As a homemaker, and a full time financially dependent to the household head, it was my responsibility to ensure that the earnings of my husband were spent optimally and economically. Even now that I am already working I still see to it that we maximize the use of all the things we have in the house and find all the ways we can save.
Life is getting more challenging as years pass by and we have to be smart with our choices and actions. Little savings when added up can help you get by your finances. What I am going to share with you is my small action of saving thru my way of cooking. It helped me save in electricity and in cooking gas. It is also a healthy way of cooking food as it does not use oil that gives too much cholesterol. One more good benefit that I like most about it is that it helps save time, the element needed by almost everyone.
How do I maximize cooking using our rice cooker?
With the help of our rice cooker, I can cook breakfast, dinner & lunch simultaneously in less than an hour. I can cook rice or pasta, steamed or roasted chicken and dumpling also in less than an hour.
Here is how I do it.
The menu that I will share with you includes Penne Pasta with Red Sauce, Roasted Chicken and Pork Siomai.
Begin by putting enough water and pasta in the pot of the rice cooker. The photo below shows 400 grams of penne pasta, Just Ensure that all pasta are below the water level. Put the pot back to the rice cooker.
Wash 1`whole chicken chopped length wise then rub all parts with salt. Sprinkle with semi ground pepper. Put it on the first layer steamer on top of the rice cooker.
Add pork siomai in the second level steamer on top of the chicken. I prepared and wrapped the siomai in the photo below. There are also fresh and frozen pork siomai available in the market and grocery stores that are readily made for steaming.
Let’s begin cooking. Cover the steamer, plug in the rice cooker and press the cook switch or button. See photo below.
The steamer in the photo is not part of the rice cooker. I bought it separately. I ensured that it fits our rice cooker.
While the rice cooker is cooking. Prepare the red sauce for the pasta. This is another advantage, you can cook another dish in parallel without worrying of overcooking or burning the food because rice cookers automatically lessen the heat at certain point.
Follow the steps below in making the pasta sauce.
- Mince 1 whole onion and at least 5 cloves of garlic.
- Using a strainer wash ground pork. If it is frozen you can pour hot water to unfreeze. My tip is that , before you go to bed and sleep, you can take out from the refrigerator the meat you will cook the following day. This is to defreeze it while you are sleeping and you need not have to boil water. Again, small action that can help you save.
- Ensure that ground pork is free of water.
- Put a pan in the stove and heat for a couple of minutes. Put 2 tbsp of butter (1/4 stick). Melt it fully,
- Add garlic then the onion. Cook until garlic is light brown ( around 2 minutes).
- Add the ground pork and cook until light brown. Add 2 cups of tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. You can add more tomato sauce to make it thicker. Wait until the mixture boils with constant stirring. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Now, for the chicken, my children choose roasted over steamed so I roast the chicken for 7 to 10 minutes using our oven toaster while preparing the dining table. You can extend heating depending on how much roasted you want the chicken to be. In my family’s case, light brown is enough. Please see the finished dishes on the photo below,
You can eat it all in one sitting or in different meal times. For example, Siomai for breakfast, chicken for lunch and spaghetti for dinner. You may add rice, vegetable salad and slices of fruits. Apple or mango are good choices.
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