Basmati Rice Vegetable Pilaf

Happy Monday, my friends.

Today is International Day of Peace.

I’m sure most of you know that September 21st is celebrated as International Peace Day.

The day is specifically observed for world peace and people across the globe make efforts to free the world from violence and war.

Anyone anywhere can celebrate Peace Day.  It can be as simple as observing a moment’s silence, sitting in quiet meditation, doing a good deed for someone you don’t know or sharing a meal with those you love.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”   –Mother Teresa

I hope you had a great weekend.  I love September and our weather has been amazing.  This Basmati Rice Vegetable Pilaf is easy to make and absolutely delicious.  We had it for dinner Friday night and froze what was left.  Don’t you love having meals in the freezer?

Basmati is a long-grain rice with a wonderfully toasty, nutty flavor.  When cooked, the grains stay light, fluffy and separate (in India, there is a saying that grains of rice should be like two brothers — close, but not stuck together).  I agree, especially if you’re making pilaf.

Basmati is the undisputed king of long-grain rice, and pilaf deserves the best.

Did you know that September is National Rice Month in the US?  It’s a time to celebrate the harvest of this small, but mighty grain – and it is mighty!  Rice is loaded with nutrition and is the staple food for two-thirds of the world’s population.

Fun facts about Rice:

Rice is a symbol of life and fertility, which led to the tradition of throwing rice at weddings.

Rice growing is believed to have originated in China and South East Asia around 10,000BC.

This Basmati Rice Vegetable Pilaf is a wonderful combination of flavors and textures.  Make it for dinner tonight, share with someone you love and say a prayer for world peace.

Basmati Rice Vegetable Pilaf
Basmati Rice Vegetable Pilaf

Author: The Lovin’ Forkful
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

Serves: 6

Fragrant basmati rice tossed with sautéed vegetables and warm spices – delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup raisins, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water and drained
  • ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. In a mesh strainer, rinse the rice under cold water until water runs clear. Mix the rice, 2½ cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender – 15-18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet and add the chopped onion. Cook, stirring often, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add carrots, cauliflower, allspice, cinnamon, sugar, raisins and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir together. Add ¾ cup vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook another 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender and most of the broth has evaporated.
  3. Transfer the rice and the vegetable/spice mixture to a large bowl. Add the chopped parsley and pumpkin seeds and toss together. Serve and enjoy.

Notes

If you are not serving this immediately, combine everything in a large oiled baking dish, cover with foil and refrigerate. Reheat in a 325 F oven for about 30 minutes.

The pilaf can be cooked a day ahead, refrigerated and reheated in the oven. It can also be frozen.

Good points

Low in saturated fat
No cholesterol
Very high in vitamin A
High in vitamin C

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 Calories: 303 Fat: 7.1 g Saturated fat: 1.1 g Carbohydrates: 54 g Sodium: 292 mg Fiber: 4.1 g Protein: 6.9 g Cholesterol: 0

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