Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I used to be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. Mostly, because it irks me to have something come out terrible and feel that I wasted money and food on some silly culinary attempt. Of recent, however, I have been forced to be more creative in the kitchen. In order to be a good steward with my grocery budget I am working very hard to use what I have rather than run out to the grocery store on a whim for nachos....which I used to do...a lot.....
Now, believe me, we still eat nachos. However, for the most part now I know we are going to be eating them (on Thursday night actually!). With meal planning I have learned to have a more organized kitchen. This means that I know there are twelve ziplock bags of summer squash still in my freezer waiting to be used, hopefully, before the next summers squash is ready for the picking!
Thus, this recipe. I created it today because when I made my meal plan on Monday morning I simply wrote that today was: Rice.
This meant that I needed to use some of the fifty pounds of bulk brown rice I have in my pantry along with other things that I have in my pantry.
In the crock pot this morning I put:
2 Cups of long grain wild rice
2 cups of brown rice (that I had soaked in apple cider vinegar the night before)
Several diced up stalks of celery
Several diced up carrots
Four cups of water
Several cups of frozen zuchinni and squash from this past summmer
I let this cook for several hours and began adding more water as I saw fit. The rice, even such a small amount will soak up water like hot cakes so I advise that you do not leave your house without making sure you have enough that you will not burn anything in your crock pot if all the water is soaked up quicker than you think!
All day long this simmered away in my crock pot. At dinner time I stirred it, added a few more dashes of sea salt and put it into bowls. I also sprinkled some Braggs Nutritional Yeast on top of the soup, which gives a cheese flavor (but is non dairy). I served this with homemade rustic muffins thanks to my sourdough monster Hershel.
It was so delicious that I am eating it again a few hours later as I type this! The entire family enjoyed this simple meal.
Plus~ you could totally make this your own depending on what you like and have on hand. Some thoughts of things that might be tasty additions:
Ground Turkey or Beef
Addition of another grain such as millet
Other root vegetables such as turnip or potato
Variety of different spices
Wonderful, nutritious, crock pot meal we are sure to use again! It was also very frugal and the recipe I gave above made a HUGE batch. We will eat this again this week, but I am going cook some ground turkey with it for variety and serve it with sourdough pitas.