Thursday, August 27, 2015

How Batch Cooking Really Has Made My Life Easier and THE Recipe for Perfect Brown Rice

I'm off to Los Angeles in a few hours to film an episode of Healthy Living with Chef AJ. I'll be posting pictures of the experience to Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to follow along there if you are interested!

But before I go, I want to talk about something that has been on my mind for a long time: batch cooking.



I don't care how much you love cooking or how much spare time and money you've got, I know that you want to make preparing healthy meals quicker, easier and cheaper!


I'm also guessing that the idea of batch cooking is not that new to you. For example, let's say you are making chili for dinner. You might plan to make a double recipe so that you can have extras for the week and even some to put into your freezer for a much later date (or a convenient gift on the fly to a friend in need).

This is not rocket science.

But some people have taken this idea of making planned overs to a whole nother level. 

Lindsay Nixon (Happy Herbivore) is one of, or maybe THE, greatest proponents of the batch cooking lifestyle. It was only after I watched her video "Batch Cook Like a Boss" that I started to batch cook the basics.

Not just some fancy recipe that I wanted to have for more than one dinner. But things like brown rice, potatoes, vegetable broth and beans.

Like I mentioned, it's not rocket science.

But many of you may not have started doing it yet, and I'm here to encourage you to give it a go. It's a money and time saving technique that is too easy not to do.

The first basic I started with was brown rice. I didn't have the greatest success at first, but then my coworker Trixy told me the ancient secret to perfectly cooked rice.

Wait for it . . .

IGNORE THE PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS.

The amount of water recommended makes for waterlogged, mushy rice. My rice never came out great when I made it in a pot on the stove. Trixy said to put in an equal amount of water to rice, plus a little more water. 

She also told me that in her household, where they eat rice all of the time, they prefer short grain to long grain.

So, for example, I purchase organic short grain rice in four cup bags and I use 4.5 cups of water. I put the rice and the water into a rice cooker and in less than an hour I have PERFECT brown rice.

It's crazy good rice.

And I can have it ready in three minutes, because it's always in my freezer now in individual serving sizes. I used to purchase organic frozen brown rice from Trader Joe's, and it was amazing, but doing it yourself just costs less.

I like to package my rice into sandwich baggies and stack them in the freezer. To reheat a serving, I simply rip open the bag, put the frozen rice into a microwave safe bowl, and cook it in the microwave on high for 3 minutes. Perfectly cooked rice!

I plan on exploring batch cooking of basics more and more over the next year. It's too worthwhile not to. It makes having your own home cooked, healthy food faster, easier and cheaper. Seriously, it doesn't get better than that.

I have a pretty good feeling that I'll be meeting Lindsay Nixon in person in the next few days, and I'll be sure to thank the heck outta her for inspiring me to finally start batch cooking my basics!

If you haven't seen Lindsay's videos, I highly recommend taking the time to watch them. Here are a few. Enjoy!







Do you batch? Tell us about your experience!
 
Blogging tips