Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rice Pot

Back when I got my first microwave rice cooker I would fill up the office I worked at with the smells of this basic dish at least once a week. It’s a cheap standby, easy to improvise around, easy to prepare and clean up.

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2c jasmine rice
  • 4c water
  • 3/4lb (~4) chicken thighs
  • approx. 2tbs minced garlic
  • approx. 1tsp Cajun seasoning mix (I like Zatarain’s)
  • 1 med. zucchini, sliced
  • 1 med. yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 med. leek, rough chopped

Microwave Directions

  • Wash rice
  • Add chicken, making sure the thighs get pushed all the way to the bottom & covered by the rice
  • Add garlic and seasonings
  • Add veggies
  • Add water
  • Place in microwave for 15 to 20 minutes on high, or as directed by your particular rice cooker
  • Let sit 5 minutes to cool down and serve

Stove Top Directions

  • Wash rice
  • In a medium large soup pot (6-8 quarts), bring the water to boil
  • Add all the ingredients
  • Return to boil, then reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat source and let sit 5 minutes (to finish cook-through and cool enough to) serve

Serving Suggestions and Mixing-It-Up Thoughts

I like to add a pat of butter to each serving, but my family loves butter. I’ve also had guests opt for soy sauce instead, though it can get a bit too salty depending on the seasoning mix you use.

If you think you may have a problem with the rice cooking onto the bottom of the pot, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the water.

Change up the vegetables – I enjoy adding in tomatoes and mushrooms, or swapping green onions for the leeks on occasion. Broccoli and spinach, carrots and peas – in moderation – can add interesting flavors while providing different nutrients.

You can also change up the meat. Personally, I find beef needs a lot of sweeter veggies to work well, while pork, turkey, and sliced sausage swap pretty well with the chicken. Just remember that if you’re using whole pieces of meat, they should be fairly thin for the quicker cook time. Cubing meat into 1 inch squares also gives a one-pot presentation.

Play around and see what you like.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Food for Thought

I just finished a nutrition course (back in college and fulfills a grad requirement). Fun stuff I took away from the course:

  • Most doctors have less formal nutrition education under their belt than I just went through
    • They do get it in fits and starts as side notes in other courses, but less than half take a comprehensive class
  • Dietary supplements are very much buyer beware – and usually more harmful than helpful
  • Nutrition is more than calories and balancing carbs, fats and proteins

My favorite quote from my teacher, Ms. M. Goodrich: “Nothing is nutritious if no one eats it.”