Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

Freezing Rice and Other Grains

Ever make more rice than you can eat? If you aren’t going to use it in the next few days, you can freeze it for later use.  Here’s how:

  1. Put 1-1/2 to 2 cups of plain cooked (cooled) brown rice in a quart-size, freezer-grade ziplock bag. Don’t seal it shut yet.
  2. Flatten the bag out, then gently roll from the bottom up to remove as much air as possible, and zip closed.
  3. Flatten it back out and freeze flat.

To thaw, simply massage the bag briefly to break up the frozen rice, then empty it into a microwave safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and microwave for 30 seconds or so (depending on the wattage of your microwave).

This works for most other cooked whole grains as well. I used to buy frozen pre-cooked brown rice at Trader Joe’s, but this is more economical and tastes fresher.

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

How to Cook Whole Grains


Barley is available pearled (the bran has been removed) or quick cooking (parboiled). Technically neither are whole grains but nutritionally speaking they count toward your whole-grain servings because of their high fiber content.

To Cook: Pearl barley Continue reading “How to Cook Whole Grains”

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

Seafood Stock

This is a great recipe for lobster stock but you can also use shrimp shells, clam shells, salmon skin, fish bones, heads etc.  I was surpised to see it takes three hours as I’ve traditionally done mine for only two.  I’m not sure how much difference it makes but if you have the extra hour, go for three!

Traditional Lobster Stock Recipe

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

How to Parboil Brown Rice

This recipe on how to parboil brown rice is very useful for when you want to substitute brown rice for white rice in a one pot meal. Parboiled brown rice cooks in the same amount of time as regular long grain white rice.

Parboil Brown Rice Cooking Instructions

  1. Combine in a 2 quart saucepan – 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups water
  2. Stir lightly, bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and drain.  If using within 2 hours you can leave it on the counter, otherwise refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Use in place of “long grain white rice” in any one-pot recipe.

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

Is Canola Oil Really Healthy? Maybe not so much.

Canola oil has been touted for years as a healthy alternative to vegetable and peanut oils. But wait, not so fast. Canola oil is extracted from rapeseeds that have been altered through breeding to remove a substance called erucic acid, which was found to be harmful to rats. Most of today’s canola oil is produced from genetically modified rapeseeds owned by the mega-chemical company Monsanto. It is also heavily processed using chemicals. Watch the 5-minute video below to see how canola oil is made.

Obviously everyone has to make their own minds up, but IMO grapeseed oil is a better choice if you’re looking for a neutral-flavored cooking oil. First, I steer clear of genetically modified foods, mainly as a boycott of Monsanto products but also because with so many non-GMO alternatives readily available, why would I not choose the real deal instead? Second, as a healthy choice I avoid processed foods and this is one of the most highly processed ingredients you can buy.

I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.