I hate Mondays! Mondays = hectic. Yesterday, Alycia told me this “mummy, if there is one word to describe Mondays, it is HATE! I wish there was a ‘I Hate Mondays’ shirt that I can buy to wear to describe how I feel!” LOL!!
Since Sunday, Cass has been telling me how much she hated Mondays too. She hates Mondays as everyone has to listen to boring lectures in the school hall for hours, first thing in the morning…. in Mandarin! And she tells me that she only comprehends 50% of what’s being said most of the time.
One of the reasons why I hate Mondays is that I have to cook something that is really really easy and fast (and MUST BE TASTY for my 3 fussy eaters!) as the drama queen has hip hop dance class at 7pm. I have to start cooking at 4:30pm and pick her up from the enrichment center by 5ish pm. Back home, everyone has to have dinner latest by 6pm.
The only thing fast to whip up on Mondays is a one-pot meal. Yes, 1-POT. My favorite words when it comes to cooking for my fussy girls 🙂
Lately I’ve heard of this amazingly easy dish to cook in a rice cooker that everyone’s been raving about — the whole tomato rice! Actually I have cooked tomato rice twice last year, even before I heard wind of this famous tomato rice. My own version was tomatoes cooked with rice. Then the mashed tomatoes and rice were transferred into a wok where other ingredients were added to make fried rice.
Yesterday, my whole tomato rice was cooked in the rice cooker alone and I did not do any stir-frying. No oil splatters. A fuss-free and sweat-free one-pot whole tomato dish, cooked in the rice cooker!
One word describes this one-pot meal – SIMPLICITY at its best!
First, wash rice grains and put into rice cooker. Dump in any ingredient that you want into the rice cooker with the whole tomatoes, of course. I used long beans (a handful), 3 whole ripened tomatoes, sliced shiitake mushrooms, garlic oil, pepper, 2 tablespoons of spaghetti sauce and pink sea salt. Since my girls are carnivorous, I bought some char siew and roast chicken in the morning. That was dumped into the rice cooker too. Once everything is in, press START and please wait patiently for 30 minutes before the aroma wafts the air in the house.
Once the rice is cooked, mash the tomatoes. It’s kind of therapeutic to see the tomato juice splattering out when you poke the tomatoes 😀
Mix everything up well.
My little drama queen decorated her plate of tomato rice with seasoned Korean seaweed (a staple in our house!), chopped scallions, fried scallions, cherry tomatoes and black pepper. Note that since no frying is involved, the taste can be a tad bland. If you have fussy eaters who expect intense flavors, then you can season this dish with flavorful condiments like dried herbs, fresh herbs, scallions, seaweed, pepper, curry powder and anything you fancy. For not so healthy condiments, you can squeeze in some mayo, chilli sauce and tomato ketchup.
Note: do not put too much water to cook the rice as the tomatoes produce water too. You should put lesser water than usual, else the rice will be mushy and sticky.
With all the right combo of condiments and ingredients used to cook this one-pot meal, it was very tasty. It tasted even better the next day, when reheated. Cass and Sherilyn liked it so much that they asked to bring this to school today. I’m happiest when my girls like what I cook and ask to bring them to school to eat and ‘show off’ to their friends. Sherilyn tells me that her friends are envious that she gets to bring home-cooked meals to school for recess almost everyday! 😀
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