Let’s Talk Rice

by HEAB on March 13, 2013

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Meals I’ve been enjoying lately…

“Fried Rice” Quinoa

I sauteed some frozen stir fry veggies and kale in a couple spoonfuls of sesame oil and once they were cooked through added cooked quinoa and then two eggs.  Stirred until eggs were done and then added a spoonful of soy sauce.  I tried sharing with Summer, but she thought it needed ketchup.  I told her I didn’t think that was a good idea, to which she announced, “all done” and left me to eat in solitude. PS Chopsticks are just for show.  Can’t use ‘em to save my life.

Next up, BROWN RICE.  Best I ever made too!

Like I’ve said before, I love my rice cooker, but it’s a cheap model and over 10 years old.  So, often my grains don’t cook up all moist and fluffy, but I guess I’m just used to it.  Since many of you don’t own a rice cooker, I decided to try another method for cooking my grains.  Enter Jess’s Step By Step Guide To Making The Most Perfect Grain.  I soaked my short grain brown rice overnight with a TBSP of apple cider vinegar and after draining and rinsing the next morning, I used fresh water for cooking the rice.  I also skipped the wakame because I couldn’t find it.  I’m not usually a fan of seaweed, but I was willing to give it a try in this recipe as I keep hoping my taste buds will change their mind.  Anyway, the rice only took about 30 minutes total to cook – about the same time it would take in the rice cooker, and it came out fluffy and delicious.  Thanks Jess – definitely a keeper!

Brown rice was topped with tempeh prepared hippie style and eaten alongside this kale with brewer’s yeast (butter makes kale SO MUCH BETTER!).  I’m not a fan of tofu, but I love a little tempeh every once in a while.

And now I’m off to research rice cookers.  Suggestions are welcome.


{ 45 comments }

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I love my Aroma digital rice cooker! Always makes perfectly fluffy and light rice. The key is to allow the rice to soak for at least 15 minutes before cooking.

Maggie @ say yes to salad March 13, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I love my Sanyo rice cooker. Bobby’s mom picked it out and bought it for us about 5 years ago and it’s still going strong. We use it often and it survived a trip across the country in a moving pod!

Averie @ Averie Cooks March 14, 2013 at 12:09 am

I almost bought a rice cooker 3-4 yrs ago b/c of blogs and how everyone says they love theirs! I bought a juicer instead…which I don’t use (too much cleanup and work for 1 glass of juice). Your rice looks perfect! And love the kale with it, too!

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance March 14, 2013 at 4:27 am

Rice is one of my favorite things, but if I have it, I definitely prefer brown rice. Actually, my favorite is black (forbidden) rice. That’s good stuff!! But mine always comes out dry. Thanks for referencing the technique you found to be worth trying! That entree looks delicious. :)

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance March 14, 2013 at 4:28 am

I meant to say “NOT one of my favorite things”. Oops. :)

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Michelle,
I keep eyeing the black rice at Costco. I’ll get it next time after your recommendation. Thanks!

Sarah March 14, 2013 at 9:08 am

So I’m super lazy… I buy the frozen organic brown rice from Trader Joe’s and call it a day! haha. Cute story about Summer — Julian shakes his head when I offer anything that he doesn’t approve of!

NorskAmerican March 14, 2013 at 10:13 am

Wish I could recommend a good rice cooker, but I have a hand-me-down from my mother, which is probably at least as old as I am, and it’s still hanging in there!

I do have a cooking tip though! I always put a teaspoon or 2 of Better than Bullion paste (my favorite is ham but chicken is also delicious) into the rice before I turn the rice cooker on. It makes the rice taste amazing, and you don’t need to serve it with any additional butter or sauces.

I know some people like big ‘ol rice cookers with veggie and fish steamers on top, but unless you have storage room to spare, I’d stick with a basic 4 or 5 cup rice cooker.

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Thanks Norsk, I’ll have to try that. I often cook the rice in chicken or veggie stock. Adds so much flavor!

Ameena March 14, 2013 at 10:35 am

I’ve had a Salton Rice Cooker for 13 years. This particular cooker was only $19.95 and really is 100 X better than the expensive one I purchased shortly after. I highly recommend Salton!

My secret to brown rice is to buy the frozen version at Trader Joe’s. I hate to be so wasteful but it’s just perfect every time!

PS: I’m hopeless with chopsticks. I use a fork to eat sushi…it’s that bad.

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Ameena,
Good to know I’m not the only one who fails at chopsticks. Forks are just so much easier!

The Dainty Pig March 14, 2013 at 10:59 am

So happy the recipe worked for you!
Your brown rice looks delicious!! :)

Another super fast combo I’ve been making lately, and can’t get enough of, is: fry up some brown rice in a bit of oil, add some parsley or cilantro, and then a bunch of salsa (not so traditionally macrobiotic, but so so good), and some canned beans, and a squirt of lime. Or instead of putting the beans in with everything, serve with some refried beans on the side. Super super yummy.

Have a great week!

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Hi Jess,
I’ve since made your rice two more times. We love it, and your Mexican spin sounds right up my alley. Love Mexican, especially when it involves refried beans. :)

Tracy March 14, 2013 at 11:55 am

Mmmmm…I love quinoa fried rice! Glad you didn’t let Summer ketchup it ;)

I love my rice cooker and use it almost every day. This is the one I have:
http://astore.amazon.com/thefrontburnerblog-20/detail/B000MAERM0

I highly recommend it! Have a great weekend, Heather!

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Thanks Tracy, many others recommended the Zojirushi brand, and I’ve only read good reviews about them online. Definitely going to think about this one.

the delicate place (@misathemeb) March 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm

we bought a refurb rice cooker on amazon and it’s never failed us! i love tamari on rice mixed with some nooch or i tahini things up. bascially, the more savory and salty i can make it, the more i dig the stuff.

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Melissa,
I think we share the same taste buds…now if I only I had your fashion sense! ;)

Felicia March 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Yum! And I love the little hand in that pic :)
When isn’t butter better with everything? kerrygold will always have my heart!

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Felicia,
Seriously. Kerrygold is THE BEST.

Elisabeth March 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I started out with a cheap rice cooker from Target. I wasn’t sure how often we would use it so I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money at first. We ended up using it at least twice a week, usually more, since we learned to cook other grains in it.

A few months ago we graduated to a Zojirushi rice cooker and the difference in the finished product was really surprising. It’s perfectly cooked, fluffy and dry, and the cooking bowl is completely nonstick, although not Teflon coated.

The model I bought was the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup (uncooked) rice cooker and warmer. It felt expensive to me (I’m kind of cheap), but was totally worth the price.

Alyssa March 14, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I love brown rice! And I usually enjoy mine with bbq tempeh and kale as well! Must just be an enjoyable mix :-) I think we have a Krups rice cooker? I love it!

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Alyssa,
Great minds think alike. :)

Lou March 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Brewer’s Yeast!!! Still loving that stuff too ;)

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Lou,
ME TOO. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Still put it on everything.

Sarah March 14, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Oh my goodness, I have the most amazing rice cooker recommendation for you. This Zojirushi rice cooker makes, hands down, the best fluffy brown rice ever. There are specific settings for different types of rice, including brown rice, sticky rice, and even porridge/oatmeal. Depending on the type of rice selected, it’ll make sure the right temperature, pressure, etc. is used. Plus there’s also two timers that you can use to set for when the rice should be done by. Check it out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00007J5U7

And I speak highly of it on my blog. :) http://sarahthefitfoodie.com/2012/01/29/zojirushi-rice-cookin/

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Thanks for the info Sarah. Definitely my top choice for a rice cooker after reading all the recommendations and reviews.

Melissa @ Fit 'n' Well Mommy March 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm

I love brown rice, but we haven’t had it in a long time (due to eating mostly Paleo for the past couple of months). I love the “fried” quinoa idea! We have a zojirushi rice cooker that works well.

