With this simple trick, learn how to make big, fluffy bowls of rice out of vegetables. It makes your “rice” gluten-free, perfect for a paleo diet and nutritious.
Making rice out of vegetables is a healthy way to sneak more nutrients into meals for you and your family. You might be surprised — not only does vegetable rice taste just like the real thing, it’s quicker and easier to make than regular rice. No more expensive rice cookers, watery boil-in-a-bag grains or mushy rice. In less than five minutes, you have a nutritious option in place of rice and, most important, it encourages the use of fresh and seasonal produce.
In the past few years, we have seen zucchini noodles sprout up on food blogs, in cookbooks and even restaurants. We’ve even seen Rachael Ray make zucchini pasta on her popular TV cooking show. Zucchini noodles are a healthy way to eat our favorite pasta and noodle dishes. Plus, they’re a fun way to use fresh produce.
But what about the other vegetables that can be turned magically into noodles? What about sweet potatoes? Beets (pictured above)? Carrots? Jicama? And what else can be done with these noodles? The answer: much more. One of my favorite ways to use spiralized veggies (noodles made out of vegetables using a spiralizer) is to make them into rice. Yes, rice. Big, fluffy bowls of rice (made of vegetables).
If you like to prepare your meals in advance (always a smart idea), you can make a big batch of a simply flavored rice and repurpose it all week long as a side dish to your favorite proteins such as a baked chicken, poached fish or marinated meat.
Follow these simple steps to turn your veggies into rice
Step 1: Spiralize your vegetables, then add to a food processor.
Step 2: Pulse, pulse, pulse.
Step 3: Once the vegetables resemble rice, you’re done.
Step 4: Cook your veggie rice to enjoy by itself or in healthy recipes.
How to make vegetable rice
- Any vegetable with low water content, such as beets, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, jicama or plantains
- Olive oil
- Broth (optional)
- Spiralize or julienne-peel your favorite vegetable to make noodles.
- Place the noodles into a food processor.
- Pulse until they are chopped into rice-like bits.
- To cook, simply warm olive oil in a skillet and then add in your rice. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until it reaches your preferred texture.
- To create that fluffy rice feel, add about 1/3-1/2 cup of broth per 1 cup of rice. Let the rice reduce, stirring frequently. Once it’s done reducing, the rice will fluff up.
Try these tips to spice up your vegetable rice
- Cook garlic and onions in the olive oil before you add in the rice.
- Add fragrant seasonings, such as oregano or cumin.
- Take the heat up a notch with chili powder, smoked paprika or red pepper flakes.
- Stir in fresh tomatoes or tomato paste for a smooth tomato flavor.
- Fold in cheese at the end to create a creamy, luxurious risotto.
Once you’ve cooked your rice, you can add other vegetables and proteins to it to make a complete meal. Try out one of these recipes.
Teriyaki chicken and broccoli
with butternut squash rice
Plantain rice with tomatoes and beans
Spanish butternut squash rice
with ham and olives
Parmesan butternut squash rice risotto
with asparagus and green peas
Vegetarian sweet potato fried rice