How to Freeze Cooked Brown Rice

How to Freeze Cooked Brown Rice

I love brown rice, but I hate how long it takes to cook it.

Most meals I prepare are prepped and done in 30 minutes. What can I say? I like quick and easy.

Waiting an hour for brown rice to cook just doesn’t fit in with my cooking style.

That’s why I’ll set aside a day to cook a double batch of brown rice and then freeze it.

This not only saves me time when I need to get dinner on the table, but it saves me money. Have you seen the price of prepackaged frozen brown rice? Ridiculous!

I use Alton Brown’s method to cook the brown rice. It turns out perfect every time. If you’ve never baked your brown rice before, give it a go! I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

Once you’ve cooked your brown rice, it is time to freeze.

How to Freeze Cooked Brown Rice

Step 1: Spread your cooked brown rice out on a large rimmed baking sheet to cool.

Cooked Brown Rice

HINT: If you add a tablespoon or two of water to the bottom of the pan, it helps keep the rice from sticking.

Step 2: Once your rice is cool, transfer it to a freezer safe container.

Portioning Cooked Brown Rice

Here’s what I do:

I like to use the plastic freezer safe jars. I get them here because I can use a 20% off coupon and they are super cheap.

If you buy the smaller size jars, you can pack 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice in each jar. That seems to be the perfect amount for most recipes or for serving our family of 4 brown rice as a side dish.

freeze cooked brown rice

Step 3: You do not need to thaw the rice before reheating. To reheat rice from frozen, transfer the frozen rice to a glass container and microwave in 1-minute increments until rice is hot.

What I want you to know: I freeze my rice in plastic. They are BPA free, but they are plastic all the same.

Here’s the deal. I’ve had glass jar disasters in my freezer. So I use these plastic freezer safe jars. They are reusable and dishwasher safe – plastic bags are not.

I recommend you NEVER use plastic in the microwave. Always transfer your rice to a glass container before microwaving.

Hopefully using this method to freeze cooked brown rice will help you get dinner on the table quickly and easily!

  • Click to Share:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mash: Low Calorie Mashed Potato Substitute

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mash

Slow cooker cauliflower mash is one of my go-to side dish recipes.

However, it’s not one of those slow cook all day recipes. You cook the cauliflower on high for 4 hours.

This means I’ll throw the cauliflower in the slow cooker about the same time the girls get home from school.

Our afternoons are spent running from practices to events to doctor’s appointments to errands. Raising teens, I feel like my life gets thrown into high gear in the afternoon. We are often gone for so much of the afternoon, there is no time for dinner prep.

With the cauliflower in the slow cooker, it is nice and tender by the time we’re ready for dinner. I could serve it as is, but we adore cauliflower mash in our house.

Cauliflower is high in vitamin C and vitamin B-6 and low in calories. Turn it into a mash and you won’t miss the high calorie potatoes.

Of course, I do like to add a bit of butter and milk. These are optional ingredients. Try chives and green onions to get flavor with less calories.

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cauliflower chopped into large florets
  • water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: chives or green onions

Instructions

  1. Place cauliflower florets in a slow cooker. Add enough water to cover.
  2. Cook 4 hours on high.
  3. Drain water off cauliflower.
  4. Add to a food processor along with the milk and butter. Process until smooth.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Optional: Top with chives or green onions.
http://thegreenbacksgal.com/slow-cooker-cauliflower-mash-low-calorie-mashed-potato-substitute/

Cauliflower Mash Low Calorie Mashed Potato Substitute

  • Click to Share:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in a Slow Cooker

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in a Slow Cooker

Did you know it was possible to cook spaghetti squash in a slow cooker?

This makes one of my favorite vegetables so much easier to prepare!

How can you not love a recipe where you spend two minutes prepping at 8 am, go about your business for the day, then come back at 5 pm and you have beautifully cooked dinner?!?

Maybe my favorite part of this cooking method is you do NOT need to cut your squash in half prior to cooking. Trust me, that is reason enough to try this method! Spaghetti squash can be near to impossible to cut in half. Those suckers are HARD.

