Mains Recipes Savory Sides, Spreads & Stuff

Vegan Black Rice Pilaf

I have a tiny dilemma. I am not the biggest fan of brown rice. And I hate that I always feel guilty ordering white rice at restaurants when offered the brown rice alternative. And quinoa is all well and good but until I invest in a mesh strainer, the required pre-rinse of the grain is one step too many. Don’t get me wrong, I love pasta. I could eat noodles all day long. But when brainstorming a vehicle for my veggies and sauce, I’d prefer something richer in vitamins and health benefits. Hence my love of bulgur, a wonderful fiber and protein-packed grain.

The other day I remembered a deliciously rich and risotto-like dish I tasted this fall at a dinner party. Aside from the taste I was drawn to the color – the rice was a purplish black color. It was stunning. I typed ‘black rice’ into the Google machine and found this. Thus, my new obsession. Oh, AND it can be found on the shelves of your nearest Trader Joe’s. Game. Over.

This black rice pilaf is vegan and can be tailored to fit your pantry needs (aside from the rice, you could add just about any vegetable).


1 cup of black rice

2 cups of vegetable broth (to cut down on sodium I only used 1 cup of broth and combined with 1 cup of water)

1 shallot, diced

2 tablespoons of diced chives or scallions

1 cup of baby carrots, chopped

2-3 cups of kale, chopped

1 box or 10oz of mushrooms (I used Baby Bella sliced from Trader Joe’s)

2 teaspoons of olive oil


Put a sauce pan over medium heat, add broth/water mixture, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, pour in 1 cup of rice and turn down heat to low.

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Simmer rice with top on until all of the water has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. This took about 40 minutes for me.

In a saute pan, add olive oil and chives over medium heat. Saute for 2-3 minutes then add in carrots and kale.

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I was using a small saute pan and added the kale in bit by bit, until it wilted and shrunk enough to add more. Saute kale and carrots for 8-10 minutes and transfer to a large bowl.

In the same (now empty) saute pan, add mushrooms over medium heat and saute for 8-10 minutes or until mostly cooked.

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You won’t need to add any oil as the water from the mushrooms will provide liquid as they cook out. Add these to the large bowl as well, followed by the rice. Stir thoroughly until all of the juices have combined and enjoy!

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Food lover and minimalist cook finding harmony in the kitchen.

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