What to Cook When You Hate to Cook. Recipe 10: Rice Bowls

A healthy, filling meal.

I know. Hate is a strong word. But it’s true: I HATE to cook. But sometimes you just have to. When that happens, I do my best to lessen the agony by using the least amount of ingredients to get flavor, or using the simplest techniques to reduce effort. This is the tenth recipe I’ve shared on this blog. Check them out in my recipe section.

This time around, I’ll tell you about something I’ve been doing for lunch of late. This requires more prep time than most of my recipes do, but the beauty of it is, you can get 6 lunches out of it, so in the end, it’s worth the effort.

Rice Bowls

  • 6 cups of rice, cooked.

  • Protein (Cooked leftovers or from a can.) (I recommend chicken or steak or salmon or tofu or cheese or tuna.)

  • Anything that floats your boat! (I recommend some combination of at least 4 of the following: onion, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, green onions, squash, squash blossoms, green beans, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, or carrots, but really this is limited only by your imagination or by what you find in your fridge.

  • Oil for the spinach, and butter or lard for the rest of the veggies.

  • Soy sauce or salt to be added just before eating.

To start, I throw 3 cups of uncooked rice (I like basmati, but any type is fine) into my rice cooker with the prescribed amount of water. Rice cookers are one of life’s greatest inventions, if you ask me. Miraculously, 6 cups of perfectly cooked rice will emerge.

While the rice cooker is doing its thing, I prepare the veggies and such.

First of all, if you’re using spinach, I hope it’s organic, because spinach is one of the most chemically tainted things in the grocery store. Anyway, you’ll want to wilt your spinach in a pot. Just throw a little oil over medium heat, and stir the spinach so the leaves on top get as wilty as the ones on the bottom. Divide it up into 3 microwavable bowls when it’s done.

Next, chop up all your other items that you plan to saute. Put the hard stuff (Any combination of onions, garlic, squash, carrots, green beans, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, whatever.) on to saute first. I use butter or lard.

While that stuff is being sautéed, chop up whatever ingredients you are using that take less time to saute (like mushrooms, green onions, squash blossoms and any precooked veggie leftovers.) When the hard group is looking almost done, add the soft group in and stir everything together until it looks edible to you.

Divide these sauteed ingredients into the three microwavable bowls that are already holding the spinach.

Hopefully by now, your rice is done. Now listen carefully. Put half that rice (3 cooked cups) into its own, empty bowl and refrigerate it. Then next week, when you want to do 3 more lunches, you will already have the rice to use, so every other week of doing this will be less complicated. Yay!

Now you’re left with 3 cups of cooked rice. Put one cup each into your three microwavable bowls that already have the veggies. Then toss your protein into each.

There you have it! 3 lunches. Bring ‘em to work, toss ’em into the microwave, and when it’s done, add some soy sauce or some salt, and you’ve got yourself a healthy, filling meal.

You could, of course, make 5 days worth, but I’d get bored eating the same thing every single day, so I stagger a few TV dinners in there for variety.

Share any variations on this theme that you’ve tried, and/or suggest other simple recipes below. But the main thing to do is this: Enjoy!

rice bowl cooked cu 2

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Author: The View from a Drawbridge

I have been a bridgetender since 2001, and gives me plenty of time to think and observe the world.

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