Saturday, February 06, 2010

Easy rice bowls

I just finished eating an amazing home-made rice bowl, and despite the fact I should be working on an important assignment, studying for a number of important upcoming exams, etc., etc., I have to share with you how incredibly easy and delicious it is to eat healthily, and provide an example. Considering the overwhelming scientific research indicating the benefits of eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, I hope you enjoy some of the suggestions shared below. :->

I find when I have vegetables like peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini, etc. washed and chopped beforehand, it makes everything sooooooo much easier, even when cooking for just one person (as I am). Having a little chest freezer is a godsend too, as you can freeze small containers of guacamole, cooked rice, cooked quinoa, cooked chicken/turkey, etc. Months ago I even bought large packages of cheddar cheese on sale, then cut them into smaller pieces (good for 1 – 2 meals, depending), and then froze them all in a big resealable plastic bag. (Yes, the cheese is crumbly after being defrosted, but yay! That means I don’t have to shred it for my meals – just taking a knife to it breaks it into many small pieces.) You can also chop raw peppers (perhaps bought on sale or in season) into pieces and freeze them in an airtight plastic container, and use them for soups and stews later.

And do NOT throw out those broccoli/chard/kale stems! They are fantastic in soups, stews, and stir-fries. They just need more cooking time, like onions.

Anyway, let me tell you about today’s rice bowl. I used my rice cooker (a necessity since I otherwise burn rice when I try to cook it in a pot) to prepare a large batch of delicious brown basmati rice. (Most of it destined for my freezer.) While I was waiting, I collected my other ingredients: a few chopped peppers, a handful of baby spinach (chopped), about a tablespoon of guacamole, about another tablespoon of crumbled feta, some very small broccoli florets, a little bit of leftover turkey (from the freezer, then defrosted, woohoooo!), and a couple of mushrooms (chopped, of course). When I added the hot rice (about three-quarters of a cup) to the other ingredients, everything got nicely heated and steamed, without any additional cooking! I then liberally drizzled some balsamic vinegar and olive oil* all over this creation, added a little salt, and voila!

As you can imagine, you can vary the ingredients quite a bit, so it’s new every time! (Although if you choose something that takes longer to cook - like carrots - you will need to cook them in advance, or shred them.)

Okay, now back to my assignment … Wish me luck!!!

*Olive oil is soooo good for you raw, terrible once you cook it. My nutrition prof actually prescribes some patients to take 1 – 2 tablespoons of raw olive oil a day, but strongly advises against cooking with it.

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オテモヤン said...
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