Monday, October 10, 2011

Miracle Rice with Creamy Green Sauce

Abiline woke me up at 3:40am last Tuesday; she went back to bed, but I just hovered on the edge of sleep until I finally got out of bed at 5:30. No fun. Since becoming a mom, I have had many a day when I've had to run on less than 5 hours of sleep, but it is never pretty. (Literally not pretty: my face looks greyish-green on those days.)

On this particular sleepless day, we had nothing in our fridge that would pass for dinner, so instead of sleeping during the kids' nap-time, I had to cook. (I almost always cook dinner during nap-time because it is just too stressful, not to mention perilous, to juggle boiling pots, blenders, and hot ovens while Abiline is tearing at my heels begging to be held and Sawyer is braying for help finding misplaced toys.) Under these conditions, I was not too hopeful about the end result of any culinary efforts fueled by my addled brains. But I said a prayer, and, lo and behold, it was answered when the "Miracle Rice," as my husband calls it, was born. This dish truly was a miracle; I was so out of it that day that I could barely spell my name let alone make up a delicious recipe. The sauce sounds improbable, perhaps, but you really have to try it.  Everyone happily ate this baked rice dish for dinner three nights in a row--another miracle. It's a great meal for babies and toddlers, since there are no big chunks and can even be easily eaten with just fingers.

For the Creamy Green Sauce:
1 cup oat milk, or other non-dairy milk
1 c. water
2 tsp. vegetable broth powder
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt, depending on saltiness of your broth
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. onion powder
2/3 c. nutritional yeast
1/4 c. BBQ sauce
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard (I used stone ground)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. jalapeno jelly
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. tahini
3 c. fresh spinach leaves
1 roasted red bell pepper (jarred kind)
1 1/2 c. or 1 can cooked chickpeas or white beans

For the rice:
2 cups short or long grain brown rice (I used a mix of both)
4 cups water

For the veggies:
1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn
3 large carrots, in 1/4 in. dice
1 large sweet potato, in 1/4 in. dice
1 red bell pepper, in 1/4 in. dice
1 yellow bell pepper, in 1/4 in. dice
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. liquid coconut aminos, or soy sauce if no soy allergy
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar
dash of salt and pepper

For the topping:
roughly 2/3c. pita chips or your favorite crackers (Could be made gluten-free)
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

1. Prepare the rice on the stove-top by bringing the water to a boil in a medium-sized pot, then adding the rice, returning to a boil, lowering the heat, covering the pot, and simmering for 40-45 minutes, until all the water is absorbed, and the rice is tender.
2. While the rice cooks, prepare the vegetables and sauce. In a large skillet, heat the 2 Tbsp. olive oil and add the diced veggies. Saute for about 5 minutes, then add the kale leaves, liquid aminos, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, salt and pepper, stir around to combine, and then cover and steam for 7-10 minutes, until the kale is wilted and the veggies are tender. You can leave the veggies as they are, or, if you are catering to a toddler audience, pulse them in a food processor to get the pieces really fine.
3. Steam the spinach in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, and then combine with all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
4.  Pulse the pita chips or crackers and sunflower seeds in a food processor until crumbly.
5. Preheat the oven to 375 and oil a 11x15in. baking dish. When the rice is done, combine the rice and veggies in the pan, and then pour the sauce over the top. Mix it all together with a spoon to make sure everything is evenly moistened.  Sprinkle the cracker topping evenly over the rice and bake covered for 20 minutes, then uncovered for 10 more to get it a little crispy on top.

P.S. This is what I see when I call the kids in for dinner.  Cute, huh? Sawyer is now a superhero most days, and Abiline just wants to be like Sawyer. 

1 comment:

  1. Your recipe is looking very nice & yummy, thanxx for the share.