The Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) Challenge is a fun way for food bloggers to try new recipes and new ingredients. Each week, a new blogger is chosen to "host" the contest - choose the BSI and collect recipes, choosing one as the winning recipe of the week. For over 70 weeks now, different ingredients have yielded countless interesting recipes. As the host of Week 75, I chose beets - a root vegetable I've eaten only a couple of times before but have recently grown to really enjoy. I even planted two varieties in my vegetable garden this year! Take a look at these beautiful pictures and links to the recipes you can try with fresh, locally grown beets this summer.
Beet Burgers from Aubree Cherie of Living Free
*winning recipe*
Beet Nut Bread from Chaya of Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog

All photos are owned by the respective bloggers.
The great debate: brown or white rice? You've likely heard that brown rice is the healthier option. But why? White rice has had the bran (the coating that gives brown rice its color) removed, or has been "polished." With the bran still on the grain of rice, brown rice has more fiber (3.5 grams/cup for brown rice; less than 1 gram/cup for white). Because white rice has been stripped of the bran, it tends to be fortified with other nutrients. Brown rice naturally has higher levels of magnesium, zinc and manganese.

This is a tasty and easy recipe to make as a side dish for a meal, and you may find that everything you need is already in your fridge and cabinets.

What you need:
  • 1 cup rice
  • Vegetable stock, broth or bouillon
  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil
What you do:
  • The vegetables I already had and decided to use for this recipes were carrots, celery, chopped broccoli, garlic and a sweet white onion. Prep your veggies as necessary - washing, peeling and cutting to desired size.
  • I chose to saute the minced garlic and onion in olive oil to bring out the flavor.
  • While working on the garlic and onion, I measured one cup of brown rice, poured it into my cooking pot (without water) and turned the heat on low. For about 5 minutes, lightly toast the rice grains and they will cook to perfection!
  • Next, add two cups of cold water, the chopped veggies and your broth, stock or bouillon to the pot with the rice. Follow concentration instructions for bouillons; for stock or broth, substitute for all or part of the 2 cups of water. My vegetable bouillon of choice is Better Than Bouillon (be sure to check out the product review!). 
  • Bring the water to a boil for about 5 minutes, the cover tightly and turn the heat to low, stirring periodically until the water has been absorbed and the rice is fluffy.
The flavor of this rice is excellent from the combination of bouillon and fresh veggies. And if you ask me, almost anything tastes a little better with sauteed onions and garlic! Mmm.