I don’t know why but for years we called this plain old “Savoury Rice”. No idea where we got that from but it’s not very descriptive so I’ve added “Chinese” so you get the idea. This is a forgiving recipe in that it can be adapted to whatever veggies you have in the fridge so it’s always a bit different every time you make it. It’s quite incredible how many veggies you can pack into this. It used to be a great way of getting them into my kids when they were small and suspicious of new ones as they’re all chopped up quite fine so you don’t really know what they are. 🙂
Do add some toasted nuts if you have them, they add a lovely crunch. Other additions which work are some cubed tofu – marinated preferably; or some toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Tip: To cut down on the chopping time, if you’re planning on making this during week, dice some of the required vegetable every time you use it, and pop it in to a box in the fridge. By the end of the week all your veggies will be ready.
Chinese Savoury Rice
Recipe type: Main
- 800g cooked brown rice. It works much better if you cook rice much earlier or even the day before and refrigerate so it's cold and dry before you begin.
- Vegetables you use are completely up to you, you need about 1kg - 1.2kg prepared weight (i.e. diced small) for 4 people. It's really a good idea to include the onions, of any variety. Last time we used:
- Broccolini - 100g
- Carrot - 100g
- Green beans - 100g
- Cauliflower - 100g
- Red capsicum - 150g
- Zucchini - 150g
- Celery - 100g
- Mushrooms - 100g
- Spring onions - 100g
- Sweetcorn - 100g
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon grated / chopped fresh garlic
- 40g toasted nuts - cashews / peanuts etc - optional
- Peas - 100g
- Sauce - mix together in a small jug:
- 40 ml reduced salt soy sauce
- 40 ml sweet chilli sauce
- 10 ml chopped chillies
- 20 ml unhulled (the dark one) tahini - has a roasted sesame flavour
- 60 ml hot water
- It's best to cook in 2 batches to not overcrowd the wok. That works out well also if you want to add more chilli or garlic etc for the adult portions.
- Heat a large wok, spray very lightly with oil or a dash of stock.
- When it's hot add your vegetables (half of them if you're doing this quantity)
- Stir around, place on the lid if you have one and steam the veg.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir well and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Once your harder vegetables like carrots are tender add your rice, mix thoroughly, pour over half of the sauce / extra chilli etc if required. Heat through thoroughly then serve, garnished with coriander if liked and your toasted nuts if using.
We love risotto but when it’s traditionally made with white risotto rice it’s not such a fabulously nutritious choice. So I wondered whether you could still get that wonderful creamy comforting dish using nutritionally superior brown rice. I’m so happy to report YES you can! You don’t necessarily have to add the cashew cream (it’s only 2-3 tablespoons) but it’s highly recommended.
I added favourite veggies broccoli, red capsicum and mushrooms but now I know this works I’m going to be making it all the time with different ones!
Cooking the rice twice was a real time saver, so you could pre cook the rice ahead of time and then this becomes a really last minute dish which is brilliant for weeknight dinners when you’re pushed for time. If your rice is already cooked this is on the table in about 15 minutes! 🙂
Brown Rice Broccoli & Red Capsicum Risotto
Recipe type: Main
- 300g medium grain brown rice
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6-8 medium button mushrooms
- 1 very large or 2 medium heads of broccoli
- 1 large red capsicum
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2-3 tablespoons cashew cream (cashews, soaked, then blended with water in high speed blender until very silky and creamy - consistency of single cream.)
- NOTE: If you don't have any cashew cream on hand, soak some cashews in boiling water. Soak for as long as you can if you don't have a powerful blender. If you do you can skip the soaking. Blend with enough water to cover until very creamy and not grainy.
- Put your rice on to cook (we have a rice cooker which I strongly recommend as it takes out the guesswork and switches off when it's cooked so you don't need to be around!) whilst you prep your veggies.
- Finely chop the onion, crush or microplane the garlic, dice the mushrooms, separate the broccoli into smallish florets and finely slice the capsicum.
- Using a large heavy based casserole dish, sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes until softened.
- Add the mushrooms and capsicum and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Once rice is cooked, tip it into the pan along with the stock and the broccoli. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until broccoli is cooked to your liking and rice is creamy. You may need to add more water / stock to get the consistency you want (depending on the age and variety of your rice)
- Stir in the cashew cream and season to taste.
- Turn off the heat and allow to sit until ready to serve.
Google “Buddha Bowl” and you will be inundated with versions of this. Basically it’s a bowl of steamed veggies with brown rice or another grain like quinoa, with a sauce over the top.
I’ve already posted my son’s favourite dish, well this is my teenage daughter’s! It’s the sauce that makes it of course, and this is such an easy weeknight dish you will be tempted to have it several times, just changing the veggies or grains, and adding tofu or tempeh etc.
My Buddha Bowl
- Sauce ingredients:
- 1 T cashew butter
- 1 T tahini,
- 2 T vegetarian oyster sauce or other Asian stir fry sauce
- 1 T sweet chilli sauce
- 3 T lemon and/or lime juice - either or both, mixed together (orange is also good!)
- 2 T tamari
- ½ cup soy milk
- 1 T sweet soy sauce
- Put your rice on to cook, or even easier, use packets of ready cooked brown rice which just need warming through! (you can put itin the steamer along with the veggies if you like)
- Whilst your rice is cooking, prepare and steam your desired vegetables – broccoli, carrot, capsicum, celery, mushrooms, baby corn etc, and top with a packet of ready marinated and cooked tofu cubes to heat through (if desired - this is optional) – sweet chilli / garlic variety.
- Blend all the sauce ingredients in a blender (we use the Magic Bullet for this) or a jug with an immersion/stick blender until very smooth and creamy. Taste the sauce and adjust a little if necessary - different people like it more salty / more sour / more sweet etc. Pour it into a saucepan and heat gently for a few minutes when your rice and veggies are almost ready.
- Divide the rice, veggies and tofu between your bowls and pour the sauce over the top. Also nice scattered with fresh chopped coriander / toasted sesame seeds / etc.
I adapted this recipe from an old favourite, “Spicy Rice” by Mary Gwynn. My kids love risotto but I got a bit tired of the usual mushroom and thought I’d try to take the flavours of paella and take them to Italy.. result was delicious and we really enjoyed this topped with asparagus, parsley, and pine nuts, but you can add your own favourite veggies (broccolini is lovely too) or just a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
Recipe type: Main
- 1 smallish onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 120g green beans, cut into 1cm lengths
- 1 yellow capsicum, diced
- 1 large jarred roasted red pepper, chopped
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 200g risotto rice
- 800ml vegetable stock
- 1 cup soy milk
- Zest of a lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 handfuls (about 100g) baby spinach leaves
- 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- To serve (optional)
- - Grilled/ steamed asparagus spears
- - Freshly chopped parsley
- - Lemon wedge
- In a large heavy bottomed casserole pan (e.g. Le Creuset), spray a fine layer of oil or use a splash of vegetable broth and use to saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes.
- Add the zucchini, green beans and roasted red pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Add tomato, spices, rice and stir until well combined.
- Add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes (this will depend on your rice age and variety so check regularly) until green beans and rice are tender. Take care the rice doesn't stick to the bottom and burn, so a simmer pad is a good idea if you have one, or just stir regularly.
- Stir in soy milk, lemon zest and juice, spinach and turn off the heat. Allow to stand for 10 minutes (cook asparagus now if using) before serving sprinkled with the pine nuts, parsley and topped with the asparagus.
- Some vegan parmesan / "cheesy sprinkles" goes well on the top too (grind some nuts with nutritional yeast and salt to taste).