Quick Rice and Veggies
It’s good to be back in my kitchen. I am slowly adjusting to being back and “having” to cook for the two of us after three months of restaurants, markets, cafes, tapas bars, cooking classes and foodie tours. I am going to cook some of the foods we experienced on the trip but for now I want to cook “my” kind of food, simple and vegetarian. My daily style of cooking at home is focused on vegetables, grains and legumes. This is what I like to eat. This is what I like to cook. We came back to an empty fridge and of course I headed to the grocery store (markets are not open yet) to fill it up. Asparagus is in season, so a few fat stalks followed me home. Oranges sit on my kitchen counter (nothing like the Valencia oranges though, sorry). A variety of greens are crisping in the fridge. Red peppers, destined to be grilled and made into red pepper sauce for a pasta al forno on a cooler day. Lots of ideas are spinning in my head and I am getting a little excited.
For today though I wanted to cook rice. Rice has been a pivotal element in nutrition of entire civilizations. It has been maligned lately with low starch diets. I don’t share these concepts of nutrition and while brown rice is better, white rice is also acceptable in my kitchen and on my table. I was looking for a quick and filling dish to make for lunch today and rice was it. But, rather than look in the fridge, I looked in the freezer. I had corn, peas, frozen kale chopped into bite size pieces and a bag of cooked beans that I froze earlier (you can use canned). I thought of cooking the rice, then quickly sautéing the vegetables with or without oil and adding the rice. Although oils add wonderful flavour to foods I sometime try to use less of it in my cooking and this dish can certainly be made without the addition of oil without losing flavour. You can steam-sauté the vegetables in a little bit of water. If you haven’t tried it before give it a try and see what you think. To perk up flavours I will top it with my recent find: 49º Organics red pepper sauce that I like to drizzle over things.
It was delish, gone in no time. Here is how it went.
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon olive oil or 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup green peas
1 cup frozen chopped kale or 2 cups fresh kale, chopped
1 small can organic white beans, not in sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
Rinse the rice well in cold water until water runs clear. Drain well.
Place drained rice in a pot, cover with 2 cups cold water and add the salt.
Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and cook until rice is cooked through.
Remove from heat and let sit covered while you cook the vegetables.
Place a little water or the olive oil in a large skillet and heat it up.
Add all the vegetables together and cook until wilted and heated through, stirring as they cook.
Add the spices and the beans.
When the vegetables are warm and rice is ready add the rice to the vegetables and gently mix to combine.
Add salt and pepper, the parsley and cherry tomatoes
Spoon into bowls, drizzle with pepper sauce and serve warm.