Asian Inspired Minced Pork Bowls

Asian Inspired Pork BowlsScott’s mom makes the best egg rolls hands down.  The wrapper is thin so it becomes super crispy when fried.  The filling is full of fresh ingredients in equal balance.  And there’s ground pork!  Gloriously seasoned ground pork mixed with some vegetables. It’s a welcome change from what usually passes for egg rolls here in the States.

Getting her to talk about and share the recipe is like pulling teeth.  She doesn’t know specifics, she just does it.  We do not live close by so sadly we do not have a fresh supply of egg rolls.

I have tried my best to work through the flavors and to come up with something that is similar.  Because let’s face it, I’ll never figure out the exact recipe and I will never be able to make it nearly as well.

Instead of official egg rolls, we have deconstructed egg rolls.  All of the yummy insides plus some extras thrown in because we like them.  Sometimes I serve this over some rice and sometimes I add in even more veggies so that we have a huge bowl of egg roll goodness.

It’s a favorite dish of ours and it’s super easy to make!

Andrea’s Asian Inspired Minced Pork Bowls

  • 1 Pound Ground Pork
  • 1/2 A Medium Cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Large Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Medium Crown Of Broccoli, florets removed and chopped
  • 1 Red or Green Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 5 Green Onions, thinly sliced

For The Pork:

  • 1/2tsp Ground Onion
  • 1tsp Ground Garlic
  • 1tsp Curry Powder
  • 1tsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 Dashes of Fish Oil
  • 1/2TBSP Lard or Ghee

In a cast iron skillet or large sautee pan, heat the lard over medium heat.  Add in the ground pork and season with the remaining ingredients.  Stir to combine and continue to cook until the pork is cooked through.  Line a glass bowl with some paper towels, remove the pork from the skillet and place in the glass bowl.

For the Veggies:

  • 1/2tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/2tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2TBSP Lard or Ghee

In the same skillet the pork was cooked in, heat lard or ghee over medium heat.  Add in all of the veggies except the green onion, stir to coat with the fat, and sautee for about 5 minutes until the veggies start to soften.  Add in the seasonings and stir.  Continue to cook until the veggies are cooked through, about 10 minutes.  Add the pork back to the skillet and combine with the veggies.  Cook for another 3 minutes.  Turn off heat and serve.

Curry Pork Bowl

It’s perfect to eat as is, or you can serve over rice or rice noodles.  This dish also freezes well which means you can increase the amount to have portions to freeze.  The veggies can also be prepped ahead of time so that when it’s time to make dinner, you just have to heat and serve!

It has become a weeknight go-to meal since it’s so simple to make.  And there’s only like two dirty dishes at the end that Scott has to wash, so everyone wins!

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!

Sloppy Joe Bowls

Sloppy Joe BowlsSloppy Joes made an appearance frequently at our house.  My mom made them frequently but it was always with some sort of mix.

Not the canned Manwich mix because that was a little too fancy for our household.  My mom used some sort of packet seasoning and the addition of tomato sauce.

I wasn’t really a fan of it but I ate it.

I couldn’t even tell you the last time I had a Sloppy Joe or was even interested in eating one.  But last week I craved that tangy and slightly spicy tomato sauce that goes with Sloppy Joes.

So what the heck, I decided to create a Sloppy Joe dish that also has veggies and served it over rice. Filling and perfect for getting snug on the couch and watching a little hockey.

Andrea’s Sloppy Joe Bowls

For The Rice:

  • 1C Long Grain or Jasmine Rice
  • 2C Water

Bring water to a boil and add the rice.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until rice has absorbed all the water.  Remove from heat and cover.

For The Sloppy Joes:

  • 1lb Ground Pork (or any ground meat of your choosing)
  • 1-2 Large Carrots, shredded
  • 1 Large Red or Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 Yellow Squash, diced
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, diced
  • 2C Frozen Chopped Greens
  • 2 8oz Cans of Tomato Sauce
  • 1 14.5oz Can of Diced Tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 5TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1TBSP Cane Sugar
  • 4tsp Ground Chili Powder
  • 3tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • Big Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2TBSP Olive Oil for cooking

In a large skillet (preferably cast iron if you have it), heat the oil up over medium heat.  Add in the ground pork and cook through.  Remove pork from the skillet and set aside.

