Here’s the deal : I like mixing different food together to make something new. Ultimately, it looks unappetizing, inedible. I don’t care because it’s me eating it.
This is why writing for this blog is going to be decidedly difficult.
When I first started going vegan with by better half, I hit the same wall all soon-to-be-vegans do : WTF can you eat that doesn’t have meat or dairy in it? My go-to was rice.
Rice is deceptively easy to cook if you treat it tenderly and with respect. I prefer brown rice which is harder to cook for some, mostly because it takes longer to cook. And I must admit that it took (and is taking) a lot of trial and error to get the texture right. But the result is healthier than white rice.
Regardless of which kind of rice you choose to cook, rice by itself is pretty effing dull. Granted, you’ll get some basic nutrition out of it, but without loading up on soy sauce it can pretty much suck. Especially when you eat it every. night. like I did when I was first going vegan.
My solution to the boring rice problem was Bachelor Chow.
No, it’s not the dog food you see on Futurama. Rather, it’s a mix of things that can be super easy to cook, and winds up giving you an extraordinary amount of nutrition. Then I proceed to make it into junkfood with the things I add to it.
Let’s begin with the ground-level edition of BachChow, shall we?
~6 Cups Water
1 Cup Brown Rice
1 Cup Quinoa
1/2 Cup Lentils
Estimated prep/cooking time ~50 minutes
Get a pot big enough to furnish ~7-8 Cups of material. Drop your water in there, and bring it to a full boil. Dump the rice, quinoa, and lentils all into the boiling water. Wait until the water starts to act all uppity and try to boil over, and drop the burner head down to medium heat (a little above medium is sufficient). Now, you play the waiting game.
With rice, you shouldn’t have to stir it to make it do its thing. Just let the boiling water do the work. Wait a half hour, and then return to the pot. If it still has water, let it boil another 5 minutes or so. But once holes start appearing in the mixture, that’s when it’s go time (Read : Get ready to make sure you don’t lose your batch of Bach to the burn deities).
Get your wooden spoon and go around the edges of the mixture to keep it from sticking. Then go from the outside of the pan in, so you scrape the bottom of the pot. If you feel resistance or a bumpy texture at the bottom of the pan, quickly go around the pot outside-inning until you ensure there is no stickage at the bottom of the pot. Turn off the heat. Note that there may be a little teensy-weensy bit of water left in the bottom of the pot. That’s totally cool. Just let the rice absorb what’s left of it.
Now you should have baseline BachChow. It has some fiber, some carbs, some aminos, some iron. The rice should be soft, the lentils should be squishy, and the quinoa should make the dish look like a bunch of tiny sperm and egg exploded. It’s pretty damn good as it is. But you may want to add some flavor.
Below are some suggestions on how to spice up your BachChow to make it look horrific, and make it taste amazing.
Things you may want :
Daiya grated cheese (Mozzarella and Cheddar)
Hot Sauce (Tapatio, Cholula, Sriracha)
I’m not saying you need to mix all of the above into the BachChow. But I’m not saying you can’t, either. I like to add Liquid Aminos, hot sauce, and Daiya at the minimum. If you want to add some meaty texture, make some tempeh strips and drop them in there. Garlic salt can be a gangster addition, but some freshly diced garlic is a healthier choice.
Frankly, BachChow is something you should experiment with. Add veggies, add other sauces, add tomato sauce. Do what feels right. You may end up making an earth shattering mixture that is deceptively easy to make and reproduce.
Good luck with your BachChow.
I admit I’m a really big fan of this recipe. Brent introduced it to me months ago and now it’s my go-to when I want nutritious comfort food and don’t have a lot of time or energy to cook.
I take a cup (mine is 50/50 lentils and quinoa) and add 1 inch cube of Teese Mozzarella, about 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, a few shakes of ponzu sauce, several shakes of hot sauce and salt to taste.
Thank you, Brent!
[…] ate mine with my variant of bachelor chow which I prefer to prepare in the microwave. I add 1/4 cup of French lentils to 1 cup of water, […]
I, too, have started eating bachelor chow several times a week. My version is 4 cups rice and 2 cups quinoa cooked in 4 cups veggie broth (I’m about to start making my own broth – yay!) and 8 cups water, with whatever seasonings sound good at the time. I saute mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, onions and garlic in a little olive oil and mix it all in. Half gets frozen that day, the other half gets split up and cooked different ways so I have a few choices when I open the fridge.
In my fridge now: “Taco” flavor with cayenne pepper, California pepper and salsa (to eat with Boulder Canyon vegan, gluten-free, rice & bean chips), and a casserole made with bachelor chow, peas, broccoli and vegan cheese.