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Plant-Lovers Pilaf!

Calling all vegans, plant-based peeps, or lovers of all things whole grain, meatless, and nutritious! Have I got a recipe for you! This brown rice pilaf with chick peas and veggies will certainly surprise and delight your taste buds! When I originally created this dish, I prepared it strictly as a side dish (without the beans)! But I thought, why NOT add beans to this dish so my vegan friends can get a daily dose of protein?! Right?! Just in case you weren't aware, the combination of both beans & rice creates a complete, whole protein! HOORAH! So here it is, my sassy lovers! Be sure to share this meatless recipe with your friends!

YIELDS: 4-6

TIME: 30 MINUTES

Ingredients

2 cups of brown rice 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil 1 (14-16 ounce) can of garbanzo beans, water drained 1 small yellow onion, small diced 5 garlic cloves, minced 1 bunch of asparagus, diced 1 cup carrots, small dice 2 stalks of celery, small dice 1 small zucchini, sliced in half moons 1 small yellow squash, sliced in half moons 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced 1 tablespoon Himalayan salt, divided 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided Zest and juice of one small lemon 1 tablespoon of white or cider vinegar 2 tablespoons almonds 3 tablespoons of coconut oil or avocado oil, divided

1 (16 ounce) can of chick peas, drained Method 1. Place the 2 cups of rice, 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, and 4 cups of water in a saucepan with a lid. Place it over low-medium heat (covered) for 30 minutes. Turn heat off and allow the rice to finish steaming with the lid on. If you have a rice cook, PLEASE cook the rice in there along with the olive oil and water. 2. While the rice is cooking, prepare and chop all of the vegetables as listed above. Throw them all into one big bowl. 3. Place a large saute pan over high heat. Wait 30 seconds to get the pan hot, and then place half the amount of coconut/avocado oil in the pan. Allow the oil to spread and sizzle all over the surface of the pan. 4. Add half the amount of vegetables into the pan and cook until the veggies are soft and caramelized. This can take from 7-10 minutes, just be sure to stir constantly so the garlic doesn't burn. Add half the amount of salt and pepper. Pull the cooked veggies out of the pan and into a separate bowl. 5. Place the remaining oil into the pan and allow it to sizzle and spread over the surface of the pan. Place the remaining veggies into the pan and cook until soft and caramelized. Again, this can take anywhere from 7-10 minutes. Stir constantly. Add the remaining salt and pepper. 6. Place the cooked rice, the other cooked veggies, and the chick peas in the saute pan. Turn off the heat and stir. Add the vinegar, zest & juice of lemon, and almonds. Stir until well-combined. Add salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Garnish with fresh parsley or dill!

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