Chicken and mushroom brown rice and lentil risotto + a giveaway

Brown rice and lentil risotto

Product and giveaway provided by SunRice and F4 Consulting.

Brown rice and lentils.

I know, for most people it doesn’t bring up images of deliciousness.

But but but… what if I told you that it is possible to cook something really tasty from brown rice and lentils – something so good you could serve to guests?

Brown rice and lentil risotto

Recently I was sent some of SunRice’s new product Naturally Rice & Lentils to try.

It’s made up of 85% whole grain brown rice and 15% whole lentils, and I wanted to use it to cook something both easy and delicious.

Brown rice and lentil risotto

My idea was a chicken and mushroom risotto – an ever so slightly healthier version, if you ignore all that parmesan.

Yes, I am aware that risotto is typically made with high starch white rice, the starch giving the dish a creaminess that can’t really be replicated with brown rice – but! I’m not totally nuts, I promise! The reason I’ve used this product in a risotto is because of the lentils.


Uh huh. The lentils. Because when they cook enough, they add a creaminess to the rice, which is a good substitute for the starch.

Brown rice and lentil risotto

My risotto started with onion and plenty of garlic, and then I amped up the flavour with dried porcini as well as fresh mushrooms, and chicken stock instead of water.

All the ingredients went into the super awesome amazing rice cooker (read on to win one) on brown rice setting and the result was… well…

Excuse me while I toot my own horn. It was delicious. Really delicious. Wow I’m so amazing I did such a good job delicious. :D

Brown rice and lentil risotto

And yes, I did actually serve it to friends who came for lunch and it was a great success.

(However, full disclosure: our friends’ 7 and 4 year olds weren’t big fans. The kids had peanut butter on toast instead. Children.)

Rice cooker


Want to try SunRice brown rice and lentils AND win an awesome rice cooker?

Yes you do! It is one awesome rice cooker (it PLAYS A TUNE :D) and if you don’t already own one – you NEED one in your life.

Thanks to SunRice and F4 Consulting, two people will win lots of SunRice to try plus an awesome rice cooker (that plays a tune).

All you need to do is comment below and tell me what you’d cook. Abbey from F4 will draw the winners randomly.

Make sure you include a valid email address when you comment – it won’t be published, but I’ll use it to contact you if you win. This competition will close at midnight on Monday 3 November and is valid for Australian residents only. Good luck!

Chicken and mushroom brown rice and lentil risotto

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Chicken and mushroom brown rice and lentil risotto


  • 5g dried porcini
  • 1 medium onion (approximately 200g), peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 350 fresh portobello / brown mushrooms, cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1.5 cups SunRice Naturally rice and lentils
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 400g chicken thighs, cut into 2cm cubes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 60g parmesan cheese
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Rinse the porcini and soak in just enough hot water to cover for 15 minutes.
  2. In a frying pan, heat a dash of olive oil over a medium-low heat for a minute and then add the diced onions. Cook gently for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft but not browned.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  4. Add half of the chopped mushrooms, setting the other half aside for later, and fry on medium-low heat for a couple of minutes. Take the pan off the heat and set aside.
  5. In a sieve/colander, rinse the SunRice brown rice and lentils under cold running water.
  6. Squeeze out the liquid from your porcini and chop them roughly, reserving the soaking liquid..
  7. Place the rice and mushroom mixture into the bowl of your rice cooker. Add the chicken stock, the diced chicken meat, the chopped porcini, the porcini soaking liquid, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
  8. Set the rice cooker on to brown rice mode. Set yourself a timer so you can return to the rice cooker when it has 25 minutes left of cooking time.
  9. At the 25 minute countdown, add the rest of the mushrooms to the mixture and stir. Close the lid and let the rice cooker finish cooking.
  10. Once it has finished, let it sit for another 5-10 minutes in the rice cooker. Once that time has elapsed, open the lid and grate in the parmesan cheese and season with fresh pepper. Stir to combine. Serve with extra parmesan on top if desired.


Take a note of how long your rice cooker takes to cook brown rice before you start. My rice cooker takes 1.5 hours on brown rice mode, so the first time I used it, it was a very late dinner.

This recipe can also be done in the pressure cooker. The ratio of liquid to rice is 1.5 cups of liquid per 1 cup of rice. Add all the ingredients (except for the cheese) and the reduced amount of liquid to your pressure cooker, and cook under high pressure for 20 minutes. Once it has finished, release the pressure and open the lid. Let the risotto sit for 5-10 minutes with the lid off before adding the parmesan cheese.

Alaska: the Inside Passage

Tracey Arm

In late August, Alastair and I went on holiday. Huzzah.

Along with the parentals, plus Bro and gf, we flew to Vancouver and hopped on a cruise ship to Alaska. Yes, family holiday ahoy.

It was a 7 day cruise to the inside passage. If you’ve ever looked at a map of that part of the world, you’ll see that there is a thin segment of land on Canada’s far east that belongs to Alaska. That’s the part that we visited.


Black Caviar: Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup 2014 preview


I attended the Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup preview dinner courtesy of Melbourne Racing Club and Haystac.

Well. Hello! My month’s absence was mostly an unintended hiatus. I can’t even really say that I was busy? We returned home from our holiday, I hung out at home for a bit, went back to work, and blogging just went on the backburner (much like editing holiday photos oyyyyy).

However, one thing I did do in the past month was this dinner at Caulfield Racecourse.

Now I do have a confession to make. 10+ years in Melbourne, and despite living not particularly far from the Flemington Racecourse, I have never yet been to the races. But that is changing this year. Thanks to Haystac I’m heading to the Caulfield Cup next weekend, and I also attended this preview dinner for the Black Caviar restaurant at Caulfield Racecourse.




8bit is the latest (only?) gourmet burger joint in Footscray, and in the few short months since it’s been open it’s already received a lot of attention online. The place is themed around old school video games (hence 8bit), with the decor similarly inspired, a playable arcade machine inside, and all the burgers and hot dogs named after various titles from what some would say is the golden age of video gaming. There’s nothing like a bit of nostalgia, hey? :)

Alastair and I stopped by for lunch one weekend and they were doing a roaring trade, with plenty of people waiting for takeaway. They were pretty busy but we didn’t have a problem finding a seat inside, with customers eating and moving on pretty quickly.


Crown: Colours of Cuba

Nobu cocktails

Disclosure: I attended Colours of Cuba courtesy of Crown.

I’m currently in Canada, but a couple of Mondays ago I was in Cuba.

Actually, that is a total and blatant untruth. I was actually at Crown for the kick off for their Colours of Cuba fiesta.

Colours of Cuba is running over four weeks (so there’s a couple of weeks left) and all venues within Crown are interpreting the theme in their own way with special drinks and food.




Disclosure: My meal was courtesy of DuNord.

You have to love Melbourne.

Pretty much whatever cuisine tickles your fancy – you can find it.

Feel like – oh, I don’t know – Nordic cuisine? Because if that’s what you’d like, trot on down to DuNord on Little Bourke Street, where they serve Nordic-inspired cuisine and cocktails.


Chocolate surprise cupcakes for RSPCA Cupcake Day


So if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I like animals.

I like dogs, I like goats, I like alpacas, I like capybaras, I like elephants – I LIKE THEM ALL.

And cats too of course, because: cats.

Catspam snuggles

I mean, look at these dumbies of mine. How can I not love them?

So when RSPCA asked if I wanted to become an online ambassador for their upcoming cupcake day, my answer was yes! Who can resist animals, cupcakes and good causes?