Tag Archives: rice cooker

Thanksgiving leftovers: Easy Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comAre you still dealing with Thanksgiving leftovers? Fried rice may be the perfect way to use up those last bits of peas, ham or turkey from your holiday meal.

Recently, I had some leftover peas, rice, eggs and shrimp in my refrigerator. So I created Easy Shrimp Fried Rice with a little help from a packet of Fried Rice Seasoning Mix from Sun-Bird Seasonings.

I just followed the recipe on the back of the packet with a few substitutions like diced onion for green onions and gluten free tamari sauce instead of soy sauce. I healthed up the recipe a bit by using 1/3 egg whites for one of the egg and cutting back on the oil. I also used more shrimp and peas than the recipe called for since I wanted to use up my leftovers.

You can make this even healthier by using brown rice instead of white rice and adding more veggies. (Edamame or frozen mini lima beans would be a great substitute for the peas!)

Sun Bird Fried Rice

Sun-Bird Seasonings are a great way to make a quick, healthy meal from leftovers and whatever you have on hand in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry. What’s your favorite way to use up leftovers?

Disclosure: Guenther, the parent company of Sun-Bird, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own

Rice cooker recipes: Dried Mushroom Risotto

Rice cooker recipes: Dried Mushroom Risotto at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com This is another rice cooker risotto made with a “fuzzy logic” rice cooker based on a recipe from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann.

What I like about this recipe is that it uses dried mushrooms instead of fresh ones. I always have a bag of shitake mushrooms in the cupboard and a bag of arborio rice. As long as I have the time to make it (you have to soak the mushrooms for a hour) and a few other ingredients I can easily whip up this dish as a side or main course.

This recipe is gluten free and milk free as long as you use a non-dairy buttery spread and eliminate the Parmesan cheese (or substitute soy or rice cheese). It can also serve as a vegan dish as long as you use vegetable stock and vegan buttery spreads and cheeses.

This Mama’s tips

  • You can use porcini, morels, chanterelles or shiitake mushrooms – or a mixture of several types.
  • If you’re looking to lower calories, use vegetable over beef or chicken stock.
  • My favorite buttery spread is I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Best Life and Good Earth are good choices as well.
  • Don’t have any celery? Use minced onion instead.
  • If you don’t have dry white wine on hand or are avoiding alcohol, just add a little more stock.
  • The rice is creamy enough so adding Parmesan cheese at the end is optional. That way those with food sensitivities to milk products or those who want to reduce fat calories can eliminate it all together. I haven’t tried it with vegan soy or rice cheese, but those are good alternatives to the Parmesan since both melt well.
Rice cooker recipes: Dried Mushroom Risotto at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Dried Mushroom Risotto

Based on the recipe found in The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook



  • Medium (6 cup) to large (10 cup) fuzzy logic rice cooker.


  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms
  • 2 cups hottest possible tap water
  • 1 1/2 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon low saturated fat buttery spread
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons arborio rice

To finish:

  • 2 teaspoons buttery spread
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional) plus more for serving


  1. Place the mushrooms in a small bowl and add the hot water. Let stand for an hour or longer. (Or combine the mushrooms and water in a microwave-safe container, cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.)
  2. When the mushrooms are soft, remove them from the liquid squeezing gently to remove as much liquid as possible. Remember to save all the liquid!
  3. Slice the mushrooms into pieces, about 1/4 x 1 inch. Discard any tough stems. Keep in mind that the smaller you cut the pieces, the less intense the mushroom flavor will be.
  4. Carefully pour the mushroom soaking liquid into a measuring cup, leaving any grit behind.
  5. Add the stock to the mushroom soaking liquid until you have 3 cups.
  6. Set the rice cooker for the Quick Cook or regular cycle.
  7. Place olive oil and buttery spread in the rice cooker bowl.
  8. When the butter melts, add the celery. Cook, stirring a few times until softened – about 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in the wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  10. Add the rice and stir with a rice paddle until the grains are evenly coated and hot.
  11. Cook, stirring a few times, until the grains of rice are transparent except for a white spot on each – about 3 to 5 minutes.
  12. Add the stock mixture and mushrooms to the rice and stir to combine.
  13. Close the cover and reset for the risotto cycle. Cook for 20 minutes.
  14. When the machine switches to the Keep Warm cycle (or after 20 minutes are up) open the cover and stir with the rice paddle or a wooden spoon. The risotto should be al dente, tender with just a touch of tooth resistance. You can keep the risotto on Keep Warm for up to an hour.
  15. When ready to serve, stir in the buttery spread, parsley and salt and pepper (to taste). If you’re using Parmesan, soy or rice cheese add it at this time. If you have some people who want cheese and others who don’t, sprinkle grated cheese on top of their risotto. Or you can serve the “no cheese please” folks first and then add cheese to the rest of the risotto.
Prep Time: 35 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4
  • Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 272
  • Calories from Fat: 57
  • Total Fat: 6.3g
  • Saturated fat: 1.3g
  • Sodium: 339mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 44.0g
  • Sugar: 0.8g
  • Fiber: 1.8g
  • Protein: 5.7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Weight Watchers POINTS = 6 (without cheese)

Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website

Rice cooker recipes: Yam Congee

Rice cooker recipes: Yam Congee at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com According to Wikipedia, congee is:

A type of rice porridge popular in many Asian countries. It can be eaten or served with a side dish. It can be considered as a porridge or thick soup.

In many Asian cultures, it is also called juk (Cantonese, Korean), chao (Vietnamese), chok (Thais) or kayu (Japanese).

In some cultures congee is eaten primarily as a breakfast food or late supper. It is often considered particularly suitable for the sick as a mild, easily digestible food.

I was introduced to congee by a writer friend of mine, who made it in her crock pot. (Since she’s originally from the South, I teased her that she was making “Asian grits.”) When my husband bought me a “fuzzy logic” rice cooker and I found out that rice was the only grain I could eat due to my food sensitivities, I started to look for congee recipes.

The Everything Rice Cooker Cookbook

The Everything Rice Cooker Cookbook by Hui Leng Tay has a whole chapter on congee – pumpkin congee, tuna and corn congee, and even gojiberry congee – 10 congee recipes in all.

All the congee recipes look very easy to make and didn’t need anything more exotic than soy sauce. The rest of the book has been criticized in the reviews on Amazon for using too many hard-to-find Asian ingredients. That’s hardly the case as long as you have a decent Asian section in your supermarket or health food store or an Asian market nearby.

However, if you’re looking for more basic rice cooker dishes like risotto, soups or chilis, maybe The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook would be a better fit for you.

This Mama’s tips

  • I took The Everything Rice Cooker Cookbook’s Sweet Potato Congee recipe and modified it since I like yams better than sweet potatoes. You can use either. (Don’t know the difference between yams and sweet potatoes? Read this article.)
  • During this process you can adjust the amount of water, depending on whether you like soupy or thick rice congee. (I like thick, so I didn’t add extra water.) Brown rice tends to need more water than white rice, so err on the side of a little too much water.
  • You can serve this for breakfast or as a savory side dish. For breakfast, you could add a little stevia or agave - very similar to hot oatmeal. For a savory dish, add soy sauce or a herb blend like Mrs. Dash.
  • Congee heats up very well the next day in the microwave.
Rice cooker recipes: Yam Congee at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Yam Congee

Based on the Sweet Potato Congee recipe in The Everything Rice Cooker Cookbook


  • 1 cup brown rice, rinsed and drained
  • 4 to 5 cups water, less water for thicker consistency
  • 1 peeled yam, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • salt, to taste


  1. Add the rinsed rice and water to the rice cooker, cover and set to Cook.
  2. When you hear the rice cooker making noises and see some over-bubbling of fluid at the lid (or in the vent), add the sweet potatoes and salt.
  3. Stir congee and continue to cook for 30 to 45 minutes. (Tilt the cover slightly to vent the steam pressure if your rice cooker doesn’t have a vent.)
  4. Stir occasionally until yams are cooked through.
  5. You can keep on warm for up to an hour.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Hours
Total Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4
  • Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 198
  • Calories from Fat: 12
  • Total Fat: 1.3g
  • Sodium: 51mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 42.1g
  • Sugar: 1.9g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Protein: 4.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Weight Watchers POINTS = 3

Rice cooker recipes: Butternut Squash Risotto

Rice cooker recipes: Butternut Squash Risotto from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Continue reading