Monday, January 23, 2012

What's For Dinner Tonight?

Sauteed Veggies over Cumin-Scented Brown Rice

I'm on a super-tight budget so figuring out how to incorporate healthy veggies and greens into my diet is definitely a bit difficult.  While I love juicing, it seems sort of wasteful to throw away the pulps of the juices every morning.  If anyone has any suggestions for what to do with the pulps, send them my way.  I was thinking soup.

At any rate, being a New Yorker there are many large grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joes with a large selection of organic food, which is what I normally buy.  This week, things are a little different-I shopped in my neighborhood at the Caribbean Market down the block.  I picked up a package of brussel sprouts, beets, kale, spinach, two zucchinis, 7 small onions, green onions and a two pound bag of brown rice for $14!  I was pretty impressed, while it's not organic and I'm trying not to think of the pesticides that are lurking in the veggies, I was able to get some veggies for a very budget-friendly price.  Hopefully it will last me the whole week, if I don't juice everything.

Just a note on my recipes:  I'm happy to share them obviously, but I'm not a professional chef and I very rarely measure things.  I go by smell and taste so the measurements here are an estimate for the most part.  When I've actually measured and ingredient I will notate.

Celery Salt
Olive Oil
About 6-8 brussel sprouts sliced
1 small zucchini sliced
about 12 green beans cut at about an inch long
1 small onion sliced
2 green onions diced
stems and leaves from one beet (or more depending on the stems and leaves.  Make sure the stems are firm and the leaves aren't wilted)
Brown Rice

Cumin Rice
In a large pot add about a tablespoon or so of  good-quality olive oil and three large pinches of good-quality cumin.   Turn heat on medium-low and stir cumin until it changes color to a deeper brown or until it smells really yummy.

Add 1 1/2 cups of rinsed brown rice to the cumin-scented oil and stir until the rice is coated.  Keep an eye on it and continue to stir for about three minutes or until the rice smells nutty.  Add 2 cups of water, raise heat until it boils.   Turn rice to low setting and cover.  Depending on the rice, cook until al dente.  Fluff and add salt to season.

Start with the onions in a large sauce pan with about a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
When the onions are glossy but not yet transparent add the green beans (unless you like them crispier)
When the green beans start to turn bright green but are still crisp to the bite add the brussel sprouts until they turn bright green.  When the brussel sprouts turn bright green add the rest of veggies except for the chopped beet stems and leaves.  Add about two teaspoons or more of cumin and about teaspoon of celery salt and four good twists of the pepper grinder.  Make sure the veggies are coated with the spices and olive oil.  If they start to stick to the pan add water about a table spoon at a time.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes and then add the beet stems and leaves and cook for another 5-7 minutes until all of the veggies are tender.  Taste for doneness and for spices and adjust as you like.

On a small plate or bowl spoon a serving of rice and top with veggies.

Recipe Notes:
This recipe is Vegan and Kosher Parve.
This was more than enough for me as a full meal.  I have rice for the rest of the week and veggies for lunch tomorrow. 
It can also easily serve four as two separate sides.

A Note on the Ingredients Used:
Beets Contain more sucrose than any other vegetable.  According the my favorite vegetable go-to book, The Produce Bible, by Leanne Kitchen (her real name) beets can be stored for 10 days in the refrigerator.
Brussel Sprouts are a great source of vitamin C and also contains fiber, iron, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamin A
According to Super Natural Cooking author, Heidi Swanson one cup of Green Beans contains 122% of the RDA of Vitamin K.  They have twice the iron of spinach, support cardiovasuclar health, protect against colon cancer (ding, ding, ding!) and prvide anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Green Onions are high in vitamins A and C
Zucchini is also full of vitamins and minerals

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