Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Marvelous Rice

Over the last several months, I've been changing some of my diet to incorporate more whole grains & good things in order to lower cholesterol. But I also like food to taste good, rich or hearty. This fills the bill on all levels:


1 C brown rice
3 Tbsp Wild Rice (about as much as will fit in the palm of your hand)
4 Tbsp lentils
2/3 C frozen mixed vegies (or peas & carrots)
1/3 C chopped fresh spinich
2.5 C water
1 Tsp kosher salt
1 Heaping Tsp chicken or vegetable/mushroom boullion (or base for extra richness) (I prefer using low-sodium boullion*)
1 Tsp Smart Balance (tm) light margarine OR butter (if you're not on a lower-fat diet)

Putting it together:

Put the rice, wild rice and lentils in the same bowl as you measure them.

Put the water on to boil and add the salt, margarine or butter and boullion. When the water is at a rolling boil add the mixed rice and lentils, stir and let it return to the boil. Then reduce heat to a medium-low simmer and cover the pot with a lid.

Set the timer for 45 to 50** minutes and go do something else.

After the timer goes off, check the rice to see if the water has been fully absorbed. Put the chopped spinich on top and then add the mixed vegies. Put the lid back on, turn the heat off and let the residual heat steam the added spinich and vegies for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, use a spoon to mix the vegies evenly into the rice.

This makes a great side dish when served with fresh grilled salmon, grilled or baked chicken, or steak as well as fresh grilled zuchinni, asparagus and eggplant.

I've also made it into a 1 bowl dish by adding @ 2 ounces of flaked alder smoked salmon, or adding a 1/2 to 3/4 C shredded chicken to a cup of the cooked rice, warming it up in the microwave and giving it with a nice drizzle of low-sodium tamari sauce.

I also made the recipe twice to feed up to 12 people for potlucks at work, using the mushroom base to make it a vegetarian dish, and went home both times with an empty dish.

* As you see, I'm using relatively little salt and fat in the recipe itself because a lot of people like to add more salt or butter to taste at the table but there are still others who like or need lesser amounts of them. Proportionally, the amount I came up with was the best 'happy medium' given that prepared bouillon or bases have their own added salt.

** I'm cooking at 5,000 ft. which is high altitude, so you may need to adjust your cooking time for your elevation.

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