Shades of Green over Brown Rice

February 10, 2010 § 2 Comments

The older I get, the more I come to the realization that I am really a minimalist at heart.  This recipe is a perfect example.  It has five ingredients, takes 20 minutes to make, and is three different shades of green, so it looks pretty!

Before you begin the vegetables, begin to cook your brown rice according to the instructions on the package.  You should start to cook the rice about 10-15 minutes before beginning the vegetables.

The ingredients:

  • Romanesco broccoli (this is a type of cauliflower)
  • 2 large leaves of a leek
  • a handful of snow peas
  • sesame oil
  • cooked brown rice

I just love the way the Romanesco broccoli looks — it seems unnatural the way the spirals are perfectly formed, but in fact, the Romanesco  broccoli (sometimes called the Romanesco cauliflower) is an heirloom breed that has been grown since the 16th century in Italy.  According to the guy from the farm I bought it from, this type of cauliflower has 5x more nutrients than regular cauliflower.  
Planet Green has some more great photos and a great description of the plant’s background.

Here is how to make the dish:

  • Chop the Romanesco cauliflower into quarters and remove the hard stem.  The flower should then disassemble (with your help) itself into small 1″ pieces.
  • Chop the leek leaves into small pieces.
  • Heat skillet and add two tablespoons of sesame oil, throw everything in, and salt to taste.
  • Sauté on med-high for about 5-10 minutes.  (Note: the time you cook will depend on whether you like your vegetables softer or crisper.  I like them somewhere in the middle, so I sauté for about 7 minutes.

Doesn’t it look so zen with all those shades of green?

The final dish is simple and amazing.  Because of its simplicity, you could really appreciate the taste of each vegetable and the hint of sesame.  The Romanesco cauliflower is really a unique taste that is quite distinct from both cauliflower and broccoli.

Bon appetit!


Red Chard Tuesday

February 9, 2010 § 7 Comments

I love the winter for several reasons, and one is found in the farmer’s markets…greens, greens, greens.  Greens are one of the super foods that are nutritional powerhouse containing a plethora of vitamins and minerals.  All greens are an excellent source of calcium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene.  They are also heart healthy (just in time for Valentine’s Day).

This year, my favorite green is red chard.  Red chard is characterized by bright red stalks, red veins, and enormous deep green leaves.  Chard is great because it is sturdier than spinach and holds its shape, as well as a bit of crispness, when cooking.  I was lucky enough to pick up a bunch of red chard at my local farmer’s market in Venice, Ca.  I am so excited to share a vegetarian recipe for red chard with you.

Red Chard Over Brown Rice


  • A bunch of red chard, rinsed and torn into bit sized pieces(it shrinks when you cook it)
  • 1/2 of a Mayan sweet onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 12 oz. package of Yves Meatless Ground
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. chili infused sesame oil (you could substitute with olive oil)
  • 2 Tsp. crushed red peppers (less or more for your desired heat level)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper (to taste)

Cooking directions:

1.  Preheat your oven to 450* and place the tomatoes and sprig or rosemary in an oven safe dish.  Toss with salt and pepper and 1 Tbsp. chili sesame oil.

2.  Place the tomatoes in the oven until they have softened and given off most of their juices (15-25 minutes depending on the size of your tomatoes).  Stir every 10 minutes, so your tomatoes keep their red color and do not burn.

3.  Take the tomatoes out of the oven to cool and start your brown rice (I use a rice cooker) by adding 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups water to a     pot (cook according to package directions).

4.  Once the rice is cooking, pour the oil from the tomatoes into a pan.  Add the left over 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil to the pan as well.  Heat the oil to a medium temperature and add the onion.  Sauté.

5.  Once the onion has started to sauté, add the garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, and Yves Meatless Ground to the pan.

6. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add roasted tomatoes and the torn red chard to the pan.  Cover with a lid and cook until the red chard has shrunken down and is soft (this should take 10-15 minutes).

Put a layer of brown rice on your plate and then top it with the red chard.  Enjoy.

Serving suggestions:  Top with a Tbsp. of parmesan cheese for added flavor.

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