But I can never give up rice! You can’t make me!

I’m not a doctor. I’m not anything.
I just love preparing good food, and studying food science.
And eating.

Dear rice lover,

Calm down there. Nobody is going to make you give up anything you don’t want to.

After giving up all grains for sixty days (doing Whole30 twice, back to back), I’ve found that rice is one of the culprits that gives me heartburn and discomfort. I’m not too tempted to eat it.

But what if you’re okay with rice? What if it’s an integral part of your life? How to make it more nutritionally acceptable for a Real Food lifestyle? How to avoid the glucose spike that follows from eating a food that is, effectively, pure sugar?

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Health advocate Ashley Grosch, leader of national health education group The Oil Tribe, suggests adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to every one cup of rice you cook. This converts digestible starches into indigestible (resistant) starches, so the rice doesn’t metabolize as glucose (unused glucose is what builds fat in our bodies!). Resistant starches are also prebiotic and complimentary to probiotic foods, as they feed the beneficial bacteria that inhabit healthy guts. Pair a bowl of prebiotic rice with some probiotic kimchi, and suddenly you realize why traditional meal plans have made sense for generations of humanity.

Keep your blood glucose from spiking after a starchy meal – rice, white potato – simply by adding fat – coconut oil, ghee, butter – to the starch!  Who wants to eat a potato without butter, anyway? Not me.

Add even more nutrients to your rice (or quinoa, or millet, or whatever else you’re cooking) by cooking it in nutrient dense bone broth, or vegetable broth if you don’t eat meat.

Read more sciencey facts here at Perfect Health Diet, and do some of your own research! Or just take my word for it, and use the following recipe when you prepare rice (which, for the record, shouldn’t be at EVERY meal. I mean, our pancreas can only take so much).

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Print Rice Preparation instructions

Real Food Rice Preparation

This is a recipe for white jasmine rice. For brown rice, increase liquid to 2 cups, and cooking time to 30 – 40 minutes at a low temperature. For maximum benefit, serve this prebiotic, resistant starch with a probiotic food such as kimchi or kraut.

1-1/2 cups bone broth or vegetable broth
1 cup dry white jasmine rice
1 tablespoon coconut oil, ghee or butter

Rinse rice briefly and add to a cooking pot. Add broth and coconut oil. Cover pot, bring to a boil and shut off heat. Let rice sit for 15 – 20 minutes; remove lid and fluff rice deliciously to serve.

Print Rice Preparation instructions

Do you plan to keep eating rice? Does this make you feel more confident about including it in your meals? Leave a comment and let me know!

Andrea

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A Fall Menu: Silky Squash Soup and other delicious stuff you’ll want to eat

All of my recipes come packaged in a downloadable
PDF that you can save to your computer.
Read on for the recipe packet from our fall menu!

Dear Pompkin,

I just like the way early Americans spelled pumpkin. Pompkin.

Pumpkins, squash, and all manner of root vegetables feature strongly in the fall. This is some of my favorite cuisine! Filling, rich and hearty, it qualifies for comfort food any day of the week. Buttery baked dishes, creamy soups and silky puddings dazzle me all through the long winter months! (Although to be honest, the winter in Virginia Beach is starting out a little weak – it was in the 70s last week, and this is October we’re looking at.)

And of course, I love everything about Thanksgiving. Candles, corn cobs, turkey and all that festive business sucks me in every time. I have so many deep and wonderful memories of family life associated with Thanksgiving – the turkey placemats my grandma made, the battered yellow tablecloth she used every year, the chaotic and sometimes argumentative and always loving gathering around that all-important Thursday.

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Fall is just full of delight for me. I taught Cooking with Fall Veggies at Norfolk Botanical Gardens this week, and the class was a slam-dunk. I brought leftovers to my husband on base, and he and the guys there devoured it and pronounced it good. I made the baked root vegetables dish for an Oil Tribe class the following evening, and everybody was asking for the recipe!

Solid, simple food is the best. It wins our hearts every time! Our menu featured rustic, seasonal dishes.

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The soup was a perfectly silken puree, topped with pepitas. For a vegan alternative, swap out the bone broth for a full-bodied vegetable broth made with dried shishito mushrooms for lots of meaty umami flavor, and trade the butter for expeller-pressed coconut oil or fruity olive oil.  Filled with butternut squash and pumpkin, this dish is nourishing to body and soul.

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The Maple-Glazed Baked Root Vegetables were a slam dunk. We chose to coarsely chop beets, carrots, celery root, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, parsnips and onions for our selection of roots and squash; any combination of these or other root vegetables is perfect.

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A family favorite, Spicy Sweet Potato Fries make a special treat any time. I love to dip fries, so we created a special dipping sauce of mayonnaise (any homemade or high-quality store-bought, or aioli), blended with a lacto-fermented homemade sriracha sauce.

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We also made a delicious Maple Cornbread, using coarse, colorful cornmeal from Indian corn. Colorful corn contains a little more nutrition than regular sweet corn – no surprises there!

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And because she rolls that way, Lady Camille was in the carrier on my back while we set the room up for class. Once class began, our friend Mary snuggled baby during the whole thing.

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Silky Squash Soup with Bone Broth

I created this dish while I was in Washington and wanted to serve a warm, filling meal to my family during the Seahawks game (we lost. It sucked. We needed comfort food). It’s simple, straightforward and truly not all that unique. There are millions of variations you could create from this basic dish, and the measurements I provide here are basic guidelines – you can do whatever you want, really.

4 cups bone broth or an alternative broth
2 cups pumpkin, raw and cubed, or cooked and pureed
2 cups butternut squash, raw and cubed, or cooked and pureed
3 large carrots, coarsely chopped
3 shallots or 1 medium onion
1 15-ounce can coconut cream
3 – 6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup butter or an alternative fat
Pepitas, dried pumpkin seeds, for garnishing
Salt and pepper

In a skillet, heat the butter. Add cubed pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots and onion; or add what is cubed, and reserve pureed mixtures. The goal is to cook the squashes down until they are soft. While mixture is cooking, crush garlic and set aside.
Once mixture is soft, use broth to help blend it until smooth; add garlic while blending, and then pour into a pot. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender for this step. If you are using pureed pumpkin or butternut squash, add it now, and any more broth, and begin to heat mixture. Whisk in coconut milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and serve hot; sprinkle with pepitas before eating.

If you use ghee, bacon fat, coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter, this dish qualifies as a Whole30 and Paleo soup.

Download the recipe PDF for silky squash soup, baked root vegetables, spicy sweet potato fries, fermented dipping sauce, maple cornbread and a printable menu

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I know you’ll feel just as indulgent and spoiled as I do when you get to enjoy these delicious foods … and let me know what your favorite tweaks are so I can try your versions, too!

Andrea

Download the recipe PDF for silky squash soup, baked root vegetables, spicy sweet potato fries, fermented dipping sauce, maple cornbread and a printable menu