Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Spicy Roasted Broccoli with Black Thai Rice

(Uncooked black Thai rice - it turns purple when cooked)

I have to be honest, broccoli is not one of my favorite vegetables. But on occasion, I crave it and roasting it with ginger, and my recently discovered favorite, fresh turmeric, satisfies my tastebuds every time. Spicy Roasted Broccoli with Black Thai Rice is one of my go to meals when I am craving something healthy, but flavorful, and I don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. I love the earthiness of all of the flavors combined and the nutty crunch of the whole grains. The sauce adds just the right amount of sweetness and kick leaving my whole being, mind, body, and soul, satisfied after eating it. 

A couple of years ago I came across a recipe for something called a Buddha bowl. It was a combination of grains, legumes, vegetables, and a simple sauce. I loved the concept. I love eating out of a bowl and I love the comfort of warm, steaming vegetables and whole grains. It feels clean, almost holy to eat it. Maybe you understand what I mean? Anyway, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Would love to hear your feedback if you decide to try it!  

Spicy Roasted Broccoli with Black Thai Rice


Pine nuts. toasted (pumpkin seeds would be nice too)

150 ml uncooked black Thai rice (The opposite side of your pyrex measuring cup shows milliliters)
Pinch of salt

1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp chopped fresh turmeric
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 head broccoli, washed and cut into florets
1 red chili, sliced in rings
1-2 C chopped raw kale, massaged
2 eggs, pre-scrambled and set aside


2 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tsp rooster sauce (more if desired)
If you have access to it, a dash or two of Dr. Bronners Liquid Amino Acids adds a nice flavor kick, and a few extra amino acids doesn’t hurt ;-).

Step 1: 

Toast your pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to become a light, toasty brown color. Set aside to cool.

Step 2:

The rice will take about 40 minutes to cook, similar to cooking times for brown rice, so get your rice started cooking before you begin to prepare your veggies. For black, or brown rice, I measure 1 part rice to 2 parts water with a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the salt and rice, stir and then place the lid on the pot. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let it cook for forty minutes. No peeking! After twenty minutes check your rice to make sure it is not simmering too high or too low. should be perfectly cooked. It should be at a gentle, rolling simmer. Tip #2, don't stir the rice. Adjust the temperature if needed, replace the lid, and allow to continue cooking. 

Step 3: 

Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Step 4:

While the rice continues cooking, let’s give the veggies some love. One thing I've learned in cooking is to read through the recipe first and prepare as many ingredients ahead of time as possible. This includes measuring out the spices. I like to dump them all together if they will be added at the same time. Small bowls are very handy for this. “Mise en place” is the French term for preparing ahead. I call it getting my ducks in a row. :-) Whatever you choose to call it, it truly is a great strategy for cooking. I can’t tell you how many times I have ruined a recipe because I was not prepared and things burned or overcooked while I had to take 15-20 minutes to cut up my vegetables, measure out ingredients etc. So I definitely recommend taking the time to prepare ahead. 

Now you are ready to put it all together… 

Heat your skillet with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Begin sautéing the chopped turmeric and ginger for a minute or so, then add the broccoli and sauté, stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes. Just when your broccoli is starting to brighten up in color, add the sliced red chilies and sauté for another minute. 

At this point I add a drizzle of the sauce to the vegetables, just to give them a little more flavor. Now toss in your pre-massaged kale and sauté until it has softened, approximately 2-3 minutes. Finally stir in the pre-scrambled eggs. Allow to heat through while stirring for a couple of minutes. The rice should be done by now as well. You are ready to serve!

Start by dividing your rice into two bowls. Drizzle a bit of the sauce over the rice, then layer with your vegetable mixture. Drizzle more sauce over the vegetables and top with your toasted pine nuts. My recipe made three servings. One for me, one for my husband, and one for my lunch at work the next day! :-)

Feel free to try your own variations of vegetables, nuts, and grains. The possibilities are endless. One that I can think of right off the bat (and that appears to be calling my name) includes brown rice, black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, and avocado. Maybe with a large dollop of salsa, some toasted pumpkin seeds, and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro on top… Yum!

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