Christmas is just two weeks away! Can you believe it – where did the time go this year? Soon, New Year is coming up and it’s time for those downtrodden resolutions. One of mine is to start eating healthier and introduce even more vegetarian and vegan cuisine into my life. Instead of making the drastic change from one day to the next, I thought I would start already with this vegan-friendly Christmas rice! It’s a smooth and delicious transition. This Christmas rice is definitely filling, full of different textures accompanied by exciting flavours. Being a custom recipe, it captures Christmas on a plate with classic Christmas spices and dried fruits. Who said vegan food was boring?
With all those rich Christmas recipes out there, it’s no surprise that vegans suffer this time of year. So, this Christmas rice acts as main course and is a perfect addition or even a substitute for a healthy Christmas meal. You can even serve it as a healthy side dish to your usual Christmas recipes. It is perfectly balanced with plenty of starch from the rice, beans for vegetables and nuts for protein. Also, there is some fruitiness in these that goes down a treat! Again, an excellent feature of this Christmas rice recipe is that you can tweak it to your taste.
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christmas rice with Pyrex
Another great feature that comes with making this Christmas rice is the fact that it stores well. You can keep it in the refrigerator for three days or you can easily freeze it for a later occasion. In order to do so, you’ll need the Pyrex 7 piece Cook & Freeze set and the Expert Bowl. Pyrex has been around since 1915 and is trusted by millions of cooks and bakers all over the world. Having originally developed the borosilicate glass pieces, Pyrex’s innovative products still unleash our creativity in the kitchen. Today, more than 75% of British kitchens have a Pyrex quality product. If you look at the photos, you’ll see that I’ve had the luck to try these products myself.
I’ve mixed all my ingredients for this Christmas rice in the Expert Bowl. What I like about it most, is that it is see-through with its 35-degree angled side. This way I can see how well my ingredients mix together. Also, it’s compatible for right-hand and left-hand users! The wide spout allows pouring control and prevents ingredients from spilling. Did I mention, that this 4.2L bowl has a measuring markings? I could easily measure out everything, so I got the recipe right! The Expert Bowl has a guarantee for 10 years! You can get it from Pyrexuk.com or selected stockists including John Lewis and Lakeland.
I used the Glass Ramekins for my nuts and dried fruits. However, I can imagine myself making beautiful crème brulees in it, or even serve granola or yoghurt in them. They are perfect for storing all types of ingredients. As it’s borosilicate glass, it is oven resistant up to 300°C. You can also use these in a microwave or store them in the fridge or freezer. A very versatile product, if you ask me, plus it’s scratch resistant!
Lastly, once I was done with my Christmas rice, I used the Cook & Freeze boxes to store it in my freezer for the big day. They have a smart lid for when you put ingredients for storage in the fridge or freezer. Cook & Freeze is perfect for mixing, preparing and storing ingredients. Believe it or not, the Cook & Freeze is also microwave safe and has a guarantee for 10 years too. You can find it on Pyrexuk.com or at selected stockists including Dunelm.
The green bean is one of my favourite vegetables to use in salads or rice dishes. I like to parboil them, leaving a bit of extra crunch. You can also cook them for a bit longer if you don’t like them too firm with a bite. Just remember to top and tail them. Also, ideally you should cut the green beans into 2.5cm (1in) bite-sized pieces.
These can be substituted with green or white asparagus, or broccoli, spinach or kale. Although, it might be hard to find these substitutes as they are currently not in season. If you want to be seasonal, substitute with sweet potatoes, which are fantastic for people who suffer with diabetes. Sweet potatoes have a low sugar content and they help regulate sugar spikes in our blood. Plus, it’ll make this Christmas rice even more colourful!
The best would be to go easy on the rice and heavy on the vegetables and nuts if you are aiming for a low-carb side dish. However, the rice itself is a healthier alternative to the traditional long grain rice. Brown basmati and wild rice, especially, are high in protein with little fat content. This type of rice takes a bit longer to cook, but the extra crunch is totally worth waiting for. I love the texture of wild rice and when I eat it, it sort of pops in my mouth. At this point you can freeze the rice mixture in a large Pyrex container for later use.
the nuts, spice and fruits
The nuts are fantastic sources of protein. Pecans and cashews have those good fats and oils that are very beneficial to the body and they fill you up. You can substitute these nuts with almonds, macadamia nuts, chestnuts or even pistachios. For healthier alternatives, buy unsalted, raw cashews.
Mixed spice, which is a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, is delicious with this Christmas rice. You can add generously or just add a hint of it. You are in control!
As for the fruit, I mixed the dried cranberries in with the rice, and fresh pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top of the Christmas rice. These give a lovely fruity touch and provide a subtle acidity to the overall dish. If you’ll want to substitute, you’ll need to go for acidic fruit. This could be apple, apricots, raisins or figs – best dried. You can make a lot of substitutions – it just depends on your palate and preference. I think dried apricots would work extremely well with the savoury flavours of the Christmas rice. Remember to sprinkle with fresh parsley!
serve as a side
You can either serve this Christmas rice as a main or as a side. As a side dish, why not serve it along some delicious Marmite Potatoes, Sprout and Chestnut Gratin, or Red Cabbage with Orange and Raisins? You can also try more of my vegan-friendly recipes like the shredded rainbow salad edamame salad. If eating a delicious Christmas rice inspired you for more vegan rice recipes, you can also try a rice with delicious Indian flavours.
Get ahead this Christmas by preparing your favourite recipes and freezing in advance of the festive period, ready to re-heat when required. With handy plastic lids, Pyrex Cook & Freeze is perfect for mixing or preparing ingredients and storing away. With thermal shock resistance of 220°C, you can easily take your dishes straight from the freezer (max -20°C) to the oven (max 200°C) , creating show-stopping cuisine that can be re-heated with ease.
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- 500g (1lb) brown basmati and wild rice
- 1.5ℓ (6 cups) vegetable stock
- 300g (10oz) fine green beans, cut into 2.5cm (1in) pieces
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 30ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 5ml (1 tsp) mixed spice
- 100g (3oz) pecan halves
- 100g (3oz) cashews, roasted and salted
- 100g (3oz) dried cranberries
- 1 pomegranate, seeds only
- 60ml (4 tbsp) flat leaf parsley, washed and chopped
- Boil the rice for 25 minutes in the stock. Drain and set aside.
- Boil the beans in salted water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large casserole dish, fry the onions in the oil until cooked and softened.
- Add the beans, rice and mixed spice to the onions and stir well.
- (At this point you can freeze the rice mixture in a large Pyrex container and freeze for later use. After thawing the dish can simply be placed in the oven and reheated.)
- Stir in the pecans, cashews and cranberries.
- Serve with pomegranate seeds and parsley sprinkled on top.
- This dish is vegan-friendly but serves as a great side dish as well.
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 387
- Sugar: 8.9 g
- Sodium: 167 mg
- Fat: 18.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 51.6 g
- Fiber: 5.9 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 1 mg
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