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Melissa,
Zojirushi is the one most other commenters recommend too. Definitely a contender. Thank you!

Liz (formerly VeggieGirl) March 15, 2013 at 2:55 am

Oooh, fried rice-style quinoa?? Yum! The brown rice looks great too.

Monica March 15, 2013 at 6:03 am

Yes, a quinoa dish similar to that was my saving grace my first couple of months after Wrigley was born! Quinoa makes such a nice egg base.

And that is too funny about Summer and the ketchup. Wrigley is also a wee bit hooked on ketchup except he is currently calling it p and keeps telling me he needs p on everything. He even laughs when he sees the bottle. Yikes!

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Monica,
Ha, Summer actually refers to ketchup as “Dad’s Apple”. She sees CD putting it on his food, and she thinks the tomato on the bottle is an apple. Too funny. These kids crack me up!

Yvonne March 15, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Another vote for a Zojirushi (I’m Korean, so um yeah, we grew up eating a bit of rice :) )– perfect rice every time. My mum’s Zojirushi rice cooker finally crapped out on her after 15 years of loyal service. I also have their baby-sized model that yields about 6 cups of rice, perfect for me and my husband; it has different settings for brown rice, sushi rice, mixed rice etc., and adorably chimes when cooking has commenced. Happy shopping! Can’t wait to see its debut.

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Thanks Yvonne,
Good to know. Funny b/c in all the reviews I’ve read regarding Zojirushi rice cookers, everyone loves the little song. :) Definitely my top choice for a rice cooker after reading everyone’s recommendations here and the positive reviews online.

elise March 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

how come i never tried butter with kale? ummm, genius :) thankyouverymuch

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Elise,
I don’t know, but you must try soon! :)

Jen @ Existential Evolution March 16, 2013 at 10:50 am

Yum, I would like to have those eats right now, please! I love meals like this which come together quickly with few ingredients. I must try the hippy tempeh immediately!!!

We received a rice cooker from my mother-in-law about 10 years ago and I’ve only used it once when we invited her over for homemade Chinese food. If I remember it worked quite well. However, I usually cook my rice on the stovetop.

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Jen,
Hope you enjoy the hippie tempeh. Elise makes some great combos!

Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning March 17, 2013 at 9:56 am

This is probably going to be the least helpful comment ever, because I don’t remember the brand. But, I bought a cheap rice cooker last year (it was probably $30) and had to return it because it was AWFUL. I think it’s definitely something that you have to pay a few more dollars for to get something good. Some are CRAZY expensive!
Thanks for the link to the hippie tempeh- I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. I boil it first to get rid of some of the “funk” flavor.

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Lauren,
Elise’s recipe for tempeh is so simple, and I love her meal combos.

Thanks for your advice regarding the rice cooker – I agree. Everyone is recommending the Zojirushi brand. Definitely pricey, but I know I’d get my use out of it.

Alyssa March 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm

If you live anywhere near an Asian market, get a rice cooker there. My Filipino in-laws swear by them, and they last for years.

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Alyssa,
I live near several. Should have thought to look there in the first place!

Jennie (the gf-gf) March 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Looks like the Zojirushi gets the most votes — good to know, I’ve been thinking I need to add one to my wedding registry ;-)

Lara March 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Oh Summer, a girl after my own heart! I put ketchup on everything, too (okay, but not fried rice ;) )

I’ve been lusting after a Zojirushi for years!

Korrin April 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I am recommending the Instant Pot to all of my friends and family these days. This multipurpose kitchen appliance has changed my life!!! Brown rice in 15 minutes without soaking? Done! Black beans in 25 minutes without soaking, also done! The best part is, no sitting around a stove and monitoring a pot with kiddos running around. Just fill up bowl, push a button and 20 minutes later you have wonderfully soft rice, cooked beans or whatever else you like. Great reviews on amazon. Check it out!

HEAB April 7, 2013 at 11:15 am

Thanks Korrin. I’ve never heard of the Instant Pot. Must look into this!

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