Add in the carrot, pepper, squash, and onion.  Cook until everything starts to soften up, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the pork back in along with the frozen greens.  Add the seasonings and gently combine everything.  Add in the tomato sauce along with the diced tomatoes and combine.  Then add in the apple cider vinegar, the Worcestershire sauce, and the sugar.  Stir everything together and allow to simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

Once the mixture has thickened up, remove from heat and serve over rice.

Sloppy Joe BowlTangy, slightly sweet, and a little bit of heat brought this dish together.  The addition of veggies provides some heft to the dish. We had it over rice and the next night we had it over cheddar grits.

This could be served over baked potatoes or even stuffed in some taco shells.

You could also sub in lentils if you didn’t want to do a ground meat. About 3-4C of cooked lentils should do the trick.

This makes a good size portion of Sloppy Joes.  Enough for us to each have two meals and then some leftover for freezing.

When was the last time you had a Sloppy Joe?

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!

Keep It Simple: Curry Rice with Lime and Cilantro

Curry Rice with Lime and Cilantro We love rice and probably eat it at least once a week here at the HQ.

Thai Jasmine is our favorite. It’s flavorful and cooks up really quickly.

Because we eat it so often I like to play up with different flavors to give it a slight twist.  My favorite rice is a great example of that.

Nothing crazy and nothing overly powerful.  Just some seasonings and a little punch of freshness.

I had some cilantro that needed used up and a lime that needed some attention, so into the rice they went!

I cook all my rice with broth but you can most definitely use water if you prefer.

Andrea’s Curry Rice with Lime and Cilantro

  • 1C Jasmine Rice
  • 2C Broth (I used pork)
  • 1/2tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/2tsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 Large Handful of Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Lime, zested and cut in half

In a medium sized sauce pot, heat the broth until it starts to simmer.  Add in the curry powder and soy sauce along with the rice.  Stir and cover reducing heat so that the mixture stays at a simmer.  Cook until the rice is done, about 7 minutes or so.  Turn off heat, add in the the juice of half the lime along with the zest and cilantro.  Add in the chopped green onion.  Stir, cover and let sit for about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!

Both of us found this rice light and fresh.  The curry powder gives it a lovely yellow color, that combined with the green onions and herbs, makes this dish easy on the eyes. It went perfect with some fish and roasted veggies we had that evening.

Aside from a little extra prep work with chopping onions and cilantro, which can be done while the rice simmers, this dish is quick and easy to put together.

Next time you have rice, give it a little punch with some fresh herbs and seasonings!

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! 


Keep It Simple: My Favorite Rice

We have rice once a week in our house at least. Both of us love rice, but our styles vary.

Scott loves plain white Jasmine rice and I like my rice to have a little something going on.

It doesn’t have to be much but something!

I came up with a solution that satisfies us both!  It’s got enough UMPH that it isn’t plain and it’s doesn’t have so much UMPH that it turns into something else.

It has become my favorite rice and whenever I have all the ingredients on hand, it’s what I make.  I do my little happy dance if I get a chance to eat this rice.

Andrea’s Favorite Rice

  • 1C White Jasmine Rice
  • 2C Chicken or Beef Stock
  • 3 Green Onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp Soy Sauce

In a medium sized sauce pan add stock and soy sauce, and bring up to a boil.  Add in rice and cook until rice is done.  About 10 minutes.

Once rice is cooked, add in the green onion and stir.

Serve and enjoy!

See, super easy to make! And perfectly tasty!  Just enough green onion to give it some kick but not so much that it becomes oniony and overpowering.

The soy sauce is just enough to give a little bit of additional background flavor.

I always make rice with stock because it gives it more flavor and a little bit more of a nutrient bump.  If you want to use water though, go right ahead.

Keep things simple and you’ll have a great dish every time!

Leftover Idea: Rice Stuffed Zucchini

The other night Scott and I had some rice with dinner and we ended up with some leftovers.

I wanted to use the leftovers for dinner the following evening but there wasn’t enough for each of us to have a regular portion size.  I wasn’t about to throw it away and started searching my fridge and pantry trying to decide how to use it.

That’s when I saw the big zucchini I had just purchased at the store and knew I could combine the two.  This was a super easy dish put together and ready to go in about 20 minutes.

Andrea’s Rice Stuffed Zucchini

  • Leftover rice
  • 1 Large Zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.  Spray with oil or nonstick spray.  Scoop out the insides of the zucchini and discard.  The zucchini half should look hollow and be able to support a stuffing.

In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the rice with the cheese and a little salt and pepper (how much is up to your preference).  Place zucchini halves on baking sheet and begin to stuff them with the rice mixture.  They will be overflowing with mixture.

