Treasure Chestnuts

Inspired by the Japanese kuri gohan, the beauty of this side dish is its simplicity, highlighting the seasonal delight that is freshly roasted chestnuts. Harmonizing with the naturally nutty flavor of brown rice, those toothsome grains cling to each tender morsel for an incredibly satisfying bite. Though chestnuts are sadly hard to come by when winter ends, you’ll find yourself craving this combination all year long.

Yield: Makes 4 Servings as a Side Dish

Chestnut Rice

Chestnut Rice

Inspired by the Japanese kuri gohan, the beauty of this side dish is its simplicity, highlighting the seasonal delight that is freshly roasted chestnuts. Harmonizing with the naturally nutty flavor of brown rice, those toothsome grains cling to each tender morsel for an incredibly satisfying bite.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Short Grain Brown Rice
  • 2 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Roughly Chopped, Roasted and Shelled Chestnuts (About 20)
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Toasted Black Sesame Seeds

Instructions

  1. My favorite way to prepare this dish is in an electric pressure
    cooker since it’s so crazy fast, but it can just as easily be made on
    the stove top. If working with a pressure cooker, simply toss in the
    rice, water, salt, chopped chestnuts, and butter or oil. Lock in the lid
    and set it to 20 minutes on high pressure. Once that time has elapsed,
    quick release by opening up the valve to immediately discharge the built
    up pressure. Stand back and cover with a dish towel to prevent any
    spray or steam burns. Let the rice stand for 5 more minutes before
    uncovering.
  2. For stove top prep, combine the water, salt, and butter or oil in a
    medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the rice and
    chestnuts, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 45 to 50
    minutes, until the liquid has fully absorbed. Let stand for 5 more
    minutes.
  3. Top with sesame seeds right before serving.

Notes

Cooked rice will keep in the fridge for 5 - 7 days.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 253Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 318mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

 

 

 

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New Year, New Stew

Rubbing the sleep from our eyes as sunlight floods the room, still slightly subdued from last night’s festivities, we all wake to greet the new year: Welcome, 2018! Ripe with potential, the days ahead unfurl before us, bright and gleaming like gems, a treasure to discover along the way.

Encouraged to seize this opportunity for personal renewal, the temptation to reinvent oneself is strong. We’re encouraged to set lofty goals for a “new year, new you.” The hype has grown considerably quieter over the years, thankfully, but still it persists. I’m here right now to say that if you’re still feeling tempted by those invasive marketing tactics, you’re not alone, but you’re already good enough. Smart enough. Pretty enough. Fit enough. Kind enough. If you’re even considering what you’d like to improve about yourself, you’re thoughtful and motivated and intelligent enough to make it happen, if that’s what you really want. But you don’t need to, and you don’t need to pretend to, if you don’t. You’re exactly the same person you were before the sun set last night and the ball dropped at midnight, and that’s exactly who you need to be. You are already the best YOU out there. DON’T throw it all away in an attempt to start with a “new” you all over again.

Understand that in all honesty, I’m saying this as much for you as I am for me, because sometimes it’s easier to see the goodness in others than yourself. That doesn’t detract from my conviction in those words, but further strengthens the sentiment. If you can start to see positivity and have a more optimistic perspective of your world, you can manifest that same light, too.

Motivational pep talk out of the way, let’s move full steam ahead into the best year yet, shall we? Embark on this new journey forward with something hearty, soul-soothing, and utterly effortless in case holiday revelry is still ringing in your ears.

Murky gruel the color of swamp water is typically the defining characteristic of split pea soup, but beneath the surface lies true inner beauty. Mixing in frozen sweet peas at the very end brightens up the situation considerably, lending both fresh pops of pigmentation and flavor. Unlike most bean soups, no soaking is necessary to tenderize the legumes, cooking quickly into an instantly creamy, thick stew.

Yield: Makes 3 - 4 Servings

Simple Split Pea Soup

Simple Split Pea Soup

Mixing frozen sweet pea into classic split-pea soup brightens up the resulting stew, lending both fresh pops of pigmentation and flavor. Unlike most bean soups, no soaking is necessary to tenderize the legumes, cooking quickly into an instantly creamy, thick entree.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato, Peeled and Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 Cup Split Green Peas
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, Minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Frozen Green Peas
  • Salt, to Taste

Instructions

  1. Heat your pressure cooker on the sautΓ© setting and add the oil. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until translucent and aromatic; about 6 or 7 minutes. Add in the sweet potato, soy sauce, split peas, vegetable stock, paprika, rosemary, and pepper, stir to incorporate, and lock in the lid.
  2. Once sealed, cook on High Pressure for 18 minutes. Let stand for 3 minutes longer before opening the valve to release the remaining pressure.
  3. Stir in the frozen peas (no need to thaw in advance) and season with salt to taste. Give the mixture a vigorous stir to further break up the split peas for a thicker, smoother texture, if desired.

Notes

To make this soup on the stove top, without a pressure cooker, simple cover and simmer on low heat for 35 – 45 minutes instead.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1087mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 6g