Category Archives: Fiber

Mr. Lazy Cook Makes another Crockpot Soup

Reasonably encouraged by the soup I made in my new crockpot last week, I decided to try again. This time with a different grain. BTW, while I have only a 1.5 quart cooker, my first batch yielded a LOT of soup. It took me almost a week to finish it. I think this sized slow cooker is perfect for a person who lives alone.

Second time around I did a variation on my recipe. I have found over the years that working with the same base and making incremental changes results in a discernible growth in information and opens up interesting avenues to experiment with in the future.

Variations on a theme of barley

This time instead of the farro in my first soup, I used barley. As far as taste goes, I prefer barley, but that is up to you. If you want to follow along with these, I suggest doing them in the same order.

Start with one cup of barley rinsed well.
This time I used 3-1/2 cups of chicken broth to account for absorption by the cooking barley.
Instead of powdered broth, I tried a liquid quart from Trader Joe’s.
Again, I cut up a celery stalk and a carrot stick into small, thin coins
Last but not least, I cut into small pieces half of a chicken breast left over from a rotisserie chicken.

Cook in slow cooker for 3 hours.

The result was even better than last week. The extra cup of broth meant I had more of a thick soup than a thin stew. I think the broth tasted richer, too.

I added a couple of touches when serving it.

I used to cook a lot of Asian dishes and I developed a taste for sesame oil. I added a teaspoon of sesame oil to the first bowl I served. This puts another layer of flavor on the dish.

As before, I toasted up a couple of slices of sprouted rye bread to dip.

The finished product was a lovely stick-to-the-ribs meal on a chilly March Sunday here in Chicago.

Barley nutritional breakdown:
one cup cooked barley yields 193 calories, 0.7 grams of fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, 4.7 mg of sodium, 44.3 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber and 3.5 grams of protein.


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Eat More Fiber – It Could Save Your Life

Fiber doesn’t get the food spotlight that things like fat, carbs and cholesterol do, but it’s something most of us don’t get enough of.

A new study says fiber can help us live longer and fend off several health problems. You can read about this new study on our health news page.

I got on the fiber bandwagon several years ago and have found my quality of life improved as a result. After trying a variety of high fiber cereals, I settled on Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal because it has more fiber per serving, 9 grams, and the fewest calories, only 80 for 2/3 cup (one serving). I have a full cup of this every morning, so I’m getting about 13 grams of fiber in only 120 calories. I add a banana, another 100 calories, and about a quarter cup of Cheerios or generic equivalents for the oats (there’s the cholesterol angle), so altogether about a 300-calorie breakfast.

The 13 grams of fiber is about half what I should have (the article on our news page recommends 14 grams per 1,000 calories consumed daily, which would put me needing about 28 grams a day), so I am half way there at breakfast. Broccoli can be a good fiber source with dinner as can various fruits and other veggies too.

If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, there are lots of other fiber cereals, try to find one that has a pleasant taste to it (as opposed to tasting like dead wood like most of them do) Just watch the calorie and sugar content.

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Mr. Lazy Cook’s Black and Tan Rice – Super Side Dish

This is another simple but effective recipe for someone like me who wants to eat good food but doesn’t want to spend a lot of time preparing it, Mr. Lazy Cook. I call it my “black & tan rice.” It is a delicious combination of black beans and brown rice.

Although brown rice takes around 40 minutes to cook, I make up a quantity large enough to last me about a week. That way, after it is made, I simply take it out of the fridge and nuke it. This is a great side dish that supports any protein entree.

To 3-1/2 cups of water, I add two beef boullion cubes. Bring it to a boil and add a cup of well-rinsed brown rice. Once it returns to a boil reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer for 40 minutes stirring occasionally. The wonderful thing about cooking something this long is that it swells up big-time. Take it off the heat and let it stand for five minutes covered to absorb the rest of the water. You now have around two pounds of brown rice that should easily last a week.

Black and Tan Rice in a Corelle bowl.

I buy black beans by the can and mix to taste. For me it comes out to be about 1/3 beans to 2/3 rice. By all means pour the juice from the beans when mixing. I nuke this about a minute and serve it up.

One serving amounts to around a cup of brown rice to 1/2 cup of black beans. This is 270 calories, total fat 1.5 grams, no cholesterol, 430 mg of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein. This is complete perfect protein with all the essential amino acids. The rice and beans combine to accomplish that. I know this as a former vegetarian.



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