Place in oven and heat for about 15 minutes or until the zucchini starts to soften.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

The leftover rice was already seasoned from the night before, I cooked it in chicken stock with a little butter and saffron.  I also added in a touch of soy sauce and green onions at the end.  This is why I didn’t need much in the way of seasoning for making the leftover dish.

I also discarded the insides of the zucchini because it was mostly large seeds.  If you would prefer to use the filling, go ahead and add it to the rice mixture.

The top of the rice got a little crispy as these baked in the oven which was a texture I really liked.  If this isn’t your cup of tea, add about 1TBSP of olive oil to the rice mixture before stuffing the zucchini with it.

I LOVED this side dish and could not get enough of it! You know those seasoned rice packets that are flavored like “broccoli and cheese” and are horrible for you?  This tasted exactly like that!  But you know, homemade and loads healthier.

This is on our list to make again soon!

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!

Keep It Simple: Sauteed Chard with Rice

The other day I was craving something warm for lunch.  I enjoy having big salads and fresh fruit at lunch but sometimes I want something warm.  Especially in the colder months! It’s hard to cozy up to a nice big salad when it’s 17 degrees outside.

We had some leftover rice from the previous night’s dinner and I had some chard that needed used up.  Combine the two and you’ve got a great lunch!

It was super quick to put together.  I sauteed up:

  • 1/4 Onion, sliced
  • 1/4 Green Pepper, sliced
  • Once large bunch of chard, chopped
  • Shredded carrots
  • A few broccoli florets

Sauteed in some olive oil with a pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and garlic powder.

Added in the leftover rice at the end and cooked just long enough for it to heat through.

Spooned in bowls, topped with a bit of shredded cheddar and a few dashes of hot sauce.

Perfect warm lunch and super easy to put together.  Could be assembled the night before or early in the morning to take to work.

The only thing I had to chop was the chard. I already had shredded carrots on hand ready for weekday salads.  I had sauteed onions and peppers leftover from dinner a previous day and I had broccoli in a bagged, prepped and ready to go.

The idea was to use up what I had on hand to make a quick meal.

You can also add in some extra protein by adding in beans or some scrambled eggs.  If you have leftover meat or fish from dinner the night before, you could add that too. Whatever you like and whatever you have on hand is the concept for this dish.

It’s a great way to utilize leftovers and to make a quick filling meal.

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!

Bamboo Rice

Bamboo rice is one of my favorite style of rices. I first discovered it at Whole Foods and picked some up because I couldn’t resist the green color of it.

It’s a short grain rice and I was curious to see whether the green color stayed once the rice was cooked or it if faded away.

I typically cook all my rice in chicken stock and this was no exception.  When I first made it, not only was I excited by the gorgeous green color but the flavor is really unique.

It has almost a floral and yet earth quality to it.  It also sticks together making it perfect for dishes where you want clumpy sticky rice.

Bamboo rice is green in color because it is infused with bamboo juice.  It is a short grain white rice and takes on the color of bamboo from the juice.

Here is a description from

Bamboo rice is not a specific varietal of rice, but is rather a short-grained white rice which has been treated with the juice of young bamboo plants. While milling the rice, the chlorophyll from the bamboo is added. This process causes the rice to be high in vitamin B, and gives it a flavor and aroma much like that of a jasmine green tea.

It does have a very unique flavor to it and I do encourage you to try it if you see some out.  Yes it can be expensive but for a little change up to rice, it’s worth the splurge.

Also check your store’s bulk bins. I have discovered that my local Whole Foods now carries bamboo rice in their bulk section.

Because it acts like a sticky rice, it can be used when making sushi.  Gives the rolls a pretty color and makes them stand out just a touch more.


Burrito Bowl

Shaking off yesterday’s heavy topic let’s talk about something fun! And let’s make it about fun food!

Scott and I have a favorite diner that just happens to be very close to us and they have the best veggie burritos.  The. BEST.  The burrito is gigantic and stuffed with beans, cheese, and all manner of veggies.  They won my heart because they actually use a variety of real veggies in their burritos.

Listen, I tend to eat mostly veggie when I’m dining out.  I’ve gotten veggie burritos and such at many places and the “veggies” that restaurants tend to give you are as follows:

  • Onion
  • Green Peppers
  • Mushrooms

That’s it.  Maybe if it’s your lucky day, there will be a sad basement tasting carrot tossed in the mix.  But usually “veggies” are those three things and if we’re being truthful, mushrooms aren’t even a veggie.

