This recipe was previously published on January 5, 2017.
This recipe has all of my favorite components of a healthy vegan meal: colorful produce, greens, and a delicious homemade sauce. It’s a great standby for busy weeknights since most of the prep/cook time is just the rice cooking. Moreover, if you already have a stash of cooked grains in your fridge, this dish would probably come together in about 20 minutes. You can easily substitute quinoa for brown rice or prepare this dish with your favorite lentils instead.
I decided to top my veggies and rice with black sesame seeds because: 1) They make a beautiful garnish! 2) In addition to containing vitamin B1, sesame seeds are rich in essential trace minerals copper, zinc, and calcium. Add to that the vitamin C-rich red bell pepper and vitamin A-packed carrots, and you’ve got quite a nutritious meal! The flavor doesn’t disapoint, either. The gently sautéed bok choy almost melts in your mouth, and the pepper-cilantro sauce brightens every bite. I hope you enjoy!
Vegan Bok Choy and Brown Rice with Red Bell Pepper Sauce
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup cilantro, plus more for seving
- juice of two limes
- 4 large bok choy leaves, white stems removed and discarded
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
- 1 cup small carrots
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped into small pieaces
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
- lime wedges for serving
1. Prepare red pepper sauce. Combine olive oil, cashews, red bell pepper, cilantro, and lime juice in the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
2. Cook your rice. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add rice, reduce to a simmer and cook for 35-45 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. (Depending on the grain of rice you have, the cooking time will vary.)
3. While the rice is cooking, steam the carrots: In a small saucepan set over high heat, add 1/2 inch water. Place your steamer in the pot and add your carrots. Cover and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, reduce to a simmer and steam for 5-10 minutes, depending on how soft you like your carrots.
4. In a skillet, warm 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Lay two bok choy leaves flat in the pan. Allow to cook for a few minutes before flipping the leaves to the other sides and cooking for another few minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Remove from heat. Repeat for the remaining two leaves.
5. Arrange rice, bok choy, and carrots on plates. Dress with red bell pepper sauce. Sprinkle with onion and black sesame seeds. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Enjoy!
Related: Balsamic Glazed Tofu and Bok Choy
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell