Thursday, August 4, 2011

Simply Steamed Broccolini with Forbidden Rice...

There’s no doubt that I love cooking elaborate, fancy dinners, but sometimes you just want dinner to be quick and simple. With a minimal amount of ingredients, appliances and dishes used. Am I right? Especially on a busy day, or a particularly hot day. In those moments the temptation to go out for dinner, or have take-out can be fierce and I find too often people give into it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with eating out once in a while but when you’re eating out more days of the week then you’re spending cooking at home it’s not good. Not good for your health or your wallet as restaurant food is typically very fatty, and more expensive then just buying the goods yourself.

We all have those days though, and yesterday was one of those days for me. I wasn’t feeling particularly interested in cooking, but I was determined to refuse the temptation to go out. So I came up with this very simple, yet incredibly delicious meal. The best thing is that If you own a rice cooker you don’t even need to turn on your stove. Everything can be done with one appliance in one shot. However if you do not own a rice cooker you’ll have to make your rice and steam your veggies the old fashion way. In pots on the stove, which will be using a few more dishes then I had to use, but the meal should still be fairly quick and easy.

Simply Steamed Broccolini with Forbidden Rice

First a few notes about this recipe. 1) Umeboshi Plum Vinegar (also known as Ume Vinegar) is awesome, but if you don’t have it, can’t find it, or don’t want to invest in it then you can use another sweet tasting vinegar but then I suggest you add a sprinkle of sea salt to the dish to enliven the flavors. 2) If you don’t have Japanese 7 Spice you can just add a generous amount of citrus pepper (like lemon or orange pepper) or Black pepper and some finely shredded orange peel. 3) If you don’t have or can’t find Forbidden Rice you can use any rice you like but the taste, texture and consistency are going to be different.

Having said that, Forbidden Rice is an Heirloom Grain that's really worth looking for. Not only is it delicious but it’s highly nutritious. Personally I felt it had a taste very similar to wild rice, but with the tenderness and consistency of white rice. The other great thing about Forbidden Rice (also known as black rice) is that it has a very high mineral count, including Iron. More so then any other type of rice, and of course like all rices it’s also rich in several amino-acids. Interestingly the name Forbidden Rice comes from the fact that in China Black Rice was considered the Emperor’s Rice. It was thought to promote longevity, and so it was forbidden for anyone else to eat this rice.

Simply Steamed Broccolini

11/2 lb Broccolini (roughly. More or less depending on how much you eat)
6-10 Garlic cloves finely minced (or to taste)
1 1/2Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Umeboshi Plum Vinegar
1-2 Packets of Stevia to sweeten (Optional)
A few twists of a black pepper mill

- Trim the ends of your Broccolini stems and then place in your steamer basket.

- Steam for 10-12 minutes until fork tender and bright green. Remove from steamer and place into a large bowl.

- While Broccolini is steaming mince your garlic super fine, then place into the bowl in which you’ll be putting your broccolini.

- Also while Broccolini is steaming you can mix together your olive oil, Vinegar, and Stevia in a small bowl. When Broccolini is ready pour mixture over top and lightly toss the Broccolini with your hands to coat it in the sauce and garlic. Twist some black pepper over top and serve.

Forbidden Rice

1 C Forbidden Rice
1 1/2C + 1-2 Tbsp Low-sodium Vegetable stock or water (I prefer stock)
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
A couple of dashes of Japanese 7 Spice seasoning (Optional)

- Place rice and 1 1/2C Veg stock into rice cooker and cook as directed by manufacturer.

- When rice is done, fluff it up with a fork, and if it seems dry add in the additional 1-2 tbsp of veg stock, (you want it moist but not soupy, so add a bit at a time) along with 1 tbsp of soy sauce, and your Japanese 7 spice. Divide among plates and serve.

Voila! Finito! And you might not think that it sounds like very much at all, but it was extremely delicious and filling. Forbidden Rice is incredible, and I strongly urge you to pick some up when you see it.

*** Note - If you use a rice cooker you can cook the rice and use the steamer basket to cook your broccolini at the same time. This saves on time and the use of an extra appliance or pot. The broccolini will be done before the rice though and so you’ll have to check it after about 10 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook it. Also I served this meal with a large side salad, which I neglected to photograph. Side salads are always a good accompaniment to dinner.***

1 comment:

  1. Forbidden rice is so good! I want more! =D Simple isn't always bad & this dish proves it. - Matt