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Better Vegan Mexican Brown  Rice
Source: Cook's Illustrated, Better Vegan  Category: Vegan Entrees & Sides
Prep Time: 10 min  Cook time: 1 hr 55 min  Total Time: 2 hrs 5 min  Serves 6-8
Contains nightshades
About this recipe
For this recipe we substituted traditional white long grain rice with a short grain brown rice. White rice is too processed and refined, and quickly converts into sugar once it is digested, so I prefer not to use it in my recipes. Brown rice is a complex carb and burns slowly when digested, keeping your blood sugar levels steady. Sometimes you just crave some hearty, flavorful carbs, and this rice is the answer. Baking it in the oven makes the rice cook evenly and really get saturated with flavor. 

2 ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces), cored and quartered

1 medium onion, preferably white, peeled, trimmed of root end,and quartered

3 medium jalapeño chiles

2 cups short grain brown rice, soaked overnight, drained

⅓ cup coconut or avocado oil (I use Kirkland Signature Cold Pressed Unrefined Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and La Tourangelle Avocado Oil)

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 tsp.)

3+ cups vegetable broth

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 ½ tsp. pink Himalayan salt (I use Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt, 5 lbs Fine Grain)

½ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

1. Prepare the ingredients.


2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Process tomatoes and onion in food processor until smooth and thoroughly pureed, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl if necessary. Transfer mixture to liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups (if necessary, spoon off excess so that volume equals 2 cups). Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalapeños and discard; mince flesh and set aside. Mince remaining jalapeño, including ribs and seeds; set aside.

3. Place rice in large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake rice vigorously in strainer to remove all excess water.

4. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed oven-safe 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Drop 3 or 4 grains rice in oil; if grains sizzle, oil is ready. Add rice and fry, stirring frequently, until rice is light golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and seeded minced jalapeños; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in pureed tomatoes and onions, vegetable broth, tomato paste, and salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Cover pan and transfer to oven; bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hour, stirring well after 30 minutes and adding a little bit more broth if the rice is dry.

5. Stir in cilantro and reserved minced jalapeño with seeds to taste. Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately.

Using all three jalapenos makes the rice quite spicy. If you don't want it to be very spicy, start with one jalapeno,and then add some more at the end if desired.
Cooking time may vary depending on the variety of brown rice you use. Keep checking for readiness every 30 minutes or so to make sure the rice won't burn. If it gets too dry, add a little more vegetable broth, mix well and cook until tender.
Equipment needed:
Serving suggestion:
This rice can be served on its own topped with avocado and vegan sour cream or as a side dish with sauteed or steamed vegetables or beans.
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