Thursday, July 2, 2009

Toasted Corn and Sweet Red Pepper Rice

I ended up staying at my parents for much longer than anticipated this week.  I left on Monday afternoon, planned to come home Wednesday afternoon.  Well, its Thursday, I'm still here, and we're going to the movies tonight.  So, I don't think I'll be getting back until tomorrow.  Don't worry, I brought Zoe with me, and she is quite happy watching the birds and chipmunks again.

It took awhile, but I realized my mom has the same camera as me, so I can just borrow her camera cord.  Hellooo!  

When I was living at home I usually made dinner once a week.  I am not the type to make the same recipe twice.  There's just so much out there, why keep making the same thing?  My mom, does not agree.  If she ever gets asked, she always wants the same thing, which has come to be known as "that rice stuff I like".  

I figured since it is mom's favorite, and she's been asking me to actually write down some kind of recipe for it, I would make it for her, and share!  I gave it fancier name, but you can still call it "that rice stuff Gina's mom likes" if you want.  

Toasted Corn and Sweet Red Pepper Rice

    3 cups of COOKED Brown Rice (about 1.5 cups raw)
    10oz box frozen corn (about 2 cups)
    2/3 cup salsa
    1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp lime juice
    1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup chopped scallions
    1 block extra-firm tofu

Put two pans on to medium heat. Liberally cover both with non-stick cooking spray. 

While the pans heat up, remove the tofu from the water. Slice it as thick or thin as you want (probably into about as many pieces as can fill your pan), and press with a towel on both sides. You don't need to be crazy about removing the water, just dry it a little. Salt and pepper both side and place in one of the pans. Just let it sit in the pan. Don't move it around, don't pick it up. It will form a golden crust on that side. Peek at the corner of one piece until it is somewhat hard and golden brown. Then flip and wait for the other side. When its all done, cut it into cubes. 

The corn goes in the other pan. It'll thaw first, but it needs to be in long enough to toast. You'll want to stir, periodically under it starts get brown flecks and look toasty and caramelized.

You can do the rest before or while everything is cooking. While this stuff is cooking, slice the pepper, chop the scallion and make the dressing. For the dressing, mix the salsa, lime juice, and canola oil. 

When everything is done mix it all together in a big bowl. 

That's it! Its easy, its fast, its healthy and it is soooo good. We usually have it as the main dish with a side of broccoli. It can serve anywhere from 4-6, depends on how hungry you are.

Serves 6
Nutritional Information:  271.5 Calories;  8.2g Total Fat;  0.9g Saturated Fat;  0.0mg Cholesterol;  40.0g Carbohydrates;  4.8g Fiber;  11.3g Protein 

You could also use garbanzo beans if you are intolerant to soy, or you could just leave the protein out altogether.

We went to the Kutztown Folk Festival yesterday, my mom, brother and I.  Its in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch country.  

I always think this view looks like that default Windows background

I guess the food is supposed to be good, but its not really our kind of stuff, so I found a place that would make us all happy to stop for lunch.  If you ever find yourself in Kutztown, Betty's is a cool place.  Cute little place, kind of wants to be funky and earthy when it grows up, and the food was great!  Its casual, and cheap, mostly wraps, salads, soups, and you can easily eat for about $5.  Oh, and it caters to both omnivores and vegetarians/vegans.

We saw some cute baby ducks at the fair.  I love birds, but I especially love ducks, and everyone knows that babies get even more love, so I had to take a picture.  

There were really cute baby bunnies too, but my attention was taken away from picture taking then because we were allowed to pet, hehe.  

We stopped at the Clinton Station Diner for dinner.  Its right on the side of the highway and its got a train car attached to it, so we always notice it.  We actually got to eat in the train.  

Me and my brother

Also, my brother recently became a vegetarian, which I believe I have yet to mention on here, so that's pretty awesome!  There was plenty of stuff I could have eaten at this diner, but I thought we were getting fast food for dinner so I had brought my own, and already had eaten it, so I just had some fruit salad.   

Because I am at my parents', I have already seen a bunch of movies.  I don't know why, Nick and I haven't really been at all.  I saw My Sister's Keeper with my mom, and saw Public Enemy with my brother and his friend last night.  My Sister's Keeper was so sad, but really good.  No, I didn't read the book, but apparently some important things (I won't say what, but if you want to know, email me) were very different.  I kind of like it that way because I feel like I can go read the book now if I want.  Public Enemy was good.  The acting was good, it was engaging, but I'm not running around raving about it, its just not my kind of movie.  Tonight we are going to see Away We Go, which I am really excited for!  

As much as I like being home, I definitely woke up this morning wanting my own bed (which is weird because this bed was "my bed" for two years).  I think its my pillow that I miss.  Anyway, we should be back home on Friday!  


  1. It's so weird to read this post. I'm originally from five minutes away from Kutztown and I used to go to Betty's all the time. I hate the Kutztown Folk Festival, though. I mean, I love fried potatoes as much as the next girl, but there's not much else to say about it!

  2. Good to know about My Sister's Keeper. Nick and I like a good move every once in a while, and I really wanted to see that one!

    The ducks are so cute. They remind me of my elementary school days when we raised ducks in a little pool, after watching them incubate and hatch!

    The corn recipe looks and sounds super delicious. Thanks!

  3. I never go to the movies, but I'm making CD take me to see Away We Go tomorrow. Please let me know your thoughts. I told him it was NOT a chick flick. It's not, right? :)

    Sounds like you've had a relaxing week at your parents - I love how you always cook for your family.

    Happy 4th Gina!

  4. Hmmm i think you are right ... :).

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  5. So funny you ate there! I used to pass it all the time driving between Shippensburg, PA and NYC...always thought it looked cute. Thanks for the review!

  6. I'm the same way. Traveling is cool and all, but give me my own pillow any day! My hubby saw Public Enemy and felt the same way. He said the cinematography was stylistically inconsistent. Talk about a disappointment!
    I use to live in Lancaster, PA. They have some awesome farmer's markets. PS- love the recipe. Simple and delicious! Oh... and thanks again for the buckwheat!

  7. Oh my god, ducklings! Too cute! They remind of the little ducklings that lived at my grandparent's old house... It was so wonderful to come and visit and see that whole family of ducks, big and small, swimming around out back. My grandpa even made them a little bridge so that they could cross the stream without getting wet, and put up lots of "duck x-ing" signs everywhere to alert motorist.

    It's been a long time since I thought about that... :)

  8. Mmm awesome rice dish!! I find that I'll fall in love with something, make it at least once a week for a month and then never make it again or if I finally do I don't like it anymore! It's weird.

    Eeee! Adorable little duckies!!!! I want fluffy ducky cuddles now!

  9. I love corn and red peppers together. No wonder it's your mom's favorite. Cute picture of you and your brother!

  10. you and your brother are so cute! and those baby animals!!!!! omg adorable!
    and the recipe looks pretty good too!

  11. your food looks amazing!!

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  12. I love the idea of using salsa as the base for your sauce. I'm so going to try that!!!

  13. Good on your veggie brother. And baby ducks! Squeee!

    The rice your mum likes looks really yummy, and sounds super simple so next time I'm cooking for myself that will probably make the rotation.

  14. I'll totalllyyy be posting about that carob hazlenut spread soon! don'tchoo worry!

    I love the colors in your rice dish.

    And ducks are my fav!

  15. Great recipe, I can't wait to try it. I'm in love with rice dishes right now--very healthy, filling and yummy!

  16. "that rice stuff" looks incredible! i can't wait to give it a shot - loads of ingredients i love. thanks for sharing the recipe!

  17. AWWWW! those ducks are soo cute!
    - love your blog by the way :)

  18. that brown rice and tofu looks AMAZING! i found your blog via sparkpeople ( i am liddlelisaxo)
    add my blog too- i'll put you on my blogroll as well!