As the days get warmer and schedules get fuller, those looking for a quick, healthy meal solution need look no further than a dish of instant rice. I am a huge rice lover! Whether it is plain with butter or mixed into a stir fry, there is nothing more satisfying. I love how rice can leave you feeling full and satisfied without feeling bloated and gassy. Having celiac disease, I rely heavily on rice as a filler when the rest of my family is having a gluten substitute (i.e. Taco shells vs rice on Mexican night) or as a dish I know I can eat.
Last week, I participated in an online event with Chef John Higgins, Director of Toronto-based George Brown Chef School – Canada’s leading chef school and one of the top culinary schools in North America. I had the opportunity a year ago, to watch Chef John cook in person! His skills and his mannerism taught me a ton and I use that knowledge to this day (read experience here!). This time instead of experimenting with Gluten Free Pasta, I had the opportunity to learn about RICE!
Top 8 Rice Cooking Tips from Chef John
1, Boil in broth – Give Rice a boost!! Instead of boiling rice in plain old water, substitute water for chicken broth, beef broth or vegetable stock to add flavour to the rice itself and your dish.
2. Try coconut – Cooking for an exotic flavour? Cook rice in coconut milk for a mild sweet flavoured rice . It tastes great when paired with curry and other spicy recipes.
3. Think BOLD flavour – Forget the bland taste of rice with salt and butter (my favorite!) and make it aromatic and flavourful by adding star anise, cilantro and turmeric.
4. Don’t wait till the end! Season early – If you are like me, you wait until the end of your cooking process to seasoning your dish. Instead, introduce the flavours of your dish early on by adding the herbs or spices your rice’s cooking water.
5. Add veggies – Sneaking vegetables into a dish with children can be hard. They tend to eat around them or skip them altogether. An easy way to incorporate vegetables into your dish is by adding frozen vegetables during the boiling portion and you end up cooking both ingredients together.
4. Sweeten with fruit – Rice is not only good as a side dish, but can be paired with dried fruit – such as craisins, raisins, dried blueberries and currents – to infuse your rice with a savory taste the whole family will enjoy.
5. Rice is not just for dinner! Try rice for breakfast – Step aside oatmeal, there’s a new breakfast meal in town! Cook instant rice and add milk or soy for a quick and delicious breakfast meal. Serve hot or cold.
6. Steep your rice – Don’t throw out your teabag left over from your morning cup of tea, instead infuse the rice with your favourite flavour of tea for a gourmet taste. For those less adventurous, start with a more simple flavour such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast or Chamomile tea.
7. Add zing with zest – Citrus adds a unique twist to your rice dishes. Simply wash your citrus fruit with warm, soapy water, then grate the zest into the water.
8. Cut cooking time – Just like pasta, rice taste good cooked for different lengths of time. Try making traditional risotto, by adding rice and cutting the cooking time in half.
With “pre-cooked rice” as its only ingredient, Minute Rice® is 100% natural and Non-GMO Project Verified (nongmoproject.org). Available in two varieties – Premium Long Grain White Rice and Premium Whole Grain Brown Rice – Minute Rice® takes only five minutes to prepare for white rice and 10 minutes for brown rice. Available at major retailers, Minute Rice® 100% Natural Instant Rice starts from $3.19 for 350g of instant white rice, and from $4.59 for 600g of instant whole grain brown rice.
Get your Minute Rice® 100% Natural Instant Rice coupon here to save $1: HERE .
Coupons are available while quantities last, so please act quickly!
Inspired by Chef John, I decided to combine two of my favourite foods to create a delicious dessert with Minute Rice!
Peanut Butter Brown Minute Rice Pudding
3 cups milk
2 cups cooked brown minute rice
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp of round cinnamon
1/4 cup of peanut butter
1/2 tsp of salt
1. Cook rice as directed on box.
2. Combine milk, rice, sugar and spices into pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly.
3. Once mixture boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. When pudding thickens, remove it from the heat and add peanut butter.
5. Before serving, add chocolate chips. Serve hot or cold.
Win 12 boxes of Rice!
Ends June 6, 2015