Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quick, Easy, Pretty Healthy Lunch!!

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items In Fibers

I like to get a bit creative with my cooking and stay healthy -- but when I am busy doing things all day and I don't have something already cooked in the refrigerator, I need to come up with a quick solution -- especially in the middle of the day for lunch.

On recommendation from a doctor years ago in the 1990's, I avoid using that apparently convenient appliance, the Microwave, for cooking foods, because of what those waves do to the foods when they cook it.

So, some time back I discovered this neat electrical appliance by Black and Decker that doubles as a Rice Cooker and steamer, with a good-sized steam basket. It is the Black and Decker Home 16-cup Multi-use Rice Cooker Plus, Model RC436 -- and I love it -- and now I don't know how I would live without it -- LOL!! I use it not only to make rice and steam things, but to make soups and meat and veggie dishes, etc., etc., etc.!!

So, a fairly quick lunch to throw together and just let cook is the following all steamed in the steamer basket of this Rice Cooker Plus!!

-- 2 chicken thighs, with or without the skin (up to you)
-- a bunch of basil leaves spread out over the chicken thighs
-- 2 cloves of garlic, cut in half (this actually should be optional if you don't want the garlic smell from lunch)
-- a half of a medium-sized onion, cut in quarters or other piece of vegetable in similar size
-- some soy sauce
-- some chili powder
-- any other herbs or spices you want to use - fresh or dried
-- a little salt either while cooking or put on after cooking
-- freshly ground black pepper after cooking

I put enough water in the main bowl of the Rice Cooker Plus for steaming for a while, but keep the level below the steam basket bottom. I make sure the Rice Cooker Plus is plugged in and warming up at this point. I arrange the chicken thighs and pieces of vegetables in the steamer basket. If you have the skin still on the chicken thighs, it is supposed to be better to put the halves of garlic cloves under the skin for cooking - some may not want to clook with garlic for lunch, but I like the taste of garlic and I like the cloves when they are steamed, so I use them in cooking this. Then I sprinkle a little soy sauce and the chili powder over the chicken and vegetables and put the Rice Cooker Plus on Cook.

Then you just leave it cook and steam until the chicken is at the right level of tenderness for you. Make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through. I like my chicken well-cooked to a very tender level.

Go off and do the other things you need to do and leave it -- then come back -- and you have a healthy chicken and veggies lunch!! I'm not sure how long it takes to cook the chicken as I just run in and check it until it is just right.

Also, for those of you who insist on having some carbohydrates with your meals, which I hear some people do, throw in the steamer basket a couple of smaller potatoes, pricked with a fork at the beginning!! Boy the potatoes will come out just yummy!!

And with it all in the steamer basket and not in the water, the meat and veggies keep most of the nutrients in them while cooking.

A quick, easy, pretty healthy lunch for a busy person!!


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