Appliance Love

by Heligirl on March 25, 2011

in Beyond Mommyhood

I’ve found a new boyfriend. He’s short, squat and boy can he cook! He’s my brand new rice cooker.

I’m not a cooking fiend by any means. I can hold my own and after a few shots might get a recipe right. Gourmet cooking is for those with patience. Thus, it’s not for me.

Photo by Sweetness!!

That’s where my new boyfriend comes in. In the past, I’ve bought these $20 rice cookers and they always die before they’re two years old. In fact, I think I’ve had something like four of them now. It kills me to toss all that hardware into the landfill every two years. So this time I decided to spend a little more in hopes the thing might live to see three.

I had two hungry kids in tow, so I didn’t have a lot of time to research. I had my 20% off one item coupon at Bed Bath & Beyond and they had two cookers on the shelf. I went with the $49.95 one as opposed to the $79.95 one.

It wasn’t until I got the little guy home that I realized he was capable of doing more than making rice. This hot appliance can warm up to a boil then simmer for a set period of time, it knows the difference between brown rice (my favorite) and white rice (Hubby’s starch of choice) so it will stay on the right amount of time. It also has a delay start option, perfect for soaking beans before cooking (if you’re into that kind of thing – see afore mentioned reference to lack of patience). It even came with a few recipes.

So as the kids slept I pulled him out of his box, washed him and put him to work. A friend had told me about how she throws lentils, quinoa and a few spices together with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and her kids eat it like it’s going out of style. I figured I’d give that a whirl.

Then I discovered the recipe for lentil soup in the back of his instruction book. It had everything I’d planned to throw in, but suggested chicken stock instead of water and a few vegis. Since I have a severe distaste for celery, I skipped that, but added a can of diced tomatoes and a carrot. And I added the quinoa for good measure. Then I set this incredible new man in my life on boil for 35 minutes and he went to work. Once the boil started, the timer started counting down. He beeped to tell me that the counter started then beeped to tell me it was done. I could play with the kids while he cooked. Perfect man!

The coolest thing was the kids LOVED the meal. Mr. Man shoveled it in as fast as he could swallow and Sweetness took some of the biggest bites of her current picky eating stage. Double score.

Now if this time saving, mess reducing, master of my kitchen could only wash himself, we’d be in serious business.

I’m looking forward to all the steaming, boiling, stewing, rice cooking days we will have together.

If what I wrote sounded tastey, here is the modified recipe:

Heligirl’s Lentil Quinoa Stew of Yumminess

1 cup dried lentils (I used red in bulk from Safeway)
1 cup quinoa (also in bulk)
1 large carrot diced
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
Two pinches of sea salt
2 Tablespoons coconut oil (you can get this at health food stores or supplement stores)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Rinse the lentils and quinoa. Put all the in the cooker (or a pot if you’re not so lucky as me to have such a wonderful boyfriend). Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, 35 minutes.


Krista March 25, 2011 at 4:26 am

I got one of those $20 ones a few years ago & it sucked, so I assumed rice cookers were just overrated. But now I want another one – a pretty, fancy, expensive one.

🙂 hope you’re doing well!

Twitter: Heligirl
March 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Hey babe! Great to hear from you. Yes, I thought the exact same thing about my old rice cookers. They were total crap. Then I decided to shell out for a better one. So far, so wonderful! Man it was easy too. I’ll stop by and say “howdy” soon. Promise!

Liz F March 25, 2011 at 10:23 am

I have a not-so-fancy $15 rice cooker that lasted me through college, mostly because it wasn’t used very often! One that does brown rice…? I may have to check this sucker out…and then convince my non-appliance boyfriend that we need one 😛
Liz F recently posted: Double Trouble

Twitter: Heligirl
March 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Good luck with the non-appliance boyfriend. They’re so high maintenance…

Liz F March 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Hahaha you’re telling me!

Kris March 25, 2011 at 10:30 am

Nice! I’m adding this to my Recipe Exchange (and crediting you!) Thanks!
Kris recently posted: Challenge- Trader Joes in 5 ingredients or less!

Twitter: Heligirl
March 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Sweet. Why thank you mame!

Kris March 25, 2011 at 10:43 am

Oh, and try this one – my little guy LOVED it. I need to get back to IKEA to get more yellow peas!
Kris recently posted: Challenge- Trader Joes in 5 ingredients or less!

Twitter: Heligirl
March 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Nummy nummy!!

Twitter: solarchief
March 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Lucky lady! They are great. I had one several years ago, a cheapie, then it died and I didn’t replace it because my little pressure cooker will do rice and that’s that story. Love the lentil rice combination and will probably try it before long. Thanks for sharing and glad your family loved it. (Makes the meal rotations so much easier, don’t you think?) Come visit when you can.
SharleneT recently posted: Solar Creamed Beef Burger Stew in No-Knead Bread Bowl

Twitter: Heligirl
March 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Well, we all can’t have one of them thar handy dandy solar ovens. At least not when we’re unemployed. 🙂 Thanks Sharlene. I’ll be right over…

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