Don't omit starchy carbohydrates from our meals altogether! Instead, reduce the carbohydrate load next time you fancy rice by using brown vs. white and adding an equal quantity of vegetables for greater fiber and extra nutrients. This garden version of rice pilaf, sporting a riot of Mediterranean flavor accents, makes a great supper side dish whenever you serve fish, chicken or lamb. It also makes an excellent stand-alone lunch, accompanied by a little green salad!
|Prep Time||20 Minutes|
|Cook Time||1 Hour|
- 1.5 cups brown rice brown basmati preferred
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion minced
- 2 carrots grated
- 1 large zucchini small cubed
- 4 large medjool dates pitted and diced
- .5 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- .5 tsp ground clove
- .25 tsp ground nutmeg
- freshly ground black pepper
- .5 jalapeno or red Fresno chile finely minced
- 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 2 lemons
- 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
- Prep all the vegetables by either mincing, chopping, dicing, grating or cutting into julienne strips as indicated in ingredients list above.
- In a large, oven-safe casserole with lid, sauté all the vegetable ingredients in olive oil, over medium heat, until lightly browned. This develops flavors.
- Add the ground spices, dates and walnuts midway through the sauté process.
- Add the brown rice and continue to sauté another two or three minutes. Add the chicken stock. Bring the contents to a gentle boil and simmer for 5 minutes before turning off the heat.
- Add juice of half a lemon and lemon zest. Garnish top with lemon slices and red pepper strips in an appealing pattern. Cover and place in pre-heated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.
The 50/50 balance of fresh garden vegetables with brown rice, plus the earthy spices, sweet dates and nutritious walnuts, allow us a heartier and healthier portion of rice with fewer overall carbs!
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