Thanks to challenger ninemoremonths for accepting this week’s mini challenge and breaking down what many find to be a complicated dish. We could all use a way to incorporate more of this healthy grain, and she offers a surprisingly simple solution.
I remember the first time I tried to cook brown rice, in an attempt to start eating healthier. I measured everything out and popped it in my rice cooker, and selected the brown rice setting. I continued on cooking the rest of my dinner, and when I checked on the rice, it was still chewy. I turned the rice cooker back on and went about finishing the other dinner items, and washed some dishes. When I came back to the rice again, it was nowhere near done.
After delaying dinner for 20 more minutes, I finally just gave up. I searched the internet to see what went wrong and read that I should have rinsed the rice. Another page said you have to soak it for up to an hour. Yet another page said you can absolutely not add salt to it, or it will never cook.
I love brown rice, but it seemed to me that it was just more work than I was prepared for. I resigned myself to never being able to cook delicious brown rice from scratch, and instead turned to packaged brands that were loaded with sodium.
In response to this week’s mini-challenge, I wanted to share how I overcame my aversion to cooking brown rice. While reading a blog that I love, the writer mentioned that her favorite way to prepare brown rice was in the oven. She didn’t say any more about it, so I turned to my search bar to see how that could be possible. I found a recipe and tried it out, and was amazed! I am now no longer afraid to cook brown rice from scratch, and you don’t have to be either!
Oven-baked Brown Rice: (should make 8 half-cup servings)
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice
- 2 1/3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons oil (I use Olive Oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Set your oven to 375°. Meanwhile, add water, oil, and salt to a pot and let it come to a bowl. Put rice in an 8-inch covered baking dish. (If you don’t have a covered dish, get some foil ready.) As soon as the water comes to a boil, pour over the rice, stir once and cover tightly. Pop it into the middle of the oven and forget about it for an hour. When it’s ready, fluff with a fork and serve.
I let my rice cook while I prepare and cook the rest of my dinner, and I even have time to clean the kitchen before dinner’s ready. I will never cook it any other way!