Veggie Rice Master Recipe

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Sharpen your knife! Turn the music up! Pour yourself a glass! Dig into the deep, deep crevices of your fridge for all of those sad, forgotten (but preferably not rotten) veggies, and prepare to make something infinitely delicious and nutritious. Trust me, it'll be a new favorite and well worth the effort.

When I feel like making a big pot of something to eat for the rest of the week, something that I won't get sick of, something that's good for me.... well, this is what I make. Veggie Rice! It can be eaten alone, with a dash of Tabasco or Cholula. It can be eaten with a dollop of plain yogurt, or perfectly accompany a fried egg, a chicken breast, or a side of broiled fish. Black beans, too, you ask? Delicious! Veggie Rice is just a darn good thing to have in your fridge.

The recipe that follows is just a suggestion of suitable ingredients. Anything and everything can be substituted or omitted. The Veggie Rice Master Recipe can easily be doubled or halved (just make sure you use a ratio of 1/2 cup rice to 1 cup of liquid). The only veggies that I have found that DON'T work are eggplant, potatoes (including sweet potatoes and yams) and winter squash. They make the rice mushy, pasty, and just plain unappealing.

For this recipe to be successful, I find that its necessary to cook the veggies at a high temperature, drawing out as much moisture as possible before the rice gets added. This prevents the veggies from steaming and turning the rice into one big clump. With a temperature so high, and so many tender veggies in the pot, a lot of stirring has to be done. Its best to chop most of the veggies before the pot gets started, since it will need constant attention.

The order in which to add the veggies to the pot isn't so important. I generally go from most dense to most tender, letting the dense veggies (carrots, onions, celery, peppers, etc) get a good 20 minute head start before adding the more tender veggies (kale, herbs, garlic, etc). This ensures that everything is cooked evenly and nothing gets scorched over the heat.

As for the flavoring, I chose a mixture of sweet paprika, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce to bring depth and that essential umami taste to the dish. Peppers such as jalapenos or serranos also lend complexity. Add the seeds of the peppers for a spicier dish, or omit the peppers completely if heat isn't your thing.

The dish keeps for up to a week, covered in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Veggie Rice Master Recipe
Serves 8 as a side dish, or 6 as a main meal

serves 4 - 6

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 5 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and diced (Shitake are my preferred)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced fine
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 cups hot broth (chicken or vegetable), or water works just as well (but not as tasty)

      1. Heat the butter and oil in a Dutch oven until melted. Saute the onion over low heat for a few minutes until it is softened. Add the paprika, saute for another minute and then add the carrots, bell pepper, celery, jalapeno, and mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking and stirring until all the juice has evaporated and the vegetables become soft and golden (practically gooey), about 20 minutes. This would be a good time to get your hot broth going in another pot.

      2. Add the garlic, kale, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the pot. After about 30- 60 seconds, add the diced tomatoes. After a few minutes, when the tomatoes surrender and collapse, add the rice. Stir for a minute or so, until the rice looks almost translucent.

      3. Season with salt and pepper, then cover with 4 cups hot broth (or water).

      4. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes to get it going. Give it a stir, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and lower the heat to an absolute minimum.

      5. Cook for 20 minutes or so until holes appear on the surface. Fluff with a fork

      6. Remove from the heat and cover the pot with a dish towel, replace the lid and leave to steam for 10 minutes or so before serving.

      7. Serve alone, with a dash or Tabasco if you like, or as a side dish to chicken, fish, black beans, fried eggs, or a dollop of plain yogurt.

      I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Let me know how it goes for you!

      Until next month, eat well!

      - Amber Payet

      By: Md. Ashraful Islam Khan | Jun 27, 2017 12:52 PM | Permalink
      This Rice dish would be the nice.Thanks for such a good recipe!

      By: Lisa Burrell | Sep 9, 2016 03:34 AM | Permalink
      This sounds fabulous!! I've been looking for an interesting rice recipe. I love kale and mushrooms so this one can't miss. Thanks Amber! :)

      By: Linda Radwanski | Feb 2, 2016 10:12 PM | Permalink
      Will definitely try this delicious looking dish. Hearty enough for my family as a main course. Thanks for posting yet another good recipe.

      By: | Feb 1, 2016 02:13 PM | Permalink
      This sounds like a fabulous idea! Folks can make their own substitutions , like the author says!

      By: susan lydon | Jan 30, 2016 02:04 PM | Permalink
      Is the rice pre-cooked? My brown rice takes 45 minutes to cook, so I am wondering if I need to at least partially cook to accommodate the directions for this recipe.
      Amber Payet says:    (Feb 1, 2016 12:00 AM)

      Hi there! You know, I think you should try cooking your (uncooked) brown rice with the vegetables as you normally would. You might need to tweak the amount of liquid added, and definitely increase the cooking time, but I don't see why you shouldn't be successful. Give it a go and let me know how it turns out! Probably even more delicious and nutritious!

      By: John Hirschi | Jan 30, 2016 01:00 AM | Permalink
      Why on earth would you peal carrots and use white rice???

      By: Catherine Ramirez | Jan 29, 2016 05:03 PM | Permalink
      Definitely trying this! Sounds delicious!
      C. Fayne says:    (Jan 29, 2016 12:00 AM)

      Looks good, but TOO Much Sodium..Wow!

      Amber Payet says:    (Feb 1, 2016 12:00 AM)

      Maybe try a reduced-sodium soy sauce and less salt, if that is what you prefer. Thanks for commenting!

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