Lazy Vegetable Rice Pilaf
This rice pilaf is for those times when you know you should eat some vegetables, but you're not keen on the idea of extensively tasting or chewing them. It's for when, upon opening your fridge, you're confronted with the aggressive stares of vegetables that you know are going to spoil soon. And it's for when you want to eat off a spoon, because any meal that requires a fork has to be too much effort. The key to eating vegetables when you don't want to: chopping them into tiny pieces and surrounding them with a comforting source of carbohydrates, like rice pilaf. No, rice pilaf isn't only for fancy people at expensive restaurants. It's also for you, on a weeknight, while wearing your at–home comfy pants. It's okay, we all have a pair.
rice pilaf mixture (long grain rice and orzo pasta) onion garlic yellow bell pepper red bell pepper carrots broccoli olive oil dried parsley mushroom umami seasoning vegetable broth salt& pepper
Cook rice pilaf according to package instructions or dump it into a rice cooker with the specified amount of water and olive oil and hope for the best. The latter method worked well for me. Dice onion, carrots, and bell peppers. Chop broccoli. Crush garlic. Sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until softened. Add garlic and cook briefly. Stir in carrots and bell peppers and add a splash of veggie broth. Season with mushroom powder, salt, pepper, and fresh or dried parsley to taste. Once carrots and bell peppers have softened, add broccoli and cook briefly until tender. Toss seasoned vegetables with cooked rice pilaf and grab your spoon.
I used Better than Bouillon's No–Chicken soup base for the vegetable broth, because it's more savory than other vegetable broths I've encountered. To build upon the savory flavor, I added Trader Joe's Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend, which is made of powdered mushrooms, onion, salt, herbs, and spices. I used Near East original rice pilaf mix for ease during a weeknight.