Rice bowls are fun to make for dinner. You cook up a few different elements and everyone can make his own bowl as if he were at a buffet. Therefore, rice bowls are great if say your husband is a picky eater (I’m looking at you, Jeff) and you are not. They are also lovely and that means you can serve them to company. Finally, if done properly, they are delicious.
|Greek Rice Bowl|
To do a rice bowl (or any dish for that matter) properly, you must have the correct balance of bitter, salty, sweet, sour and umami. Umami is the taste of protein. Spinach, cucumber salad, hummus and a beef mixture made with a perfect blend of herbs (including mint) creates the perfect bite.
At first glance this recipe probably appears overwhelming. There are many elements to this dish and you are making them all at once. To tackle this, you should 1. Make the cucumber salad. 2. Then slice and measure everything else. 3. Put the rice water onto boil and then begin to cook the meat. 4. Cook the rice while finishing the beef. 5. When you have about 4 minutes left on the rice cooking time, wilt the spinach. Read through the recipe completely before you get started. It took me 40 minutes to make this, but I am practiced. If you are a novice, I would guess this might take an hour, but it is so worth it.
Rice bowls are their own entrée, sides and salads. I served mine with Hummus and Creamy FetaDressing. You can make these yourself or buy your favorite brand at the grocers. Give all your guests a wedge of lemon to squeeze over the whole dish before eating.
Time: Active time 40 minutes; Cook: 30 Minutes, Rice bowls in about 40 minutes (maybe longer)
Hardware: Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a vegetable peeler, a large storage container with a lid, a large microwave safe bowl covered by a plate, a large sauce pot, a deep skillet, a strainer, a wooden spoon, small bowls for pre-measuring, a serving bowl for the rice and a slotted spoon for the salad
- 1 large Spanish onion (8 oz)
- 2 large tomatoes (1 lb.)
- 2 large cucumbers (1 1b.)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- Cold water
- 1 + 1 tablespoons fresh dill
- 1 + 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 ½ cups rice
- 1-8-ounce bag of baby spinach
- Olive oil to cover pan
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 small yellow onion (4oz)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 8 mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 + ¼ teaspoon salt
- Hummus, toasted pita or naan bread, Creamy Feta Dressing, lemon wedges, sliced olives
|Garlic, dill, parsley, mint, oregano and cinnamon make this delicious|
- Slice the Spanish onion into rings. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Peel and slice the cucumbers. Place these veggies, 1 tablespoon dill, 1 tablespoon parsley, ¼ teaspoon salt and the apple cider vinegar into the storage container. Add enough cold water to cover the veggies. Stir and put the salad into the fridge until dinner.
- Chop the yellow onion and garlic. Measure and roughly chop the herbs (you can mix them and the spices together in a small bowl until you need them.) Measure the rice. Set everything aside.
- Fill the sauce pot with salted water and place it over high heat. When it comes to a boil, stir in the rice. Boil for 20 minutes, stirring only often enough to keep it from sticking. Strain the rice and place it in a serving bowl. Adjust the salt.
- As soon as you put the water on to boil, begin cooking the meat. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium high heat.
- Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the herbs and cook for a minute or two more. Stir in the ground beef and salt. Cook and crumble until the meat is no longer pink.
- Add the beef broth and allow everything to come to a boil. Turn the heat down to a low simmer. Simmer until you are ready to serve, stirring only often enough to keep the beef from sticking.
- When the rice is almost finished, place the spinach in the large bowl. It doesn’t matter if you need to smash it down a little to fit it all in. Sprinkle to with a tiny bit of water and a tiny bit of salt. Cover the bowl with a plate. Microwave the spinach on high and leave it under the plate until you are ready to serve. When you begin to wilt the spinach, you can also toast bread if you are serving it.
- To plate (bowl?), fill each bowl with rice. Then visually divide the bowl into quarters. Fill one quarter with drained cucumber salad, one with spinach, the 3rd with Hummus and the 4th with meat. Place a tablespoon of Creamy Feta Dressing on the meat. Give each guest a quarter of a lemon to squeeze over their entire bowl right before eating.