Although I get excited about seasonal cooking for every season (I mean, who doesn’t love fall and pumpkin-everything?), there’s something extra special about spring, in my book, because it’s naturally a time to implement lifestyle changes and enjoy lighter food choices. Although I’m not plotting any major resolutions, I feel a renewed commitment to eating colorful, whole foods made even better with the right creative touch.
This is a very easy recipe, and all of the ingredients should be easy to find at any major grocery store or health food store. (If you’re having trouble finding miso paste, you can substitute tamari or soy sauce.) The dressing, however, takes it up a notch and makes the dish feel almost like a restaurant meal.
Finally, if you’d like a lighter meal, lightly steam all of the veggies instead of stir-frying them.
Brown Rice Beet Stir-Fry
- 1 cup brown rice (dry)
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, touch ends removed
- 1 beet, roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 2 small carrots, chopped into coins
- 1 tablespoon, 1/2 tablespoon, divided coconut oil
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 tablespooons tahini
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook rice according to package directions. Depending on the size of grain you’re working with, this step will probably take anywhere between 35 and 45 minutes.
2. While the rice is cooking, set a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. When the coconut oil is warmed, add the red onion. Stir occasionally until the onion is beginning to become translucent (about 5 minutes).
3. Meanwhile, prepare the tahini and miso dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, miso paste, lemon juice, and ginger powder. If the dressing feels to thick, you can whisk in a splash of water. Test for salt and add any desired pepper. Set aside.
4. Add to the red onions the beets, celery, and carrots. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally, allowing the flavors of the veggies to mingle and the veggies soften. Remove the veggies from heat after 10-12 minutes.
5. While those veggies are cooking, set a medium sauté pan over medium heat, and add 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Spread the asparagus out in the pan. Allow them to cook and brown for 5-10 minutes, depending on your preference. Toss them occasionally.
6. You have the option to stir-fry the rice in the pan with the onions, carrots, celery, and beets or simply serve the stir-fried veggies over cooked, but not fried, rice. If you’re frying the rice, crank the heat up to medium under the large sauté pan, and stir in the rice. The rice will pick up the oil coating the vegetables, but you’re welcome to add another small spoonful of oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rice has crisped.
7. Create a bed of rice or rice-veggie mix on each plate and top with asparagus and raw green onions. Dress with tahini miso dressing.
Related: Spring Vegetable Quinoa Tarts
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell