We usually keep a pretty disciplined household here at Casual Kitchen, and we make a point of eating home-cooked food most nights of the week. But there are days when the idea of cooking is just a little bit too much to bear. Coming up with a recipe to make, heading to the store to buy the ingredients you need, and then actually making the dish—it all just seems too monumental a task.
Last Saturday was one of those days for us.
So we made what we call a "limping dinner"--a laughably easy-to-make (and coincidentally, laughably cheap) meal that can be made with basic staples that you typically always keep on hand in your home. It's not a meal that's going to win any awards, but it is the kind of meal that will get you back on the couch, fueled up and feeling full, with an absolute minimum of effort.
Let’s face it: cooking isn’t always going to be an act of glorious personal expression. You will have occasional days when you just need to get some serviceable food into you and your family’s bodies as expediently as possible. Thus the ability to make a limping dinner, when necessary, is a valuable skill to add to your cooking arsenal.
Today I’ll share with you my recipe for Spicy Brown Rice, which (along with other preposterously easy-to-make dishes like Mock Wild Rice or Pasta with Ken’s) are typical limping dinner fare here at Casual Kitchen.
Spicy Brown Rice
Place in a medium sauce pan:
1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 cups water or vegetable stock
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
Then add any (or all) of the following as your mood strikes you:
2 teaspoons of dried chives
cayenne pepper to taste
black pepper to taste
garlic powder, pressed garlic, or onion powder to taste
1 bouillon cube (optional)
dried oregano or dried basil leaves
Tabasco, to taste
Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes. Fluff with a fork and eat.
Feeds 2+; can be doubled easily.
Two final thoughts:
1) Sure, brown rice might not be the most aesthetically pleasing dinner ever, but it is simple, healthy, and loaded with a surprisingly wide variety of nutrients.
2) Finally, it’s worth thinking about what kind of inventory of food staples you might like to keep in your home at all times so you can always feed yourself your own limping dinner when necessary. At Casual Kitchen, we generally keep potatoes, rice, brown rice, pasta and eggs in our kitchen at all times. Pasta, rice and brown rice have a nearly infinite shelf life; potatoes, onions and eggs will last for several weeks in your fridge.
Ten Tips to Save Money on Spices and Seasonings
Mock Wild Rice: An Insanely Easy To Make Side Dish
15 Creative Tips to Avoid Holiday Overeating
Top Ten Most Popular Posts of Casual Kitchen
How can I support Casual Kitchen?
If you enjoy reading Casual Kitchen, tell a friend and spread the word! You can also support me by linking to me, subscribing to my RSS feed, or submitting this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to bookmarking sites like del.icio.us, digg or stumbleupon.