It is safe to say rice is one of the mostly widely eaten grain across the world. For one I know that households in Nigeria eat rice anything between 2-3 times a week, if not more. It seems therefore quite fitting to start with this all time favourite.
When I began consciously going ‘healthy’ with my eating, one challenge was reducing the amount of starchy carbohydrates in my diet, and rice was pretty top on my list. Whilst there is nothing wrong with starchy carbohydrates I knew I was eating more than I needed to.
So the challenge for me was: How do I reduce my consumption of rice without necessarily feeling ‘deprived’ and this is how I set out to create what I call ‘Daddy’s Rice’
Daddy’s Rice (serves 1-2)
Cooked Rice (1 cup)
Rice is a starchy carbohydrates making it a good source of energy which plays an important role in our diet. Apart from being a source of energy, rice also contains protein which the body needs to grow and repair itself, B vitamins which help release the energy from the food we eat and fibre which aid bowel movement.
Cabbage (4-5 leaves from a medium size cabbage)
Cabbage along with broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and kale belong to a group of vegetables know as cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables are good for us because they contain a substances called glucosinolates and D-glucarate which help the liver in an important detox process called glu-curonidation.
Carrot (4 medium-sized carrots)
Carrot is a source of beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A as required by the body, what is left is then used as anti-oxidant. Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy skin and good vision. Also Beta-carotene has been found to help strengthen the immune system, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke, and protect against the formation of cataracts.
1) Cook the rice as you would normally
2) While that is cooking, in a food processor combine the cabbage and carrot (properly washed) and blend until fine; if you don’t have a food processor to hand simply grate the carrot and slice the cabbage finely.
3) Steam the vegetables lightly, a quick tip is to pour the vegetable mix over the rice just before it is cooked and let the steam from the rice cook the vegetables. I use a stainless steel steamer basket placed over the rice. Because the vegetables have been sliced finely 2-3 minutes should be enough.
4) Once this is ready, I mix one part rice with two parts vegetable mix as I often aim to follow the guide below. Combining before serving helps to ensure you don’t ‘avoid’ the Vegetables. This could be helpful for kids (and adults) who tend to see vegetables on the side and cleverly work their way around it, picking off only what they want.
Serve with a sauce and meat/chicken/fish (or not if you are vegetarian) of your choice and there you have it!
One other advantage I’ve found with eating rice this way is that it encourages me to chew my food properly; which not only means that my digestive system is not put under undue stress but I also tend to eat less because I get a greater sense of fullness.
You can choose to use other vegetables or even use pasta instead of rice, explore and create what works best for you and would love to hear how you get on.
Oh, so why is it called Daddy’s Rice? Well because growing up Daddy always made a big deal about us having rice on its own. We always had to have some sort of vegetable (carrot, cabbage, peas etc) on the side, therefore seems fair that I dedicate this first post to him! 🙂
References 1) Holford.P and Joyce F.M (2007) The 9 day liver detox: The definitive detox diet that delivers results, Piatkus 2) Mindell. E and Mundis. H (2011) New vitamin bible, New York: Warner Books Inc