Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Humble Green Rice

Never knowing exactly what I will eat from day to day, keeps life interesting Allowing my taste buds and "cravings" to drive my train to flavor town, can make for some great surprises. I usually don't sit down to a meal, but on this day, I cooked up some pretty tasty items for the Hubby Bear and myself to sit and munch out on a meal together.

It wasn't until I started filling our plates that I realized everything was basically green. I am amazed at what my body calls out for... and this day we had Green rice, steamed lima beans, broccoli and sugar snap peas. Am I taking this "green movement" a bit too far?

One thing that really chaps my knickers is vegetables that are literally "cooked to death!" And this seems to be the norm... no matter if you go to restaurants or have dinner at a friend’s house. Take broccoli. This wonderfully flavorful veggie seems to be a constant victim of boiling until all the color, all the life, all the texture, all the flavor and nutrients disappear! By the time it reaches your plate, it is nothing but a pile of celery-colored, mashed up mess. Seriously, you have no idea what you’re eating.

I think the idea is to "cook until tender." PEOPLE! Veggies are supposed to be crisp and colorful! In my cooking classes, we spend a lot of time learning how to prepare veggies to keep the beautiful colors, the aromas, the flavors and the texture in tact.... so when it reaches your plate, you don't have to ask... "What is this?"

Steaming is truly the best method to prep veggies. Steaming preserves the quality and the nutrients. And in most cases, TWO minutes is all you need to steam these miracle foods from nature. TWO minutes. Now, beets, turnips and sweet 'tators need a little longer. But the main sign to look for.... COLOR! If the color starts to fade, that veggie is headed for disaster.

Ok.... sorry.... I'll step down now...... You can tell I am passionate about my veggies :-)

Here is a mighty fine creation for Green rice. Accompanied with gorgeous, colorful, yummy steamed veggies. What's so great about this is you make a pesto for the rice. So, make enough to use on pasta, vegan pizzas or even the starting for tabbouleh.

As always, I try and use as much ORGANIC as possible....and I am proud to say that everything in this meal is ORGANIC!

As a True North Vegan, the only oil that I consume is Flax oil. So this is what I use in the pesto... IF... IF... I use oil at all....

This is what you'll need: food processor & rice cooker or steamer (or boil on the stove top)


You can make pesto with so many different greens.... basil, mustard greens, spinach... I LUV spinach, so my pesto is made from raw spinach with a hint of basil. In this mixture, I did not use any oil. As I mentioned before, when I use oil in my pestos, I use Flax oil. It is tasteless, but adds the omega 3 nutrients and offers the benefits of olive oil regarding texture. For the Green rice, I leave the pesto "chunkier" then normal. This can be made while rice is steaming.

In the processor add:

1 lb or so of raw spinach
2 to 3 basil leaves
FRESH minced garlic (I use TONS!) taste is your preference
1/8 pound pine nuts

Turn on machine or use the pulse option. Add the lemon juice so that the pesto is not "bunchy." But you don't want it juicy, smooth or creamy. See in the photo how "chunky" it is.
Ok, this is ready. Set aside.


3 cups steamed short grain brown rice (this rice is very sweet & tastes great in this dish!) The last 5 minutes of steaming, add 1/2 medium red onion, chopped. Steam together for the remaining time. Now, after the rice is ready and still hot, add some of the pesto right in with the rice in the steamer bowl. Mix. The amount of pesto depends on you and how "green" you want your rice.... mine... I likie it G R E E N!!

Hope you enjoy this creation. And you don’t have to serve it with all green veggies..... But whatever veggies you choose... keep that fabulous color when you prepare them.

Until next time.....


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