Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brown Rice with Garlic - Simply Delicious

It's human nature to be skeptical and critical about things foreign to us. If you had told me three years ago that you were a vegan I would have worried about your sanity. Did you get enough protein? Is it your religion or your ethics that prevented you from eating meat? Are you one of those fad followers? Are you eating vegan to lose weight? I would have given you the look and shaken my head.

It didn't surprise me at all when the lady sitting next to me at a recent party expressed her disappointment when attending an all day conference, to learn that they would be served a vegan meal. Her tone suggested that this was not a good thing. With a little nervous laugh, she continued. She thought it was a vegetarian meal but there was no cheese (tsk, sigh) on the dish. Her friend explained that it was Vegan. "It was soooo BLAND. A little salt and pepper would have helped." She carried on for awhile. And then a little longer. Not good.

I'm here to tell you, it doesn't have to be like this. Vegan can be healthy and delicious. Dr. Michael Greger, a vegan, makes a video a day at his website to educate his readers about healthy choices. Each video is a 3-10 minutes mini course in nutrition. Coupled with this blog, you can begin to experiment with a vegan meal now and then, with confidence.

Brown rice combined with beans, makes a complete protein. Each time I fix rice and beans, it's a little different because I get a little braver. Here's an example of my brown rice recipe that is just a little better, a little more nutritious and a little tastier than the recipe on the brown rice bag.

Oven Brown Rice with Garlic
preheat oven to 350 degrees

One Cup brown rice
Two Cups HOT water (or vegetable broth) *
One whole head of garlic, cloves peeled
One half teaspoon salt

Pour the brown rice into an oven proof casserole dish. Add the liquid, peeled garlic and salt.
Cover and put into the preheated oven for 50 - 60 minutes. Serve. (A little fresh parsley or cilantro is a nice addition just before you take the rice to the table.)

* When I boil potatoes (skin on) I save the water - it makes a wonderful broth for this recipe. You can also use the water you steam your vegetables in. Simply cool the liquid and freeze in a plastic zip lock bag in the freezer until you need it. Added flavor and added nutrition. Nothing is wasted. It's so satisfying to be a little hippie now and then.

Oven brown rice gets gutsier when you add onion, cabbage, spinach, parsley or other vegetables. Have at it - your imagination is your only limitation.

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