A super simple, healthy and flavorful vegan pesto brown rice pilaf with crunchy toasted almonds, spinach and lime juice. Gluten-Free too.
I used to scrunch my nose up at the thought of brown rice. If there was ever an option I was always a white rice kind of girl.
Brown rice? No thanks. I’ll take the more unhealthy delicious white rice, every time, thanks.
Well that has recently changed and my taste buds have done a complete 180. All of a sudden white rice just seems to bleh, lacking in flavor, just not enough crunch, no uumpth, no charisma whatsoever.
And it happens to be lacking in nutritional content as well. No good at all.
Now I’m all about the brown rice. It has so much more depth of flavor and complements the food it is served with so much better. It seems to mesh better with everything. It has so much for texture and crunch and currently I’m loving that. It also happens to way more forgiving if overcooked. White rice can quickly turn super mushy if you’re cooking it properly or not watching it; brown rice on the other hand seems to stay firm for longer and I find it easier to cook flawless perfect brown rice than white rice. Are you with me? Tell me you’ve had a similar experience?
Changing tastes, that it a strange thing indeed. Luckily my tasting preferences have changed for the healthier more nutritious side of things.
At least when it comes to rice that is. So now when I have the option between the two different types of rice, I eagerly choose the brown one. No judgement for all of you still hooked on white rice, but seriously you need to give the lighter darker rice another or maybe even a first try.
This vegan pesto brown rice pilaf may just be the perfect starter recipe. I want to ease you into the world of brown rice, so here I decorate it with flavor packed pesto and some crunchy toasted almonds.
A super simple rice pilaf that just so happens to make a perfect side dish to just about any meal. My go to rice pilaf used to be a white rice pilaf with slivered almonds and onions but that recipe needs to move aside for this one.
Now don’t be intimidated by brown rice. For each cup of brown rice you need 1 1/2 cups of water or better yet vegetable broth (maximize that flavor) and you bring the mix to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes. Voila. That is all you need for perfectly cooked brown rice. Let it rest for a few minutes, while you do the minimal prep for the other ingredients and then toss everything together in a bowl.
With a few swift flicks of the wrist the mix will be perfectly incorporated and your new favorite pesto brown rice side dish is ready to go.
Since I’m a new convert to the brown rice phenomenon stay tuned for many more recipes coming your way including this awesome little grain.
If you make this pesto brown rice pilaf please let me know what you think in the comments below! I imagine this would be perfect served alongisde chicken, fish, any kind of protein in general! Or you might just want to add some more veggies to this and turn this into a pesto brown rice salad instead.
- 2 cups cooked brown rice cooked according to package directions
- 1/3 cup toasted almonds (both slivered and sliced)
- 1/4 cup vegan basil pesto
- handful spinach chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt/pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until incorporated and serve.