When I told you about the picnic loaf I made, I promised I’d tell you what I did with all the bread I pulled out from the center of the loaf. I know you’ve been waiting (okay, you probably totally forgot I even mentioned it), but this idea will have been worth the wait! At first, I considered making these meatballs, but then came along a chance to make this awesome, easy chickpea dish. This 5-Minute Chickpea Dinner is part of Bon Appetit’s Cooking without Recipes series, and I absolutely love it! I didn’t have peas on hand, so I just used red pepper lightly cooked in the same pan I was toasting my bread in. Sooooo good you guys.
I was super happy to use every part of the bread I made, and–keeping with the spirit of Mottainai Grandma— I proceeded to use each and every part of the watermelon we had on our picnic, too. The white rind was used for Watermelon Rind Pickles, any pink or red shavings were used to make watermelon flavored water, the green rind was put in our compost, and we ate the inside just as it was.
Using up the bread and the watermelon are two good examples of fulfilling number 48 on the 57 Things List: Never throw away edible food (my original post on the 57 Things Series is here!).
What are some of your favorite ways to use every last bit of something edible?
Tonight I decided to experiment in the kitchen, and I’m really glad I did! I made Spanish Rice in my rice cooker, and ended up with a really flavorful dish with an almost creamy texture. As I was making it, I thought I should take pictures of the process, but I only ended up taking one of preparing my rice so…I sort of failed that way. BUT! I promise the recipe more than makes up for my lack of pictures!
Rice Cooker Spanish Rice
1 c. short grain rice (I used sushi rice) + 1 c. water
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1- 10 oz. can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1. Add rice and one cup of water to rice cooker; massage until cloudy. Crush the bouillion cube and add it to the rice cooker, along with the olive oil and spices.
2. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and stir well. Start cooking in the rice cooker.
3. Meanwhile, saute the onion in a little oil until transparent; set aside.
4. Brown the ground beef; drain.
5. When there is about 10 minutes left on the rice cooker, add the diced bell pepper and onion. You do not need to stir.
6. Once the rice cooker has completed cooking, add the ground beef and mix well. I had to put the concoction in a separate, larger bowl.
7. Add lettuce to bowls as an optional garnish, scoop in a serving of the Spanish Rice, and serve.
I hope that if you get a chance to try out this recipe for yourself that you enjoy it as much as we did. Every time I eat Spanish Rice I am reminded of how much I loved it when my dad made it when I was growing up, and now I’ve found an easy way to recreate it in Japan!