Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fruity Food

Since I've been back at my apartment, I haven't been feeling exactly inspired. More often than not, when I decide to have at it again, after not cooking for awhile, I usually end up with something bland, burnt, or just...bad. Well, today I was quite pleased with myself.

First though, you'll never believe what did inspire this meal. I was at the gym, watching Paula Deen. First, off, its kind of funny to be watching the butter queen at the gym. Second of all, I rarely watch Paula Deen at all. Anyway, Paula and her son made a Zesty Grilled Tilapia with Mango Coconut Rice. I've been trying to use up what I have in the pantry and fridge this week, plus, the tilapia was obviously not vegan, so I made some changes. Yummy changes.

Please excuse the fuzzy photo and bad lighting!
Tropical Rice
1 can light coconut milk
1/2-3/4 cup water
1 cup brown rice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups pineapple (I used crushed canned pineapple, but you could use fresh, or diced, or anything)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)

Boil the rice in the coconut milk, water, and salt. When it is finished add in the pineapple and shredded coconut. Yum! And a little goes a long way with this, even with the light coconut milk, its rich and realllly nice and creamy! Best of all though, it makes a lot, and once its chilled, it makes an awesome rice pudding-like dessert.

Orange Chickpeas
1 tbsp light oil or non-stick spray
1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas
6 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp hot sauce

Mix it all in a big bowl and let it marinate for about 20 minutes. Spray a pan with non-stick spray and set to medium heat. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the chickpeas are cooked through and taste orange-y.

I was really the most excited to make the rice. However, while the rice is awesome, creamy, and delicious, the chickpeas were definitely the star. I was surprised how much they retained the orange and little hint of spiciness from the hot sauce (I used Tabasco Sweet and Spicy that we got on our trip to Louisiana). All around, one really yummy meal.

I feel like I need a personal life update since its been awhile. I don't know if I ever mentioned, but I obviously didn't end up driving cross country with Nick. The reason why is a long story, but he still appreciated everyone's advice!! He had some vegan donuts earlier this week on someone's suggestion. He also drove through Forks, WA the other day. Haha, I guess that tidbit is really only relevant if you have read or watched Twilight.

Hopefully the "inspiration" will keep flowing and I'll be blogging a little bit more! Stay tuned, hopefully tomorrow, I've got a giveaway coming up!


  1. It seems like a lot of us have been in a food rut lately. Your orange chickpeas and tropical rice sound really good. Keep it up, and if you just dont feel it, don't sweat, it happens!

  2. Gina this counds really good. I know that I have definatly been in a food rut lately! This recipe is totally creative and just what I need to get inspired again. Thanks :)


  3. What a fabulous meal! I love the flavors used and the rice just sounds phenomenal!

  4. I'm totally in a food rut, too. That looks delicious though. I think I'll work up some inspiration to cook that up this coming week!

    I don't like it when I lack inspiration because then I just live off of veggie burgers and tofu. haha

    Very cool that Nick drove through Forks!

  5. What a treat...Yummy!

  6. Heeeey girl! Yea butter's insane the amount of butter she puts into each dish. It gets a bit too much, seriously.

    Anyway great chick pea looks really plump and bursting with flavor!

    Have a good weekend hun!

  7. Ha! I love the fact that you were able to get inspiration from Paula Deen, and still make something vegan, healthy, and undoubtedly tasty!

  8. That rice does sound creamy and delicious, and I love ALL chickpea recipes - thank you!

  9. tropical rice and orange chickpeas?! how exotic!