There are just some foods that are underappreciated.
Brussels sprouts, for instance. Why is it that I didn’t know until I was 23 that I enjoyed Brussels Sprouts? I blame Danny Tanner and that episode of Full House where he admits to his mother (played by Doris Roberts (aka: Marie Barone) by the way) that he never liked her brussels sprouts and didn’t want to hurt her feelings for the first 35 years of his life. That totally scared me away from brussels sprouts for years upon years. Now? I love them! I can’t imagine my life without them.
Another food that’s underappreciated? Cauliflower! Seriously, how delicious is a roasted head of cauliflower? Everyone seems to love its distant green cousin the broccoli stalk, but I kind of love cauliflower even more than broccoli. Roasted, olive oil, sea salt. The. Best.
Aaand let’s face it — rice pilaf is probably one of the most underappreciated side dishes out there. I mean, think about it — how often do you go to a restaurant, see that a dish is served with rice pilaf, and then totally change your decision to order said dish because of the sides? Riiiceee? Uhh, how about some french fries… a sweet potato… anything but rice? Please?
If you were asking me that question, my head would be nodding up and down and both of my hands would be in the air. Poor rice pilaf — it’s not it’s fault it’s not quite as loved as melty buttery mashed potatoes or a giant sweet potato the size of my head. Mainly it’s because it’s weird to put ketchup on rice in public and others would scoff at my life choices.
But anywayssssss, last week I made the Husband a loaf of meat (aka: meatloaf — gross), and I needed to make a side dish to go along with it. We had no potatoes (tragedy), and I almost threw in the towel at one point. But then I remembered I wanted him to feel an immense amount of love towards me — kind of like the way I felt about you all yesterday — and I knew that loaf de la meat needed to get to the table ASAP. There’s nothing like winning your husband over with food, am I right?
I figured the rice would be ‘meh’, but it actually turned out gooood! Like so good that I made a second batch for the Husband the next day so he could eat the other half pound of his chunk of meat. He wasn’t complaining, but I was because I wanted to eat more rice and wasn’t able to.
I would also like to apologize now for talking discussing meatloaf for the last 3 minutes. It kind of makes me want to vomit — but not this rice! This rice will make you happy.
Vegetable Rice Pilaf
- 1 cup short grain brown rice, dry
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1.5 tbsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 white onion
- 5-6 whole white mushrooms
- 1 carrot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
- 3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
Directions: Place your onion, mushrooms, carrot, garlic, and celery in a food processor or mini-chopper**. Roughly chop until the vegetables are diced into small pieces (I hit my mini-chopper “chop” button about 7-8 times). After vegetables have been diced, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan to medium high heat. Add the diced vegetables and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to become tender. Once the vegetables have had a chance to cook, add 1 cup dry rice, 2 cups vegetable broth, Liquid Aminos, and pepper/garlic. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low for 45 minutes (depending on your rice’s cook time — check the package instructions just in case). After the rice is cooked and tender, fluff with a fork and remove from heat. Garnish with fresh basil and serve along side your favorite main dish.
My mouth is watering. It’s 6 AM. I shouldn’t be wanting rice right now, but I do. There’s not a thing wrong with that.