Today´s Gluten-free Adventure—Pollo de Naranja and Spinach-Raisin-Carrot rice

Today´s Gluten-free Adventure—Pollo de Naranja and Spinach-Raisin-Carrot rice

Click on the photo above to link to my spotify playlist. Today´s music theme: Naranja, because I had an orange and half a carrot I wanted to use, because orange is a warm color, and the weather is warming up. Some notes on the music below, if you´re interested.

Pollo de Naranja

I had an orange, nira (a green Chinese onion), and some fresh cabbage. I decided to make some kind of orange marinade using what I had around the house.

Step #1—Make the marinade (I don´t like measuring, so these are guestimates, all blended in my tiny Barbie-esque Muji blender):

• 1 orange (I left the white stuff on because I´ve heard it´s good for you, had to add it a few sections at a time because my blender is so tiny.)
• A few little bunches of nira (another green onion would work just fine)
• 1 tbsp. of maple syrup
• A few pinches of dried red pepper
• 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp. Mexican hot sauce (not habanera unless you really can handle the spice)
• 1 tbsp. non-gluten soy sauce (can be found at Natural House, or if you don´t have allergy to soy, you can often find tamari in natural food shops.)
• 2 laurel leaves
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 tsp. sesame oil
• 1 tsp. salt
• Garlic powder to taste
• Paprika to taste
• Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Step #2—Cut 2 chicken breasts in to small strips and mix with the marinade in a Tupperware, letting it soak in the fridge. I like to stir it every so often and add a little spice or soy sauce or something, so feel free to experiment. That´s what I do with all the recipes I read.

Step #3—I shredded the fresh cabbage I had with a knife, but probably onion or bell pepper would be nice too, just to give it a little crunch and vitamins. I put everything in a non-stick pan, including the marinade, and let it cook on medium heat, stirring frequently. I think I probably cooked it for 15-20 minutes, but you could cook it for shorter if you want it more liquidy or add more liquid (even a little bit of water) and keep cooking.

Step # 4—I served it on a little bed of raw shredded cabbage. The meat and cabbage turned out really soft and almost tasted like a curry, mysteriously. It wasn´t what I expected, but it was a hit with both my boyfriend and I.

Spinach-Raisin-Carrot rice

What you need:
• Already-cooked rice
• Carrot
• Spinach
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1 cup of raisins (or more or less depending on your sweet tooth. )
• Cinnamon to taste ( I love cinnamon, so I put a lot. Also, in addition to lots of health properties, cinnamon is said to help to stabilize blood sugar, which is probably a good thing when you´re eating sweet raisins and white rice. Anything that might help boost our metabolism, while it´s lowering cholesterol and fighting bad cells, deserves a role in my meal sometimes.)
• *nuts would be a great addition to this, especially if you´re vegetarian and this is a main plate.

I had some day-old rice, probably about one and a half cups, so I decided to make something with that.

Step #1—I rinsed the spinach and tore off, and chopped the leaves, along with the carrot and garlic.

Step #2— I sautéed the carrot and garlic first with a little olive oil, then sprinkled some garlic powder, salt, and cinnamon. Once it was a little softened, maybe about 4-5 minutes, I added the spinach and raisins and sprinkled more garlic powder, salt, and cinnamon.
Step # 3—After I felt it was the consistency I liked, I turned off the heat, and put the day-old rice plus the contents of the pan into a big pot and stirred it around, until the rice was heated up all the way through.

I actually would not have thought these two dishes would go well together, but the sweetness of the rice and spice of the chicken went really well together!

A little note about the music: Lately I have also been listening to all the Primavera Sound and Fuji Rock artists this year, known and unknown, because festivals like this give me a good chance to reacquaint myself with old favorites and discover artists I might not know about yet. We saw Wilco in Tokyo Friday night and were Coachella webcast junkies all weekend, so we ended the weekend really musically energized; making gluten-free gyoza and having a toy music jam session. Anyway with my mind being stimulated by so many genres, I thought it would be fun to do a theme playlist, with the theme of orange–titles, group names, etc. Orange is one of my favorite colors and fruit, and it was fun to think thematically. My music taste is kind of chaotic, so I tried to pull from a lot of different genres. One of the songs made it on here just because the album title killed me, ¨La parte chunga.¨ How could I not add it? Lots of other artists I like, love, or feel lukewarm about. Enjoy the orange mix tape.

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