Autumn really is setting in, and with the cold weather, I have been craving comfort food… or deep fried anything. Of course, I could resort to vegan poutines, cakes, or chips (I’m making myself hungry now!), but as I try to keep on the healthier side of food, this is what I cooked tonight.
I usually do a simpler version of this rice dish to go with tofu scrambles, or anything else really, because it is such a nice side dish. The simpler version only includes spinach and cashew nuts. However, as I was walking home today, I stopped at my local organic food store and got inspired.
Here is what you will need:
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/3 cup raw cashew nuts
- 1/3 cup unsalted almonds
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 cups of sliced mushrooms
- a big bunch of spinach (around 4 cups of frozen spinach works too)
- 1/3 cup fresh cranberries (I suspect you could use dried too)
- 2 cups of sliced asparagus (I had cooked asparagus a few days ago, but you can use fresh as well)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Here is what you will do:
- Combine the rice, quinoa and buckwheat in your rice cooker and add water according to your rice preference. If you do not have a rice cooker, cook in a saucepan as if you were using only rice. Start working on the rest as your rice is cooking.
- In a large sauté pan, put one tablespoon of olive oil and turn the heat to medium.
- Mince the garlic and sauté in the pan until fragrant and golden.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and stir. Put the heat to medium-high, and stir. Increasing the heat should help your mushroom lose their water. You know they are ready when all the water is gone. When this happens, place the cooked mushrooms aside.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and mince the second clove of garlic. Let brown a little.
- Add in the nuts, and stir around until cashews have a nice golden color.
- Add the fresh cranberries (keep the dried ones for latter) and the asparagus (if you are using raw). Toss around until the asparagus has soften.
- Add the spinach, asparagus (if you are using cooked), cranberries (if you are using dried ones), cooked mushrooms, and stir until the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat and put aside.
- When rice is ready, use a rice paddle to mix it in with the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I discovered fresh cranberries this fall, and I have to say they are quite amazing! Their tartness is the perfect addition to this savory dish. They also add a nice pop of colour and make this dish really stand out. I bought a few bags of these and put them in the freezer. They are so cute and pretty!
I really hope you try out this recipe and personalize it to match your tastes and your frige’s contents. Let me know how you like it and what you put in!