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TrainerTiff: March 2013 >

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Secret Ingredient Vegetable Fried Rice

A couple years ago before I started pairing my foods properly, I would usually have fried rice with its most traditional accompaniment -- shrimp. Not anymore.

Now that I've changed my diet to focus on efficient digestion by carefully combining foods, the mere thought of eating meat and a starchy carb together makes my stomach turn. I have to say, my belly has become quite sensitive to improper food combos.

In order to get my fried rice fix, I make a vegetarian version that keeps my tummy feeling pleasant, full and satisfied. As I've discovered with many of my meal remixes, I find that excluding meat from many dishes, like with my vegetarian chili recipe, it actually tastes better. Go figure.

While making my veggie fried rice one particular time, I stumbled upon two secrets (well, they seemed to be secrets to me anyway) that made it absolutely delicious.

Secret number 1: use day old refrigerated rice. I discovered this by accident one day. I had planned to make the dish, but got too busy to finish it. So naturally, I put the pot of rice in the fridge to make the next day. And oh my goodness, what a difference. The rice gets a chance to stick together and holds better when you're stir-frying it.

Secret number 2: use a tad bit of sesame oil. And let me tell you, a little goes a long way. It gives the dish a richer and fuller flavor. I found this out because I had bought the oil to make a different dish and just figured to add it to the rice (because how many times have we all bought ingredients for single dishes, to only have it sit in the pantry ... forever?). So in my attempt to not be wasteful, I came to find out this little gem of information.

OK, enough chit chat about how awesome I clearly think this dish is. Check it out for yourself.


1 cup brown rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 16 oz package of frozen stir-fry vegetables or use fresh
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup of low-sodium soy sauce or use Tamari (add more or less to taste)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp coconut oil

Directions: bring water to a boil, add rice stir well. Reduce temperature to low setting, cover with lid and let rice finish cooking for about 30 minutes or until water is absorbed. Let rice cool, then store in refrigerator overnight.

To make stir-fry: if using frozen vegetables, either microwave in a bowl of water of lightly boil in water on stove-top for just a couple minutes -- enough so that the veggies are thawed, but not cooked. Put veggies through a strainer to get all the water off. Set aside.

In a wok on medium, medium-high heat add oils. Then add garlic and ginger and saute for about 30 seconds. Add veggies and saute for several minutes, moving continuously with a wooden spatula or spoon. Add rice and mix well. Then add soy sauce. Mix thoroughly then remove from heat.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Photo Blog of My Recent Trip to Europe

Sometimes we all need a little relaxation time and a chance to get away. I'm so happy that I got a chance to do just that with my hubby, and in all places -- Europe! We were mainly in London, but did spend a day in Paris. We figured since we were so close to France, why not do a day trip there. I truly enjoyed my vacation and can't wait to go back. I thought I'd take a short break from my usual health and fitness posts and share some of my trip photos with you. The pictures start in London and end in Paris.

I made sure I worked out while on vacation. I know a lot of people like to skip the gym while away, but for me, I enjoy it. Traveling can be a bit stressful and getting in a good workout is a great way to de-stress and relax. I was thrown off a bit though with the weights being in kilograms -- but I managed.

One of the best parts of the trip was seeing Stonehenge. It was absolutely amazing to see these stones in real life that have been around for 3,000 years.

After riding around in taxis a lot, we finally ventured onto London's subway, the Tube or Underground. Surprisingly, the connections were really easy to navigate. It helped that the lines had cute names like, Piccadilly and Bakerloo. 

We found this nice Turkish restaurant called Ozer. Our spread included dolmades, lamb and falafels. Oh and a little red wine.

Big Ben

Street shot in London. 

To get to Paris, we traveled through the Chunnel on the Eurostar. After about 2.5 hours and going under the English Channel, we were in Paris. It was nice to see some of the French countryside. 

Surprise. Surprise. In Paris you have to pay a fee to use the public restrooms. I usually don't like having change on me, but I here I made sure to have bathroom change readily available.

Street shot in Paris.

The Louvre.

The Arc de Triomphe is massive.

 And to end our day trip in Paris, a little escargot at this cute traditional French restaurant called Terminus Nord. I had a great time! C'est la vie!