Making brown rice can be tricky which is why this blogpost gives a detailed explanation of how to make brown rice and a recipe for an Asian style brown rice bowl with chicken and vegetables.
It’s important to know what we are eating on a daily basis. Not just to check calories, but to look at the nutritional aspect of the food that we are eating.
- Is our diet balanced or are we eating too much fat, protein, sugar?
- Are we eating something that can adversely affect our health?
- Is the food that we are eating good for us? Does it give us the necessary nutrients to keep fit and active throughout the day?
- Is the food even natural, or full of preservatives?
This doesn’t mean we should all start following a completely organic, hormone-free, natural, preservative free diet. But we should try our best to eat in moderation. To achieve a balance where the focus is on eating wholesome food on a regular basis, and keep the not so wholesome food for special occasions.
Sounds simple when I say it, but in reality not so easy to achieve. That’s why whenever it comes to eating better, focus should be on lifestyle changes. Incremental changes on a daily basis to meals are a way to go.
Project #Superfood with No Leftovers:
On that same principle, I am working on an EXCITING project titled Project #Superfood with No Leftovers, a community centric Facebook food group run by my good friend Sundus Ghulam. No Leftovers is a different sort of food group where the focus is on nutrition, wholesome meals, meal planning and how to cook in a way that there are NO leftovers; and if there are, then how to use them in a delicious recipe. Project Project #Superfood is now over, however, you can join the group and learn new recipes by sending an add request HERE
The recipe that I made for project #superfood in collaboration with No Leftovers with this delicious Asian style brown rice with chicken and vegetables. For more healthy recipes on the blog click HERE.
Brown rice bowl with chicken and vegetables
For the brown rice
- 1 cup brown rice
- salt to taste
For the chicken and grilled vegetables
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 chicken breast sliced in half
- 1 zucchini sliced
- 2 onion sliced
- 2 green capsicum sliced
- Other vegetables can be used based on what is available or personal preference
Marinade for chicken and grilled vegetables
- 2 garlic cloves sliced
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon chili paste or chili sauce adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoon soya sauce
- ½ teaspoon Italian Herbs
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Lemon zest optional
- Pinch red chili flakes
How to cook brown rice:
- Clean and wash brown rice. Rinse at least 3 times.
- Once they are rinsed, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes.
- Drain the soaking water. Place the brown rice, with fresh water in a medium sauce-pan. The water level should be at least one inch higher than the brown rice level.
- Bring the brown rice to a boil. Turn heat to low – medium, and cook the rice for at least 10 - 12 minutes.
- Once the rice has been cooking for about 10 – 12 minutes, drain the water. This step is necessary because the brown rice will release starch and a greyish foam will be visible on the top of the water.
- Place the drained rice back on the stove. Cover the saucepan with a lid, turn heat to low and cook for about 20 – 25 minutes till the rice is cooked through.
- Turn the heat off, and let the rice rest for about 10 minutes. This step is necessary to ensure any remaining moisture is absorbed by the rice.
For the chicken and stir-fried vegetables
- Take a bowl and add all the marinade ingredients. Whisk together.
- Place the sliced chicken breast in a small bowl, and add about ⅓rd of the marinade.
- Place the vegetables in another bowl, and add the remaining marinade. Let marinate for about 30 minutes.
- Heat a grill pan or a frying pan, and add about a tablespoon olive oil.
- Add the sliced chicken breast, and cook on both sides till tender. This will take about 8 – 10 minutes each side, depending on the thickness of the chicken breast. Remove and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil, and add onions. Saute for about a minute, and then add capsicum followed by zucchini. Cook for a few minutes, till vegetables are charred and grilled. Set aside, and don’t throw away the remaining sauce in the pan.
- Take a bowl.Add a layer of brown rice on the bottom, and top with chicken and stir-fried vegetables, along with a teaspoon of the sauce.
- This is the method I use to make brown rice in Pakistan, and specifically Guard brown rice. I don’t use the absorption method, because I prefer to throw away the starchy (and sometimes muddy) water. The absorption technique requires that the rice be cooked in a specific quantity of liquid, which can be readily absorbed by the rice.
- If using another brand, read the instructions at the back of the packet because cooking times and instructions can vary from brand to brand.
- If more sauce is preferred, then take out the vegetables. Add about ½ cup – 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock to the remaining marinade, and cook till it comes to a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and red chili flakes to season. Thicken with cornflour dissolved in water.
- Substitute chicken with tofu, cottage cheese or fish. Adjust cooking time and technique accordingly.
- Other vegetables, spices and sauces can be used as per personal preference. Just ensure that vegetables that cook quickly are added in the later stage of the cooking process, so as to not get too soft.