Thursday, March 26, 2009

Savory brown rice at sunrise

During my two years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Zimbabwe, I generally ate corn three meals a day. Cornmeal porridge for breakfast, and thickened corn porridge (called sadza) for both lunch and dinner. With the morning porridge, many Zimbabweans added sugar, milk or butter. I always preferred it with butter, which made it creamy and salty rather than sweet and syrupy. The salty breakfast doesn't just apply to cornmeal though; as Adele and I explore the virtues of salty breakfasts, we're discovering that virtually any leftover grain can be transformed into a delectable and healthy breakfast. That said, why does oatmeal tend to dominate most peoples' breakfast grains? Not sure, but it's taking a backseat in our cupboard from now on.

Last night Adele and I made a simple vegetable stirfry with brown rice. Good eating, but nothing too interesting. However, since there was plenty of brown rice left over, we decided to transform it into our breakfast this morning.

By adding a little olive oil to the rice and stirring it around to cover, we were able to heat the rice without risk of it burning to the bottom of the pot. We added some chopped almonds and hazelnuts (but any nut could work), some sunflower seeds, dried basil and salt and cooked through until warm. Topped off with some freshly grated parmesan cheese, and accompanied by a slice of buttered wheat toast, this breakfast rivals anything we've ever had for brunch in restaurants.


  1. I dont remember which post talked about your new found love of quinoa, but you might like a dish that I make a lot suring fall and winterm especially. I cook like you, Adele, au pif, so no measurements!

    Cut an acorn squash in half. Rub some olive oil on it, and roast for a few minutes to soften. I'd say about 20 min would do the trick. Meanwhile, cook up some quinoa, enough for 2 people. Throw in some dried cranberries (raisins work, too), some toasted walnuts or hazelnuts and a little olive oil (or butter). Stuff the squash generously with the quinoa stuffing, and either sprinkle with brown sugar or drizzle with maple syrup. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until squash is tender. Delicious served with some greens or a simple salad.

  2. Love the idea of stuffed squash! We'll try it soon.