 

Cooked Spaghetti Squash

There are a few things I learned by trial and error about this method of cooking a squash.

First, by the end of 8 hours my slow cooker will be almost out of water and your squash will start to brown on the side that is touching the bottom. DO NOT let your squash cook any longer than 8 hours or you may end up with a burnt mess.

Next, if you slow cooker tends to “spit” hot water during cooking, you can lift the lid, carefully add a bit more water, and return to cooking it. I’ve done this and it didn’t effect the cooking of the squash.

So how do you cook a spaghetti squash in the slow cooker?

  1. Use a sharp knife to poke several holes in the spaghetti squash.
  2. Add the whole squash and two cups water to the slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  4. Carefully remove squash from slow cooker. Cut in half and scrape out seeds. Use a fork to separate squash into strands.
  5. Serve!

Serving your family spaghetti squash has never been easier!

  • Click to Share:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Grain-Free Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad {Paleo, Raw and Vegan too!}

Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad

I had this Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad at a potluck over the weekend and loved it so much I went out the next day to buy the ingredients and try to replicate it for myself.

Cauliflower is the perfect substitute for barley in this salad. Chopping it in the food processor or a blender, it gets to the same size and consistency of barley.

But that’s not the only brilliant part to this salad.

Instead of using the traditional tabbouleh ingredient parsley, this recipe uses kale.

Using a superfood makes this salad super good.

Don’t be afraid of the whole jalapeno in this recipe. Scrape the seeds out to remove most of the heat without sacrificing the flavor.

Now as for the red onion, I like the recipe with the whole onion.

If you aren’t a big onion fan. Start with half an onion. You can always change your mind and add more.

Grain-Free Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad {Paleo, Raw and Vegan too!}

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 5 oz package organic baby kale
  • 15 mint leaves
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove cauliflower from stem. Chop into big chunks before putting in work bowl of food processor. Pulse until cauliflower resembles a course grain.
  2. Scrape cauliflower into a large bowl.
  3. Next, add kale, mint, jalapeno, and red onion to the food processor. Process until all ingredients are finely chopped.
  4. Stir the kale mixture into the cauliflower mixture.
  5. Gently fold in cherry tomatoes.
  6. Whisk together the oil and vinegar and toss with salad. Add salt to taste.
http://thegreenbacksgal.com/grain-free-cauliflower-tabbouleh-salad-paleo-raw-and-vegan-too/

Bon appetit!

Grain Free Cauliflower Tabbouleh Paleo Recipe

  • Click to Share:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Lemony Pasta Salad For a Crowd

Lemony Pasta Salad

Lemon and Parmesan cheese are one of my favorite flavor combinations. A healthy dose of both makes this pasta salad a total crowd pleaser.

I am getting good at cooking for a crowd. Since my kids have started playing sports, we have done more all day tournaments with more food tables than I can count!

That’s how I know this Lemony Pasta Salad for a crowd is a hit with kids and parents alike.

I think one of the reasons this salad is so popular is the dressing is made with half mayo and half olive oil. It’s a dressing that pleases both types of pasta salad lovers – those that go for the creaminess or mayo and those that prefer the non-creaminess of an oil based dressing.

Using whole wheat pasta  will up the nutritional value of this recipe. You may need to order it since farfelle in whole wheat is hard to find at your local grocers.

When making this recipe up several hours in advance, I’d recommend throwing the basil in at the last minute. That way it won’t turn brown before you get a chance to serve it.

If you are looking for a recipe to bring to your next potluck, picnic or team table, I hope you’ll give this one a go.

Lemony Pasta Salad Recipe For a Crowd

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 boxes farfalle pasta (whole wheat if you can find it!)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 package frozen green peas
  • 2 zucchini, shredded
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved (I like one red and one yellow)
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Cook farfalle in a large pot until al dente.
  2. While pasta is cooking, stir together the lemon juice, lemon zest, mayonnaise, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl.
  3. Add frozen peas, shredded carrot and shredded zucchini to a colander. Pour the cooking water with the farfalle over the vegetables to drain. Pouring the cooking water over the vegetables will quickly defrost the peas and will just blanch the carrots and zucchini.
  4. Immediately add the pasta and vegetables to the serving bowl and stir well to evenly distribute the dressing. Stir in the grated Parmesan, tomato halves and basil.
  5. Chill for 4 hours or up to 8 hours before serving.
http://thegreenbacksgal.com/lemony-pasta-salad-for-a-crowd/

One last note! The quantities of veggies are just a suggestion. I’ve been known to throw in more, much more. It’s a great way to make sure everyone is getting a healthy dose of their daily veggies!

  • Click to Share:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Bacon, Butternut Squash, Kale Salad Recipe

Bacon Butternut Squash Kale Salad Recipe

Kale. Love it or hate it?

What if you combined it with the saltiness of bacon and the sweetness of butternut squash then tied it all together with a southwestern style dressing?

This Bacon, Butternut Squash and Kale Salad Recipe is hearty enough to eat for lunch (I think) or it makes a really good whole food side dish to a roast pork tenderloin.

I bake my bacon in the oven at the same time the butternut squash is roasting. The bacon takes about 15 minutes at 425 degrees to bake to crispy perfection while the butternut squash will take about 30 minutes to get nicely caramelized.

If you’ve never baked bacon before, I’ve made a How to Bake Bacon video for you. You don’t need to make yours into bacon bundles, but the technique is the same.

After your bacon has baked for 15 minutes, pull your bacon out of the oven, stir the butternut squash a bit, tuck the squash back in for the next 15 minutes then lay your bacon out on paper towels to absorb the extra bacon grease. You’ll have at least 12 more minutes for the butternut squash to cook – the perfect amount of time to make your dressing and add your kale to your favorite salad bowl.

PRESTO! Side dish is ready to go in 30 minutes.

Bacon, Butternut Squash, Kale Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Add kale to a large salad bowl.
  3. Toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and pinch of salt. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Line a smaller baking sheet with tinfoil. Lay bacon on baking sheet.
  5. Put both bacon and butternut squash in 425 degree oven. Bake bacon for 15 minutes or until desired level of crispiness. Stir butternut squash when you take the the bacon out. Allow to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until it begins to brown and caramelize.
  6. Chop bacon once cooled and drained.
  7. Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, orange juice, salt, cumin, and ginger. Stir in diced red onion.
  8. Toss kale with roasted butternut squash, chopped bacon, and dressing. Serve.
http://thegreenbacksgal.com/bacon-butternut-squash-kale-salad-recipe/

If you try this recipe for Bacon, Butternut Squash and Kale Salad, please let me know how you like it!

  • Click to Share:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

How to Cook Grains: A FREE Printable!

How to Cook Grains Small

How do you store your grains in your pantry?

I tend to buy my grains in bags or out of the bulk bins at the grocery store. Once the bag is open, I’ve found I can have a hot mess unless I put my grains in jars.

Look how tiny that millet is. A simple clip just isn’t up to the job.

Open bag of Millet

I have a great funnel I use for canning that makes this a pretty easy chore.

Use a canning funnel to put grains in jars

Once the grain is in the jar, I label it. Amaranth, quinoa, millet, cornmeal… they all look alike when in a glass jar. Labeling is key.

Label Whole Grain in Jars

Then I throw out the bag.

Which has the cooking instructions printed on the back.

Or if you buy from the bulk bin. You never had the instructions.

Enter: the How to Cook Grains Free Printable!

No more Googling water to grain ratios. No more wondering if it was 15 minute for barley or was that 15 minutes for bulgur?

This printable has the most common whole grains and how to cook them.

Let me show you how I use this at my house.

I purchased cork board squares from my Office Max. It came with adhesive, so it was easy to just put a cork board panel on the inside of the cabinet right next to my stove.

Corkboard organization inside cabinet door

Print out the How to Cook Whole Grains. It looks great in color or black and white if you are trying to save printer ink.

Then just thumb tack it up!

How to Cook Grains

Now you can toss out those bags with the cooking instructions with no worries. You’ll now how to make perfectly fluffy brown rice (or millet, or barley…).

Do you tack recipes inside your cabinet doors?

  • Click to Share:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.