(Not So) Plain Rice / (Не)обичен ориз

(Serves 2) / (за 2 лица)
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Here’s what you’ll need:
1 1/2 cup white rice
You can also use whole rice if you want, or maybe mix the two, and throw in some rice shaped vegan pasta, bf’s mom did this last time we had lunch at their place and it was really great
1 medium sized red onion, grated
2 medium sized garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium sized carrots, grated
1 large tomato, grated 1 large dry red pepper (you can even make it a chilly if you like hot food like I do)
7 tbsp red cabbage, chopped
3 cups boiling water
*keep in mind that liquid-to-rice ratio should be 2:1
Oil
Salt
Mixed dry vegetables (optional)
2 tbsp dried parsley
Mixed pepper, freshly ground
2 tbsp powdered Shiitake mushroms
2 tsp Turmeric
1 tbsp Black cumin

Directions
Wash the rice thoroughly and set aside. Wash the tomato, the dry red pepper, and the cabbage. Grate the tomato in a separate bowl, chop the red pepper and the cabbage and set aside. Now peel and wash the onion, the garlic, and the carrots. Grate the carrots and the onion in separate bowls, then chop the garlic and set aside.

Take a large pot and boil the water, make it salty to your taste. You can even add some mixed dry vegetables for extra flavor.

In the meantime place the grated carrots in a different pot, put some oil (to your taste) and fry a little on low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When the oil starts turning orange add the onion. Stir until onion turns glassy and then add the garlic. Fry a little longer stirring constantly. It is very important that you don’t stop stirring because the ingredients may burn and stick to the bottom of the pot. Now add the tomato, the dry red pepper, and the cabbage. Stir some more, about 2-3 minutes, and then add the washed rice. Preheat oven to 250°C (482°F). Stir about 2-3 more minutes.

Take a clay baking pot (we used two smaller separate pots, because bf likes his rice dry and not completely cooked, I like mine creamier and with a bit of stock in it) and put the rice mixture inside. Add all of the spices, save for the turmeric and the black cumin which should be added about 5 minutes before you remove the rice from the oven. Stir a bit so the rice takes in the boiled water evenly. Make sure it’s salty to your taste and place in oven. After 5-10 minutes reduce temp. to 200°C (392°F) and cook for another 20-30 minutes.

We had the rice with some sauerkraut sprinkled with powdered red pepper. And now just as I was searching the English term for this amazingly healthy salad I realized our traditional recipe is not out there. I will have to make another post especially for this since sauerkraut is ubersuperfood, especially for vegans!

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Hey!

Today was a very busy day. First, me and bf got up very late because the whole previous week we had to wake up early to get to work plus bf is not that used to the bed in the new condo and he doesn’t sleep very well on it, so we end up sleeping (way) in on weekends.

When we (finally) got up, we had a quick breakfast and headed for our hill house where six of our cats live, two boys (Bandit and Mile) and four girls (Mila, Paunka, Mushu, Bubulka) – all of them spayed/neutered. In our apartment with us lives the youngest cat – Little Prince (we saved him last summer), he is not yet neutered so we can’t leave him there with the other cats yet. He’ll be joining them this summer. We are going over there every other day to feed the cats and to clean up. They have their own house which is approx. 90 sq. feet and 6 feet high at the lowest point. It’s built from cinder blocks and it has a green tin roof (I swear I was not thinking T. Williams when building it :)). The house still needs work though, hoping to finish it up next summer. I need to put flooring, paint the walls, and put a piece of metal to protect the lower part of the door from outside. All of the cats are rescues and lately I see that they’re not so hostile anymore to the local stray cats (also about 6-7) and they let them get inside to get warm and sneak a bite. My cats just love it there. They really hated it when they were living in the apartment when me and bf used to live with my parents. It was really a small apartment, and it was six humans and six cats. You know how cats absolutely love their space! I promise to put up pics from the house when I finish it this summer 😉

After we cuddled for a while with the cats and allowed them to overfill us with positive energy, we went to my parents’ to get some stuff for tomorrow. Bf’s going skiing on Šar Mountains in Tetovo, and I and a couple of other friends are going there and simply to enjoy the sun, relax all day long and breathe some crisp fresh air which at the moment is the biggest luxury here in Skopje. So tomorrow I’m planning on posting something really simple, maybe the morning snack right before we leave, because we will have to get up really early, around 6 AM and we will get back late at night. But I can probably take a photo of the lunch we are having there and get you the recipe for it. Bf wants us to have beans. It is the best beans you’ve ever had, believe me when I tell you this! And I have to get the recipe from the cooks tomorrow and post it here.

So, when we came back home around 8 PM we were already starving, and since we both love rice very much (especially me), and it is really easy to make, we decided we are going to have that for dinner.

Hope you’ll like our recipe. We made it together with bf 🙂 which means it’s extra tasty!
One love,
D

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