Friday, April 1, 2011

Cooking Tips

1. Cooking Rice
I use brown rice, which still has the nutrient-rich bran and hull intact. If you’re using white rice, cut the water to 11/3 cups, and the cooking time to 15 to 18 minutes. You can mix the white and brown rice to ease your family into eating brown rice.
Stovetop method:
1. Place 1 cup brown rice, 13/4 cups water, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to very low, and simmer until the rice is tender and all of the water has been absorbed, 30 to 40 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

Electric rice cooker method:
There are several brands of cookers on the market. Follow the instructions that come with your cooker.

2. Cooking pasta
Whole-wheat pasta may be too “brown” for some children. Mix it with multi-grain or semolina pasta, and gradually move toward whole-wheat only.
1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
2 Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente.
3 Drain pasta carefully (watch out for splashing water) in a colander.

3. Pureeing chicken and beef 
You can sneak chicken or beef into your kids’ food by cooking and pureeing it first.
1 Sprinkle skinless boneless chicken breast or cutlets, or beef steak, with salt and pepper.
2 Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and then the meat. For chicken cutlets, cook 4 to 5 minutes per; for chicken breast and beef steak, cook 5 minutes per side, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 9 to 10 minutes longer.
3 Let cool slightly before cutting into pieces.
4 Transfer to the food processor and process until finely ground. You can slowly add drops of water for a creamy texture.

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