Did anyone else struggle as much as I did to get up this morning? I can't believe we're back to work again...Memorial Day weekend went by way too fast! Although it flew by, I did manage to get a lot of things done this weekend. We recently gained access to a storage area right outside of our apartment (which I am just thrilled about!), so I spent a lot of time doing some major spring cleaning. It's so nice to not have our bikes sitting by the entryway of our apartment anymore, and to have cleaner, more organized closets inside our home! Not to mention our home is now spotless...not a speck of dust in sight. Perfect.
Aside from cleaning, we also did a few other fun things. We spent Sunday afternoon on the beach with some friends, and later spent time with my cousin, who's in the Air Force and has been stationed in Germany for the past few years. We were lucky that he was able to have time to come visit us during his trip back home, so we took him out to dinner Sunday night. We tried a new gastropub on 2nd St in Long Beach, called Tavern on 2. If you're ever in the Long Beach area I always recommend 2nd St, a neigboorhood full of great restaurants and bars, but after this weekend I think I may just start spefically recommending Tavern on 2! The food there is great, and if you like beer, this place has a lot of unique options to choose from.
We first shared the Beef Oxtail Poutine: tender beef oxtail braised in burgundy red wine reduction, cheddar cheese curds, duck fat fries. Then I ordered the Short Rib Burger, which was amazing: Niman Ranch short rib braised in amber ale, melted gruyere cheese, grilled mushrooms on a brioche bun. My cousin and Tony both ordered the Ahi Tuna Burger: Szechwan peppercorn crusted ahi tuna, Asian slaw, Japanese cucumber wasabi sauce on a brioche bun. Doesn't that make your mouth water? And it tastes just as good as it sounds, if not better.
|My AMAZING short rib burger|
For this particular meal, I prepared a simple citrus baked fish (seasoned with just salt, pepper, and lime zest) to serve with the rice. However, you can switch it out to whatever type of protein you prefer. Any type of lean protein such as fish or chicken would pair well with this dish, and only needs to be mildly seasoned. After all, the rice dish is really the main attraction here. The mandarin oranges and cashews add a unique quality to what would otherwise be a typical rice dish. I enjoyed it with the substitution of brown rice, but I am curious to try the original version. I'll post the healthier brown rice version here, but if you'd like to try the regular basmati rice recipe you can get it at Mel's Kitchen Cafe.
Orange Cashew Brown Rice
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Yield: Serves 4
Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, original source adapted from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
1 cup brown basmati rice
1/2 cup roasted cashew pieces
1/4 cup chopped yellow peppers
1/4 cup chopped red peppers
3 green onions, minced
1 (8-ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained well
In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the water, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil and salt to a boil. Stir in the rice. Return to a boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer and cover. Simmer the rice for 40 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has been absorbed. Let stand, covered, off the heat for 5-10 minutes. Scrape the rice into a large bowl. Add the cashew pieces, peppers, and green onions. Season with salt and pepper and add the drained orange segments to the rice, folding them in gently to prevent the oranges from breaking. Serve immediately.
- If you don't have brown basmati rice on hand, you can try substituting with another variety of brown rice. Just adjust the rice-to-liquid ratio and cook time according to the package directions.\