White rice is a staple in many cultures, but alone it doesn’t really have much nutritional value. Here’s an idea for a great tasting rice that will provide more nutrition and also spice up your life a bit!
I try to use homemade broths as much as possible in my cooking and this one great option. Instead of water, you can use beef, chicken, or vegetable broth in your recipes. I came across this Green Rice recipe from Pati Jinich. At first glance my son first saw the bright green color and said “Mom it looks like you cooked up Oscar the Grouch” lol!! So after hearing this, my daughter decided to do up a quick gouache painting of Oscar just for fun! However besides the laughs, everyone tried the rice and all were pleased with how it came out.
Spinach is one the healthiest foods available, abundant in Vitamin C and super immune booster.
We try to eat it several times a week, cooked lightly in ghee or organic butter, because raw spinach contains substances that block calcium absorption. This article from WebMD (https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-spinach#) details many of the benefits of adding spinach to your diet. For example, the article states that spinach may promote:
Lower Blood Pressure because of its potassium content.
Promote Healthy Eyes an excellent source of lutein which may protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.
Improved Cognition lutein may also preserve cognitive abilities, including verbal fluency, memory, reasoning and processing speed.
Healthy Bones spinach has high amounts of vitamin K which is essential to bone health.
Healthy Skin vitamin A in spinach can support skin tissue growth, keep skin hydrated and reduce wrinkles, but it also helps skin stay hydrated, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Healthy Blood spinach is an excellent source of iron which helps the body make hemoglobin which, is needed to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.
Spinach also contains glutathione which is an antioxidant that may protect against cancer.
Green Rice/Arroz Verde Recipe
Adapted from original recipe from patijinich.com
For white rice:
- 3 cups bone, vegetable broth or water
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
- 1 clove organic garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice or basmati rice
- 1 whole serrano chile (optional)
For the green sauce:
- 3 cups packed organic baby spinach, washed and drained
- 1 tablespoon ghee or organic butter
- 3 cloves organic garlic, (I wash and chop off the ends, but leave the peels on since it’s going into the blender for more nutrition!)
- 1 jalapeno chile, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1/3 cup chopped organic fresh basil or chopped cilantro, or both
- 1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt
First make the rice:
- Combine the broth or water, onion, garlic, salt and serrano chile in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Heat avocado oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until it is translucent, I like to let it cook just a bit more so some rice is just the slightest bit “goldened”.
- Pour in the onion/garlic puree and stir well. Bring to a boil, skim foam from top, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Prepare green sauce:
- Cook spinach in a saucepan, with about 1/3 cup water, put enough water to cover the bottom, approximately 1/4 cup, add the spinach and set over medium heat. Cook until wilted but not overcooked. Add ghee or butter and mix thoroughly. (Cooking spinach slowly with a healthy fat may increase bioavailability of nutrients.)
- Put the spinach and water into a blender and add cilantro or basil, jalapeño and garlic cloves and the rest of the salt. Blend until smooth.
- When you are ready to serve the rice, toss the rice lightly with a fork, then pour the green sauce over and mix thoroughly, so all grains are coated in the sauce.
You can serve this rice with black beans to make a complete protein!
So in spite of it’s unique bright green color, this rice has a delicious flavor and some zing if you decide to add the chilies in. Of course using broth will add another wonderful dimension to the taste! If you like, add a spritz of fresh lemon juice to your plate of rice just before eating. Enjoy!