1Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.
2Place the measured water in a medium saucepan with a tightfitting lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and salt (if using), stir to incorporate, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer undisturbed until the rice is tender, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered to steam for 10 minutes more. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Steamed white rice is so simple it's actually rather easy to mess up. Ever have it burn on the bottom, or had the grains go crunch between your teeth? This recipe will give you perfect, fluffy, tender rice every time, to go with all your stir fries, curries, and main-dish proteins.
Most granola is a fancy twist on toasted oats—consider that when contemplating the exorbitant prices retailers charge for it. The thing is, granola is incredibly easy to make at home, and for a fraction of the cost. This recipe is a granola base to which you can add whatever dried fruit, nuts, or other tasty bits make you happy. Feel free to tweak this with other spices, a little less honey, more salt—it’s quite forgiving, and customizing your own blend is the fun of making your own. If you want to experiment even further, try using other rolled grains such as spelt or barley and wheat instead of oats.
Easy Rice Pudding
A simple and supremely satisfying dessert, rice pudding is pure comfort in a bowl. It's easy to get there too! Just simmer white rice with whole milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt until the grains are tender, plump, and creamy, then stir in a little vanilla or almond extract while the pudding's still warm. Top however you like (fresh berries in season, dried fruit, toasted nuts for a crunchy contrast, a sprinkle of cinnamon, etc.) -- you really can't go wrong.
Basic Roasted Beets
Naturally sweet, deeply earthy, and a beautiful shade of red, beets are pretty perfect. Simply roasting them concentrates their sugars and turns them tender, ready to toss in any sort of salad or to serve alongside other foods, and prepping them couldn't be easier.
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper.