Thursday, June 26, 2014

Convenience food

There was once a time; when I didn't feel like cooking and we'd order a pizza. We didn't do it very often, but it was still the quickest form of convenience food I could think of. Now however, I have a new way to use an old piece of equipment to whip-up a quick meal. How old is that piece of equipment? Try as old as our marriage - it was a wedding present, over eleven years ago.

One pot to feed them all!

It's our very simple and cheap rice cooker. You basically follow the instructions of how to cook the rice (refer to manual) and then I just add my own leftovers of meat and vegetables. It can all cook within the hour, and takes under 5 minutes to throw in the pot.

Mix 'n match leftovers

We used our leftover roast the night before, in this particular meal. I also sliced half a leek to add and a handful of frozen beans. The jelly and fat leftover from the honey-mustard chicken went in there too.

Purchased from Aldi

Instead of run-of-the-mill white rice, I used a very yummy rice and grain blend which is gluten free. Throw it all together, flick a switch and dinner is cooking while I get on with other stuff. This tastes much better than pizza and uses leftovers in a way that tastes new and delicious. To save money on electricity, I even switch it off ten-minutes before its meant to be finished, and let it sit until the moisture is absorbed.

I'm glad I decided to try experimenting with our rice cooker, because I use it more often now. This is one wedding present that just kept on giving - apart from my wonderful husband, that is. ;)

Have you found a different use for your specialized kitchen equipment?


  1. I threw out a rice cooker years ago because we never used it. My Thermomix would probably do that now, although I generally steam rice in the basket provided, rather than in the actual bowl.

    I found this rather unconventional use for it:

  2. I considered giving mine away this year too, because I rarely used it to cook rice. That's when I thought about experimenting with it and glad I did. I use it at least once a week now.

    A seed opener for your hard to crack acacia seeds, was an excellent way to use a thermomix. I wonder if the company knows it can do similar things like that? :)

  3. I didn't realize that a rice cooker could be interchanged with a crock pot. I had a rice cooker and sold it at a yard sale. Oh well:)
    What is in the grain packet? I love mixed grains in general.
    And the recipe looks wonderful. We cannot have convenience food delivered here-too far away for any restaurant. Kind of a blessing though I would pay a lot for my favorite Chinese restaurant in Chicago to ship here even if its not

  4. It's definitely similar, but the main difference between a rice cooker and a crock pot, is the heat settings. Crock pots generally have a low and high setting, where as the rice cooker only has the one setting - high. Whatever ingredients are added, has to be cooked in the same time it takes the rice, 30 to 45 minutes.

    I'll write the ingredients in the order listed on the packet: Brown long grain rice, red basmati, black rice, buckwheat, white quinoa, millet, white basmati and black sesame seeds. It tastes really yummy when cooked too.

    Our closest convenience food is a 20 minute round trip - hence why we only ordered pizza occasionally. It was one of those old-fashion pizzerias too, with ingredients and bases which tasted like real food. Once I got used to cooking quick meals though, I reckon they inevitably taste better.

    Actually, one of my quick meals is friend rice - as close to Chinese food, as we can get. ;)

  5. I happen to have all the ingredients you listed so I think I will try to make my own mix.
    I am sure that we wouldn't use a rice cooker unless it was multifunctional with more settings-I am pretty much the only one who likes rice at all but we have been eating it more due to being gluten free-Garry joined me. Gluten free pasta here in this country is not as satisfying and its pricey.
    Since we are low salt eaters now-rarely do I add salt to anything-its hard to eat out anyway. We had to get Mexican food when on the road the other day-it was the only fresh cooked option we could find.We had eaten there before so we knew it would be good. But to me, it was so so salty!

  6. What are the health benefits you are hoping to achieve by eliminating salt?

    I actually made my own Nachos recently (did you eat that at the Mexican restaurant - just curious what you had) and while it was nice, I can't really eat tomatoes and peppers (capsicum) any more. I keep eating small portions from the Nightshade family, rather than eliminating it completely, but it still has the same result.

    So while I enjoyed the flavour of the Nachos, I had the dizziness, the fidgets and the spotty skin which inevitably comes afterwards. Why does the most yummy food, cause me the most issues?

    1. We eliminated because of my husbands liver issues but there is a whole slew of data on the adverse affects of salt. For example, there was always this great push to have westerners eat more of a Japanese diet-in effect reducing cancer risk they said. However Japanese do after all get sick-stroke is their thing-high salt diets are related. We have 2000 mg a day to play with and that includes adding up high salt veggies and fish or whatever-naturally salty that is.

    2. Oh, I had vegetarian enchiladas. These are corn tortillas stuffed with beans (or meat if you want) and then baked in a sauce with some cheese on top. I make it at home and how I make it is like a lasagna. If you can't find corn tortillas (I didn't when we were in Southport) then you can actually layer it with corn chips if you can find those for the lasagna. The sauce is a smokey tomato sauce-so use chili seasoning and cumin plus oregano. You get the picture I'm sure:)

    3. Wow, that sounds really delicious. Smokey tomato sauce. Haven't heard of that, but we can find Gluten Free corn chips.

  7. Excellent. Just look up recipes for enchilada sauce-it can be complex. Its usually made with a smoky type of pepper-ancho or chipotle (or both) maybe? but if you don't have that, cumin helps a lot. Chipotle!


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