Making entire meals with the rice cooker

Aroma Stainless Steel Rice CookerWe’re busy-busy-busy and when we’re home after a long day at work, we’re exhausted. I’m sick and tired of grabbing food on the go, but when we get home, the last thing I want to do is stand in the kitchen for an hour. And hey, I have baby weight to lose so I don’t need to be eating that crap anyway. Enter our new rice cooker. A couple weeks back, Dave and I went to Mitsuwa to pick up some bao, pot stickers, dumplings, noodles, edamame and a range of lighter, healthier food that would be quick to prepare at the end of the day.

I feel so much better about feeding my family food prepared this way and have come up with a few standard, healthy, but very yummy combos using the steamer basket in conjunction with the rice cooking below.

Tilapia with brown rice: Put the brown rice in the hopper. Since brown rice takes longer to cook, wait until about 3/4 of the way through the cycle, then sprinkle some garbonzo beans and raisins in with the rice and put a couple of tilapia filets in the steamer basket. Bing! Standing at the counter time: 2 minutes, max.

Pot stickers, edamame, and bamboo rice: Rice in the hopper, cook on the white rice setting, pot stickers and edamame in the steamer basket, done. Standing at the counter time: 1 minute. (seriously)

Orzo, mahi mahi, and steamed grape tomatoes: Orzo in place of the rice, the mahi mahi up top along with the grape tomatoes.

Bao with fresh carrots and jasmine rice: Rice in hopper, yaddah, yaddah. Get the point?

Whole Foods’ 365 soy ginger sauce is amazing on fish, so I do a light dab on just about everything. -Underscore on the “light dab”. It’s potent stuff.

Maybe I’m late to this game, but I really hadn’t considered how amazingly flexible a full-size rice cooker can be at dinner time. I LOVE that I’m cooking with little to no fat & oil (you’ll want to lightly mist the steamer basket for fish so it doesn’t stick.), fewer pots, less time, and giving my family food I can feel good about. It literally takes less time to throw these meals together than it does to get through the drive through at McDonald’s, so we’re out of excuses!