January 2, 2017, by Siobhan
The Quest: Making Brown Rice Interesting
Since being at uni, I can imagine that for the majority of us, myself included, found it quite a shock at first, when we realised just how independent we needed to be. For me, cooking and just food in general was one of the most difficult ‘independent things’ I had to do. it seems simple; when you’re hungry, eat something. It’s okay when you’re at home, being able to idly wander downstairs and open the fridge to be greeted by a vast array of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference. Over the past three months, my diet has been slightly more primitive, and my days have involved me opening the fridge, closing it again, and re-opening it, in the hope that something delicious will appear. In reality, there has been nothing tasty for me to eat, and I ave essentially been living off of brown rice and broccoli. I don’t think I can actually look at one of those dark green florets EVER again…
So, I thought, with 2017 having just greeted us, that I would make it my mission for this coming term to take care of myself,and be a tad more inventive with the meals that I make. Lets be honest, brown rice and green vegetables are not enough to wow anyone, and we all need a bit of enjoyment in our busy lives!
After returning to my room after the 7th consecutive night eating rice and broccoli (I know, it’s like I was in I’m a Celeb, only broccoli not beans) I realised I’d had enough. I could not continue living in this way. Brown rice, even in all it’s fibre filled, energy boosting goodness, was not doing it for me any longer. I had a look online at some recipe blogs (because if you have a problem, your first point of call should always be Google, obviously) and was actually quite inspired. I realised that you can actually enjoy simple ingredients and make them, well, interesting! Here are a couple of recipes I’ve found, using the humble brown rice as our staple.
Wave goodbye to the overpriced fajita and burrito making kits and let’s strip it back to true home cooking. At Joe’s in Portland, they sell a really yummy soya and rice wrap, which I thought I’d recreate with a Mexican twist. All you have to do is cook up some rice (i do it in big batches so I have plenty left for a few days) and add sauces, vegetables, perhaps a bit of meat, some cheese and finally wrap it all up in a floury tortilla. For either lunch or dinner, this carby comfort food is filling, nourishing, and delicious. When fresh veg can be expensive, Kerry’s fruit and veg market that visits Portland and Broadgate Park on Tuesdays and Fridays is brilliantly priced. I recommend buying a few ingredients a couple of times a week rather than bulk buying every so often. All I can say is: mold! My favourite combination is rice, lettuce, bell peppers (which are AMAZING roasted), grated cheese, and barbecue or sweet chilli sauce. I think burritos have changed the rice dinner game forever.
One Pot Curry
Tasty, nutritious, and only one pan to wash up? What’s not to love! This takes a little longer, but it’s worth it. All you need is rice, sweet potato, a tin of chopped tomatoes, vegetable (or chicken) stock, tomato puree and some garden peas, because we all need our greens. Boil the rice with a stock cube, and when it has about 10 minutes left, throw in some diced sweet potato. Normal potatoes take a bit longer so I’d throw them in before then if you’re using those! Once the rice has cooked and there’s no water left, chuck in tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, salt and sugar, and the frozen peas. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes, until the peas are cooked, then eat it straight out of the pan, so you can be super authentic and edgy. Or put it on a plate, it’s up to you.
When we go off to uni, we’re told all we will eat is pasta, rice, and takeaways. This is true, to an extent, but it doesn’t have to be boring and leave us malnourished. A few quick additions to the standard rice and veg can invite a tasty, enjoyable meal that’s a little less I’m a Celeb and a bit more ‘yes mum, I’m doing it! I’m looking after myself!