Sincerely Carolina

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Sugar and Rice and Everything Nice.

by caroline

I love brown rice. I'm smitten with the crunchiness of a short grain kernel. And the sweetness of a nice jasmine rice. And, of course, brown rice flour has completely rocked my gluten-free baking world. It's a staple in my diet and one that frequently makes an appearance in my daily meals, including one of my favorites, brown rice + roasted veggies.

But lately, I've been wanting to add a little flav-a to my brown rice buddy. Don't get me wrong: I enjoy it all on its own. But just like it's a good idea to sometimes add a bit of spice to our tired wardrobes (hell-o, new shoes!), it's also fun to play with different ingredients and put a new spin on our favorite dishes. 

I decided last night was the night to go buck wild with brown rice (yeah, we got down and dirty). Just like the yummy Kitchen Sink Lentil Burgers Dan threw together a few weeks ago, I just started pulling ingredients out of the refrigerator and deciding what would work well together.

I wanted something crunchy and a little bit savory, but I also wanted to add a dash of sweetness. So, I relied on two of my favorite seasonings, cinnamon and nutmeg, and also threw in some raisins and a bit of sweet potato. I also decided to bake the rice as opposed to the typical boil-in-a-pot method.

This recipe is so-o-o-o-o easy and it makes the whole house smell like heaven (as cinnamon and nutmeg tend to do). One tip: Make this on a night when you have a bit of time to spare. The preparation is a cinch (just toss the ingredients in!), but the bake time takes more than an hour.

It's vegan and gluten-free — dig in!

Oven-Baked Sweet & Crunchy Brown Rice

(Print me!)

  • 2-1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 4-2/3 cups gluten-free vegetable broth or stock
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 of a large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • big pinch of cinnamon
  • small pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the brown rice, vegetable broth or stock, celery, potato, onion, garlic, basil, raisins, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a 13×9 baking dish (oval or rectangular), like this. Stir ingredients and distribute evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, 25 minutes or until rice is cooked thoroughly. Remove from pan and allow to settle for 5 minutes before serving.

The sweetness in this dish is spot on. I served it with a side of garlick-y green beans, but I think it would also pair nice with a spicy or blackened fish. Again, we're aiming for that sweet + savory combo (with this rice being the sweet portion of that equation).

Note: This recipe is gluten-free and vegan. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)

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Share, please! What's your favorite way to spice up a classic dish?