Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cabbage and Rice Recipes

Writing a cookbook makes me feel like Julia Child. No there was a real kitchen scientist! She tested every recipe that went into her cookbooks several times. And she didn't seriously learn to cook until she was 40. She is one truly inspirational woman.

Now that I think about it, I've never really seen any of her old cooking shows. I can only recall one television out-take in which she set a table on fire. What I know of her comes from the memoir My Life in France. Well, someday I'll have time for television again - perhaps when I also have time to cook from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which I've never really done, either. Traditional French cooking takes a lot of time.

The results of last night's tasty experimentation:


Cabbage is very cheap, and it is one of the world‘s healthiest foods. Red cabbage in particular is very high in vitamins K and C, as well as being high in fiber.

The cabbage family includes green, red, and Napa cabbage, and bok choy. Any of these types of cabbages can be used in the following recipes. The cabbage family also includes kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, but these vegetables need to be cooked a little differently.

To prepare cabbage, cut the head into quarters, and then cut out and discard the tough center. Then each wedge can be sliced into thin shreds.

Shredded cabbage can be added to soups and stews, or cooked as a side dish, or made into salads called cole slaw.

Basic Cabbage

½ cabbage of any type, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
(optionals) raisins, onion, butter, oil, brown or white sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, apple, pumpkin pie spices, ham, cooked chicken

Put a half-inch of water in a pot and set it to boil. While that heats, shred the cabbage. Toss the cabbage into the pot and put the lid on. Keep the heat between medium and high, steaming the cabbage. Give it a stir every few minutes. The cabbage will be ready in about ten minutes, or longer, if you prefer softer cabbage. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve as a side-dish.

There are endless ways to make a plain pot of cabbage more exciting! A combination of raisins, brown sugar, and a little apple cider vinegar make it a little sweet and sour. Toss in chopped onion and apple with the chopped cabbage for variety. Or add ham or cooked chicken and serve over rice for a complete meal.


Rice is a great side dish with any number of foods. Leftover cooked rice can be refrigerated and then made into fried rice, or made into stuffings, used as filler in meatballs, or added to soups.

Rice comes in two basic varieties: brown, which is more nutritious but takes longer to cook, and white, which takes less time to cook but is less nutritious. Just like white and brown wheat, white rice is brown rice that has had its outer coating removed to give it a longer shelf-life. Brown rice is particularly high in manganese.

To retain the nutrition in rice, do not rinse it before cooking.

Cooking rice on the stove top leaves a rice-encrusted pot which is difficult to clean, especially when the rice has burned. To quickly clean the pot, pour in enough water to cover the stuck-on rice, and heat on the stove until the water boils. Use a spatula to scrape away the encrusted rice.

If you eat rice frequently, you may want to include a rice-cooker in your kitchen. However, any pot with a tight-fitting lid will get the job done.

White Rice

2 cups water
1 cup rice
(optionals) salt, butter, oil

Bring the water to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice and let the water return to a boil. Place the lid on the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 13 to 15 minutes, then serve.

The pot should continue to emit a little steam all throughout cooking. If the rice stops steaming, either the temperature has dropped too low, or the rice has run out of water and is about to be burned. If too much steam is coming out of the rice, turn the temperature down, or the rice will burn when all the water boils off.

Salt, butter, and oil can all be added to the water along with the rice for more flavor. Broth can also be used in place of water.

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