I don’t know about you but this week is super-busy – in an absolutely fabulous way! Lots of work for my consulting clients, editing recipes for the book, and I held sessions one and two of my vegan lifestyle class on Monday and Tuesday. Busy, busy!
The good news is that during jam-packed days such as these I turn to nutritious, hearty food to keep me going – not convenience foods. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want convenient ways to prepare those foods. While I adore the pressure cooker to no end, when I have a lot going on, and not a great deal of focus or time to pay attention, I turn to my rice cooker. Why? I can put anything in it, cover it, set it to cook, and walk away.
Monday morning I had a 9:00 am conference call scheduled. Five minutes before I got on the phone I placed one cup old-fashioned rolled oats, one cup water, one cup almond milk, a pinch of salt, and two tablespoons almond slivers in the rice cooker. I set it to the porridge setting and went into my office. Thirty minutes later I was eating this a hot bowl of home-cooked oats, topped with banana.
Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Tuesday morning I had a Skype coaching session with a client so I did something very similar, only this time I made steel-cut oats: one and one-quarter cup steel-cut oats, one and one-quarter cup water, one cup almond milk, and one medjool date (pitted and diced) on the porridge setting.
Yep, a half hour later I was eating another piping hot bowl of oats, topped with a half a diced honey crisp apple. (Serves 3 – 4).
As I was washing the rice cooker pot I was thinking about the class I taught the previous night. We spent a lot of time talking about quick and easy ways to cook and enjoy the fabulous five vegan food groups (vegetables, fruits, beans/legumes, grains, and nuts/seeds). Yes, I thought, it really is easy to pull something quick and delicious together and I’m going to do it right now. I made a delicious, quick, one-pot meal, and of course took a photo, wrote down the recipe, and then decided to incorporate it into session-two of my class to show my students how quickly the meal came together.
Rice Cooker Garlic Lentils & Kale
Keywords: ricecooker entree side vegan lentils kale
Ingredients (Makes 2 entrees or 4 sides)
- 2 cups “not beef” broth
- 1/2 cup water (if making in the rice cooker)
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 4 cups lacinato kale, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, diced chunky or finely (cooks choice!)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
For the Rice Cooker
Add all ingredients to the rice cooker.
Cook on brown rice setting for 40 – 50 minutes.
For a Sauce Pan
Add all ingredients to the sauce pan (start with 2 cups of water).
Bring the water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer.
Cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.
When I described the process to my students last night I reminded them that the rice cooker isn’t necessarily quicker but it is easier. Close the lid and walk away – take a shower, make a phone call, go out for a run – and come back to a hot meal. No stirring or tending to required!
As you can see, I make much more than rice in my rice cooker. How about you? What have you been making in your rice cooker?