Bulk cooking, rice cookers, fermented veggies, fresh juice, and nooch love

My love affair for the pressure cooker is pretty obvious on this blog. I don’t talk as much about my first love, the rice cooker (read all about both here: FAQ #2: What’s up with the rice and pressure cooker obsession?) but I still adore it.

I have several rice cooker recipes here on the blog

rice cooker recipes on JL goes Vegan

but this week I made a dish that was prepared less formally and more intuitively.

I was doing some bulk cooking for the week; I began with homemade vegetable broth – which is usually the starting point for my bulk cooking because I use it while making beans, grains and soups.  I then made black beans in the pressure cooker (black beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf, that’s it!).  For a grain I decided to blend couscous and millet (because the cooking times for both are fairly similar on the stove – 10 minutes for couscous and 15 for millet). I planned on adding a lot of veggies to the grains so I figured it would all even out with the cooking time.

I diced up carrots, celery, and red pepper, about two cups, and added the vegetables to the rice cooker with three cloves of garlic (finely diced).  I added about 1 and 1/2 cup mixed couscous and millet, 1 cup vegetable broth and 1 and 1/2 cup water.  Then I got creative and added a teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon iodized sea salt. I set the rice cooker to the brown rice setting and hoped for the best.

Later that day I was delighted that all I had to do was prepare a green because I could reheat the black beans and grains for dinner. I actually went with a “red” instead of a green – red chard.  I sautéed garlic (about five cloves, diced) in a little bit of avocado oil and then added an entire bunch of red chard (I rolled each leaf and sliced all the way down to the stem – the stems are awesome, use them!). I added a little bit of vegetable broth to the chard before covering the skillet and reducing the heat to low. I let the chard simmer for a few minutes while I heated up the beans and grains.  I uncovered the skillet and added balsamic vinegar (1 – 2 tablespoons) and about two tablespoons of capers and turned up the heat – I wanted that balsamic vinegar to reduce a bit, to add a sweetness to the reds/greens.  For a final touch I sprinkled almond slivers over the chard, quickly tossed in the skillet and then served.

Black beans, millet-couscous veggies and sautéed red chard on JL goes Vegan

My omnivore husband and I don’t always have the same meal when we sit down together for dinner but he did eat vegan Monday night, devouring this whole plate of food. He loved it.

Here are the fruits of my bulk cooking labor: [click to continue…]

JL Fields is co-author of the forthcoming Vegan for Her: The Women’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet and writes the blog JL goes Vegan.

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