Old rice cooker replaced by the VitaClay® Chef

For several years, I used a rice cooker almost daily. But times have changed and, in these modern days, cooking in my VitaClay Chef Slow Cooker is just like traditional clay cooking pots that are used all over the world, but with bells and whistles.

For several years, I used a rice cooker almost daily. But times have changed and, in these modern days, cooking in my VitaClay Chef Slow Cooker is just like traditional clay cooking pots that are used all over the world, but with bells and whistles.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

In the mid ‘70s, my late husband was sent by his cardiologist to Duke University Medical Center to enter a program known as the Rice Diet Program. Dr. Walter Kempner, the program founder, came to the U.S. from Germany in 1934, and his goal in developing the plan was to address deadly high-blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease before the advent of modern drugs. Kempner is known as a pioneer in the science and psychology of obesity.

The plan resulted in serious weight loss, which led appearance-conscious celebrities of yesteryear to go to Durham, N.C., for the cure. Before the Atkins, South Beach and Paleo diets, the Rice Diet was built around a strict regimen of white rice and fruit, and the program became one of the country’s best-known diet centers in its more than 70 years of operation.

Under the rigid discipline of Kempner, enrolling in the Rice Diet residential facility was like entering boot camp for the overweight — one ate rice and fruit, and walked. The staff did not care what you thought, only what you ate and how often you exercised.

For several years, I used a rice cooker almost daily. But times have changed and, in these modern days, cooking in my VitaClay Chef Slow Cooker is just like traditional clay cooking pots that are used all over the world, but with bells and whistles. Because of the moist heat of clay pot cooking, excessive amounts of fats and seasonings are not needed to achieve flavorful results.

In essence, no fat is required, since the clay cooker cooks with a minimum of liquid and retains all the intense flavors of every ingredient, which is achieved by simmering in their own juices. Foods cooked in clay pots also retain more essential nutrients and vitamins because the food cooks in a closed environment with limited liquids.

Once the ingredients are put into the clay pot, you can set the timer and leave home while VitaClay Chef does the work. Whether using meats, vegetables, rice or grains, the food comes out delicious and healthy.

 

Mediterranean Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 black Kalamata olives, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed with a chef’s knife
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Preparation:

Place potatoes and onions in VitaClay pot. Toss with a good olive oil. Add olives, pine nuts, garlic and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix in vermouth. Cover and set on “Stew” mode (slow cooking) to cook for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Garnish with freshly chopped basil leaves and serve. Yield: 6 servings.

 

Coq au Vin French Stew in Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 frying chicken, cut up in parts
  • 2 cups pearl onions or chopped onions or shallots
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup good brandy or cognac
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Cook bacon in medium skillet over medium heat. Drain and crumble. Quickly brown the chicken in bacon fat. Transfer and add all other ingredients to VitaClay pot. Cover and set on “Stew” mode (slow cooking). Cook for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until chicken is tender. If sauce is too thin, thicken it by adding 2 tablespoons of flour dissolved in some water; add to the pot and cook for 15 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Serve over rice, potatoes or with rustic bread. Yield: 6 servings.

 

VitaClay Beef and Quinoa Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound lean (95-percent) ground beef
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons organic ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon organic soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 egg
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken or beef broth

Preparation:

To cook quinoa in VitaClay pot, add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup quinoa, set on regular “Rice,” and cook until it switches to “Warm.” Fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, mix together beef, quinoa, onions, carrots, zucchini, ketchup, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, salt, oregano, thyme and egg, until well combined. Shape beef mixture into 16 balls and transfer to cooker. Add beef or chicken broth. Cook on “Stew” mode (slow cooking) for 1 hour or until cooked through. Serve hot. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

 

Sources: bonappetit.com, gourmet.com and Joanne’s recipe box.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 6, December 2013/January 2014.

 

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