Quick Cooking with Your Rice Cooker
Apr 2014

As much as I love cooking, it takes time to prep and cook. Sometimes, I just need a meal that doesn’t require much work. One of my favorite gadgets in the kitchen is my rice cooker!  I just turn it on and go back to doing other things. It’s also versatile – I use it to cook more things than just rice, like oatmeal rice! Often overlooked, the rice cooker needs more love.

This recipe takes some time to cook, but prep work is super fast and easy. Just throw all the ingredients into your rice cooker, push the button and walk away! The result is a high protein vegan dish that’s creamy and reminiscent of a risotto in some ways.

Getting enough protein in with a plant-based, a.k.a. vegan lifestyle, can be a concern if you’re going veggie. Chia, flax seed, spinach, mushroom, and beans are some of the top whole foods that contain high levels of protein. One of the great things about plants is that they are more easily digested compared to meat, and this allows your body to absorb nutrients more readily. Getting your protein in when you’re eating a plant-based diet isn’t hard if you plan it out just a little bit with dishes like this one.

Creamy Oatmeal Kale Rice

  • 2 1/2 cups of old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 5 ½ cups water
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 15 oz can of low-fat refried beans or crushed black beans
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup of frozen kale

Place all the ingredients in a rice cook and press the start button. If you have a one button push rice cooker like I do, you’ll need to let it run twice. After the first round, let the cooker cool down and then push the on button again. If you have a rice cooker with a timer, about an hour and 15 minutes should do the trick.

Makes approximately 4-5 servings. You can use fresh kale if you’d like, but use 2 cups instead since fresh isn’t as compact as the frozen kind.

We know it’s best to soak your own beans, but don’t feel guilty about using canned black beans, I do that all the time. They’re a real time saver. Regardless, be sure to mash the beans a bit before you add them. It’s what helps to give this dish a nice creamy texture.