I know I haven't been posting enough about food and vegan goodies recently, but I promise I've been cooking! It's so hard to grab a moment in front of the computer to think and write, let alone prepare dinner for the family. And this is the most important time to make sure we are all well nourished. Winter can be a drag on our immune systems and that compounded by all the nursing I'm doing, well, ordering delivery is just not going to cut it in the nutrient department.
So...I've been doing dinners composed mainly of rices and beans and greens and winter squashes and the such. There are a million different varieties, so I'm trying to shake it up as much as possible, but truth be told, we like it fairly simple on a nightly basis in this house. I've purchased a plethora of variety in both the rice and bean departments and my shelves are totally stocked with red rice, black rice, pintos, black soys, adukis, kidneys, garbanzos (sounds like a muppet, no?). You name it, I've got it.
That said, cooking these nutrient packed dinners could take hours and hours and this lady's only got minutes in the kitchen, so I've figured out a system that's working perfectly and I'm pretty proud of how organized I've been about it (read: generally I'm none too planned or organized).
A couple months or so ago, we went to my friend Kelly's house to hang with her fam and coo over her gorgeous new baby. While prancing baby Lucia around the apartment I spotted a little kitchen device I hadn't yet seen and started poking around. Long story short, days later I had purchased my own VitaClay Rice Cooker. A week later I bought a second!
It's something between a clay stew pot and a pressure cooker. I can set it to cook however I like (stew, rice, etc) and at whatever time I like for as much time as I like. And then after it's done cooking it releases pressure and stands at a "Keep Warm" setting until I'm ready. It's brilliant! And it's way better than my old Cuisinart pressure cooker in that it's clay, so I'm not worried about any leaching or scratching from non-stick surfaces.
(Almost) every morning, I soak some rice in one, beans in another (with kombu of course). A couple hours before dinner, I drain, put new water, add whatever veggies, and turn the VitaClay's on. Dinner basically cooks itself!
So, when I need to sit and nurse, or get Avi in the bath, there's no need to jump up to turn off the stove before I burn dinner (which I've done my fair share of times). I love LOVE my VitaClays! They're a health-conscious, vegan mama's dream come true;)