Classic Rice Dishes
My husband certainly has a way with his vegetable garden. Each year there’s one or another crop that becomes, to put it politely, overabundant. The first year, it was tomatoes. The phrase, “too many tomatoes” was particularly resonant for me, as my overindulgence triggered an allergy (fortunately, temporary) resulting in itchy hives. The following year, the culprit was Swiss chard. Though mildly annoying at the time, my bewilderment over what to do with this profusion of greens led to my writing a book (my latest, Wild About Greens) on leafy greens of all sorts.
I came across a classic Thai dish that combines white rice with white potatoes, and though it sounds too starchy, the seasonings and embellishments sounded appealing. So I took the general idea of this recipe and revved it up to include the two main ingredients’ more nourishing counterparts—brown rice and sweet potatoes. This may sound like an offbeat combination, but really, it works! It’s like sunshine on the dinner plate. You can also substitute quinoa or any other favorite grain for the rice. Serve with a simple tofu, tempeh, or bean dish and a salad. Adapted from Vegan Express.
A Spanish-inspired recipe, this dish of brown rice and red beans is a great for busy weeknights, when you want something easy and hearty. The key is to have the rice cooked ahead of time, but even if you don’t, it’s still not a daunting task. Briny olives perk up the mellow flavor of brown rice and beans. Serve with steamed broccoli or cauliflower, and if you’d like, some pan-grilled polenta slices like you see in the photo. In either case, serve a simple green salad on the side and finish with sliced seedless oranges. more→
Colorful and luscious, this Thai restaurant classic can be made easily at home, using brown rice, pineapple, and veggies like broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots. When fresh pineapple is in season and reasonably priced, do try this with the fresh fruit! Adapted from Vegan Express. Photo by Susan Voisin. more→
This delectable dish of black or wild rice, corn, and cranberries is a festive eyeful, but it’s too good to save for only special occasions, and too simple not to make for everyday meals. It makes a gorgeous holiday side dish, or, stuffed into small squashes, a great vegan main dish. Recipe from Vegan Holiday Kitchen; photo by Susan Voisin, FatFree Vegan Kitchen.
Stuffed bell peppers are a favorite comfort dish, and it’s so easy to create vegan variations. Orzo, a tiny, rice-shape pasta, makes a nice filling, as does medium-grain brown rice. With the addition of green peas and fresh herbs, this makes a satisfying main dish. Photos by Rachael Braun.
Here’s a simple brown rice dish that incorporates lots of fresh spinach. Using organic baby spinach is convenient, because it’s already cleaned and ready to go (though I usually give it a good rinse nonetheless). Scallions, fresh dill, and lemon juice add the finishing touch. more→
This simple yet tasty and comforting combination rice and green peas is inspired by the Italian classic risi e bisi. Serve as a side dish with bean dishes or bean salads.