Brown rice, bean sprouts, whole broccoli florets, garlic pepper, diced onion, vegetable stock, sliced mushrooms, spinach leaves, coconut oil (Lizzo track, optional but highly recommended for a whole bunch of flavour and self-love).
Work often has hectic periods, particularly in the run-up to new season launches – factoring in three brands, each with its incoming collections. All these products need copy, which, while a rewarding, worthwhile challenge in storytelling, can result in spells where I dip a little mid-task. When I feel a break in my immunity, mental fatigue is usually the culprit and I tend to manifest these symptoms physically with anything from a slight cold to general aches and pains. It is here that gentle nudges towards self-care and balance become all the more important. That is why I would like to share this recipe with you – not only is the act of preparing and cooking this dish healing, but the bowl of goodness nourishing and deeply satisfying. I was inspired by the simple veggies used in Japan to produce light, fulfilling fare – one of the principles of ikigai. The trick is not to overeat in times of stress, but to eat well and practice gratitude. I do not profess to be a master of Japanese cuisine, but the beansprout element and nutty brown rice gives this risotto a clean, wholly satisfying taste and feel.
Now, we arrive at the cooking. From my Instagram, you will note that I do not cook by measures. I’m typically cooking for two, so, create portions by eye, with a little usually left over to put in the fridge for lunch the next day. For this, I use around a coffee cup of brown rice as the base, which you can use as a guide, adapting to suit your needs. We also use up what we have, which is often how I come to most of my concoctions. About 1-3 generous handles of each chopped vegetable produced enough for us both.
Get a large pan, add a tsp of coconut oil – drop in your beansprouts, mushrooms and onions. Get heating.
A few pinches of garlic pepper at this stage is always a good idea.
Keep simmering these grounding basics together until your onions go translucent.
Pour in a cup of brown rice – the idea here is to gently toast the rice so keep to a low heart and keep turning the ingredients with a wooden spatchel.
Add dry vegetable stock – I used two cubes.
Cover your base with water up to the top of the rice and add florets of broccoli – simmer. The water will boil down as the rice cooks, you’re going to want to keep an eye on this and top up with additional cups of water if it looks in danger of sticking.
30 minutes should do the tick, but remember, we’re doing this by eye and taste. It’s a process. 20 minutes into your nice rice bath, you’re going to want to add in the spinach leaves.
You’ll end up with the consistency of risotto, where there’s just enough (now fully flavoured) water there to keep the dish from being dry. Serve and enjoy.
For step-by-step visuals, head to my Instagram and click on the ‘Cooking’ story.