Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rice with Caramelized Onions, Zucchini and Walnuts

So the basic components of the vegan (or perhaps any meal) are: whole grain (50%), vegetable (25%), protein (25%). This time, I kept these three parts separated. The rice is whole grain mixed with orzo and wild rice. The caramelized onions took about 30 minutes over low heat, but were totally worth it. Then carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, garlic and ginger were sauteed together. Finally, walnuts and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) were dry roasted in a skillet just until they were brown. Apparently I was starving by the time I finished all of this, hence the enormous portion I've given myself here. I didn't quite finish it, but I definitely gave it an honest effort.

The rice was Uncle Ben's, but I only used a sprinkling of the seasoning packet but having exact directions helped me not fail at cooking rice again of all things. In the future, I would probably slice up more onion if I'm going to caramelize them, since they shrink a good bit, and if I'm going to put that much time into it, I'd rather have a lot more to show for it. The vegetables were easy enough, and the ginger really makes all the difference. I'm going to start putting that in everything. I just love the combination with a bit of shoyu and garlic. And I LOVE using nuts as the protein. The texture and fantastic aroma of roasted nuts really added to the dish.

Overall, this was delectable. I gobbled up the leftovers the following day at lunch. I will definitely have to make this again, with maybe some different vegetables and/or nuts, or maybe even try it with some quinoa or pasta.

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