Biryani with Pineapple & Bacon Chicken Sausage

Every time my hubby and I go to Trader Joe’s, we pick up something new to try. Our latest product testing session led us to Briyani, which has rice, onions, peas, red pepper, apples, raisins, and spices.biryaniricedish

It is slightly spicy, curry-y and fat free. The delightful little peas retain their bite when the Biryani is cooked on a stovetop. I decided to pair the rice dish with slices of smoked chicken sausage and added an onion, garlic, Sri Racha, and a steamer package of broccoli and cauliflower florets for more flavor and texture.  Some cilantro sprinkled on just before serving adds some extra freshness.  Grab a mint when you’re done, though!

I made this as a quick weeknight meal in one pan. It is so simple to make, I can lay it all out in one paragraph:

In a large pan, place cauliflower and broccoli florets and add 1/4 c water, then cover to steam for a few minutes until fork-tender. Add half of a chopped onion and cook until almost transluscent. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic, 2 tbsp Sri Racha and toss in the sliced sausage, stirring occasionally until heated through. Add the bag of Biryani. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.  Serves 4.



Pico de Gallo with avocado

Pico de gallo (PEAK-oh deh GAH-yo): A spicy and crispy melange of tomatoes, onion, peppers and cilantro with a dash of lime and a sprinkling of salt.  My favorite way to prepare it is by adding diced avocado.  The luscious, creamy avocado lends a fresh, cooling effect to the heat of the peppers.  I try to keep pico de gallo in my fridge at all times for a quick snack scooped up with some chips or to spice up burritos, tostadas, tortas, quesadillas, burgers, eggs, so many delicious possibilities.

Many people are perplexed by the proper combination of ingredients for a great pico, but the truth is that all diced ingredients should be added in equal measure.  Simple as that!


Start by dicing 3 roma tomatoes.

Then dice one half of a small red onion.


Dice 3-4 serrano peppers or 2-3 jalapeno peppers.  You’re a pansy if you de-vein and remove the seeds, btw.  😉

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Roughly chop a handful of cilantro.

Open an avocado by running a knife around the circumference.

Give the avocado a twist and it will easily come apart.


Place the avo on a cutting board and gently, yet forcefully, strike the pit with your knife.


Give the pit a little twist with your knife and the pit will come out but the blade will be stuck inside.

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Holding the knife’s handle, bash the pit against the cutting board and your knife blade will split the pit in half, thus freeing itself.

Scrape out the flesh using a spoon and dice.

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Add all ingredients into a pretty bowl and gently mix together.  Squirt with the juice of half a lime and add a large pinch of salt.  Grab a friend, a beer or a margarita and some tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

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