Thursday, March 11, 2010

What's grosser than gross?

When you finish eating a bowl of rice and the last one crawls away. 

Does that take you back to Jr. High?  Now that you're thoroughly grossed out I'm going to tell you how brown rice can be dinnertime's best friend.

Rice is cheap.  Chee-eap.  And I am a frugal fanatic.  So it didn't take long for our friendship to blossom. 
Did you know you can freeze rice?  Freezing brown rice is especially handy in individual serving sizes.  If you have leftover rice at the end of dinner, just scoop it into a freezer-safe container or zippered bag and FREEZE. 

Since I rarely have the need to make a single serving of rice, I thought I'd emphasize freezing in meal-size servings for your family. 

Brown rice tends to be drier than white rice and chewier.  Freezing it and rewarming gives it the time it needs to soften up-- but not turn it to mush. 

If it seems dry as you're reheating it, just add a little water.  Start with a tablespoon and see if you need more. 

Rice does not last long in our humidity.  It gets weird and turns slimy.  Then I get so freaked out by slimy smelly rice that I don't end up making it for months.

I cook up two cups more than we need for a meal and freeze the leftovers in 1 qt. Ziploc containers. 

If you have a rice pot, it's way easy. If you're making rice on the stove top, just make a little more. You'll be surprised at how having a staple like rice already made and in the freezer speeds up dinner prep.
One stress-free day, don't laugh it happens sometimes, I made a FULL pot of brown rice just for the purpose of freezing.  Then I divvyed it up, washed the pot, and made ANOTHER pot of brown rice.  It's been a dinner rescuer many times.

A few meals made easier in our home with frozen rice:

Chicken soup with rice
Fast beans (a family favorite)
Creamed Tuna on Rice
Canned Salmon and rice (another family favorite)

Sausage Casserole
This recipe is from my mother-in-law.  I have varied it slightly to the likes of my family.  The original recipe has sausage, onion, celery, rice, and noodle soup.

1 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage
1 large onion chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups finely chopped or sliced celery
1 carrot grated
1 cup sliced mushrooms (or chopped if you have a food snob)

2 cups brown rice cooked
2 packages Lipton Noodle soup
3 cups water

1.  In a large skillet or 4 qt. casserole pan (stovetop safe), brown the sausage, onion, celery, carrot, and mushrooms.  Drain any grease.

2.  In a separate pan bring the 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add the noodle soup and cook for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.  You can do this at the same time as the first step if you're coordinated.

3.  Mix all the ingredients together (including the rice).

4.  Serve!  If you like it a little more cooked (less-liquidy) bake it in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.

This post is linked at Coupon Teacher's Thifty ThursdayThrifty Thursday, Frugal Friday, and Frugalicious Friday.


Renee' said...

Love it Nikki. Keep these coming. They are such a help to me. My mother, bless her heart, raised us to be thoughtful, respectful and great member of society. She also thought she taught us to cook. I never learned a thing. So, when I got married, it was hard for me to feed my hubby. Thank goodness he is a patient man. He always told me, "Don't worry. If it doesn't turn out, we'll order a pizza." In our fifteen years together, we've only ordered one emergency pizza. I got myself a great cookbook (Better Homes & Gardens) and (Betty Crocker). It's all these helpful hints that have helped me become the homemaker I've always wanted to be. For that I am forever grateful. Please keep them coming.

Leslie said...

such a great idea! I can't wait to try it! How does white rice hold up in the freezer?

I'm Erin said...

Wow. The freezer? REally?

oh, and I love what's grosser than gross jokes!

Nikki said...

Leslie- White rice holds up surprisingly well. When we cook and freeze rice though, we usually have it mixed in something. We don't tend to eat it plain. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head for using white rice that's been in the freezer would be fried rice. I think we'd choose brown rice for all other meals. The nice thing about rice is it is cheap. So, why not cook up a rice pot for dinner and save just a serving to freeze? Then you'll know.

Momza said...

I love rice! And my rice cooker! You can throw it in with so many things and have a meal!
OKay now I'm hungry.
have a great weekend!

Coupon Teacher said...

I always keep my flour in the freezer, but I hadn't thought of rice!

Melissa said...

Rice is cheap and I used to use it a lot more! I need to again.

shopannies said...

rice is so good for so many things

Morgan -Ing said...

We buy a giant bag from Sam's club and it lasts FOREVER. Seriously, I don't remember when we even bought it, but it's great to use at least weekly.

Anonymous said...

Another good use for leftover rice is rice pudding. Also, on the same theory, if you only need 1/2 an onion for a recipe, chop the whole onion and freeze the other half. But be sure to double bag it or you'll smell the onion in the freezer.


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