After listening to Dr. Hans Diehl (creator of the CHIP program) speak this weekend, I am once again tweaking our vegan diet. We already have been consuming vasts quantities of fruits and veggies, including for juicing. Now we’re ncreasing whole grains (I’m not talking about the flour, but the actual grains) while keeping out the sneaky processed flours that show up when your guard is down and you buy packaged things; cutting back – to the point of eliminating – processed sweeteners (this is my biggest difficulty); and decreasing oils (it’s recommended to not use any added oils, but I’m not sure about that one for me with my mega-dry skin and hair.) Not only is this a way to maximize health long-term, but in the short term (less than 1 week), I’ve lost pounds! And I’m eating way more than I was. Win, win!
BUT! If my family is going to tolerate me messing with their food – again – it had better be tasty stuff that I fix them, or there will be a revolt against lots of grain, especially plain old rice, showing up on their plates. While I love the stuff, most of them have never been fans. Surprisingly, I have a lot of recipes for main dishes using whole grains that we’ve tried. It’s time to dust off some of the tried-and-true recipes, as well as invent some new ones.
Last night, my son-in-law showed up with a brown bag from Chipotle. It smelled so good! Short of putting on my coat and driving to Chipotle, I decided right then that the next day I would make up a really big batch of cilantro-lime rice to split up into smaller amounts for the freezer so that on short notice, I could make something wonderful when tantalizing food teases me.
I’ve tried to make this before, but it fell short. This time, I thought some onion, garlic, and lime zest would help things along. And how!! What a difference. I had a healthy scoop with some black beans and tomatoes for lunch – yum.
Freeze the extra amounts in meal-sized packages for later use unless you have a large family.
Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice
- 3 c. long brown rice (basmati or jasmine is nice, but not imperative)
- 8 1/2-9 c. water (or whatever your container of rice indicates is needed)
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- zest of 1 lime, microplaned (this really makes it shine)
- juice from 1 lime
- 1 c. loosely packed cilantro leaves, minced
Bring the first 6 ingredients to a boil in a heavy-duty 3-qt. pan, and then cook over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed (or a little tiny bit is left in the bottom of the pan.) Taste test it to make sure the rice is soft. If needed, add a little water and continue cooking. When it is finished, stir it well and replace the lid, leaving it to rest for at least 15 minutes to steam and get fluffier. Meanwhile, juice the lime and toss it with the cilantro leaves.
Once the rice is finished steaming, toss it with the lime juice and cilantro. Serve with any Mexican-style meal, or just with some beans for a quick meal.