We all know that brown rice is good for us, right? Unlike white rice, brown rice is considered a whole grain, has more fiber, and one study even suggests that replacing white rice with brown rice can help reduce one’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health said that eating two or more servings of brown rice weekly seems to be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Given all these wonderful benefits, why do so many people still choose white rice? It cooks faster. Of course, that’s just my opinion. Some people may also prefer the less nutty/bran flavor of white rice, but for me, it has all been about the time fact. After working a long day at the office, I just didn’t want to mess with taking an hour or more to cook brown rice. Thankfully, I finally found a solution that will help me make the permanent switch to brown rice! Please meet my new rice cooker/steamer!
Why is this going to help? Well, this particular model has a delay timer feature for up to 15 hours! I can assemble the cooker in the morning with the rice and water before I leave for work. I can then set the delay timer to have the rice ready when I arrive home in the evening. If I get delayed for some reason, no worries! Once it finishes cooking, it will automatically switch to a “keep warm” mode to keep it nice and hot until I arrive home.
There have been several times in the past that I’ve considered buying a rice cooker/steamer, but then I would always talk myself out of it because it doesn’t necessarily save time. It still takes just a long to cook the rice, but it just seems to come out a bit nice (in my opinion) in the rice cooker. Well, I could no longer manage to talk myself out of it when I recently discovered the Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker & Food Steamer. I actually got mine on Amazon for about $10 less than the suggested retail price. Oh, and I got some more of my favorite light brown rice to use in it while I was at it. If you’ve never tried RiceSelect Texmati rice, you should. It’s great!
Naturally, having a new gadget, I wanted to take it for a test drive. I opted on an Ina Garten recipe a friend of mined posted on Facebook earlier in the week. I have to say, not only did this appliance cook the rice perfectly, but the finished product tasted AMAZING, too!!
Since I know, like me, a lot of my readers are on Weight Watchers, I ran the recipe through the Recipe Builder in eTools. It comes in at 4 PointsPlus value per serving, regardless of whether one uses the champagne or rice wine vinegar (a.k.a. rice vinegar). I actually didn’t have any rice wine vinegar on hand, but after doing a bit of online research, I substituted and used some white wine vinegar instead since I already had some of that.
For anyone following the Simply Filling Technique, this recipe could easily be adapted for that, too. Just be sure to use the vinegar instead of champagne, and use a sugar substitute in place of the sugar. That’s what I actually did when I prepared this. I just used one packet of Truvia since it’s the equivalent of two teaspoons of sugar as called for in the recipe. Here is my version of the recipe based upon how I actually prepared it:
- 1 cup Texmati light brown rice
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 packet Truvia
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, large-diced
- 1 (18g) container organic basil, chopped
- Prepare rice per manufacturer’s instructions in rice cooker. When cooked, transfer rice to a bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, sweetener, olive oil, salt, and a pinch of pepper. Pour over the rice. Add the tomatoes and basil. Mix well then check the seasonings and adjust if needed. Serve at room temperature.
Nutrition information calculated using the SparkPeople Recipe Calculator.
Rather than having this as a side dish, I opted to turn it into a lunch entree instead. I put one and a half servings into a bowl and then added an ounce of fat-free feta cheese for a bit of protein. With the larger portion and added feta, it came in at 7 PointsPlus value and was a perfect light lunch.
As you can see from the photos, I used Texmati light brown rice for this recipe rather than the traditional Texmati brown rice called for in the original recipe. While it has slightly less fiber than traditional brown rice, I love that it cooks much faster. It gives some of the health advantages of brown rice at the cooking speed of white rice. For those wondering, I used the white rice setting on the rice cooker and it came out perfectly cooked.
After enjoying my tasty rice lunch, I decided to end my meal with a tasty new treat I discovered at the grocery store this week. Weight Watchers has introduced several new items to their frozen ice cream novelty line including some Greek yogurt bars. There were a couple of different flavors available, but I opted for the blueberry variety.
Ok, these are really yummy! They’re about the same size (height & width) as the Giant Chocolate Fudge or Giant Latte bars. They aren’t quite as thick though. For only 2 PointsPlus value, they’re a decent size. They were on sale, so I paid $3.99 for the box. Given the regular price tag was $6.49, it’s not something I would buy on a weekly basis. However, it’s definitely something I’ll buy again when I find them on sale.
Until next time …
Disclaimer: I purchased all of the referenced products and food items personally. I received no complimentary products or compensation for this post.