There are those days where your life looks like an episode of Chopped. You have a bunch of ingredients seating in your fridge and pantry that usually don’t fit together. Or at least, you don’t think they fit together. But you are stuck with these ingredients because you didn’t have time to go grocery shopping or you are too lazy to make a stop at the grocery store.
So in order to feed yourself with the ingredients you have, you are forced to come up with new combinations of flavors and to hope that it works. And under such circumstance, Pinterest is always the best place for new inspiration. That’s how I came up with the recipe that I will be sharing with you today: Brown rice with roasted sweet potatoes and spinach.
Ordinarily, I would never think of combining all three ingredients together. However, one day, after opening my fridge and pantry, all I had were: brown rice mixed with wild rice, a sweet potato, and a bag of frozen spinach. Since I had no ambition to go outside and waste my time to do grocery shopping, I decided to try a new recipe with the only ingredients I had. It’s basically like an episode of Chopped, I thought to myself. But instead of 5 ingredients, I had 3 mystery ingredients I was forced to include to my dish.
I went on Pinterest to find new idea and inspiration. And as usual, it was a gold mine and I wasn’t disappointed. So I decided to make a sort of vegan stir brown rice with vegetables. At first, I feared that together the three ingredients wouldn’t work perfectly. But, I was wrong because at the end the dish tasted like heaven.
Prep: 15 min Cook: 35 min 6 Servings
1 Sweet potato, roughly diced
1 cup of Brown rice mixed with wild rice, rinsed
200 g of fresh Baby spinach or frozen spinach
2 cup of Vegetable stock (or water)
1 red Onion, finely minced
1 yellow Onion, finely mined
4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of Chili flakes or of my homemade chili paste
Preheat the oven at 375°F.
Coat the cubes of sweet potato with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread them on one layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. And bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, in a small pot, heat one teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat, toast the rice for 1-2 minutes then pour two cups of vegetable stock. Stir then cover and let it simmer for 25 minutes. When the 25 minutes are up, turn off the heat but leave the lid on for another 5 minutes.
Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven.
This step is optional, but I love to pan toast the cubes of sweet potatoes after taking them out of the oven. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, toast the sweet potatoes for 2 minutes before removing them from the pan.
In the same sauté pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, cook garlic, onion and chili flakes (or chili paste) for 2 minutes or until the onions become translucent and tender. Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes or until the spinach has softened if you use fresh baby spinach. And stir.
Then it’s time to stir the brown rice in the spinach. Add the rice to the pan with the sautéed spinach and stir. And add the roasted sweet potatoes and gently stir everything together. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Turn off the heat.
This recipe can be used as full main dish if you are vegan or as side dish combined with proteins of your liking. I personally use it as both.
If you don’t like spinach, you can replace it with other green vegetables like broccolis.
Whenever I cook white rice or brown rice, I always toast the rice first because I like the nuttiness that comes with toasted rice.