18. Dec, 2017

Greek cabbage & rice ( Lahanorizo )

I'll admit my mother never used brown rice when I was growing up, but when you eat as many vegies and legumes as those of my parent's generation do, it's perhaps not as important as it is for us Gen Xers and Millenials 

I'm trying to make up for a couple of decades of eating a predominantly Western Diet. It's hard for children of migrants who may a) want to fit in and eat like everyone else &/or b) actually like the taste of other culture's food. I definitely fall into the latter category. I feel so blessed to have grown up in such a multicultural country. I remember being taught to cook Asian food in high school in the 80s (Nasi Goreng, anyone?) - and haven't we come a long way since then?

So like a lot of traditional (ie my mum''s) Greek recipes, I swap ingredients whenever possible to make them healthier still.  Normally, lahanorizo (the h is pronounced as in halo) can be with or without tomato, but it is traditionally made with only green cabbage and white rice. 

My Greek-Aussie nutritionist twist is to split the cabbage between green and red, swap the white for brown or Doongarra Low GI Brown Rice (they also have a white version), and onion for leek whenever they're in season (which is now). 

Red cabbage is a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fibre Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.

Brown rice has up to 6 times the dietary fibre of white rice, 10 times the calcium, 5 times the magnesium, and twice the iron, phosphorus and folate.  This varies among brands of course, but you get the idea. It's much, much better for you and you do get used to the different texture, and may even (like myself) prefer it eventually. 

Leek is sweeter than onion and you can use a lot more of it without it overtaking the dish - so more fibre still! In fact, there is a Leek & Rice dish that is very similar to this one. Think more leek & rice, no cabbage. 

What I love about the pressure cooker is that I can toss all the ingredients into the pot, stir it all around, and set it to cook. There is no stirring until it's finished (it's non-stick), just 20 minutes at high pressure (on many cookers this is the Rice setting of 15 mins + 5 mins adjusting) and let the pressure fall naturally and serve an hour or more later. The rice will absorb more liquid in this time and continue to cook a bit as it is much firmer than white rice. The cooker defaults to 'Keep Warm' mode but you can turn it off and unplug it if you prefer, the results remain the same.

I honestly can't live without my electric pressure cooker, it is my most used kitchen appliance. I rely on it so much, that I have a spare in my garage in case the current one decides to give up the ghost (probably due to over-use). 😀 I can't recommend them highly enough to busy people. 

 

Lahanorizo Electric Pressure Cooker recipe 

Serves: Several - I always cook for a small army & it tastes even better the next day, so expect tasty leftovers. I rarely cook a meal just for one day - unless it's a salad - as we need school or work lunches too and it covers both.

Ingredients:

1/3 green (eg drumhead - not Savoy if Low FODMAP) cabbage, chopped

1/3 whole red cabbage, chopped

Leek - all of green and 1/3 - 1/2 of white (if Low FODMAP substitute white for 3x green spring onion or more green part of leek) 

2 tbspns tomato paste

1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil

1.5 cups brown rice

6-8 cups of water (depending on whether you like it with a bit of liquid - 'zoumi' as we call it in Greek - good for dunking sourdough in!)

1/2 - 1 teaspoon pepper

Optional - crumbled authentic feta cheese (Made of sheep's &/or goat's milk only Eg Dodoni or Lemnos brand available in supermarkets)  on top prior to serving 

Salt to taste but be careful if adding optional extra crumbled feta cheese on top if you have moderate or high blood pressure

Method: 

If you have time, you can saute the leek and add the ingredients one at a time, but as a very time poor mum, I most often throw it all in the pot, stir to mix thoroughly, put the lid and timer on, then walk away until dinner time.  

Warning: Pressure cooked food is hot, so exercise caution and if you have children, it pays to serve their first and maybe even a few minutes earlier and set it aside to cool down a bit.  

 

You may be tempted to add garlic to this dish if you're not on the Low FODMAP diet, but it really doesn't suit the dish. And I don't say that very often! 😮