Tag Archives: vegetables

Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Tomato, and (Really) Fresh Basil

Okay. To preface, I hate raw tomatoes.  I guess hate is a strong word.  I strongly dislike them.  Which is strange, because I’m a vegan (and all vegans are supposed to love all vegetables at all times, right?), and also I am enamored with creamy tomato soup, ketchup on hash browns, etc.  I decided I would challenge myself with this easy dish and just muck em down with a smile.  It worked! I think I’m slowly on my way to enjoying pico de gallo and the occasional rogue raw tomatoes in sandwiches.

Anyways.  This recipe is from Alicia Silverstone, takes about 15 minutes to make, and is lovely, fresh, and filling.

  • 1 cup Arborio or quick-cook brown rice (I used the latter)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (~1 large lemon)
  • 1/2 c fresh tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the rice in a saucepan with 2.5 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Drain off the water not absorbed, and transfer the rice to a mixing bowl.

Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper (Alicia recommends that you start off putting only a tiny bit of salt/pepper in at first.  I recommend the same thing.   We’re like the same person).  Mix well.  Add the tomatoes, and sprinkle with basil.  Toss to combine and serve.

I was very fortunate to have literally garden-fresh basil.  I have a mini garden growing in my backyard right by my trampoline, and am growing lots of herbs (e.g., cilantro, basil, rosemary) and veggies (e.g., tomatoes, beans, beets, squash, cabbage), and even some raspberries and blackberries!  It is gorgeous and blooming and makes me really happy to see every morning.  And it was so nice to be able to mosey over to my backyard to clip off some basil.

If you can, you really should grow even just a windowsill garden.  It will bring you joy and food (which are pretty much the same thing).

Ready for my closeup:

We enjoyed our rice with grill-roasted peppers, and lettuce with a light dressing.  Mmmm.


Eggplant Chana Masala and Curried Basmati Rice

I was feeling in the mood this weekend for an Indian inspired entree, so I went with Alicia’s chana masala (a popular dry, spicy Indian dish with the main ingredient of chickpeas), and Ann’s curried rice.  These were really easy to make simultaneously because they had roughly the same prep time and lots of shared ingredients (e.g., olive oil, onion, curry powder, cumin).


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1.5 c water
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Eggplant Chana Masala:

  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 eggplant, peeled and chopped into 1/2 in pieces
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 can peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 can vegetarian chili (I recommend Amy’s medium-spice one)

I’d start off with the rice.  First, heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until the oil is fragrant.  Add the garlic, curry, cumin, onion, and salt.  Decrease the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the rice and toss, then add the water and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed.

While the rice is heating, you can saute the onions, garlic, oil, curry powder, and cumin for the chana masala in a large pot for about five minutes.  Add the eggplant, and saute for another five minutes.  Then add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and chili.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.


Enjoy with SoDelicious coconut milk



Boiled Vegetable Salad with Umeboshi-Scallion Dressing

Boiled vegetables are not boring, contrary to popular belief.

To be honest, I was grabbed by the pretty picture of the assortment of vegetables together.  It looked like a magical vegan rainbow!


  • 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed into florets
  • 6 red radishes, trimmed (I forgot these, oops!)
  • 1.5 celery stalks, cut into 1/4 in slices
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/4 in thick half-moons
  • 1/2 head broccoli, trimmed into florets
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 in pieces


  • 1/2 c water
  • 1.5 tbsp umeboshi paste
  • 3 scallions, cut diagonally

For the veggies: Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to boil.  Work with one vegetable at a time, and cook in the order listed until the colors brighten and they are just tender, which takes about two minutes each.  After each vegetable is cooked, immediately submerge in ice water to stop from cooking more, then drain and pat dry.

For the dressing: Whisk the water with the umeboshi paste in a small bowl, then add the scallions.

Gently toss the vegetables in a large bowl with the dressing to coat.  You can serve with sesame seeds if you like.

Beyond being healthy and packed full of nutrients, this dish was easy to make and enjoyable.  We had some ripe strawberries, blackberries and raspberries on the side that balanced out the salty taste of the dressing, without taking away from the garden-fresh taste of the veggies.


Kung Pao Tofu and Vegetables

If you’re looking to make an Asian-inspired entree that everyone, guaranteed, will like, this is what you should go with.  It has three parts: rice, tofu, and vegetable stir fry.  Fairly simple prep and ingredients, my only suggestion would be to get started on the rice, tofu marinade, and vegetable chopping very early on (a couple of hours before meal time), so things will run much smoother.


  • 1.5 c brown rice
  • 3 c water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/3 c water
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 container extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4 inch cubes


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1-in dice
  • 1/2 head broccoli, trimmed into florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 in dice
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into half-moons
  • 5 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp water


As I said, get started early on the rice (I just use the rice cooker on the brown rice setting).  It should take at least an hour and a half before the rice is ready.

After that, you can get started making the subtle spicy/sweet marinade for the tofu.  Find a casserole dish or shallow pan, and whisk together the soy sauce, water, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chili powder, paprika, crushed red pepper, and salt to blend.  Add the tofu cubes and toss gently to coat.  Don’t toss too vigorously or the tofu will break apart – if necessary, turn over some pieces so that they are covered with the sauce.  Allow it to marinate for at least a half-hour before stir-frying.  I covered mine and put it in the fridge for a while.

This is where I got started chopping vegetables, and also had a dance party in the kitchen with my nine-year-old sister (she’s a much better dancer than I am).  She reintroduced me to a favorite song at that age:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-u5WLJ9Yk4

Once the rice is almost done, you can get started stir-frying.  This works awesomely if you have a wok, like my family randomly has, but I know that most people don’t.  You can use a heavy saute pan instead.  Over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil, onion, broccoli, bell pepper, carrot, and snap peas and stir-fry until the veggies are crisp and tender.  That should take about 2 minutes.  Stir in the tofu, its marinade, and the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry until the sauce thickens slightly and the tofu is heated through, which should take about 3 minutes.

You’re done! Doesn’t it look great?

Enjoy with rice and mango/peach juice!