so this happened…3 batches at once!

The following turns out to be more a tale of “seemed like a good idea at the time.”  It might actually work for you, but please read the Post Script at the end to learn the follow-up so you’ll be fore-warned before you try it.***

This morning I checked the fridge to see which batches I needed to do. It turned out to be rice, mushrooms which I bought yesterday, and greens (collards and Lacinato kale).

I started the mushrooms and veggie broth at medium heat in a 12″ pan with sides about 3″ high and a cover, one of my set of Emeril cookware. That didn’t take long, and I put them in a quart jar and on the window sill to cool before refrigerating.

While the mushrooms had their 10 minutes or so of cooking, on the other big burner I put the big 6-quart pot filled with water for the rice, and turned the heat on high. Then I measured out half a bag of Lundberg Jasmine rice by using two 1 quart pyrex measuring bowls and pouring the dry rice from the bag until they were about even. Each contained about 2 cups.  I poured one of the half-bags into the boiling water, and put the other into a dry quart Mason jar and into the pantry with the back-up bags of rice, so I wouldn’t forget to use it next.

Then I filled one of the two sinks with cold tap water and rinsed the collards (two bunches from Whole Foods.) I took about half the collards over the cutting board and proceeded to hashtag them, previously described in Batch-Cooked Greens. I put those cut greens into another dry 6-quart pot right next to the cutting board on the counter. Then I cut up (hashtag style) the rest of the collards and then the Lacinato kale (two bunches). Those four bunches of greens completely filled the pot, but they reduce by half when cooked. Pot is still dry at this point, with the cut up greens in it awaiting onion, garlic, and water or broth.

Next, I cut up a big white onion and about 6 cloves of garlic (I never feel confident about how much garlic to put in, but my guess is usually ok.) I put these pieces on top of the greens. That’s the point at which the GREAT IDEA popped into my mind. I saw the almost-finished rice and all that rice water that I was about to pour down the drain. I grabbed the screen strainer, and put it right on top of the greens, settling it down a little. Then I poured the hot cooked rice and its water into the strainer, removed the strainer, and rinsed and jarred the rice.

Without further effort, the greens were all ready to cook in the rice water, which really tastes good, and the burner where the greens now sat was still hot from cooking the rice! So I got three batches done during the same time in the kitchen, very efficiently.  Next time, I’ll try to plan to do the rice and greens on the same day to take advantage of that interaction.

***Post Script:  I have left this post in the blog, to encourage newbies at WFPB cooking, because not everything you try is going to work out well. (learning curve) Although that bit of serendipity seemed like a good idea at the time, the unintended consequence was that the rice water was too concentrated, and gave an unusual appearance to the greens, being bathed in a white liquid. It didn’t affect the taste much, but it looked very weird.  So I have decided, as we eat greens like an appetizer at lunch and supper with balsamic vinegar, to use plain filtered water for cooking them. I think it tastes better, too.

Dr. Esselstyn, when we went to his small group tutorial, told us to eat greens with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar because of an interaction with a component of saliva in the mouth which ends up causing increased production of nitric oxide in the inner lining of arteries, a very positive thing for the well-being of arteries. You can read more about nitric oxide here.

I am a 75 year old retired M.D. radiologist, always interested in staying healthy by eating natural foods and avoiding pharmaceuticals, four years ago converted to the Whole Food Plant Based diet and lifestyle by watching Forks Over Knives and Fed Up. This blog follows my path in sticking with this rather extreme program and keeping it simple, hopefully useful to others who want to live long and prosper without open heart surgery and chemotherapy.

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