I HESITATED TO EVEN PUBLISH THIS VEGETABLE RICE DISH
as it’s hardly cooking! Perfect when you need to come up with something midweek and can’t face doing anything complicated. You might think it is too fiddly but it really is not! Frozen food alert: as the emphasis for many parents is on minimal fuss meals, (especially once school life kicks in), this features a ready-to-use assortment of mixed vegetables for this dish (but it is a good rubbish-free one with no unnecessary colourings, thickeners or other yucky whatsits).
This is What You Need:
2 tbsps olive or rapeseed oil
2 onions, finely chopped
300g CHECK brown rice (preferably basmati but long grain is alright too)
750g approx frozen mixed vegetables (I use Mexican bean combination rather than mediterranean variety)
1L vegetable bouillon (less or more as required)
2 eggs (optional)
200g can tuna in sunflower oil
cheddar cheese, as much as you like (I use a boat load…not pictured)
This is What You Do:
Saute the onions in 1tbsp of oil for a few minutes in a medium to large heavy-bottomed pan til translucent and soft.
Stir in the rice and saute for a minute before adding the stock. Cover, bring to the boil and then leave to simmer on as low a heat as possible for at least 30 minutes (depending on type of brown rice being used) making sure you check the moisture level of the rice every ten minutes or so. If it is drying out or the texture is too chewy for you, add more stock as needed.
About ten minutes after the rice has started simmering, saute the vegetables in the remaining oil in a large skillet, frying pan or wok. I suggest this sort of pan as you ideally want the veggies to be relatively spread out and sizzling rather than piled up on top of each other with the bottom layer getting burned to death and the top staying soggy if you see what I mean.
Boil the eggs if using, for a good ten minutes at least, stand in cold water (you might need to change it a few times), peel and carefully slice them.
Grate the cheese and leave to one side.
Add the cooked rice to the vegetables along with the tuna if using. Don’t add the eggs at this stage as you will just end up with a mushy mess.
Serve in bowls
(I don’t risk plates for rice dishes with my lot as the devastation on the breakfast bar and floor is too much to bear), divide the egg between the bowls and sprinkle the cheese on top.
Alternative method if you don’t want to use two pans
Place the frozen vegetables on top of the rice about ten minutes before you think the rice will be cooked and replace the lid until cooked. I’m not wild about this method as it does not give me vegetables at the texture I like but horses for courses and all that.