Grease with butter or oil, add as many tablespoons of milk as you do eggs. Beat well until the mixture is smooth and pop your mug in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir the eggs then microwave for a further 30 – 45 seconds until the mixture sets. Add season with salt and pepper for added flavour
Beat 1 egg and 1½ tablespoons of milk together in your mug adding a pinch of salt or pepper. Take a ¼ of a roll (or another bread type), tear into small pieces and stir in. Add two teaspoons of cream cheese and dice onion and add a few small pieces of cook bacon. Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds, and garnish as you wish.
Mug Mac ‘n Cheese
Combine ½ a mug of water with a small handful of macaroni, microwave for 2 minutes, and stir. Repeat this for 2 to 4 more minutes stopping to stir at 2 minute intervals until the pasta is cooked through – add more water if needed. Add a ¼ of a mug of milk and ½ a mug of grated cheese, microwave for a further minute – stir thoroughly and tuck in.
Butter the inside of your mug, and then cut a couple of slices of bread into small cubes. Add an egg and 3 tablespoons of milk to your mug, sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper and beat together. Add the cubes of bread to the mug and gently mix. Let the mixture soak into the bread – microwave for 1 minute, 30 seconds until your toast is perfect.
Garlic Chicken Dinner
Put 3 cloves of garlic with herbs into your mug and fill with water, just enough to cover the garlic and microwave for 2 minutes. While your mug is in the microwave cut the meat off the chicken leg or breast and cut into bite size pieces. Put the chicken, 15ml of white wine and 15ml of olive oil in the mug. Season with salt and pepper and stir well. Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring once and you have yourself a delicious chicken dinner.
Chocolate Mug Cake
Combine 4 tablespoons of self-rising flour, 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons of cocoa power, 3 tablespoons of milk, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 egg and 3 tablespoons of Chocolate spread in a mug. Whisk well until smooth. Microwave for 2-3 minutes. Add whipped cream and chocolate sauce for an extra sweet finish.
Marshmallow Fluff and Peanut Butter Mug Cake
Combine 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 4 tablespoons of self raising flour, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, 3 tablespoons of milk and 1 egg in a large mug. Mix well until smooth. Microwave for 2-3 minutes. Top with a tablespoon of Marshmallow Fluff spread (available from Tesco’s )
Strawberries and Cream Mug Cake
Combine 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of strawberry yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour in a mug. Microwave for 3-4 minutes. Finish off by topping with strawberries and whipped cream for a deliciously fruity flavour.
Cookie Dough Mug Cake with Chocolate Chips
Combine 1 egg, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of self raising flour, 1 tablespoon of butter (or margarine) and 4 tablespoons of chocolate chips in a mug. Mix well and microwave for 2 minutes. Finish with a generous helping of vanilla ice cream.
Gluten-free Brownie Mug Cake
Combine 4 tablespoons of a gluten-free flour (such as quinoa), 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of milk and a pinch of flour in a mug. Mix well. Microwave for 1 minute. Eat whilst still warm with a dollop of ice cream on the side.
So there it is – proof that delicious desserts can be made within minutes by anyone, anytime and anywhere. Whoever said that microwaves can’t cook up tasty treats? Be warned, though – mug cakes can be highly addictive…
The longer I cook the simpler my recipes become but the difference is I really want to excel and perfect in completing a recipe. Perfection does not come as easily as you think when it comes to rice.! In fact it is not so easy at all! It’s not as simple as cover the pan and go about your business, but instead it becomes a necessity to be there if you want it to turn out great and participate in the preparation and cooking steps . But if you follow the simple steps and stay around, your rice dish will be a success every time.
The ingredients are basic and don’t break the bank. In addition, most of us have a pretty good idea what taste and texture rice should be so there is really not much freedom to define a new way of rice cooking.
