Saturday, September 19, 2015

Veggie Rice Bowls

I've been wanting to make some veggie rice bowls for a long time. Recently, I've been inspired. I've been eliminating gluten from my diet, which means I'm expanding the role of rice and other non-gluten grains. Here's a rice bowl that's full of flavor, due in large part to the tasty peppers, but also due to the umami boost from the mushrooms.


1 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 large sweet peppers, red, yellow, or orange, veined, seeded, and diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped tomatoes, along with their juices
1/2 cup red wine
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
several grinds of sea salt (to taste)
2 cups cooked brown or mixed grain rice
1/4 cup basil leaves, sliced
several slivers of Manchego or Parmesan cheese (optional)


Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add the garlic, onion, peppers, celery, and mushrooms to the pan. Cook over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to give up their juices and the onion turns translucent. Add the tomatoes and tomato juice to the pan, along with the red wine, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add water or more tomato juice if the pan gets too dry.

To serve, spoon up one cup of cooked rice into a bowl. Top with half of the vegetable mixture. Top with half of the basil leaves and some of the cheese.

Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side dish

Stealthy Cooking Tip: I used part of a can of stewed tomatoes for this dish, so I had plenty of extra tomato juice. Some brands of canned tomatoes also have plenty of added salt, and I didn't need to add any salt to my rice bowl. Topping your rice bowl with cheese also adds salt. So taste your rice bowl after it's completed, but before serving, to see if you need to add additional salt. 

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