Thursday, December 3, 2009

Brown Rice

Heather Pierce to my rescue -- yet again. Heather is my nutrition and lifestyles coach, and one of the sweetest and smartest women I know. She also reads my blog, and after reading my "mental slap" post, quickly sent me a reminder about using brown rice as the basis of quick meals.

I needed Heather's gentle reminder, that when you are most stressed and tired, you really have to plan better. If I had made a big batch of brown rice earlier this week, last night, when I got home at midnight, I could have heated it up with some beans, added some mild salsa, and had a nourishing dinner, with enough leftover for lunch today. Instead, a had a handful of trail mix -- OK two handfuls -- and crashed. This nonsense has got to end.

Heather sent me some recipes form Andrea Beaman, a contestant on Top Chef who healed her incurable thyroid disease with health-promoting foods, exercise and other natural therapies. Andrea suggests preparing a Seasonal Stir Fry with Garlic Sauce Sunday night, and incorporating the leftover brown rice into breakfasts, lunches and dinners the next two days. For example, rice can be mixed with rolled oats, dried cranberries, cinnamon and honey for a breakfast porridge, or made into vegetarian fried rice. Leftover stir-fry can be wrapped into a whole grain burrito for lunch, or brown rice can be pared with steamed veggies for lunch.

What follows is Andrea's stir-fry and porridge recipes. This all sounds so healthy, and exactly the fuel I need to keep me going, since the next two weeks show no signs of slowing down.

2 cups brown rice, soaked overnight
3¾ cups water
2 pinches sea salt
1 onion, cut into thick crescents
2-3 carrots, cut on thin diagonals
8 oz. shrimp (or diced chicken, beef, tofu, tempeh)
2 stalks broccoli, florets plus stems cut in thin diagonals
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 Tblsp. shoyu or tamari
¼ -1/3 cup water
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1½ Tblsp. toasted sesame oil
1-2 scallions, minced
  • Bring rice and water to a boil. Add two pinches sea salt and reduce flame to simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes.
  • Add a small amount of water to a frying pan and water sauté onion for 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and broccoli cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Combine garlic, shoyu, water, maple syrup and toasted sesame oil. Pour over stir-fry, cover and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Dish out stir-fry on top of cooked brown rice and garnish with scallions. Serves four.
1 cup leftover brown rice
1 cup water
2 Tblsp. rolled oats
2 Tblsp. raisins or other dried fruit
Dash of cinnamon
1 Tblsp. maple syrup or other sweetner
Splash of almond milk

  • Bring rice, water, rolled oats, dried fruit and cinnamon to a boil. Cover and reduce flame to medium for 5-7 minutes. Add sweetener and a splash of your favorite milk.


  1. That stir fry sounds wonderful! Printing it out as I type.

  2. You got it! If you don't have the patience or time to make the brown rice, quick-cooking and protein-rich quinoa or amaranth are great substitutes for all these recipes. Highest protein content of all the grains!