Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Brown Rice

So here is a new recipe I invented. I am a huge fan of Asian food, but I don't want to go out to eat every night or eat loads of MSG. Besides, there is no good Asian food around here. So here is my recipe for healthy fried rice. This recipe works best if you start a day or two ahead.

You need:
2 cups long grain brown rice
live yogurt
a jar or tub about 1 or 2 quarts*
chicken broth (I used homemade bone broth)

fish sauce ( you could probably use soy sauce for this)
teriyaki sauce
1/2 an onion
I like to put in a cup of mung bean sprouts, but it probably isn't necessary*
butter/ olive oil/ whatever grease you like to use.

Put your rice in the jug with the water and a tablespoon or two of yogurt. Put this in a warm place and let sit for 24 hours. You can put it in the fridge after this for a couple of days if you aren't going to use it right away. Then drain it, but save the water to soak your next batch in. (This removes phytates and anti-nutrients, according to Sally Fallon.) Put the rice in a pot of boiling chicken broth and/or water (1.25 to 2 cups, depending on how firm or mushy you like your rice.) Turn your burner down to the lowest heat, cover, and cook for 20-40 minutes, depending on your taste. After this, your rice is done. During the latter part of the rice simmering, heat 1TBSP of butter and 1 TBSP olive oil in a frying pan. Chop the onion and cook it soft but not mushy. Add frozen shrimp and thaw. Add rice, then pepper and about 1 TBSP fish sauce and about half that amount of teriyaki sauce. Cook while mixing until everything is hot, then add bean sprouts and cook until they just begin to wilt (about a minute). There it is: fried rice. My husband loves this recipe, and it is very nutritious. (You could make it even better by adding other vegetables.)

*My money saving tips:
This is a pretty easy and cheap meal, but to make it even cheaper you can do a couple of things.
1. I use empty yogurt containers for soaking and storing leftovers. They are convenient and free, and you don't have to feel bad about it if something inside turns into a science experiment and you want to just throw it away.
2. Wal-Mart (boo/ hiss from the Perfects who only shop at Whole Foods here :) sells 2-lb bags of tiny, wild-caught shrimp for $10. They are pre-cooked and pre-peeled. They have a stronger flavor than the big shrimp, but I like them (especially in pasta or rice or anything that benefits from a shrimpy taste to the sauce) and they are the ultimate healthy convenience food- just open the bag, throw a couple of handfuls into a recipe and reseal the resealable bag.  I find about a handful and a half to be a serving for me, but I like them a LOT.
3.Mung beans- you can sprout your own or buy them from and Asian market. It's worth a trip if you have an Asian market around- I paid $3.50 for you tiny bottle of fish sauce at Martin's and then went to the market and found three times the amount for $2.50. The stuff from the market is probably better, though I haven't tried in. It's covered in Asian lettering. The international market around here also has wild-caught fish at great prices. An international market will have other good stuff cheaper, like produce and sproutable grains. Though if you have a Sharp Shopper of other bulk/ discount store around, you can get good deals there too, and they may have organic grains cheaper than you can imagine.

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