Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Rice Bowl of Deliciousness

So, I'm not a food blogger, really. I was contemplating what this blog is "about", and I guess it is just about my life and things I like. I would consider myself a 'foodie'. I spend a lot of time thinking about and making food, probably more than I should. Hence the food posts :)

If you're getting bored reading about food, don't worry... There's more to life and I will get back around to the rest of it. And if you're really here for giveaways (my own or the ones I share), there is more of that to come, too (one is coming up quite soon) - and you can always go enter my MyPleasure.com giveaway, or my FertilAid for Women giveaway! They're still open and both super nice prizes.

Meanwhile, I absolutely have to share this recipe with you.

I've been going to a certain restaurant on Queen West in Toronto for oh, I'm guessing 10 years now - whenever we're downtown we make a point of eating there. It's called Fresh and I know I've talked about it before. It's really, really good. Among other things, they make these rice bowls that are to die for. And I have their cookbooks, but I don't usually have the right things on hand to make a proper Fresh rice bowl. So last night, craving Fresh, I decided to make my own version of delicious rice bowl goodness.

You'll have to excuse the half-eaten rice bowl photo. I was so excited to eat it that I just dug in.
And it was.... amazing. So good. Don't be put off by the long-ish ingredients list - it's pretty quick. Try it!

Rice Bowl of Deliciousness
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped,
  • 1" ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Chinese chili paste (or to taste - this isn't very spicy with only 1 tsp)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (I prefer all-natural; you could use any nut butter, really)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 small carrot, coarsely grated
  • sprouts (I used alfalfa but any sprout would be good)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • Lime wedges
Prepare rice as per package directions (I use my rice cooker, to which I add 1 3/4 cups water and a teaspoon of butter).
While the rice is cooking, chop the onion, ginger, and red pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat, add the onions and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until they start to soften. Add red pepper and cook another minute.
Stir in chili paste and cumin, cook for another minute, then add soy sauce, brown sugar and nut butter. Stir to mix. Add in the broth slowly, stirring, to make a smooth sauce. Turn the heat down to low.
Now chop up your toppings and then go relax and wait for the rice to finish cooking. Stir the sauce occasionally.

When the rice is done, divide in two and add to your rice bowls. Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the rice in each bowl. Layer the vegetable toppings on top, divide the remainder of the sauce and pour that on, then sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and pepitas. Add a lime wedge on the side for squeezing over top.

Serves two hungry people (or one hungry man and dinner + lunch for his wife). If you want to increase servings, just bump up the rice - there is enough sauce to go around.

The toppings are really open - you could really add whatever you want to the top. Here are some ideas:
  • chopped, marinated tofu
  • cooked chicken, if you eat meat
  • grilled vegetables (eggplant, peppers, baby bok choi, broccoli...)
  • chopped apple
  • tomato wedges
  • pea/sunflower/broccoli/bean sprouts
  • snow peas or regular green peas
You know... whatever you've got. You could also substitute noodles for the rice; I'm just a sucker for the chewy, nutty flavour of brown rice.

I'd love to hear if you make this!


  1. Yum! That looks really good! I might make it. I wonder how I could pass off a salad as dinner to my husband...he has this idea that soups, salads, etc don't provide enough substance for a man's meal.

  2. OMG you <3 Fresh? I <3 Fresh - haven't been since moving out of downtown & marrying a meat-a-terian. Been tweeting about it for WEEKS tho! Craving a Buda soooo bad! I'm totally going to try this recipe. You're great with the veggie advice!


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