We're back from New Orleans, a bit travel weary, but definitely still buzzing from the energy of that city. Despite all of the hardships it's faced, New Orleans and it's residents are full of life. There's a vibrancy there that I just haven't seen anywhere else. I slipped into a more easy-going spirit while wandering around that beautiful, historic place and I hope that I can hang on to that spirit as I return to every day life. That's always the hardest part of traveling for me, coming home and holding on to the wonder and curiosity that takes over when you're away from home. It's easy to fall into a routine and take for granted the sites and sounds that you're surrounded by on a regular basis. I think this is one of the greatest challenges we face in life, learning to enjoy the mundane, everyday moments as much as we enjoy the exciting out of the ordinary ones. I know, easier said than done...
Yeah, we totally saw an alligator.
Cafe Du Monde, amazing.
One of the things you do in New Orleans is eat and we went down there with the intention of eating a ton of good food, which we did. We ate at some amazing places, and some not so amazing tourist traps, but either way it's definitely not the healthiest food in the world. So when we got back I was craving fresh fruits and veggies, homemade meals, and cooking, I missed cooking. So we went to the store, got some fresh produce and made a stir fry with chard (from our garden!), yellow squash, red pepper, and red onion. Simple, light, and flavorful. I should tell you this stir fry is light on the rice and heavy on the vegetables so you may want to add more rice to suit your tastes. Although, it's very tasty as is. The rice blends in with the other flavors instead of being the main ingredient.
- 1/2 cup brown rice (dry)
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- About 2 Tbs sesame oil (for coating pan)
- 1 medium yellow squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into long, thin pieces
- 1/2 medium red onion, cut into long, thin pieces
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 8 swiss chard leaves, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- About 1 Tbs fish sauce
- Juice of one lime
- About 3 to 4 Tbs soy sauce (start with less and add more to taste)
- 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
Bring water and salt to a boil in a small pot. Add rice, turn the heat down to a simmer and allow rice to cook for about 30 minutes, until all of the water has evaporated and the rice is tender. The cooking time will be longer if you're using more rice. Fluff with a fork and set aside.