Sometimes I just don’t want salad.
There are (shockingly) those days that my stomach isn’t feeling much like eating all the rabbit food, and instead craves all the carbs. I haven’t yet found a way to make a meal of dark chocolate and peanut butter, so until then, I need to work on other ways to satiate the hunger. Preferably in a bowl, since you know how I like those.
I have to admit that I’m kind of picky about what grains I eat, though. Fried rice always made me think of vats of oil bubbling away, just waiting to clog my arteries. So I never ate it. To be honest, I wasn’t even so into plain rice. Who wanted to fill up on something that was essentially pure starch and (in my mind) had no real nutritional value?
But then I learned more and realized that the deliciousness that is rice is a welcome and appropriate component of a healthy diet. Especially when it’s brown. And basmati. Mmmmmm, so much goodness packed into such small grains.
Basmati brown rice is less processed than its white counterpart, and contains the full nutritional profile of the grain. In fact, it has the highest levels of amino acids and other nutrients for all types of rice! The complex carbs that it provides are a necessary source of energy for our brains, and the natural oils in it are the exact types of healthy fats that promote stabilized cholesterol levels. Also, the protein and fiber make it a great addition to any dish.
There’s no way anyone could turn down this warm, hearty grain bowl after all that.
You’ve got all your sautéed veggies for munching on the rainbow. Herbs give that earthy taste to make you feel that much more connected to nature.
And, of course, frying the rice with the vegetables for the added complexity, aka the cherry on top of this plant-based dish you’ve got steaming on your table right now.
- 1½ cups basmati brown rice
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- ½-3/4 cups frozen peas
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1½ tbsp basil
- 1½ tbsp thyme
- 1½ tbsp rosemary
- 1½ tbsp oregano
- salt and black pepper
- Rinse rice. Cook according to package.
- Combine the onions and peppers with 2 tbsp of oil and the spices in a bowl.
- Heat remaining tbsp of oil in a large pan, then add in the vegetables. Reduce flame to low and continue cooking until desired consistency. (I prefer my onions to be slightly caramelized, which takes anywhere from 15 - 25 minutes.)
- A few minutes before rice is done, add peas to the pan. Allow to cook for 3 minutes, or until defrosted.
- Once rice is cooked, add to the vegetables, and stir well. Raise to medium flame. You may need to add another tablespoon of oil. Continue stirring occasionally for about 5-10 minutes, or until rice has reached desired level of 'fried-ness'. You may wish to season more, to taste.
- Store in a container in the fridge for up to 1 week.