Tag Archives: Rice

Brown Rice: quick and easy

Rice tastes much better this way, and it’s quicker than simmering it in less water, in a covered pot.  We use parboiled brown.

  • Fill a medium pot 3/4 full of water.
  • Add 1/4 cup of rice per person.
  • Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Turn heat down till it is boiling gently, then leave lid off and boil for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Drain the excess water — I use a seive — and season with salt, pepper, and butter.
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Filed under comfort food, food, Grains, Tips, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Orzo-kale-feta Salad

Use any orzo or firm rice, along with any dark green tender greens.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry whole wheat orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained well, and cooled (may substitute with brown rice)
  • 4 cups kale, chopped (OR baby spinach or baby kale, chopped) 
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, only if using large kale
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) chick peas, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

  • The zest and juice of one large lemon (zest the lemon before juicing it)
  • 1tsp garlic paste, or 1-2 small cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar (or substitute any type of mild vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a jar, shake together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, cumin, salt, and pepper. 
  2. IF using large kale: cut leaves away from the stalks and coarsely chop; discard stems. Heat the tsp. of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat, add the kale all at once and turn over until it wilts, not more than 1-2 minutes. Put the kale into a large salad bowl.
  3. IF you’re using baby spinach or baby kale:  do not cook it! Just put the chopped, raw leaves into a large salad bowl.
  4. Gently mix the rest of the salad ingredients into the bowl with the kale.
  5. Pour salad dressing over the salad, and toss to combine.

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Grandma Ruth’s Wild Rice Casserole

This is one of my absolute favourites from my childhood.  My mom made it with local wild rice.  It needs to be started a day ahead, so requires planning!  This recipe serves 4 people, but is very easily doubled.

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • boiling water
  •  ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ lb mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Wash the rice under cool running water, then place in a heatproof dish or bowl.
  2. Cover the wild rice with boiling water.  Let stand for 30 minutes, then drain.
  3. For a second time, cover the wild rice with boiling water, and let sit until cool.
  4. Melt the butter in a large pan, add onion, almonds, and mushrooms, and sauté until golden.
  5. Mix in the rice, and stir until well coated.
  6. Pour the broth, sherry, and salt into the rice mixture, and transfer into a baking dish.
  7. Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.
  8. The following day, bake for 1 ½ hours at 350F

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Shipwreck Casserole

A bit of a pain to assemble, and not very gourmet, but once it’s put together it can just sit unattended for two hours in a 350F oven.  Reminds me of 70’s fare and the foil packed dinners that we used to make for camp fire cooking.

  • 2 large onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium potatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1 lb lean ground beef, or lamb
  • ½ cup long grain white rice, uncooked
  • ½ to 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 10 oz condensed tomato soup
  • 10 oz soup can of very hot or boiling water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • dried or fresh herbs, to taste
  1. Spread onions over the bottom of a greased 2-quart lidded casserole dish; sprinkle with salt and pepper and herbs, if using.
  2. Lay the sliced potatoes over the onions, and sprinkle with salt and pepper and herbs, if using.
  3. Pat the ground beef evenly over the potatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper and herbs, if using.
  4. Evenly distribute the dry rice over the ground beef.
  5. Spread diced celery over the rice and ground beef; sprinkle with salt and pepper and herbs, if using.
  6. Mix soup and hot water together, and pour over top of the casserole.
  7. Cover the dish, and bake, covered, in a 350F oven for 2 hours until vegetables are tend

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Indian Inspired Ground Beef and Potatoes

  • 3 Tbsp ghee (or non-GMO vegetable oil)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander seeds (not cilantro leaves)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Indian ground chili pepper powder, or cayenne, to taste
  • 1 pound lean or extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, either fresh tomatoes, or canned  and drained
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 “ cubes (this is roughly 3 – 4 medium)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup or so of frozen green peas
  • Salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat the ghee in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat and sauté the onion until golden.   This will take approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes.
  3. Add all of the seasonings and toast well; the ghee will glisten on top.
  4. Stir in beef and tomatoes and cook, breaking up the beef, until the beef is browned and the liquid has evaporated, leaving only the ghee.
  5. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the water, reduce the heat, and simmer covered until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the heat, remove the cover, and cook until all the water has evaporated.
  7. Add the peas and stir well.
  8. Gently stir in the chopped cilantro, taste for addition of salt and pepper, and serve with naan, rice, or other hearty bread.

Serves 4 to 6.

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Green Lentil Kulebyaka

This is a bit of a fiddle to make, but it is very delicious…leftovers disappear way too quickly!

  • 1 cup green lentils, soaked for an hour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, halved lengthwise, then sliced (keep each separate)
  • 5 cups chicken stock, divided in half (use vegetable stock or vegetarian “chicken” stock cubes for vegetarian version of this dish)
  • ¾ cup butter, divided, as per directions
  • 1 ¼ cups basmati rice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried dill, or 2 Tbsp fresh, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 10 sheets filo pastry, thawed

Drain the lentils, then simmer with the bay leaves, one onion, and 2 ½ cups of the chicken stock, for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked and thick. Cool and set aside.

Gently fry the remaining onion in another saucepan with 2 Tbsp of the butter for 5 minutes.  Stir in the rice and toast for a minute.  Add the remaining 2 ½  cups of chicken stock.  Grind in some pepper, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and cook gently for about 12 minutes.  Turn off heat, and remove saucepan from burner.  Leave rice  to stand, uncovered for 5 minutes, then stir in the herbs.

Fry the mushrooms in 3 Tbsp of the butter for 5 minutes until they are just soft.  Stir into the rice and herbs. When mixture is cool, thoroughly mix in the raw egg.

Melt the remaining butter.

Brush the inside of a large, shallow ovenproof dish or deep-dish pie plate with the melted butter.  Lay the sheets of filo over it, one at a time, overlapping, covering the base and making sure most of the pastry overhangs the sides; brush the sheets with butter when they overlap each other, and as they are laid on top of each other.   Ensure that there is a lot of pastry to fold over the mounded filling – you can use more than 10 sheets if necessary!

Into the pastry-lined dish spread a layer of rice mixture.  Follow with a layer of lentils, then a layer of rice, etc.  The number of layers will depend on your dish size.  Grind some pepper (and salt, if required) over each layer as you go.

Bring up the sheets of pastry over the filling into the centre, so it looks like a Hershey’s Kiss!  Give it a little squeeze, and shape it into attractive folds.  Brush all over with the rest of the butter and set aside in the fridge to chill and firm up.

Preheat the oven to 375F.  When ready, bake the kulbebyaka for about 45 minutes until golden and crisp.  Allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Grandma Ruth’s (my Mom’s) Cabbage Rolls

My Mom makes her mom’s cabbage rolls; here’s her delicious recipe!

“Large head of cabbage…freeze for a week.
Thaw completely and cut out core.  The leaves will peel easily and pliable.
If they are too large I cut them in 2 pieces.  Cut out a V to remove the spine.
Place the outside green leaves on the bottom of the roaster and save some for the top.

Mix: Medium ground beef  and lean ground pork together well.  Mix in parboiled rice so the proportions are about half and half.  Place on leaf and roll tucking in the ends.

Place in a large roaster in layers.  I usually do 2 or 3 because I like to make a lot.  In between the layers I pour diced tomatoes, celery and baby carrots and a lot of pepper and some salt. Then layer again, etc.  Top up the liquid portion with tomato juice and a little water. Cover with any remaining leaves.  Cover and cook in 325 degree oven for a few hours.”

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