Spring has finally arrived!
And with its arrival comes spring cleaning…and spring clean “eating!”
Just as I am overcome with ransacking the house (i.e., packing away winter clothes, scrubbing every (ignored) crevice of the house throughout the winter, etc.), I also go into “detox mode” and literally crave a fresh, cleaner diet to start off the season (i.e., fresh veggies, no refined carbs, no sugar, gluten-free, no red meat, etc.).
It sounds harsh but I normally eat like this and yes, I DO enjoy eating like this! With recipes like this one, how can I not?
Clean eating is a way of life, and I have to admit whenever I fall off the bandwagon my body feels it (and lets me KNOW it too!).
The good thing is with recipes such as this one, there is nothing to miss…I get a filling, delicious meal with nutrient-dense carbs, fresh veggies, crunchy pine nuts and a salty bite from the Parmesan! I also get to feel good about preparing a healthy meal for my family 😉
(Serves 4 as a side dish)
2 cups uncooked brown rice
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, halved or finely minced
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 medium yellow pepper, sliced
2 medium zucchini, finely sliced
2 cups button mushrooms, finely sliced
*Veggies are as desired! You can substitute with any of your favourites.
1 tbs. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tbs. parsley, freshly chopped
2 cups raw organic spinach, rinsed
2 tbs. toasted pine nuts (optional)
*Toast pine nuts in a small frying pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, tossing often to avoid burning.
Parmesan, quantity as desired
Peel and halve or finely mince the garlic cloves. Dice the onion and pepper and finely slice the zucchini and mushrooms. (Size portions can vary depending on preference).
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, and pepper sand saute for 5-7 minutes until slightly translucent. Add the zucchini, mushrooms, and spices, and continue to cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender. Once tender, add the roughly chopped spinach and cook until wilted.
*TIP: Adding the parsley after the veggies are cooked adds more freshness to the dish!
In the meantime, cook the rice in a medium saucepan on medium heat for 40-45 minutes or until tender or “al dente” (whichever you prefer!).
Once cooked, transfer the rice immediately to a serving bowl and top with the veggies…
Or mix the rice and veggies together then serve.
Garnish with toasted pine nuts, shaved Parmesan cheese and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.