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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Rice & Peas.

So I keep having ideas for posts like this one, but then I don’t end up posting them.  I worry that they seem too simple, and maybe even obvious.  But then I write something like this, and you guys rave about how you want more of the quick and easy stuff!  So here goes.  You don’t need a culinary degree, or even more than five minutes, but you will end up with a delicious, balanced bite.

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas by Daily Garnish

More and more I am needing to do a lot of meal prep in advance.  I use most of Cullen’s one afternoon nap to write and work, which means that other household tasks like cooking have to be done during waking hours.  Cooking with a toddler at my feet means throwing things into a pot and pressing GO.  This “recipe” is exactly that!

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1.5 cups jasmine rice (using regular measuring cup, not the rice cooker cup)
  • 3 cups water (or just shy of three cups!)
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup raisins (I used a mix of golden and purple)
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions

Let me just start by saying that while I know not everyone here has a rice cooker, I know that many of you do.  So I hope I’m not alienating my appliance-less friends.  I have heard from so many of you who have read my tribute to the rice cooker, and have ended up getting one yourself.  For those who might be on the fence, for what it’s worth, I’ve never heard from a single person who didn’t end up liking (or using!) theirs.  For more rice cooker info and meal ideas, you can also check out this post on weekly meal prep

OKAY!  With that said, let’s jump right in.  Add rice and water to rice cooker, and cook using the "quick cook" setting (or whatever setting is best for rice on your machine). Rice should take about 25-30 minutes to cook. 

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas by Daily Garnish

For something like this, I personally prefer jasmine rice.  I love how it’s so light and fluffy, and I think it lends well to taking on other flavors.  It is also a lot less sticky than many other varieties.  I buy it in bulk at our local co-op! 

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas by Daily Garnish

Once the rice is ready, add the peas, raisins, and coconut oil.  I know frozen vegetables are the antithesis of fancy or fabulous, but they are a busy cook’s best friend.  And with the demand for organic food continuing to increase, many stores (including Trader Joe’s!) are starting to carry a good variety of organic frozen options.  So don’t turn your nose up at the freezer aisle!  There is some good stuff lurking in there. 

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas by Daily Garnish

So like I said, add the peas, raisins, and coconut oil, and give it all a good stir.  I like the combo of purple and golden raisins, but you can use whatever you like.

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas by Daily Garnish

Fluff rice, mix to combine, and close rice cooker lid again. Make sure setting is set to "keep warm" now that cooking has finished.  Allow the rice and mix-ins to heat and steam for a few additional minutes, in order to make sure peas have thawed and heated through.

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas by Daily Garnish

Fluff the entire mixture together, add salt to taste, and serve! Easy as that!

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas by Daily Garnish

Even though this dish is incredibly simple, it’s actually deceivingly nutritious.  A cup of jasmine rice has about 200 calorie, including 4 grams of protein.  The peas give a big protein boost as well, and the coconut oil is a good source of healthy fat.  A well balanced meal!

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas by Daily Garnish

And of course, this is just a jumping off point.  There is a lot more you could add to this, depending on your palate and your audience.  This is a good base for kids because it’s not spicy, has balanced nutrients, and if your kid is anything like mine – the raisins are a huge hit.

But if you are cooking for adults (or sophisticated children!), consider adding one or more of the following:

  • shredded carrot
  • slivered almonds
  • chunks of pineapple or mango
  • curry powder and cayenne (for spice!)

So many possibilities for sprucing up something simple!  We have a friend coming over for dinner tonight, and are planning to serve this along with homemade aloo gobi – one of our favorite Indian dishes. 

Simple 5-Minute Rice Cooker Meal: Jasmine Rice & Peas by Daily Garnish

If you needed an idea for dinner tonight that you can throw together in a minute or two – there you go!  One pot to rinse means less dishes, and less time cooking means more time spent with family.  A win-win in our house!  As always, enjoy. 

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Twenty Minute Meals.

There was a time a few years ago – when I was living in Charlotte – when I used to write more of a daily journal.  That’s was mostly due to the fact that I was in culinary school and I was writing about my daily classroom experiences.  But during that time, I used to share a lot of the meals I cooked at home too. 

