Monday, June 7, 2010

30 Days Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals: Day 1 - Brown Rice Bowls

Welcome to this new series about quick & easy (Q&E) gluten free meals!

Today's meal is a super easy recipe that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Each week I try to make a large batch of a whole grain starch. I keep the cooked starch in the fridge knowing that I can make 2-3 meals instantly.

This week's starch is brown basmati rice. I love brown rice! It's so easy to prepare, can be used in SO many different meals, it's incredibly healthy, and it just tastes good!

Simple & Easy Cooked Brown Rice: Rinse several cups of brown rice. Place rice in a large bowl and cover with fresh water and soak for several hours (this helps decrease cooking time). Rinse and pour rice in your rice cooker. Add fresh water until rice is covered by about 2 inches. Cook for 20-30 minutes until rice is soft, or the texture you desire. Drain off additional water and store rice in a glass jar or airtight plastic container in the fridge.

I also generally cook a batch of beans each week. I know this sounds really hippy dippy... but if you have these healthy frugal foods precooked: you can make nutritious, gluten free, delicious meals in NO time flat on weeknights !

Last year Ali @ Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen posted a wonderful recipe for a Beans & Rice breakfast bowl. This post opened my eyes. I realized that breakfast didn't have to be cereal and milk or bacon & eggs. Breakfast could be beans. Breakfast could be brown rice. Breakfast could be kale, or spinach, or swiss chard. Why not?

Suddenly my breakfast became a much more nutritious meal & a really good start to my day.

We now make brown rice bowls for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you have pre-cooked brown rice & beans you can make this meal in less than 10 minutes!

Brown Rice Bowls
An "unrecipe" for a really quick & easy dinner
Time to assemble: 10 minutes or less, with pre-cooked ingredients.

For 4 servings:

2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked beans of choice (canned is fine): chickpeas, black beans, red beans, cannelloni beans, lentils, black-eyed peas etc...
2-3 cups fresh leafy greens of choice: romaine lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, kale, etc.. you could even use a combination of greens + green beans, etc..
1-2 teaspoons Herbamare seasoning
1-2 teaspoons garlic granules
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Optional Garnishes:
1-2 tablespoons salt-free tomato sauce
1-2 tablespoons blanched almond flour (a yummy substitute for parm cheese)
1-2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds

Heat your cooked brown rice & beans of choice on the stove for about 5 minutes until warmed through. Mix seasonings & coconut oil with heated rice. In 4 bowls evenly divide ingredients & layer foods in this order (only if you want too.... any order is fine! :-) Green leafy vegetables, rice, and beans. Sprinkle any garnishes you would like on top! Serve immediately.


Stay tuned for Day 2 of our 30 days of Gluten Free Quick & Easy Meals tomorrow afternoon!
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  1. Carrie - I'm so excited about this series. Quick and simple meals are my favorite thing. Don't get me wrong, I love to labor over dinner but honestly, who has the time?? I need to get dinner on the table and quick. We're busy.

    In fact, I have a quick and simple meal in my CrockPot right now. Great job!

    Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free

  2. Amy - THANK YOU SO MUCH! Both for participating and being such a huge supporter!! I agree... really? Who has the time? I sure don't! I can't wait to see all the wonderful ideas that people come up with! That was one reason I personally wanted the series to happen is because I'm SO often short of ideas myself!! Thanks again!

  3. I love the tip about cooking brown basmati rice. I bought a bag of it over a month ago and it's still sitting unopened in my pantry. Every time I go to cook it, I realize that I don't have time to cook it. I will definitely be trying this soon. Thanks.

  4. I really should make a big batch of rice each week. Thats such a great idea.

  5. I second Amy's comment - I am so excited about this series! I know that when I do have the time, I'm all about creating lovely flavors in my kitchen, no matter the number of dirty dishes, time taken chopping, stirring, browning, etc. But in the real world, we also need Q&E! And when you look at my blog, I tend to leave those Q&E recipes off, because they're never usually "recipes" - they're throw-stuff-together-and-it-tastes-good dinners! Or breakfasts, in this case - this sounds great! I love having brown rice leftover - I always make extra on purpose. I've made spinach+brown rice+egg as a breakfast meal before, and beans sounds even better!