Thank you in advance.
If you have a trader joe's near you they sell organic brown rice in serving envelopes. that might help or maybe the single serving sizes if your local grocery store has those.
But don't lift the lid too much (don't take it off at all for the first 30ish minutes or close to whatever the package lists as the cooking time). The steam is what cooks the rice, and if you let it all evaporate it will end up dry and undercooked.
It's not a single serving, but according to my Chinese cookbook, 1 cup of rice with 1.5 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of oil yields 3 cups of cooked rice. The oil is to keep it from sticking to the pot and if you use canola oil, it it okay. And if you like, then you can refrigerate the unused portion and reheat it later by using a little non-stick spray in a wok and stir fry it or put it into a ziploc bag and heating in the microwave. I prefer the wok method because it doesn't get as mushy as in the microwave.
You also might want to try cooking up a big batch (according to your pkg directions for whatever size batch you cook) and freeze in single-serving portions (or however many servings you want). I have recently started doing this. I was skeptical at first, thinking that it would not be good, but I was pleasantly surprised! And I always have a stock of cooked rice waiting for me in the freezer.
Just undercook your rice only very slightly, meaning stop cooking when it is just a bit firmer than you normally like it. Let it cool completely. You can also transfer the whole batch to another large bowl to help it cool quicker. When completely cool, measure it out into either freezer-weight zipper bags or those handy little Glad freezer bowls and freeze it. When you want rice, take the bowl out, take the lid off, drizzle a couple of tablespoons of cold water directly into the container, put the lid back on (but don't close the lid, just sit it on top of the bowl) put in the micro on defrost for a few minutes, just until the frozen rice starts to separate, and then cook on high power until hot. In mine, for a 2-cup portion bowl, it takes about 4 or 5 minutes to defrost and about 3 to 5 minutes to heat through. Fluff it with a fork, going all down through it to distribute the heat evenly when done. Perfect rice in under 10 minutes! I also add a little dab of butter (I mean a tsp or so) across the top of mine when I add the water, so it melts down through the rice (shhh, don't tell). It's amazing.
Note: I use the freezer/micro-safe bowls for this. If you use freezer bags instead, I'd probably recommend running your frozen bag of rice under some warm water first to release it from the bag and transfer it to a micro-safe bowl. Then proceed as above, just cover with a thick paper towel or a micro-safe lid laid over top (not sealed). You want it covered so that the water you add steams the rice and so it doesn't end up dry and crunchy. ;-)
Thats a really good idea jdbcmt. I do that with ground beef, I fully cook it and put it in freezer baggies. If I'm making spaghetti sauce or a pizza, I just break off a hunk and nuke it. I wonder if you can cook and freeze pasta as well?...
Thanks, queen. I don't know about the pasta. With many other things, I have become a freezing fanatic, with great results. In the past, I have found that freezing things that contain pasta (such as cheesy chix&spaghetti) had less than grand results. The trick, I would think, to freezing pasta is going to be to undercook it, at least no more than al dente, and possibly a little less, and then shock it in ice water before you freeze it. I would either freeze it in portions using the same water from the ice bath to cover the pasta in your freezer container or to drain the pasta, give it a light toss with EVOO, and then freeze in an air-tight container. In either case, you need to let it thaw completely before you start stirring it around or trying to reheat it. And I would think you're going to need some significant liquid/moisture in there when you start reheating it, or you are going to have an ugly situation.
I don't think freezing pasta dishes works as well myself because the pasta is cooked to doneness already. When you freeze cooked pasta, it has a tendency to go mushy on you to start with, and then you still have to thaw, reheat, cook, etc., which can make a mess if you aren't careful. Still, worth giving it a try if you eat a lot of pasta. However, if you prepare a pasta dish containing sauce, that's probably your best bet if you undercook the pasta, shock in ice bath, throw it in the sauce, and then freeze. This gives you your undercooked pasta AND the moisture you need to finish cooking and reheat it. Just add a little extra water to your pot when reheating the whole thing because the pasta is going to soak up whatever there is in the sauce.
Pasta's pretty cheap. It probably wouldn't break the bank (time or money) to give it a shot in a small quantity and see what happens!
I don't eat a lot of pasta myself, so it wouldn't really be worth it for me to freeze it. Umm, not that I don't like pasta. Ummm, it's that I like it too much. So I usually tend to not make it that readily accessible to myself because bad things could happen. HTH!
haha, I feel the same about rice as you do about pasta- I love stir fried rice, but I could get easily carried away, so I haven't made it for about 6 months. If I make it boring enough I can handle it. I make brown rice and it tastes so sad, so pathetic, so PLAIN! lol (I top it with veggies and some sort of protein, fish, chicken, etc, and a couple of Tbsps of low cal bottled sauce, but still, my taste buds nearly weep for the untapped potential of that rice!!) :D
I've never tried cooking just one serving. Instead, I cook a batch and measure it out in half cup servings & put it in plastic zipper bags. I freeze these flattened on a cookie sheet, then, when frozen, put the packets into a labeled freezer bag. It's very easy to pull out one or to servings and warm it up.
I cook one serving of white and brown rice all the time. The hardest part is that it sticks to the bottom like crazy if you cook it too long. 1 portion rice to 2 portions water works good for brown.
I'm going to try cooking a little rice in a lot of water for the allotted time, then just drain and serve. I make the worst rice and I would really like to get this figured out!
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