Friday, June 12, 2009

Oven Baked Rice with zucchini and a little introduction to ayurveda

Oven Baked Rice with zucchini

One of the reason why I love cooking so much is because you can travel around the world without moving home (of course, I would like to visit physically all that places, but at this moment my budget is not big enough, so I have to put up with travelling through the kitchen u_u). An example could be the oven baked rice with zucchinni I did yesterday. One of the most importants parts of the food photography process are the plates and the way you set them (one tip: food looks better in tiny plates). I wanted to try something new, because I already photographed food in all the little plates and bowls I have, and I didn't want to repite again. My idea was to put the rice in a little bowl and to turn it down on a bigger plate. But I didn't calculate well the distance. The result? The rice timbale leaned and I had the Tower of Pisa on my plate! But I loved so much how my mistake looked, that I decided to leave it.

I got the Photoshop CS· a few days ago, and I wanted to play a little bit... I love brushes! What do you think about? Do you like graphic design? Do you use Photoshop or you have any other favorite software? (I have been using Paint Shop Pro for ages, and I still love it)

I got the Photoshop CS3 a few days ago, and I wanted to play a little bit... I love brushes! What do you think about? Do you like graphic design? Do you use Photoshop or you have any other favorite software? (I have been using Paint Shop Pro for ages, and I still love it)

And that Oven Baked Rice with zucchini is my recipe today. This time, the recipe is mine. I love rice, specially basmanti rice (I buy the mine organic) and zucchini
s are in season. So why don't put them thogether in the oven and submit the ricipe to the Monthly Mingle # 33? Monthly Minlgle is a food blog event created by What's for lunch, honey?, and this month is hosted by Edible Garden. The theme of Monthy Mingle change in every edition, and this time is called "ravishing rice": dishes feautring rice or rice-related ingredients. You still have time until 15th to participate!

An introduction to ayurveda: Have you ever heard about ayurveda? I am not an expert in ayurveda, but I am interested in it. For the people who don't know it, ayurveda is a traditional medicine from India. It involves lifestyle, habits and diet, but diet is what sounds familiar to the majority (although massage with essencial oils, for instance, are very used too). According to ayurveda, there are thre doshas: vata, kappa and pitta. We all have vata, kappa and pitta, but one of them must be the predominant (sometimes two predominant doshar). Ayurveda doesn't aim to level all of them. It's objective is to restore our natural balance. For instance, I am vata-pita with kappa as secondary. Kappa doesn't have to be at the same level as pitta or vata, because it's not my constitution (prakriti). If I travell too much, don't rest enough and drink coffee my vata wil be too high (higher than it must be) and I won't feel well (insomnia, nerviosism and depression are simtoms of vata disbalance). To restore my level of vata, I must follow a proper diet and some lifestyle norms (for instance, routine, eating and going to sleep at the same time helps vata).

Food helps to reduce or increase one type of dosha or other. Rice is one of the best foods for vata, as well as nutritious, moist and hot dishes. Spices play an important role too. **And this is the part related to today's recipe: I used a mix of spices suitable for vata. You can find them in some shops, but I could not find any and I decided to do it myself. This is the mix I used: 3 parts of fennel (or anis) an 1 part of: turmeric, cumin, dried gigner, black pepper, cardammon, salt, sugar, fenugreek. This are spices recommender for vata persons. If you are interested in it, in the Internet there is a lot of informa.tion. Some useful links to begin: Diet according to dosha, Choosing Food for an ayurvedic diet, Ayurveda recipes, Ayurveda Holistic on-line.

Do you already know what is your dosha? In the Internet there are many questionaires wich helps you to find it. Tell me about your experiences with alternative medicine (when I say alternative medicince, I also mean yoga and other asian disciplines)

Oven Baked Rice with zucchini Serves 3-4
This is a very simple and easy recipe, perfect for everyday cooking. If you don't wan't to add spices, is even easier: you can use any rice leftovers, or add the to the zucchini. Baking it all together in the oven will blend and develop the flavors.

-2 medium zucchinnis, shredded
-1 cup cooked rice (I used brown organic basmanti)
-1/2 onion, chopped
-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
-Stock or water
-Mix of spices of your choice - I used vata spices, but you can use any (**see notes about spices above)

1. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add the spices. Fry them on a low heat during a cuple of minutes.Add the rice, the salt (begin with 1/2 teaspoon if using water and less if using stock), cook for a minute and cover with stock or water. Boil until the rice is almost done.
2. Heat the second tablespoon of olive oil and add the onions. Cook until they began to caramelize and add the shredded zucchini. Cook for 5-7 minutes, no more.
3. Put the almost done rice and the zucchini in a oven proof casserole and mix them. If there is no stock, add more. Bake covered for 30-40 minutes on a very low heat. I served it over a cauliflower-beets mash. Beans, lentils or tofu would be great sides too.

Spanish version:

Arroz al horno con calabacín Hace 3-4 porciones
- 2 calabacines medianos, rallados
-1 taza de arroz cocido (yo usé arroz basmanti intergral ecológico)
-1/2 cebolla, picada
-2 cucharadas de aceite de oliva
-caldo o agua
-mezcla de especias - Yo usé especias adecuadas para vata, pero puedes usar cualquiera (**ver notas sobre especias arriba)
1. Calienta una cucharada de aceite de oliva en una sartén y añade las especias. Fríelas a fuego muy bajo durante unos cuantos minutos. Añade el arros, la sal (empieza con 1/2 cucharadita si usas agua y menos si usas caldo), cocina durante un minute y cubre con caldo o agua. Hierve hasta que el arroz esté casi hecho.
2. Calienta la segunda cucharada de aceite de oliva y añade la cebolla. Cocina hasta que empiecen a caramelizarse y añade el calabacín rallado. Cucece durante 5-7minutos, no más.
3. Pon el arroz casi completamente cocido y el calabacín en un recipiente resistente al horno y mézclalos. Si no queda caldo, añade más. Hornea cubierto durante 30-40 minutos a fuego muy bajo. Yo lo serví con un puré de coliflor con remolacha. Judías, lentjeas o tofu también serían un buen acompañante.

Oven Baked Rice with zucchini  - Just oven baked!


Ksenia said...

Trying....There were problems with the comments and the new design =(

kitty_meowmeow said...

hi there!! I just stumbled onto your blog...i really like the layout! I was wondering what the pink food is underneath the rice

Ksenia said...

kitty_meowmeow, I'm glad that you like the layout ^^ Actually, I prefer this layour to the previous one. I'm keen on graphic design, so I enjoy doing it =)

The stuff under the rice is a cauliflower-beets mash. It has got more cauliflower than beets, but it's enough to dye it everything with a bright pink colour (including my hands)