Rice and Shine

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Ricky: “Fred, what do you know about rice?”

Fred: “Well, I had it thrown at me on one of the darkest days in my life.”

If you haven’t noticed by now, I incorporate a lot of rice into the meals I cook. Besides being a tasty accompaniment to so many dishes, it’s also incredibly cheap to buy and totally easy to make. I purchase most of my grains from the bulk bin at our local grocery store and then store them in separate Tupperware containers labeled with the name and cooking directions for that particular grain. Brown rice, in particular, is only 89 cents a pound when purchased in bulk, cooks in about 35-40 minutes on the stove, and can provide up to 10 individual servings per pound. If it’s not already, rice should definitely become a permanent staple in every person’s pantry (and I don’t mean permanent like that can of sardines mi mama bought on an impulse nearly 3 years ago that now seems to have found a permanent home on a pantry shelf in the very back).

The night I made my famous Stuffed Bell Peppers, I intentionally made twice the amount needed with the grand idea of using the extra cooked rice in the following night’s dinner dish. However, when I arose from my deep doggie slumber the next morning, I decided I would use the rice in mi papa’s breakfast dish instead. Rice for breakfast, you ask? Well why not. People eat oatmeal for breakfast, and it’s a grain. Why not rice?

Arroz Pudding with Apples and Raisins

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 cup milk of choice (cow’s, almond, soy, hemp etc)

1 tsp vanilla

1 golden delicious apple, peeled and chopped*

1/4 cup raisins*

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp agave nectar or honey

1 tbsp chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

1) Place all ingredients except agave/honey, in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling.

2) Turn heat to low and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes or until thickened.

3) Take off heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with sweetener and enjoy!

*Substitute a chopped pear in place of the apple and dates in place of the raisins, if you like.

And voila! A simple and delicious way to use up that leftover rice. Now if you’ll excuse me, I really must be going. I’m needed in the backyard in order to supervise mi papa with his landscaping project.

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