Vegetable rice is a quick way to get in plenty of nutrients and vitamins in one bite. It is filing, sweet and savory all at the same time. If you are gluten free then this is the dish for you. Choose the type of rice you like, add in fresh medley of your favorite vegetables and you are on your way to eating healthier with ease. Not only is this dish full of flavor it is also very easy to make.
If you have left over plain rice adding vegetables takes it from blah to zesty in a matter of minutes. You can eat it all by itself or as a side to one of your favorite meats. For those of us who are looking for something different try this recipe with cauliflower rice. It is just as good if not even more healthier!
Which rice for this dish?
Personally I’m not a fan of brown rice so I tend to gravitate toward long grain white rice. Jasmine rice is a good option to consider because it is rich in fiber, iron and can improve your digestive health. The mild flavor means that you can spice it up with sauces, salsa or curries. This is a good option for gluten free diets and vegetable rice dishes.
Did you know that the word basmati means fragrant? So naturally using this version will add intense flavor to you dish. Boasting a high protein content, at least 4.4 grams, and very low GI ranking, this rice is an excellent choice for vegans and gluten free diets alike. Like jasmine rice, there is also a very high source of iron. Each spoonful provides folate, thiamine and selenium all beneficial nutrients for the body.
Brown rice is known to provide lots of nutritional value with the lowest amount of calories. For starters it is a whole grain option in its unprocessed form. With only 130 calories, 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber this makes it very easy to fit into a healthy diet. Did you know that it can help you to shed some unwanted pounds. This rice may take longer to cook but it is worth it. It will take longer to digest but that means that you will remain fuller longer, which prevents you from overeating. Therefore vegetable rice made with brown rice can keep you full for a long time.
U.S. Law – 7 U.S. Code 1431c – Enrichment and packaging of cornmeal, grits, rice and white flour available for distribution
White rice is processed rice but can be used for just about any rice dish. It is easy to store and takes about 20 minutes to cook. As a result of processing it typically means that the nutrients have been stripped from it. So adding vegetables to it increases your nutritional intake. However, thanks to 7 U.S. Code 1431c, companies must add in folate and other missing vitamins and minerals to the rice. This will be enriched white rice. In the end the rice will have more vitamins and minerals than the original unprocessed version.
Which vegetables for Vegetable Rice?
When you are considering making vegetable rice, always choose fresh vegetables. This not only adds the best flavor but it also increases the health benefits tremendously. Unlike the fried rice you would buy from a Chinese restaurant this recipe calls for nothing frozen. Frozen vegetables do have the same nutritional content however because they are frozen can cause the rice to become extra mushy or sticky.
Strong vegetables are ideal for vegetable rice. These include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, green, red or yellow peppers. If you use any of these be sure to cut them into bite size pieces. Cook them first as they will take a bit longer to break down. To add variety and flavor choose mushrooms, onions, shallots, garlic, artichoke or ginger.
Stay away from vegetables like zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes as they can cook very fast and become mushy in your rice. If you really want to use any of these I recommend cooking separately and adding to your vegetable rice. Add fresh scallions at the end for a fresh crunch.
Vegetable Rice Recipe
- 2 fresh carrots (peeled and sliced)
- 1 small head of broccoli (chopped)
- 2 tbsp. avocado oil
- 1 large garlic clove (peeled and chopped)
- 1 cup of cooked rice
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (if vegan choose vegetable broth)
- 1/4 dried fresh thyme, celery seed, black pepper, salt
- 6 small mushrooms (sliced)
- 1/2 cup green and red pepper (sliced)
- fresh ginger (peeled and sliced)
- In a pot cook rice in chicken broth and set aside to be used later.
- In a skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, bell peppers and ginger. Stir frequently until the vegetables are tender (about 7 minutes). Season with thyme, celery seed, black pepper and salt.
- Add sliced onions and turn off heat. Continue stirring until well blended. Next stir in cooked rice.
- Finally add in freshly cut scallions and serve aside favorite meat.