Thursday, August 23, 2012

Brown Rice and Watercress Stirfry

Here's an easy way to get more brown rice and greens into your diet - both very healthy foods. Brown rice gives us a little protein, fiber, and energy through a steady and slow rise in blood sugar.

One of the most important things I learned through studying Macrobiotics was the difference between good carbohydrates and "bad carbs." I never got on the anti-carbohydrate band wagon, but I did sometimes wonder if maybe I shouldn't be eating things like brown rice and fruit. I was happy to find out that we indeed should eat whole food carbohydrates.

The bad carb issue relates to carbohydrates that are stripped of their fiber and nutrients (especially when other yucky things are added like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, copius amounts of sodium, and who knows what else). The carbohydrates we want to avoid include things like white rice, white bread, white pasta, candy, soda, chips, crackers, and all forms of processed foods. These foods cause our blood sugar to spike dramatically and, along with a host of all sorts of other unhealthy consequences, they will eventually lead to diseases like type 2 diabetes. Sorry to be dramatic, but it's true. 

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 white or brown onion, thinly sliced
4-6 oz. cubed tofu, optional
3-4 c. cooked brown rice (short grain, long grain, batsmati, any kind)
1 c. cooked cannellini beans, optional
1/4 c. shoyu, tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp. mirin (optional)
1-3 tsp. hot Asian chili paste such as Sriracha or a chili garlic paste, optional
Several dashes of brown rice vinegar, ume plum vinegar, or seasoned rice vinegar
1 bunch of watercress or 8 oz. baby spinach
Toasted brown or black sesame seeds to garnish, optional

1) Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. Add the onion (and tofu if using) and saute until the onion just begins to brown, about 7 minutes.

2) Dump in the rice (and cannellini beans if using) and then pour all of the sauce ingredients you are choosing to use over the rice and toss to combine. Stirfry for about 3 miutes.

3) Turn off the heat and add the watercress or spinach and toss to incorporate. The heat of the stirfry will wilt the greens enough.

This makes 4-6 servings.

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