It’s Sunday. Or rather, it’s Sunday as of the time that this blog post goes live. Anyone who shares a lifestyle of the 9-to-5 variety is likely groaning inwardly: “What in the world am I going to bring to the office for lunches this week that is relatively healthy, cheap, doesn’t make me want to die when I eat it on consecutive days and neither attracts the coworkers in an ooh-aah kind of way nor repels them with skunk-like force?”
Your thoughts exactly, right?
Well, even if not, I assume I can get an “amen” when I say that I feel like I’ve done myself a serious solid if I can manage to prepare a week’s worth of healthy lunches by Sunday night for (hopefully much) less than $5 a serving. I do not dig coming home at the end of a long day and preparing 75% of tomorrow’s eats when all I want is to fill my pie hole with today’s dinner. Or pie. Whatever.
So when I came across Angela’s Easy Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto, I thought, that sounds awesome. I also thought, I can make that meal meet all my lunch criteria. But it would be nice if it cooked itself.
Turns out dreams do come true.
Rice Cooker Tomato Risotto (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
Adapted from Oh She Glows
- 1 cup brown rice + 1 cup quinoa (or 2 cups dry whole grain of choice)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp miso mixed with 1 tbsp warm water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- At least 2 cups frozen vegetables of your choice
Makes 5-6 servings
Add all ingredients to your rice cooker and switch on. When it’s done, you’re done. Divide into 5 containers to bring to work or freeze for another week.
Note: I piled my veggies of choice (mixed chopped vegetables and chopped spinach) into the rice cooker with everything else, but next time, I think I would actually stir them in after the rice cooker had finished and switched to warm. The heat from the cooking process would have thawed it all and the reheating in the office microwave would take care of any further cooking that the veggies might need.
For display purposes only, I ate my first serving atop some fresh baby spinach and dusted with parmesan (not vegan! Just saying so the police don’t slap my wrist), but the other 4 servings I have enjoyed just as they were, reheated in the ancient Corningware bowl I keep in my desk.
I don’t know if this dish would have come out much differently had I cooked it on the stove, but I thought it was pretty delicious fresh out of the rice cooker. Next time, I might add 1/4-1/2 cup tomato paste for an extra punch of tomato flavor, but then again, I might not. We’ll see!
What do you do for handy, inexpensive, healthy lunches for the average weekday? I’m always on the lookout for new ideas!
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