January 9, 2011

Packable Stackable Rice Cooker Risotto


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!

No rice cooker? Aww. Buy one here. Or just make Angela’s recipe as originally intended!

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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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Great job Diana! I have a slow cooker. I was loving it for a few months, now I find it just as easy for me personally to use the stove, but the slow cooker does have its time and place and is handy, for sure! And I would take it off the shelf just to make this recipe of yours!

sophia said...

I love all slow-cooker recipes...because they are just so darn easy, and they always smell wonderful, and they don't burn if you forget about it.
I actually have real risotto rice left, so I can use that! :-)

Diana said...

Averie, Sophia -

Please note that this is a RICE cooker recipe! Though if you do try it in the slow cooker I'd be curious to know if it turns out...

RICE cooker! :)


Mo Diva said...

slow cooker risotto?
Oh My WOrd!
life changing apparently! i need to try this out. :-)

Diana said...

RICE cooker, people, RICE COOKER!!! LOL

Ashley @thefitacademic said...

I just got a slow cooker for Christmas....and I LOVE risotto! I will have to copy this recipe!

Lisa said...

This is right up my alley! I love quinoa and have been trying to think of new ways to prepare it. This dish has a lot of my favorite things in it :)

Andrea said...

I like to make a couple of different veggie based soups over the weekend and pair them with some ezekiel bread and a salad for lunch. Or, if I'm lazy on the weekend, I just make a double sized kale salad every night and throw on some cooked quinoa.

Shannon said...

umm, risotto in my slow cooker?? yes please! hopefully i'll remember this next time :)

Gena said...

Gorgeous! I love risotto, I love rice cookers, and I love this post. I just posted risotto, too -- tis the season, eh?

(PS -- my god, I have missed S n' C)

Elena said...

I need slow cooker risotto.

Diana said...



Anonymous said...

-keens- I need a rice cooker! I'm wondering if I can buy a cheap-ass one while I'm in London, and abandon it at the end of the semester. I hate wasting stuff, but it would be so convenient.

The risotto looks amazing. I'd be curious to see if you could make butternut squash risotto with it (my fav kind of risotto!).

When I was at USC, I lived close enough to school that I didn't have to worry about packing a lunch. But when I worked for a newspaper over the summer, I usually brought a huge salad with some kind of meal-worthy topper, or a side of protein/dip. Chopped up homemade bean burgers were yummy.

Sherry-Lynn Agcanas-Wolf said...

I have been looking for rice cooker ideas. Being Asian, a rice cooker is a staple appliance but gets ill-used once you change your diet to no-white-rice. SO, I will have to try this recipe and see how the rice cooker fares. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Very good and impressive! I like it, because it is very tasty and so fast in my Redmond 4502 multicooker - it also does it on time. I have never seen this recipe before, very unusual, thank you so much!

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