in a while, all the better. I’m finally learning that deprivation isn’t healthy either; I’ll take moderation instead please.
How do you find your balance?
Serves approximately 4-6 at 220 calories per serving (based on 6 servings).
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 1/4 cups rice (I used Arborio to get a creamy texture)
- 14 oz can of whole tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
- 2-4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bell peppers (I used red & yellow)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
- 4-6 strands of saffron
- 1/2-1 tsp spanish paprika
- 1/2 – 1 lemon- juiced
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Parsley for garnish
This is a relatively simple dish & since it’s a 1 pot meal, clean up is simple. Start by heating your olive oil on medium high in a large pan (at least 9 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep). Saute your garlic until fragrant- about 30 seconds – and then add your diced onion. Saute mixture until the onions are clear.
Once your garlic and onions are ready, decrease the heat to medium or medium low and add the rice to the pan and stir to coat completely. Toast about 30 seconds to a minute and then add your peppers. I roasted them in the toaster oven under broil for about 20 minutes before, but if you don’t have time, you can slice thinly and add to pan. Add the diced mushrooms now too. Saute 30 more seconds and add your tomatoes (juice and all). Break up chunks with the back of a spoon and stir to coat the rice. Add 2 cups of your broth and simmer uncovered until liquid is absorbed. Now is a good time to add your peas, artichokes, seasonings and an extra cup of broth. Continue to simmer until rice is cooked, adding more liquid as needed. Before serving, add the lemon juice, stir, and then garnish with lemon slices and parsley