brown rice

Tap Into Your Inner Healthy Chef!

There is a healthy restaurant nearby that is all the rage right now. Rage? Rave? Which is it? I don't know.

At any rate, I haven't been there too much (to everyone's surprise) because the truth is, I want to try my hand at making that wonderful food myself--and should be making for myself.

My loving, wonderful girlfriend who is currently enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition right now (think it's cool to have something like that in common as a part of your relationship? You're darn right, it is!) suggested we try something she ate whilst dining at said restaurant. I said, you're right! Who needs to go there, when we can create it here at home together!

So in a way, this post is about her being the perfect impetus for things that are good and healthy in my life--she often gets me unstuck when I feel it, or helps me see things I need to do for more health and happiness.

What was my part in this wonderful dinner we shared together? The sauce. I had one suggestion to make it delish and it ended up being a perfect, fiber-filled dinner for a warm summer night. The ingredients were a combo of all we had in the house, things we had collected for another recipe that never got prepared. Try this yourself! Don't worry about having everything we had---just use what you have.

Just make sure there is TONS of color on your plate!

We just winged it (often creating the best results) and this is what we got:

Brenda's Creation (with Dillan's sauce suggestion)


1 bunch of fresh kale, chopped

1 bunch of fresh red chard, chopped

a few carrots, shredded

a handful of raisins

several summer squash and green zucchini

roasted, salted pumpkin seeds

raw sunflower seeds

2 Tbs of olive oil

cooked brown rice (we soaked ours for 8 hours during the day, not knowing what we'd make for dinner. It cooked in about 20 mins instead of 40-45 when we were ready to eat it later.)

The Sauce 

(whisk together equal parts) Miso paste thai curry paste (or curry powder, we recommend the thai one, though. It had added ingredients that made for some lovely flavor)

Coconut Manna (I used this in another recent recipe Easiest Breakfast in the Freakin' World. It's a combo of coconut oil AND coconut flesh, retains all the essential amazing nutrients that a coconut offers)


1) chop or slice the squash and zucchini and sauté it in a pan (blog post coming soon about ideal cooking tools/materials) for your desired texture.

2) add the chopped greens and cover the pan. The steam will wilt these suckers down.

3) on a plate, add about a cup of brown rice, the sauté mixture, a clump of shredded carrots, a sprinkle of raisins and both kinds of seeds.

4) top with the Sauce or mix it in with your rice.

5) we added some nutritional yeast to it---this tastes a bit like cheese and is super high in B vitamins!! a great addition to veggie meals if you're trying to eat less meat (like I am)

Please POST COMMENTS with your results!!

Brown Rice Lessons

Cooking brown rice has taught me some great lessons. Growing up, we were a white rice family. Those little bags of Uncle Ben's (racism in advertising, btw) went KER-PLUNK! into the boiling pot of water and minute later...voila! White rice served beside the entree of the evening. Usually chicken.

I learned a bit more about how to cook rice as I became a health coach. But, yeah, there was no rinsing, soaking and cooking rice from scratch where I grew up. There was NO TIME!

That's what I was taught, anyway. Was there time? Maybe. Probably.

Over the past two years, I have taken to cooking rice by myself. No box. No plastic bag inside a box. No refined white rice in a plastic bag inside a box.

I buy it right out of a bulk bin at Whole Foods for $1.19/lb (on sale this week!) A pound seems to be about 2 cups. 2 cups = 4 cups cooked. 4 cups cooked = a lot of meals for my and my girlfriend. Buying in bulk is good for the environment and good for my wallet!

While it sounds pretty easy, the process of pouring a cup of rice, adding it to a pot and letting it cook has taught me some great lessons about cooking and about life.

Here's the biggest takeaway:

do your best to set something up for success (add rice to the pot with water in reasonably measured amounts), put a lid on it (literally, not metaphorically), leave it alone and it will be fine.

Cooking brown rice (I eat brown because it includes the bran which is the fiber part of the rice grain. Strip that bran off and you might as well be eating table sugar) struck me a great metaphor for the way I want to approach life.

If you constantly mess with rice as it's cooking by lifting the lid, stirring it, making sure "it's ok"---you're going to mess it up. Really a lot.

Just setting it up correctly and leaving it alone, coming back once to see if it needs will just do its thing and be ready and delicious for you in about 25 minutes.

Set it up, turn your attention to other things, don't obsess, just relax.

Good advice for all of life.