A simple side of Curry Rice

Feeding a household. It’s so much more than just cooking.

What have I got in the fridge? What meal can I make using these ingredients? What extra ingredients will I need for that recipe? How much time do I have to prepare something? How hungry are they? How hungry am I? Should I go to the shops before or after I take them to training for those extra ingredients? How much will they cost? Have I got enough fruit for lunch boxes tomorrow? Will this keep as leftovers? What can I use these leftover vegetables in? Why do I have so much wastage?

And repeat. Everyday.

It’s too much. We don’t separate the cooking of the meals from all the other background noise that comes with ‘doing the cooking.’ The mental load for feeding a household is exhausting and further to that, all that extra noise has stripped the joy out of feeding our families. Relaxed and inclusive family eating times has proven to lead to better family relationships and greater overall family happiness but how can we achieve this when we are left exhausted by ‘doing the cooking.’

Mindfulness across all areas of our lives is about being conscious, aware and focused. Mindfulness through food prep is the cooking and consideration of our meals for the week ahead at one point in time. It’s in these moments of our food prep we can acknowledge the nourishment and growth of our families and ourselves; where we can invest in thriving not just surviving. Here we can make considered choices in our food waste and our bigger effect on the environment. It’s during that time we can think clearly about how best to incorporate more vegetables or new vegetables in the hope that they won’t be rejected, or we can give a twist to an already approved dish to boost its nutrition. The reality though, is a mid-week scramble to put something on the plate that we know they will eat in order to keep dinner times as stress free as possible.

Of course, it’s not just about the health and well being of our families. Food prep is self care. Having food prepared and all-but ready to serve means you reduce your mental load for the rest of the week. Food prep can reverse the never-ending reality of not having enough time. Food prep can give you back time! The stats say we are spending around 6.5 hours cooking every week. Just cooking. Cleaning is on top of that. If you spend 2 hours meal prepping and then 10 minutes each day to throw the meal together then you have just found yourself 3 hours every week. Not to mention, cleaning after a meal prepped meal…what cleaning?!

We are striving to turn off your background noise. To ease your mental burden. Our interest is in giving you back time, boosting your family’s nutrition, all the while by saving you time and money. Each week we provide a step by step prep plan, exciting, nutritious recipes and a whole shopping list, for your household. That means, if we call for a bunch of shallots, you bet we are going to use that bunch of shallots. Wasting is a waste. Why buy a bag of carrots only to use 3 and then have the others go soft and squishy? Our shopping list will call for 3 carrots and that’s all you will need across your week. With all this support, there really is only one thing left for you to do…and that’s the cooking!

To get you started, this is one of our recipes that highlights exactly what we are about and just how easy it can be for you. It’s our Curry Rice. Prep it this weekend, keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze it for later in the week. Serve it as a side with pretty much any protein or toss through some BBQ chicken or canned tuna/lentils for an easy complete meal. There are a tonne of variations you can do with this recipe to use up something you already have or that might suit your household better! Choose your grain (brown rice, quinoa, pearly barley), choose your vegetables (carrot, zucchini, cauliflower), choose your topping (toasted coconut, seeds, other nuts).

To find out more about becoming Efficiently Nutritious and to try out a full week for free visit our website at www.efficientlynutritious.com.au

Curry Rice

(serves 5)

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 ½ cups rice

165ml coconut milk

1 cup chicken/vegetable stock

2 cloves garlic, crushed/grated

1 brown onion, diced

2 carrots, grated

¼ head broccoli, grated

½ teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

½ cup flaked almonds, toasted/untoasted, for topping

½ cup sultanas

Method

  1. In a saucepan with a lid add a glug of olive oil and over medium heat sauté onion and garlic until soft.
  2. Add spices and toss around for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add carrot and broccoli and sultanas and toss until well coated.
  4. Add rice, stock, and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. When it is simmering, reduce to a low simmer and put the lid on. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the rice is cooked and all the liquid has absorbed. Serve topped with flaked almonds.
Alicia La Brooy

Alicia La Brooy

Alicia is nuts about food and cooking. But it wasn’t her 8–years of writing and analysing hundreds of recipes that inspired her to start Efficiently Nutritious. It was her more important job as a mum that made her realise how crucial it is to plan ahead if you want to juggle a busy lifestyle while putting her family’s health first.