As my cooking and writing developed, my food posts became more recipe centered.  I don’t miss sharing every detail of my days (which you would likely find very boring), but sometimes I find myself plating out our dinners and thinking – this isn’t a recipe, but it would be a fun meal to share

I am by no means an expert, but over the years I’ve developed a few tricks and trips to help my family eat a balanced, vegetarian diet even when time is short and days are long.  Here are a few things we’ve been eating lately – not recipes – just easy, throw together types of meals.

Once a week, I usually make a big mixture of grains/beans/lentils in the rice cooker – something I can keep in the fridge all week long.  Casey packs small containers for his work lunches, and it’s an easy healthy option for me to grab in between Cullen’s naps.

When we got home from Ohio on Wednesday night, I made a big batch of brown rice and lentils – 2 cups brown rice, 2 cups French lentils, 7 cups water, 1 vegetable bouillon cube – all on the quick-cook setting of the rice cooker.  Friday afternoon, I pulled it out of the fridge and served up an easy, healthy lunch for me and C.

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Our lunch dates are one of my favorite parts of the day.  It is clearly a highlight for Indy too.

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A small plate of brown rice, lentils, and green peas for Cullen.  Fifty percent in his belly, 25% in his seat, 25% flung from the high chair with wild arm swoops – his newest trick.

Even though this dish was already pretty high in protein, I topped mine with three drippy eggs because it just sounded good.  A little egg-y goop in each bite – delicious.  Kept me full for many hours, which isn’t an easy task these days.

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Here’s another yummy meal we had recently – this time for dinner.  Again, so easy, but delicious nonetheless.  And in case you are looking for easy weeknight dinner ideas, here you go.

Marinated & roasted mushrooms, cheesy baked kale chips, and seasoned black beans.  Twenty minutes from start to finish.  My only regret was not making double the amount of mushrooms – so good.

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This is one of those throw together and forget about it types of meals.  The kind that cooks itself while you are doing dishes, answering emails, or soaping up little baby bodies before bed.  As easy as…

Mushrooms:  Trim ends off four large portabellas.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Whisk together a mixture of olive oil (~2 tbsp) and ume plum vinegar (~1 tbsp).  Brush mixture generously on gills and tops of mushrooms (both sides).  Bake face up for 15 minutes, then flip face down and bake for 5 more.

If you don’t have ume plum vinegar, go buy some immediately.  It’s a game changer.

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Cheesy Kale Chips:  I have recently been buying pre-torn bags of organic kale from Trader Joe’s.  I rarely buy prepared vegetables, but this is a HUGE time saver and it’s organic – a double YES.  Casey and I have big appetites, so for the two of us I cook TWO big bags of kale.  Don’t judge.

I shake one bag of kale into a bowl, top with a big glug of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a very generous layer of nutritional yeast.  Then I add the second bag on top, and repeat with all toppings.  I pull up my sleeves and rub the salt/oil/yeast into the kale with my hands for a few minutes, making it wilt and shrink. 

I dump the whole bowl out onto a baking sheet and spread it evenly.  One more coating of nutritional yeast on top, and I pop it in the oven (right above the mushrooms) for about 15 minutes (usually stirring once halfway through). 

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Black Beans:  Rinse and drain a can of black beans.  In a small sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add beans.  Add a few pinches of garlic powder and chili powder, a dash of cumin, and just a hint of cayenne pepper.  Finish with sea salt.  The spices will get toasty over the heat, and they really jazz up a boring can of beans. 

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Like I said, nothing groundbreaking here, but simply a good example of how I might throw together one of our weeknight meals.  (I should note that we typically have a more carb-heavy dinner, but we’d both had big breakfasts and lunches, so this dinner was a little lighter than normal.)  Heavy on the veg, and enjoyed in front of our favorite Canadian TV show – Dragon’s Den – along with some home-brewed kombucha.  But that is a post for another day. 

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I’ll try to start popping in and sharing more meals like this here and there.  Obviously I’ll keep plugging away at recipes too.  I don’t have time to make an elaborate meal every night of the week, and I know you don’t either.  In between feasts and homemade breads, there’s nothing wrong with sprucing up a simple can of beans. 

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