Thank you to Frontier Co-Op for sponsoring this post. All opinions, photos, and text are mine alone. #CookWithPurpose #SpiceUpSummer
Mediterranean Brown Rice Bowl With Broccoli, Lemon, and Oregano is an easy, healthy, and light entrée that can also be served as a side dish to a larger meal. Made with mushrooms, brown rice, broccoli, fresh lemon, and some Mediterranean seasonings, this is a dish that’s perfect for warmer weather and easy to whip up in just minutes!
This delicious bowl of nourishing goodness is healthy comfort food at its finest, my friends!
In all honesty, do you know how hard it is to make brown rice look exciting? I’ll give ya a hint… it’s not easy!
Lucky for me, the nutritional factors and flavors of this dish will speak for themselves, I promise. I’ve come to appreciate brown rice more and more these days, specifically for how much nutrition and holistic benefits this simple grain has. I almost always go for nutty, slightly chewy and sweet wild rice, but brown rice and I have been getting a lot cozier the last 6 months or so. Why?
Brown Rice… So Many Benefits!
Brown rice is a wonderful healthy comfort food that’s gentle on the system, easy to diversify with most any food and flavor combination, and it’s also an excellent grain to try if you’re new to whole grains (versus refined grains like white rice). Brown rice is also a great source of selenium, B vitamins, and it even contains a little bit of protein too.
Another benefit of this whole grain is that it’s full of complex carbohydrates and fiber (which we all know we need). While brown rice alone won’t make all your problems go away, I can promise that switching from refined grains to real, whole grains is one of the best things you will ever do for your body!
What kind of brown rice is best for this recipe?
I love simple, organic medium grain or long grain brown rice since they’re less sticky and more fluffy (versus short grain rice, which I think is too gummy). I prefer to soak my brown rice covered with some cold water in the fridge in a little bowl overnight. This helps it cooks up quicker, in around 20 minutes (versus 35-40), but it’s totally optional to soak your rice. If you prefer to use instant brown rice, please do your best to choose a brown rice product that’s certified non-GMO (not genetically modified) as the best option.
More Goodness in this Mediterranean Brown Rice Bowl With Broccoli, Lemon, and Oregano:
Broccoli, boring? No, no, no!
Broccoli is one of the most well-known veggies for boosting the nutrition of your meals, and it’s one of my favorite healthy comfort foods too, believe it or not. Broccoli and brown rice go together like PB & J, seriously. I know they’re often seen as “diet food” but they’re so much more than diet food, friends. You can flavor brown rice and broccoli however you want, too!
Broccoli is an excellent source of plant-based calcium, it’s high in fiber, a good source of potassium, and a wonderful source of Vitamin C. My favorite way to season broccoli is always with lemon. Lemon isn’t just tasty, but it’s also high in Vitamin C as well as enzymes that are good for our bodies.
There’s no doubt about it… Lemon is my favorite way to add a zippy, refreshing flavor to most any recipe! Since it’s naturally so flavorful, I find that that lemon can help decrease the need for excess sodium in a dish really well too. Just do me a favor and please use fresh lemon juice (not the bottled stuff which is full of preservatives and additives). Fresh lemon is the way to go! 🙂
But the real star of this dish (and what turns it into a Mediterranean dream bowl of wonderfulness) is the addition of real oregano leaf by Frontier Co-Op!
Frontier Co-Op is my go-to brand of spices for both organic and non-irradiated spices. Did you know most of the spices on the market can interact with a lot of chemicals? I always buy from brands that don’t produce any irradiated products. Plus, Frontier Co-Op makes some of the best-tasting herbs and spices I’ve ever had. All of their products are non-GMO and many are also certified organic. They are also committed to ethical trade and sustainability more than any other herb and spice company I’ve ever purchased from.
Their brand new Oregano Leaf (Fancy- Grade!) is seriously one of my new BFF’s in the kitchen. Oregano is my secret weapon for adding flavor and nutrition to ANY savory meal. I add it to pretty much every single soup dish, and I love that it adds that special touch of “oomph” in flavor. It’s also what gives pizza the wonderful scent and flavor we all love.
Did you know? Oregano is even dubbed the “pizza spice” and is one of the key ingredients to any Italian dish. This powerful little herb is full of potential!
But quality counts when it comes to herbs and spices, my friends. That’s why I love Frontier Co-Op’s products.
They never test their products on animals, are certified non-GMO, produce only non-irradiated herbs and spices, and are committed to producing high-quality, sustainable products that are truly “green” to benefit people and the planet. That’s the kind of company I want to make the herbs and spices that go into my bowl(s), what about you?!
Recipe Tips and Options… Plenty of Choices!
This recipe is also studded with hearty, fresh mushrooms just perfect for any summer meal, and it also includes just a pinch of salt and pepper for added flavor, a touch of basil for more Mediterranean goodness, and an optional addition of brown lentils for a boost of protein.
If you want it creamier, stir in 1 tbsp. of raw tahini for a dose of savory goodness and healthy fats. I like mine just as it is since it’s light, yet also filling. It could also be made in the slow cooker, so see the notes section of the recipe for more on that.
Enjoy this one when you want a light and healthy lunch, or pump up the protein with lentils and enjoy it with dinner!
- ¼ cup whole grain brown rice (preferably organic)
- ⅓ cup frozen broccoli florets (could also use fresh, but I like the ease of frozen)
- ¼ cup fresh button mushrooms, washed and sliced (preferably organic)
- the juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves (I use Frontier Co-Op)
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- tiny pinch of sea salt and black pepper (optional)
- fresh lemon zest
- For more protein: ¼ cup dried brown lentils
- First, start by cooking your brown rice. Since brands differ in terms of directions, follow the directions on the package for ¼ cup (or more if serving more than one). If using the lentils, cook them with the rice since they both take the same amount of time.
- When the rice is done, add in the frozen broccoli, the mushrooms, and the juice of the lemon. If the rice is dry, add in a few tbsp. of water so it doesn't dry out.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat (uncovered) until the broccoli and mushrooms become tender. Add in the seasonings and stir. Turn off the heat, put the lid on the pot, and let everything steam up for 5 minutes.
- Drain off any excess water, then serve in a bowl, add a little lemon zest, and top with more seasonings if desired.
*For a creamier texture and savory flavor, stir in 1 tsp. tahini after cooking.
*This would also be delicious cooked with some coconut aminos (low sodium soy sauce alternative) too.
*This can also be cooked in a slow cooker or rice cooker if you wish, however, if you go that route, I'd use fresh broccoli florets instead of frozen so it doesn't get mushy. 🙂
Check out all the wonderful products that Frontier Co-Op makes here, and learn more about green farming and sustainable practices by Farmer Co-Op too.
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Make it and Share it!
If you make this recipe, tag me and Frontier Co-Op on social media, and use the hashtags #CookWithPurpose and #SpiceUpSummer so we can see your photos! 🙂