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Cool Cooking

Island Epicure

It’s a rare cool, cloudy August day as I write this, but on the day I cooked the dish in the recipe below, the temperature in my kitchen was 81 degrees.  Son Steve, visiting from China, and I had no desire to turn on the cookstove. Instead, we pressed my microwave and rice cooker into doing cooler cooking. I made golden rice with pumpkin seeds for our main dish, and Steve made a salad to go with it. The microwave briefly thawed and cooked baby green peas.  He relished that third serving  of golden rice and pumpkin seeds for breakfast the next morning.

Pumpkin seeds yield an amazing amount of protein: 40.6 milligrams in each cupful, and besides they are rich in magnesium, a mineral the modern American diet is notoriously short on, according to nutritionists. One cup of these little green seeds gives you 738 milligrams of magnesium. The RDA for men over 50 is 420 mg and the RDA for women is 320 mg. Even the brown rice in my recipe below yields 177 milligrams. The entire recipe makes three servings.  Two for the two of us for supper, and a third that Steve relished for his breakfast the next morning. Grandson James was off on a sail around Vashon and Maury Islands that kept him from being here to eat that third serving. He did not have favorable winds, and even turned the boat’s motor on once, he admitted.

Here is the recipe as I created it. If you are cooking for six just double it. If for four, increase ingredient quantities by one-third.

Pumpkin Seed Golden Rice
           3 servings

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup brown long grain rice
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 cup pumpkin seeds
¾ teaspoon iodized salt or sea salt
 2 ½ cups water for rice cooker or 2 cups water for pan on stovetop; cook covered)

First put the oil in bowl of rice cooker, or pan on stovetop. Add rice and stir so every grain is covered. This keeps rice grains from sticking to the pan. Add remaining ingredients except for pumpkin seeds. Stir. Cover and cook until rice grains start to turn into x’s. Add pumpkin seeds, stir and serve warm.

So you see you can have a cooked meal rich in flavor, nutrition and even beauty, even without turning on the stove and causing the humans of the house more perspiring that the weather does.

The only other resident of our house is Bunny, a mini-Manx cat who hangs out in the coolest parts of the house, taking her catnaps on the bathroom rug or even on the tile floor.

P.S. The salad Steve made was red, white and green, composed of diced tomato, cucumber, and bell pepper layered on torn lettuce leaves topped with ranch type dressing.