By Jenn (TinyChoices.com) | February 10, 2009
Way back when I wrote the Tiny Choices Meal List, Shawnee commented that she’d been using her rice cooker to make one-pot meals. I found the concept fascinating and delightful! While I love homemade meals (for health and financial reasons) I’m just not home enough to cook– so keeping it quick and easy is key for me.
I got a small sized rice cooker as a gift, so have been able to put it to the test. First off, it cooks rice perfectly– which is a goddess-send for those of us who were born rice-challenged. If that doesn’t describe you then you just don’t know the trauma of having pot after pot of rice come out either mushy, sticky or undercooked… so, three Tiny cheers for taking it out of my hands and into those of a rice robot!
Next, I tried a rice-cooker meal. I put in brown rice and a handful of lentils, and upped the water content a bit, and left the room to go do Important Things elsewhere. When there was about ten minutes left for the rice to cook (I brought a kitchen timer with me so I wouldn’t forget), I added some cubed marinated/baked tofu, and torn up kale, and soy sauce, and again left the room, trusting the robot to do what it was created to do. When I came back a bit later the cooker had switched itself to “warm” mode, keeping my dinner ready for me.
The verdict: Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! I ended up with a perfectly cooked meal, and I didn’t have to hang around for the cooking part, just the prep part. Which means I got a healthy home-cooked meal while putting in half the time I usually would, and also was able to accomplish other tasks (I’m nothing if not a multi-tasker).
The only downside is that my rice cooker has a non-stick coating, which seems pretty perilous at this point. A friend recently bought a Lotus Foods Stainless Steel Rice Cooker , which I’m considering as an upgrade.
Also, I’m not sure about the energy audit– rice cooker vs. stovetop/gas– but if this gets me to cook more often then I’m getting less takeout and creating far less non-recyclable/compostable trash, which is a good thing.
The NYT ran an interesting article on this very topic: The Steamy Way to Dinner
Have you ever made a rice cooker meal? Have meal ideas to share?
[Image by anomalous4 via Creative Commons]
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.