Tips for easy meals, buy a rice cooker
I kid you not. My Aroma rice cooker lasted me over 10 years and it made
my life easy.
For one thing, rice takes 5 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook. They are hearty meals. Inexpensive too, if you buy them by the sack. The ones I get are the 25 lbs sack that lasts me longer than 2 months and costing me only $27 per sack. But more on that later.
My Aroma rice cooker endured for so long, that they don't make that model anymore, ARC-707. That being said, it broke a few days ago and I bought a new one online (eBay!) to replace it, an Aroma ARC-838TC. It makes 4-16 cups, which is plenty for me.
Steamer & Rice Cooker
Of course, in the 10 year or so that I haven't had any reason to pay
attention to rice cooker evolution, things have changed. If I thought
that my rice cooker made my life easy then, the new one will make my
life even easier.
Why? The Aroma ARC-838TC can steam vegetables, meat, and, even, heat soup. It's not just a rice cooker anymore! In fact, according to the Aroma website, you can also cook goodies such as flan, cake, and pudding. Sounds yummy, but that's a lot of work for me. I'm just in it for the quick stuff such as white rice, steamed chicken breast, lemon dill rice, and other meals that require 10 minute preparation or less.
Thus, the reasons for buying a rice cooker circle back to eating rice. To me, it's a simple meal that I learned back in the apartment days of college.
Now, as a naturalized Filipino-American, rice had always been part of me for as far as I can remember. So I took it for granted. But I never really fully appreciated it until the apartment days when money had to be budgeted. I had to eat and still be able to spend money on going out, bar hopping, gym, etc. So I stretched my money by eating a regular diet of rice. And by the way, this was not an advice I received from my mom. It's an advice I received from an older college kid who was giving us tips on college survival. Go figure.