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