My rice cooker is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. It is very easy for me to add rice, water/broth and some seasonings, turn it on and then forget about it. Mine has a keep warm feature, so as long as I remember to actually start it before dinner time, it’s one less thing to worry about when preparing meals. I try to vary the types of brown rice to keep things interesting. My main staple is either long-grain or short-grain brown rice, but sometimes we have black sticky rice, or red rice, or some blends. Trader Joe carries a rice medley that includes black barley and radish seeds, which add a bite to the rice.
Lately, I’ve been mixing up my own blends. 1/2 Cup Rice, 1/4 Cup Millet, 1/4 Quinoa is one example. If you have a rice cooker, and at least 1/2 your mix is rice, you can stick with the brown rice setting. Most grains require a 2:1 ratio of liquid for the rice cooker. Quinoa can be cooked on the white rice setting, but if I’m just throwing in 1/4 cup with rice, I stick with the brown rice setting.
I also like to vary the herbs and spices that I add to the rice. You don’t need to add any, but I find that it jazzes up and also keeps it interesting.
For those who are new to a eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, here are some grains that are in my pantry:
- long grain brown rice
- short grain brown rice
- brown basmati rice
- brown jasmine rice
- red rice
- black sticky rice
- quinoa (white, red and black)
- buckwheat (and if it’s toasted, it is kasha)