Rinsing rice with plenty of water is of outmost importance. It “washes” off excess starch and talc powder that is used in the grinding process. Talc keeps the mill running smoothly. Rinsing is done in a pot of water until the water runs off clear or in other word has no more cloudy appearance. Sometimes it requires changing the water up to four times. Also this step pre-hydrates the rice, which will help cooking the rice evenly. Further, many people swear by soaking the rice in water before cooking, for up to four hours, or a minimum of two hour. This gives the cooked rice a particular lightness that is also know as fluffiness. Pre soaking the rice should be done in the actual cooking water so that the ratio of rice to water won’t get messed up.
How much water do you need in rice cooking?
The water ratio is all over the place because there are many different kinds of rice.
A good rule of thumb is using the same weight for rice and water. If really necessary, and the rice are still undercooked after the cooking time, add a little more water to the rice. Using the same weight method almost guarantees a finished rice product, which that is not soggy or overcooked due to excess water usage.
Rice cooker vs. stovetop pot
I’ve cooked rice on the stovetop in heavy pots such as Le Creuset or Staub, which have excellent heat distribution and make properly cooked rice. A simple stainless steel pot will work just fine. Another important part of rice cooking is to have a tight fitting lid on the pot so steam won’t escape.
The downside of cooking rice in a pot is that it needs heat calibration, hence it’s not that great for the novice.
How to cook rice on the stovetop:
The basic recipe is to bring water and rice to boil on high heat setting and then continue to cook on low heat setting until the rice is cooked. The time varies a little bit and depends which pot is used but it will most likely cook in 45 – 50 minutes, then allow it to sit an additional 20 minutes next to the stove top so that the rice can absorb all the liquid. At this point the rice can be scraped with a plastic spatula and tossed with some sort of fat such as butter, EVOO, coconut oil etc. I prefer a plastic spatula or paddle to mix or “fluff” the rice versus a metal spoon because it’s gentler on the individual rice corn and does not crush or damage it.
Many people swear by cook the rice cooker, which takes the brains damage out of the process – for my part I favor it. Most of the time an electric rice cooker has an aluminum rice pot-insert and it heats on the bottom and on the sidewalls equally well and works in combination with a heat-regulating mechanism – meaning when the water has been soaked up by the rice it will turn off automatically. It’s as simple as push one button and the rice cooker does it’s magic – that’s it!
Spice & rice
Since this post is all about basic brown rice we’ll keep this simple. Salt is an absolute necessity unless it needs to be left out e.g., cooking in a health institution.
I recommend 1/2 teaspoon sea salt per each cup of uncooked rice as the lowest amount since the cooked rice will most likely expand to 3x it’s original raw volume. Bay leaf is the other must-add. 1 dried bay leaf per each 2 cups of raw rice.
The following combinations are all cooked with salt and bay leaf and give you the faintest sense of spiced rice:.
(suggestions based on 2 cups of raw rice)
– 1 pod of cardamom and a 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
– ½ onion spiked with 2 pc of clove (discard after the rice is cooked)
– ½ onion, 1 medium sized carrot, 1 stalk green celery, 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
The spices can be combined with the raw rice but if you like a clean looking rice, put the spices into a small spice bag so it can be easily removed after the cooking process. They can be ordered online or in a kitchen specialty store.
Basic Brown Rice
(yields 6 cups brown rice)
2 cups brown long-grain rice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 bay leaf
rice spice & vegetables (see above under Rice & Spice headline)
water (same weight as rice)
1 tablespoon of fat e.g. butter, EVOO, coconut oil
1 tablespoon fat e.g. EVOO, butter, coconut oil etc.
1 teaspoon chopped herbs e.g., parsley, thyme, lemon thyme, rosemary, cilantro etc.
- Rinse rice with water until the water runs-off clear.
- In a pot combine rice, water and spices.
- On high heat setting bring mixture to boil then cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on low heat setting for 45 minutes. Move the rice pot on the side of the stove and let the rice absorb the rest of the water for 20 minutes.
- In bowl toss the cooked rice with fat and herbs stirring with a plastic spatula.
Last but not least – guaranteed unsticky rice
The blanching method is another way to cook rice and it will come out unsticky or gluey every time. Per 1 cup of brown rice fill a pot with 8 cup of water and add 2 teaspoon of sea salt and bring to boil. Add the rice and simmer the rice on medium heat setting for 30 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer and put the rice back into the pot. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook the rice for another 20 minutes on the lowest heat setting. With a rubber spatula add your desired fat. Voila guaranteed not sticky rice!
Besides that I adore it staying light much later, I regret it hasn’t felt incredibly summery over here. We have done a few picnics by the beach, my shoulders are tanned and I’m eating my weight in fruit, but I can’t say I have felt this season. I think it’s easier to see summer with kids or a school schedule, as these three months are marked by a break in routine. Now it’s nearly Labor Day, the holiday that reminds us summer is fading, I just now feel called to be more present in this time. Maybe I’m not in school and my work demands carry on just as they did in the spring and winter past, but I want to be here. It’s likely not just summer I’m needing to witness, I think it’s the curse of the (primarily) self-employed that there is always something to do, which takes away from rest and presence. There is so much wonderfulness to take in if we’ll stop and pay attention. I wish I’d stop and pay attention. Luckily September and October are my favorite months around here. Time to suit up and jump in.
I keep tinkering with granola bar recipes to find just the right texture. Typically, I use brown rice syrup in granola-type bars, but wanted to try the maple route this round. I will say that the rice syrup creates a stickier bar, making everything hold together more easily. The maple is great, but expect the bars to be more loose and fragile. I added a few more dates and peanut butter in the written recipe than the photos reflect so they stay together a bit better. I toast the oats for a little extra favor, but otherwise these guys are no-bake, so they yield a chewier bar, not the crispy shattering sort. You can play around with the nut or seed butter, maybe a different dried fruit besides dates, but it’s nice to have a tasty snack for your beach bag or lunch box.
PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS // Makes 12 in an 11×7 pan
An adaptation from Minimalist Baker
I used a 7x11inch dish. Try to use something close, they will be thinner bars in a 9×13 or super thick in an 8×8.
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups crisp rice cereal
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 2 Tbsp. chia, buckwheat, flax seeds or a mix of these (I used this blend)
- 2 cups pitted dates (about 14 large Medjool dates)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 oz. dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350′. Toast the oats on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the crisp rice, almonds, seeds, cooled oats and stir to mix. Chop up the dates well to make a chunky paste (this could be done in the food processor but I hate cleaning it for one small task). If your dates seem dry, add a splash of warm water to get them tacky. Think toothpaste sort of texture.
Warm the maple, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt and stir to mix. Pour the PB mix and dates over the dry ingredients and mix everything together, breaking up the date clumps with your hands to disperse. Just get your hands dirty, you need a big sticky heap.
Line a 7x11inch pan with parchment paper. Press the mixture down in an even layer, using the bottom of something flat to push the mixture down tightly as possible.
In a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate (or spread it evenly) on top of the bars. Chill in the fridge for one hour before cutting. Keep covered in the fridge for optimum freshness or wrap them individually and store in the freezer.
The bars will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.
MUSHROOM BURGERS WITH ASIAN SLAW // Serves 4
For the slaw, I have this julienne peeler and think the quality is excellent. It is easiest to use when the vegetables are fresh and cold, the firmer the better for peeling purposes. A regular vegetable peeler works fine as well, your shreds will just be thicker. A great thing about marinating vegetables or tofu is that unlike meat, you can put them back into the marinade after cooking to soak up a bit more of the flavors. That said, chicken or fish, salmon maybe, could work here too if you’re making food for a more omnivorous crowd.
- 4 large portobello mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce/tamari
- 2 Tbsp. maple
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil/ extra virgin olive oil
- squeeze of lemon or lime
- pinch of pepper
- 2 carrots
- 1 small english cucumber
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. tahini
- 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce/tamari
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 avocado
- sriracha mayo*
- 4 buns
Wipe the mushrooms clean and remove the tough stem. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. In a shallow pan, mix together the soy sauce/tamari, maple, oil, splash of citrus and pepper. Add the mushrooms and rub the marinade into all of the surfaces. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes to soak it up.
