$0.25 and 45 Minute Rice or Quinoa

$0.25 and 45 Minute Rice or Quinoa

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 knows how to make. First of all, so not true – I’d argue most people struggle with rice – hence the microwave bag of rice industry. And 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 Crockpot Turmeric Shredded Chicken and $0.25 and 30 Minute Rice or Quinoa!

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!

Ingredients (~6 Servings):

  • 1 cups of organic any color rice or any color quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 TBSP grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

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.

Tools:

  • 2.5-3 quart sauce-pan
  • Water heater (optional)
  • 8″ Strainer or anything else for rinsing rice
  • Spoon or spatula for mixing

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the rice/quinoa.
  2. Pre-heat water in a water heater.
  3. Heat the sauce-pan over medium heat (~5 out of 10) and then the grapeseed oil.
  4. Once the grapeseed oil is hot, add the rice/quinoa and salt and mix it around for 2-3 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. Turn off the heat, leave the pan on the stove and put the lid on it. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir and fluff with a fork and enjoy!
  8. Store for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Total time = 45 Minutes (2 minutes to prep, 43 minutes to cook)

Tips:

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 3 – You can substitute olive oil just beware it has a lower smoke point. This is literally the temperature when the oil starts to smoke and break down its nutritious components. For more on smoke points, check out Apartment Chef Tips.

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.

Cost:

  • 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

Conclusion:

Take that Uncle Ben. That 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 mixed with plenty of other processed ingredients that the product’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:

As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!



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