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How to Cook Brown Rice Like a Chef

How to Cook Brown Rice Like a Chef

Brown rice is much healthier than white rice because it is a whole grain, but cooking brown rice intimidates a lot of home cooks because it takes so long and seems so fussy. But have no fear: with these tips you’ll know how to cook brown rice like a chef and you’ll have no excuse to eat the nutritionally inferior stuff ever again.

What’s So Great About Brown Rice?

What makes brown rice a better choice? Because it is a whole grain, it can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s high in fiber, which can aid in good digestion, and it releases its sugars slowly, which helps you maintain a healthier blood sugar level and may even help reduce the risk of developing diabetes if you eat it regularly.

In addition, brown rice is considered one of the most nutrient-rich foods in the world. It’s full of antioxidants and important but sometimes-difficult-to-find minerals like manganese and selenium. Manganese supports the production of healthy cholesterol in the body, while selenium is thought to be helpful for preventing heart disease and certain forms of cancer.

It can also be an aid to weight loss because of its high fiber content and ability to help control metabolic function and make you feel full longer than you would if you’d eaten white rice.

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How to Cook Brown Rice

If you want to know how to cook brown rice like a chef, you need to ignore the package directions. These instructions have you cook the rice longer than is needed, often leaving you with a mushy end product that is not all that appealing.

You need to take a different approach, and it starts before the rice hits the pan.

Take the rice you want to cook and rinse it in a strainer for about 30 seconds, and drain.

Then, forget you’re cooking rice. Cook it like pasta instead.

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Add a generous amount of water to a sauce pot and bring it to a boil. I like to add a little olive oil and a good pinch of salt, too.

When the water boils, add your rice.

Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Drain the remaining water and put the rice back in the pot.

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Cover and let sit off the heat for about 10 minutes.

I know this sounds crazy, but I’ve done it, and it really does work. I don’t know if this is really how to cook brown rice like a chef, but if I were a chef I would do it this way. The grains come out distinct and soft but not mushy—perfect for rice salad or anything else you might want to use it for.

Cooking Rice Under Cover

If you feel better cooking brown rice in a more traditional way, you can also cook rice in a covered pot. Use a 2:1 ratio of water to rice (so, say, 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice).

Put the rice and water (and salt, if you want) in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer about 40 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.

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Take the pot off the heat and let it sit a further 10 minutes, covered, before serving.

Of course if you have a rice cooker its easy to cook brown rice perfectly, because you let the machine do the work for you. It will automatically sense when the rice is cooked and continue to keep it warm until you’re ready to use it. But there’s no need to go out and buy new equipment when you can easily cook a good pot of rice on the stovetop.

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Sarah White

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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