Using a julienne peeler or vegetable peeler, shave the carrots and cucumber into thin or thick shreds respectively. Put them in a large mixing bowl with the red onion. Make a quick dressing by whisking together the tahini, soy sauce/tamari, sesame oil and vinegar. Pour it over the vegetables and toss to coat. Add the chopped mint and cilantro and give it all one more toss.
Grill the mushrooms for 5 minutes on each side or until they are soft throughout. Grill or warm the buns.
To assemble the burger, smash half of an avocado on the bottom of the bun, top with the grilled mushroom and a big scoop of the asian slaw. Spread a bit of sriracha mayo on the top side bun and enjoy.
* For the sriracha mayo, I use 1 part homemade sriracha to 2 parts veganaise or mayonaise. Stir and spread. The bottled stuff works just fine but try the homemade stuff at some point, it’s a treat and has no preservatives.
Looking to impress your new roommates with some food? Here is a simple menu for you to cook and impress! The measurements are for 4 people.
Starter- Chive and Potato Soup
|Butter or Margarine||25g|
|White stock||1 liter|
|Potatoes, Peeled and washed and sliced||400g|
|Chopped chives||To your taste|
- Melt the Butter or Margarine in a pan
- Add the onion and the leek. Cook for a few minutes.
- Add the stock and the potatoes and season
- Simmer for about 30 minutes
- Liquidise the soup (Use a blender!)
- Return to the pan and reboil; season to your taste
- Finish with cream and sprinkle the chopped chives on top
You can buy or make your own
- 500g/1lb 2oz unbleached strong white organic bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 30g/1oz butter or lard, softened
- 75ml/2½fl oz milk, warmed
- 225ml/8fl oz warm water
- oil, for greasing
- rice flour, for dusting
- butter, to serve
- With your fingers, mix the white flour, salt and dried yeast in a bowl.
- Rub the softened butter or lard into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Mix the warm milk with the water.
- Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix together with your hands until the dough is well combined. Bring the dough together into a ball.
- Using floured hands, knead the dough on a clean, floured work surface for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and smooth. If necessary add a little more warm water to loosen the dough.
- Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a clean damp tea towel or cling film. Set aside for 1-1½ hours in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
- When the dough has risen, return it to a floured work surface and knock it back.
- Separate the mixture into eight parts and roll each into a ball. Flatten each slightly with the palm of your hand and transfer the rolls to a baking tray, placing them close together. Cover the tray with cling film and set aside for another hour, or until the rolls have doubled in size again.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
- When the rolls have expanded, dust them with the rice flour and transfer them to the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through.
Main –chicken in a cream sauce
|Butter or Margarine||50g|
|Double or non-dairy Cream||125ml|
- Heat the butter or margarine in a pan. Lightly flour the chicken breast
- Cook the chicken both sides for 7-9 minutes each side with minimum colour
- Place the chicken breast in a serving dish cover to keep warm
- Drain off the fat from the pan
- Deglaze the pan with white wine
- Add the cream and bring to the boil and season
- Allow to reduce to a lightly thickened consistency. Correct the seasoning
- Pass through a fine strainer on the chicken and serve
You can buy them from a shop or you can make them yourself
- Wash and peel the potatoes and ¼ them
- Put the potatoes in water and bring to the boil
- Drain the water
- Heat up a good measure of oil in to a roasting tin
- Add the potatoes till all sides are brown
- Season lightly and cook for a hour in a hot oven
- Turn the potatoes over every 30 minutes
- Cook till golden brown and drain
Dessert – White Chocolate mousse
|Zest of a orange||1|
- Heat the milk to Boiling point with the zest of the orange
- Add the white chocolate and melt. Stir well, away from the heat
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together add the hot milk and return to the saucepan
- Stir on the side of the stove until the mixture coats the back of the spoon but do not boil. remove from the heat
- Add the soaked and squeezed gelatine and bring to setting point.
- Fold in the yoghurt carefully and immediately put in the individual glasses per person