Please leave them off my veggie meals!

Anyway, at our favorite diner the veggie burritos are full of:

  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

Ah! Be still my beating heart! Add in that it is fantastically delicious and I’m your newest loyal customer.

I wanted to make something similar at home but I didn’t have big burrito wraps so instead I decided to make a burrito bowl with loads of veggies on top of brown rice.  This bowl is loaded up too!

This is more of a concept than an actual recipe because the veggies are up to you!  Here’s what goes in OHC’s burrito bowls:

Andrea’s Burrito Bowls

  • 1C Brown rice (short or long grain, up to you)
  • Black Beans (I made my own but you can use canned. Drained and rinsed if you do!)
  • 2 Carrots, chopped on a bias
  • 1 Head of cauliflower, chopped and blanched
  • 1 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 Red pepper, chopped
  • 1 Green pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Huge pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Chili powder, to taste
  • Smoked paprika, about 1tsp
  • Your favorite salsa, about 1C


  • Quick and Dirty Guacamole
  • 2% Greek Yogurt (or sour cream)
  • Shredded Pepperjack Cheese
  • Chopped Green Onions
  • Hot sauce of choice (Cholula all the way)

Cook your rice and set aside. In a saute pan, add in some olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add in all veggies except for the cauliflower.  Stir, and add in all the seasonings.  Stir again.  Sautee until the veggies start to soften, then add in the cauliflower and beans. Stir and add in the salsa.  Stir and allow to cook for about another two minutes.

To serve spoon rice into the bottom of a bowl, add veggie mix on top, and then garish with your choice of seasonings.  Eat and enjoy!

Just so you know, this makes A LOT of food.  I wanted plenty for leftovers and to freeze for later.  You will have to make more rice though when you have this as leftovers.

This is completely open to interruption because you can use whatever veggies you want.  Feel free to add more to the “toppings bar” like shredded lettuce, crushed tortilla chips, and extra salsa for example.  Having a “toppings bar” helps those that are picky take a little control over the dish and customize it to suit their tastes.

I’m so happy that we have leftovers!

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!

Cranberry and Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash

Roasted Acorn Squash

I’ve been experimenting with winter squashes lately. These are a new item at OHC HQ and one that we are thoroughly enjoying. I didn’t grow up eating winter squash aside from pumpkin, and that was only in pie. Perhaps a cookie, but that’s as far as it went. All the other varieties of squash never crossed the threshold and I’m pretty sure it was the same way over at young Scott’s house as well.

During my experimentations, both of us have decided that we love the winter squashes and currently we have not met a squash we didn’t like. A familiar squash this time of year is the little acorn squash. Perfect as a meal on its own or playing costar as a side dish. And one thing that seems pretty typical is a stuffed acorn squash. Meat of some sort seems to be a common ingredient, sausage taking a top spot.

When I created this dish, it was a veggie day for us so there’s no meat contained in this stuffing. I was looking for something a little sweet and a little savory. Filling, yet light, so as not to weigh you down after eating.

Andrea’s Cranberry and Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 1 medium-sized acorn squash
  • 1-2 C of cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 C of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C of crushed pecans
  • 1 TBSP of maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. On a foil lined cookie sheet place the acorn squash cut side up. Rub each half with 1/2 TBSP of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste). Also sprinkle each half with 1/2 tsp of chili powder, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. Roast for about 1 hour or until fork tender.

While that is roasting, cook the rice according to package directions. I always use chicken stock for cooking rice. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine rice, cranberries, pecans, and maple syrup. Mix to combine.

When the squash is fully roasted, remove from oven. Place each half on a plate and fill with the rice mixture. Serve immediately.

Cranberry and Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Cranberry and Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

Both of us were really pleased with the way the dish came out. The acorn squash is sweet but it isn’t quite as sweet as a butternut, allowing the maple syrup and cranberries to shine through. The pecans give it some crunch and a little protein boost. The brown rice keeps things filling yet light.

I used a brown jasmine rice but you can use whatever rice you love or happen to have on hand. Another common way of roasting squash, is in a shallow roasting pan with a little water, about an inch or so. Roast at the same temp for the same time or until fork tender. The steam from the water will help keep the squash moist.

If you’re looking for something a little different this holiday season, or perhaps an easy side dish to bring to a party, this is definitely a winner.

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!