$0.25 and 45 Minute Rice or Quinoa: Only 1 Recipe Needed!
Rice – the definition of a food I thought I should have known how to cook but didn’t. So I never made it. Because I was too afraid of being embarrassed by potentially screwing up a food that I thought everybody knew how to make. First of all, so not true – I’d argue most people struggle with rice – hence the microwaveable rice industry. This negative thought process used to apply to almost everything in the kitchen which led to a lot of rotisserie chicken with a microwaveable bag of rice meals. Sound familiar? For me, that was the go-to meal Year 1 out of college. It’s time to add rice to the growing list of your kitchen capabilities and trade up to $1.25 Crock Pot Turmeric Shredded Chicken and $0.25 and 45 Minute Rice or Quinoa as your new go-to meal!
Also, yes I know that rice and quinoa aren’t the same things – but lucky for you they can be cooked the exact same way! Two delicious, versatile recipes in one post! Lucky you!
$0.25 and 45 Minute Rice or Quinoa
- 2.5-3 quart sauce pan
- Water heater
- 8" strainer or anything else for rinsing rice/quinoa
- Spoon or spatula for mixing
- 1 cup any type of rice or quinoa, preferably organic
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Rinse the rice/quinoa.
- Pre-heat water in a water heater.
- Heat the sauce-pan over medium heat (~5 out of 10) and then the olive oil.
- Once the olive oil is hot, add the rice/quinoa, salt, and mix for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the water, then increase the heat to high (~9 out of 10) and boil until the level of the water is equal to the level of the rice.
- Turn off the heat, leave the pan on the stove and put the lid on it. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
- Stir and fluff with a fork and enjoy!
- This ingredient list can be scaled to any size you want. I usually make 2 cups. 1 cup of uncooked rice equals ~3 cups of cooked rice.
- Storage: Store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Calories: Brown rice and quinoa has roughly the same amount of calories.
Step 1 – You can survive without this step. I forget (or chose to forget it) it all the time. It is more important to rinse the quinoa because it removes an outer coating which can taste bitter. But again you can survive without.
Step 2 – This step is optional, but I highly recommend investing in a water heater. It will cut ~10 minutes off this recipe since you are waiting less time for the water to boil.
Step 5 & 6 – My friend Jorge says to turn off the heat and cover once it starts “winking.” He originally showed me this technique for cooking rice and that term has stuck with ever since. Thanks Jorge!
Step 7 – If there is still a little water at the bottom of the pan when you stir the rice, put the lid back on and set the timer for 3 minutes.
- 1 cup organic brown rice ~ $1.25
- 1 cup organic red quinoa ~ $1.25
- 1 TBSP grapeseed oil ~ $0.10
- 1/2 tsp of salt – negligible
Total Cost per 1 cup of uncooked rice/quinoa ~ $1.35
Cost per serving (~6 servings) ~ $0.25
Take that Uncle Ben. The year that I was buying microwaveable rice, with who-knows-what other interesting ingredients packaged inside, I knew I was paying a premium but had no idea how much. 1 microwaveable Uncle Ben’s bag (1 cup of cooked rice) costs $1.75 at my local grocery store. 2 servings (1 cup of cooked rice) of organic, homemade brown rice costs ~$0.50. So basically you could be eating a week’s worth of delicious, homemade, organic rice for the cost of 1 bag of microwaveable rice and also avoiding all of other processed ingredients that increases Uncle Ben rice’s shelf life while shortening yours. And don’t even get me started on the upcharge for quinoa… Now I’ve gotten myself all worked up!
What it all boils down to (thought of this pun all by myself!) is the importance of knowing about the health benefits and actual costs of the food we consume. Eating healthy is a choice, it might as well be an informed one.
These recipes go great with $0.25 and 45 Minute Rice or Quinoa:
- $5 Crock Pot Short Rib
- $2 and 45 Minute Stir Fry Template
- $2.25 and 45 Minute Eggplant Curry
- Work Week Meal Prepping!
As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!