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Cooking ahead for the week.

Posted By Carol L. Hunter PhD, PMHCNS, CNP, Saturday, July 1, 2017
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017

One of the challenges we all face with our diet is having the time to prepare a nutritious meal. If we wait until the last minute at the end of the day to think about what we will have for dinner, chances are we are tired and want to avoid standing, chopping, stirring, etc. One solution to this problem is cooking something for the week ahead that provides a foundational source of nutrition that can then be varied.

I like to promote products that I think will be useful to my readership and one that I have tried for the past year has proven to be tried and true. It is the VERSA 8-in-1 Multi-Cooker and it is a combination pressure cooker and slow cooker. It also allows you to saute, brown, simmer and steam. It comes with a recipe book that his handy. I absolutely love this cooker which comes in different sizes.

My typical preparation on Sunday is to combine two whole grains of my choice, adding in different vegetables and often legumes. You can prepare a delicious meal in minutes with the pressure cooker feature which includes a button for brown rice, white rice, yogurt and risotto.

So here’s an idea of a dish you could prepare in advance and then vary it by combining different greens:

Place 3 to 4 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in bottom of liner and push saute button, then start button. You have 30 minutes of saute time while chopping and adding your vegetables and grains.

Add ½ cup chopped carrots

Add ½ cup chopped celery

Add one medium chopped onion

Add a cup of chopped mushrooms

Add ½ cup chopped bell peppers

Add 1/8 tsp ground cardamom

1/8 tsp fennel seed

1/8 tsp whole cumin seed

1/8 tsp celery seed

½ tsp tumeric

Saute all vegetables until translucent, then stir in:

 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup of millet for approximately 5 minutes

Add in 5 cups of vegetable broth( 3 for rice, 1 each for veges and millet)

Then hit stop button. Secure pressure cooker lid and follow safety directions. Hit the “brown rice” button, then hit Start. The timer will not start counting until the proper pressure has been reached. Cook time is quick, 20 minutes. Once the pressure has been released and the lid opened, do not be alarmed if you still see water. It will absorb if you keep the lid closed for another 10 minutes or so. You need to experiment a bit with the amount of water to add. If I am adding in a cup of beans, I will add in one cup of water for the beans.

You can put some chopped kale or other green on top of the grain dish and it will steam by the time you sit down to eat. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. The grain dish can be used for breakfast with an egg on top or tofu crumble. Experiment with other healthy grains like quinoa and lentils. This Sunday preparation has been a life saver throughout the following busy week. But the time Thursday arrives, I am a bit tired of it and ready to think about the next dish!! Next on my slow cooker agenda is homemade chicken soup- good all year round!! Bon Appetit!


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