Cardamon Rice

6 Cups Cooked Rice

There’s nothing more basic or delicious than fragrant white rice, particularly when you toss in a few smashed pods of cardamom. I prefer the fluffy long-grain varieties such as Basmati and jasmine, which are sold in Asian markets. The cooking time varies depending on the rice, so test the rice for doneness and cook until JUST tender. It will continue cooking even after being removed from the heat.

2 cups long-grain rice
3 pods cardamom, smashed with the flat side of a knife
3 1/4 cups water

  1. Put the rice in a bowl and, using your fingers as a rake, rinse the rice under cold running water to remove some of the talc. Drain the rice in a strainer.
  2. Put the rice, water, and smashed cardamom in a heavy, 2-quart saucepan with a lid. Heat, uncovered, to the boiling point. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and craters appear on the surface. Remove from the heat and fluff lightly with a fork to separate the grains. Serve, or, if using for fried rice, spread the rice out in a thin layer on a tray. Let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008

Stir-Fried Broccolini, Bok Choy or Broccoli

1 ½  pounds  broccolini, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, string beans, etc.

1 teaspoon virgin olive oil

2 ½  tablespoons rice wine, sake, or very good quality dry sherry

1 ½  tablespoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon sea salt

1.Trim away any tough leafy ends and peel away any tough skin from the stalk.  Cut the stalk on the diagonal into 1 ½-inch lengths. Separate any flowerets. Rinse the vegetable thoroughly and drain

2.Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot and add the stalky, tougher part of the vegetable. Cook about 2 minutes or until near tender. Add the leafy sections or flowerets and cook for another minute. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold, running water. Drain. (You can do this in advance.)

3.Heat a wok or a deep skillet until very hot, then pour in the oil, and heat until near smoking. (Don’t be afraid to get the pan too really. This will give the dish its special flavor.) Add the greens, rice wine, garlic, salt, and toss lightly over high heat for about a minute. Scoop out the vegetable, arranging it on a serving platter, and spoon the liquid on top. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Kale Crunch

Four Cups

Baking kale is an interesting process. First, the leaves become bright green and soften, then they begin to turn crisp. In between, they go through a chewy-crisp stage, which i s also delicious. So the baking time is flexible. Just keep checking the kale until it is done the way you like it.

A little olive oil or oil spray for the baking tray

1 bunch fresh kale,  stem end trimmed and cut into 1-inch sections (about 1 pound)

2 to 3 tablespoons grated parmesan (optional)

1.Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Brush or spray a large baking sheet with olive oil.

2.Spread the kale out in an even layer on the oiled sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice with a wooden spoon.

3.Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until it’s as crisp as you like it. (The kale will continue to shrink and crisp the longer it bakes. Remove the tray from the oven, and let the kale cool on the tray. Kale Crunch will keep for a week or two in a covered container—no refrigeration necessary.

Adapted from “Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven.” (Hyperion 2000)


 Nibbles for six

Edamame are a wonderful snack to keep in the refrigerator for nibbling.
I also like to serve them as hors d’oeuvres with drinks and I keep a bag in
my fridge to nibble on in the late afternoon when I get hungry.  They are available frozen in Asian markets and many health food supermarkets. I prefer those still in the pod, but you may also buy the beans without pods.   

1 one-pound bag edamame or soybeans in pods, frozen
2 teaspoons salt (sea salt preferred)

1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop the edamame
into the boiling water, stir, and return to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium high, cook for 1 ½ minutes, then drain in a large colander. Refresh the beans under cold, running water, tossing by hand so that they cool evenly. Drain thoroughly.
2. Transfer the cool soybeans pods to a large bowl and add the salt. Toss lightly to coat evenly and serve. To eat, simply suck the soybeans out of their pods.

Steamed Pears with Jujubes and Honey

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Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.