Brown rice with vegetables is a healthy meal on its own and goes well as a side dish with chicken and any meat. It is easy to make, it has a nutty flavour of the brown rice, it will keep you not feeling hungry for a long time, and it can be stored in a fridge in a container with a tight lid for 4-5 days.
- 1 cup of uncooked brown rice,
- 1 big onion,
- 3 medium carrots,
- 3 celery sticks,
- 1 zucchini,
- 2 medium red capsicum,
- 1 cup of finely sliced red cabbage (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds,
- 1 table spoon of olive oil,
- salt and coarse black pepper for seasoning,
- 1 table spoon red chili peppers and garlic paste (pinch of dry hot chillies can be used as an alternative).
- Wash brown rice. Cook rice in a simmering water for 12-14 min. In 12 min it would still have a bite to it, but it will continue cooking when mixed with hot vegetables and will become softer after resting.
- Heat olive oil in the deep pan, add fennel seeds and flaked hot chillies.
- Chop vegetables and add them, one by one, to the pan on medium heat.
- Onions go first, then carrots, celery, red capsicum, red cabbage and finally zucchini.
- Stir vegetables after every portion is added. Season with salt and coarse black pepper after celery is added. By the time rice is cooked, vegetables are ready, too.
- Drain rice from any water and add to vegetables. Stir rice and vegetables together, take the pan from the heat. Add extra seasoning if needed. I add final seasoning in the form of red chili peppers and garlic paste, to keep all its goodness intact.
- Let rice with vegetables rest without lid for extra moisture to evaporate when cooling.
Green peas, chopped sweet peas or green beans, green capsicum, sweet red or yellow peppers, baby fennel, chopped broccoli, finely chopped eggplant, leek can be used as a source of vegetables. Any mix would give a flavoursome dish. However, onions (or leek), carrots, celery and red capsicum are essential for the flavours. I also add just a touch of unsalted butter in the very end. To have this dish as a meal on its own, I suggest an addition of canned kidney beans, to improve nutritional balance and enrich the dish with protein.