This is my 300th post on Holistically Haute™. Can you believe it?
I thought I’d celebrate by sharing the delicious rice bowl meal I made for dinner last night. I’ve been on such an Asian flavor kick lately with my meals that I got myself into a bit of a food rut. Does that ever happen to you? You find one recipe or flavor profile you like and just start making it over and over again in slightly different ways…suddenly you feel like if you see, taste, or smell those flavors again you will be sick. So to pull myself out of my most recent food rut, I decided to change up the seasonings and flavors and do an Italian-inspired brown rice and greens bowl.
I love risotto—it is creamy, comforting, and often very satisfying—but Arborio rice is white rice, not a whole grain. This is fine to enjoy once in awhile, but I typically only buy and keep brown rice and other whole grains on hand these days so I thought it would be nice to recreate a risotto-like feeling using brown rice instead.
Note: rice and other whole grains should be soaked and rinsed well before cooking them.
This gets rid of the grains’ natural coatings of saponin and phytic acid which may help protect them from pests in the wild but make them harder for us to digest. Soaking and rinsing makes them a lot easier to digest and also helps them cook a little faster. I find that using a pre-soaked and rinsed short grain brown rice gets a similar texture to Arborio rice.
- 2 cups of brown rice (dry)
- Three kale leaves, stems removed, chopped (I used curly green kale here but any variety is fine)
- ½ pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- ½ onion
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 tsp grapeseed oil
- 3 tbs organic, grass-fed butter, ghee, or non-dairy spread like Earth’s Balance, divided
- ¼ cup of finely chopped fresh herbs—I used Italian parsley, basil, lemon thyme, rosemary, and chives
- Salt and pepper to taste
It’s great to pre-cook your rice in a rice cooker or otherwise have it ready to go. Or you can let it cook while you make your sauce. Start boiling your water. I used a 2-to-1 water-to-rice ratio, so that means 4 cups of water. While your water is boiling, use this time to chop your onions, garlic, kale, tomatoes, and herbs and preheat your skillet on medium. Add your rice to the boiling water and start sautéing your onions, garlic, and tomatoes in the grapeseed oil. Once the tomatoes start to break down and the onions are translucent, toss in your kale and one tbs of butter.
Once the butter melts, add in your white wine and reduce to half. Add in another tbs of butter and let it melt, and then add in your broth. Add your lemon juice, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper and reduce to half. Add in your final tbs of butter and turn off the heat. The sauce will start to thicken as it cools. Your rice should be just about done by now and can be added in and tossed together. Cover the skillet and let the rice soak up the flavors and moisture from the sauce for a few minutes before serving. This recipe makes 4 to 5 entrée-sized portions. I like to serve it with a nice green salad. Buon appetito!
This makes great leftovers for lunch the next day too. I had it today in fact, and to change it up I tossed in a handful of chia seeds and raw sunflower seeds. This added even more flavor and a little bit of crunch for texture. I loved it just as much for lunch today as I did for dinner last night! Oh yeah, Chef Joe and the kids loved it too—bonus Mommy points for me!