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Healthy Living Recipes

Deb Morgan: One of the things I love about cooking with whole grains—in addition to amazing nutritional value—is the versatility and the myriad possibilities of creating great new dishes from leftovers. This month I’ve taken one large pot of plain brown rice and turned it into six meals. Here’s how:

First, make an extra-large batch of plain brown rice (short or medium grain). Start with 3 cups of dry rice and 5½ cups of water; you’ll end up with close to 9 cups of cooked rice. Enjoy the brown rice the first night with stir-fried vegetables and a protein of choice (tofu, nuts, organic chicken, or fresh fish)—this is meal 1.

Then, while you’re cleaning up dinner, make a batch of Sun Burgers (see recipe below). Keep a few in the refrigerator for a lunch during the week (meal 2) and freeze the rest for future use (meal 3). Make some of the mixture into "meatball"-sized shapes and enjoy a dinner of whole-wheat spaghetti and "sunballs" with marinara sauce (meal 4). Cool 2 cups of the cooked rice and follow the recipe below for a delicious rice and nut salad—add a fresh green salad and you have a wonderful lunch (meal 5).

Finally, with the last of the cooked rice, soak 1 cup overnight in 1 cup of soy or rice milk, plus some chopped dried fruit (dates are my favorite), a few chopped raw almonds, and 1 teaspoon of cardamom. In the morning, heat the rice and add more liquid (either milk or water) until rice is warm and creamy. Add a banana or some fresh-picked blueberries and you have a hearty and nutritious breakfast. (meal 6).

Sun Burgers

Makes 4 burgers plus 12–16 sunballs.

3 cups cooked brown rice
4 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup washed and chopped parsley
1 cup grated raw carrots
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon each of ground cumin and onion powder (optional)

In a food processor, grind the sunflower seeds until well crushed (but not paste). Add remaining ingredients except rice and blend until well combined. Add rice and pulse until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Using wet hands, shape the mixture into burger and balls. Burgers and sunballs can be baked on an oiled baking sheet or heated in a skillet with a small amount of oil. Both freeze well; thaw before cooking.

Read why this is Kripalu nutritionist John’s Bagnulo’s favorite Kripalu recipe.

This is by far my favorite recipe as yet, for several reasons. Entirely plant-based and made with whole foods, these burgers have an excellent fiber content and a low glycemic index. The carrots and sunflower seeds that form a major portion of the recipe add a large raw-food component. Additionally, these Sun Burgers are an excellent food for building stronger bones, as they are high in minerals and trace minerals, especially boron. More and more research has shown that boron plays a critical role in the mineralization of bone. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, these vegetarian burgers have amazing flavor—they are head and shoulders above all the other vegetarian burgers out there, in both taste and what they offer your body.

Rice and Nut Salad

Serves two.

2 cups cooked rice
½ cup grated carrots
¼ cup chopped scallion
¼ cup raw or toasted nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, or cashews)
¼ cup raw or toasted pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds
Small amount of organic raisins or other dried fruit
¼ cup chopped parsley
1½–2 tablespoons tamari (natural soy sauce)
1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Toss all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Separately combine tamari and oil and toss into salad. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Deb Howard, Executive Chef, Kripalu Kitchen.

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.