From my little plot of cyber earth here, I like to explore ways to live well with more joy and meaning each day. Sometimes this involves big serious questions, like When should you quit your job?, and other times it involves lighter questions, like How do you like to travel?.
My posts over the last couple of months have been kind of heavy… So I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for coming along on the serious ride! Today, we’re exploring a much lighter, more practical question:
What should you cook for dinner?
What could be better than something healthy and simple to make, easy to freeze, and completely versatile? Don’t overlook brown rice as an easy staple to help you put a meal together fast. It’s basically the blank canvas of foods, soaking up any flavor you care to pair it with.
Brown rice can be somewhat temperamental to cook, but it’s healthy benefits make it worthwhile to learn. Most cooking methods involve using the stove top, but I’ve scorched a batch or two of rice that way. Then (thanks to my mother) I found this recipe.
I almost always prefer a hands off method over more labor intensive ones, and this method of baking brown rice couldn’t be more hands off. It takes a little longer, but I haven’t burned a batch this way yet!
Baked (“Perfectly Every Time”) Brown Rice
1 1/2 cups brown rice
2 1/2 cups fat free broth (chicken, veggie, etc.)
1 tbsp olive oil (original recipe called for a butter substitute, but you could also use butter)
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place rice in an 8″ square glass baking dish. Bring the broth, olive oil, and salt just to a boil in a kettle or covered saucepan. Once the mixture is boiling pour it over the rice. Stir to combine, and cover the dish tightly with a lid or heavy duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the over for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, remove the rice from the oven, and take care of steam when removing the foil. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately or reheat later with leftovers. It also freezes very well!
Using Your Brown Rice
There are limitless ways to use your brown rice – as the base for dinner or as a side dish. It pairs well with anything from roasted vegetables to curry.
Below are ways I like to use it, but please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments!
- Stir herbs into the rice to use as a side dish
- With roasted vegetables and topped with caramelized onions and parmesan
- With scrambled eggs, green onions, and shrimp or chicken to make a mock-fried rice
- With black beans, salsa, avocado, and tortilla chips (a knock off of the Global Dinner at The Dream Cafe in Dallas)
- With stir fry (or sauté) any mix of meat and vegetables to serve over the rice
A quick note…
I recently discovered The Minimalist Cook and the Minimalist Cooking ebook both by Meg Wolfe for $4.95. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who is looking to make cooking more simple, but still wholesome and healthy. Meg’s goal is to kick the marketer out of the kitchen and to remind us of cooking as a “simple, uncomplicated, intuitive and relaxing process, producing simple uncomplicated wholesome food for your friends and family.”
Not surprisingly I started with dessert and have made her Simple Rustic Apple Sauce and her Gluten-Free Fast and Easy Peanut Butter Cookie, which I made with almond butter instead of peanut butter, and both have been great.