Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Tangy Rice with Kale and Tomatoes

I made some rice the other night and everyone wished for more. I'd only used a cup of dry rice, so the next night I made the dish again with two cups of dry rice, and there were leftovers, with a couple of comments that it had been better the night before. So I will tell you how to make a small amount of TANGY RICE WITH KALE AND TOMATO for you to start off with. 

If you do end up doubling the recipe, be sure to use just a little less water than you did for the single recipe, because that's where I went wrong. There just ended up being too much liquid and the rice got mushy. It was still very edible, though, and I enjoyed it in my miso soup last night; all need not be lost (or thrown out) when you make mistakes in cooking (except, maybe, too much salt or baking powder...and a few other things I'm not remembering right now).

In a saucepan that has a tight fitting lid, saute one medium sized chopped onion in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

Add one cup of long grain rice, or use jasmine rice, like I did. (This recipe probably works best with white rice, although I will try brown rice another time, and cook it for forty-five minutes instead of twenty.) Stir the rice and onions around in the oil.

Add a small bunch of chopped kale (about two cups worth, not packed down) and let it cook down a little, stirring it around.

Add a can of diced tomatoes with its juice.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your taste. I didn't use very much of either.

Juice at least half of a lemon, if it is large, or a whole small one, and add that in.

Pour on approximately one and a half cups of water. Usually I almost double the amount of the grain I am cooking, but there is probably some water clinging to the washed greens, and there is the tomato juice, adding up to the half a cup of water you are leaving out. Also, jasmine rice is a very small grained rice. A long grain or short fat grain might need a bit more water.

Stir everything together and bring it to a boil, boiling for five minutes.

Put the lid on the rice and turn the heat down to a low simmer, cooking for twenty minutes.

Serve with some beans, or soy yogurt, or tempeh or tofu.

Another thought is to get yourself a rice cooker. My daughters each had one in their dorms and found them very useful, and when we had a boy from Thailand staying with us, he told us everyone he knew back in his country used one, and he thought my saucepan method of rice cooking kind of strange. I never had one until the other week, when I saw a barely used rice cooker with a stainless steel liner at a thrift shop in town. I didn't really want another appliance sitting on the counter, but I had used the one at my daughter's apartment and saw how simple it was, so I bought it. That week my niece came to visit and remarked on the many containers of rice in the refrigerator. It was so easy to use, that I could hardly stop myself from making it every day.

Things have calmed down now, but it's nice to know that a warm bowl of rice (and steamed vegetables,and perhaps tofu, which can cook in an insert above it) are practically a flip of the switch away, and perfectly cooked every time. I don't want a microwave, but I'm happy to invite this handy gadget into my kitchen.

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