A Healthy New Year: Vegetable 'Fried' Brown Rice
Why This Recipe is Healthy
This week I’m relocating this section to the top! So, let’s get into it.
I made this dish as a way to eat more vegetables. Over the holiday season, I goaled myself to add vegetables to every meal, and that habit has trickled into January. No, I have not been successful every meal, but when I eat this rice recipe I know my meal will be packed with all the healthy benefits vegetables provide and the benefits my body craves.
I invert the standard restaurant fried rice, rice-to-vegetable ratio. My recipe is loaded with vegetables, maybe too many vegetables, which is why I wrote the recipe with vegetable options. You have to cater to your appetite.
In addition to the excess of vegetables, I make this rice dish using brown rice instead of white rice. Fun fact, white rice is brown rice minus the outer layer and the outer layer is where the nutrients are located. Brown rice is a whole grain and a great source of selenium and manganese.
Also, for today’s recipe I am also using an ingredient that I just discovered: Coconut Aminos! It is a soy sauce alternative. As I was preparing this recipe I recognized that my first draft used soy sauce. Soy sauce is probably my favorite seasoning, I like it. But I had already seasoned my Quinoa and Vegetable Stuffed Peppers with soy sauce, and I am aware that soy products are not for everyone. I decided to research an alternative for people that do avoid soy, or for people like me that occasionally want another option. Look no further than coconut aminos.
I did a side by side taste test and I truthfully did not notice a difference. The coconut aminos was distinctive and salty just like soy sauce but instead of being made with soy it is made with – you guessed it – coconuts! Coconut tree sap to be specific. The sap is obviously soy-free, low on the glycemic index, and contains a range of vitamins and minerals. I liked it and will use it again. However, I won’t use it in place of soy sauce all the time. There is quite a price differential. For me to purchase coconut aminos in Wexford the price was almost double that of soy sauce. Oh well, soy sauce is not that expense, meaning coconut aminos isn't bad either, just more.
Let me know the price differential where you shop. Or if you've ever used coconut aminos before, did you like it?
Vegetable ‘Fried’ Brown Rice
Serves 4, as a main
- 1 cup (170 g) of uncooked Brown Rice, cooked
- Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
- 3-6 Veggies of your choice (the rice I photographed was made with):
- 3 stalks Celery, chopped
- 1 Red Pepper, chopped
- ½ head of Broccoli, chopped
- ½ head of Cauliflower, chopped
- 1 cup (150 g) Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup (100 g) Peas
- 1 Tablespoon fresh Ginger Root, minced
- 3 Eggs, scrambled
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) Coconut Aminos (or Soy Sauce), start with this measurement and taste, add up to 1/2 cup (100ml)
- Sesame Seeds to garnish
Prepare the rice according to package instructions. Which probably read as: bring 1 cup of uncooked brown rice and 2 cups (400 ml) of water to a boil. Once boiling, turn down and simmer for 30-45 minutes until water is absorbed. (This step can be done days in advance as leftover rice works great in the recipe, or weeks in advance, simply freeze rice until you need it)
While the rice is cooking, or set aside waiting for you, preheat a Dutch Oven (Le Creuset) over medium heat. Prepare and chop the vegetables. Lightly coat the bottom of the Dutch Oven with EVOO, add the onion to sauté, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables, all at once or in stages, to cook until desired doneness. Add the ginger to heat through.
While vegetables are cooking, preheat an egg pan, scramble 3 eggs in a bowl with a splash of water, add to pan and stir occasionally until cooked.
At this point the rice, vegetables, and eggs are cooked. Add the rice to the vegetables, combine and add the coconut aminos, or soy sauce. Gently fold in the eggs. Serve warm with sesame seeds to garnish.
As the recipe is written above you’re cooking with 3 pans. So many dishes, right?! And as someone who does not have a dishwasher I am extremely aware of the dish count. So, unless I am serving this dish to company (or photographing it for the blog), I eliminate the egg pan and cook the eggs in same Dutch Oven as the vegetables. To do that: once vegetables are cooked push to one side of the Dutch Oven, and on the open side scramble 3 eggs. Once cooked, combine with vegetables, add the cooked rice and continue with coconut aminos. (Note, when the eggs are tossed directly with the coconut aminos they lose some of their yellowish color.)
- Add cooked chicken or shrimp to this dish if you would like
- Eliminate the eggs if you would prefer the dish to be vegan
Thank you for reading! Next week concludes my January series of healthy recipes! It has gone by so fast, right? And while I don't wish days away, I am eager for February as my sister and brother-in-law are visiting. I'm getting so excited. Until next week, cheers!