I’ve had several questions about recipes for things I’ve posted pictures of lately. I know we have this whole group on FB for menu ideas and recipe exchange and I hardly ever post to it. It’s just that I feel that by the time I type everything up, I’ve used too much space. No one wants to read that much about ghee and mung beans on that little forum. So I thought I’d post some stuff over here. Also..I wanted to address a comment left by Melissa on my picture for quinoa tacos. She mentioned something about how time didn’t allow her to make meals like that one. I think a lot of people feel this way. Eating clean and healthy just seems like it takes so much time and effort. I’ve got two words for you: rice cooker. If you don’t have one of these things, get one. And if you’re just now going out to get one, go ahead and invest in a nice one with a timer that let’s you set it to when you want to start cooking. The rice cooker has become my go-to gadget. It’s not just for rice. Put your steel cut oats and water in before you go to bed and when you get up the next morning start the rice cooker. Breakfast is served.
One meal I tend to make at least once a week in kitchari. There are dozens of recipes out there for kitchari. I use a variation of this one. I’ve modified it because I like more mung beans and less rice. The night before, I put 1/2 cup of mung beans in a bowl to soak. The next day I rinse the beans and then put them in the rice cooker along with 1/3 cup of rice (this makes enough for my super and lunch the next day with lunch being the bigger portion). I add enough water for both beans and rice (1 and 2/3 cup). When it’s done, I stir in a tablespoon of ghee, some coriander, some cumin and some fennel. I top my serving with steamed kale, dulse flakes (my alternative to salt) and toasted coconut. But you can top kitchari with anything you want. That’s the beauty of this dish. The rice and beans make up the base of the dish and then you flavor it to your taste. The rice cooker does all the cooking except for the five minutes it took me to steam my kale.
The quinoa sweet potato tacos were my invention. I chopped up a sweet potato, dumped it in the rice cooker along with quinoa and water. I mixed in some taco seasoning and ghee and then started the cooker. Near the end of the cook time, I opened the rice cooker and stirred everything. When most of the liquid was gone, I turned off the rice cooker. I wanted the quinoa to be mushy and not too dry. I don’t think it would hurt to set the rice cooker and forget it, but quinoa tends to stick to the bottom of the rice cooker more than rice does. I filled taco shells with the quinoa sweet potato mixture and then topped with avocado and shredded spinach. You can, of course, top this with whatever you like to top tacos with. Again…the rice cooker does all the work. It took five minutes to chop up the sweet potato, spinach and avocado.
I know many of you out there are probably thinking that this all sounds nice but there’s no way you’d be able to get your kids to eat this. Maybe and maybe not. A kid has to be exposed to a flavor twenty times before they can make a decision about it. Tacos are generally an easy sell with kids. Especially if they get to make their own. Same goes for kitchari. Remember, the rice and beans are the base. You add the flavors. Coconut oil is a great alternative to ghee. I say let the kid choose the spices and steamed veggies. This way they’ll learn what flavors they like or don’t like on their own. These are really simple meals, but they are tasty and satisfying. And it’s what I’ve been eating lately.