Quick ‘n’ Easy Turmeric Wild Rice and Veggie Pilaf is a simple side dish with a fantastic savory flavor that takes no time to prepare!
Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free
True story: When I was a little girl and wanted comfort food, I’d always ask my mom to fix me a batch of her simple (minute) white rice. I loved white rice so much for the way it settled and filled my tummy, and it went well with just about anything my mom would whip up for lunch or dinner. Sprinkled with just a touch of salt and pepper, mom’s white rice was a classic dish I’d never turn down!
Later on in life, I learned that white rice wasn’t really so good for me (or my blood sugar levels) since it had all the nutritional goodness removed from it during the refining process.
So I finally decided to try a variety of whole grain rice products, but I never really liked any of them as much as I did white rice; some were too sticky, some were too gummy, and some were just plain out bland in flavor.
But once I tried wild rice, everything changed and my love for a healthy form of rice was born!
The Health Benefits of Wild Rice:
Wild rice is a completely different food than regular rice. In fact, wild rice isn’t even a grain botanically speaking, but it is considered a grain because it cooks like rice and is also considered a whole grain because it hasn’t been refined at all.
Despite that wild rice looks like rice and cooks like other types of rice, it is actually the seed of an aquatic grass that grows in various lakes, most of which are found in Canada or Minnesota.
Wild rice is incredibly high in antioxidants (which you can see by its dark black color), potassium (great for blood pressure levels), magnesium, phytochemicals, and it contains less starch than most other types of rice which makes it a bit easier on blood sugar levels.
For many people, (myself included), wild rice is also easier to digest than various other grains including some other types of whole grain rice varieties. Wild rice also has double the amount of fiber and protein than brown rice, along with more beneficial compounds and a lower glycemic effect.
But the flavor of wild rice is what I really love!
Wild rice has a slightly nutty and almost sweet flavor, and it doesn’t have that gummy mouthfeel or bland flavor that brown rice tends to have.
Wild rice also has a nice light and fluffy texture, and it works well with both sweet or savory dishes.
Which brings me to this incredible Quick ‘n’ Easy Turmeric Wild Rice and Veggie Pilaf recipe that I’m sharing with all of you today!
Speaking of turmeric, is anyone in love with it as much as I am?
I can’t quit adding the beautifully orange spice to my food!
It took me awhile to finally start eating more turmeric, I’ll admit, but once I did there was no stopping the turmeric madness in my kitchen!
Fabulous Facts About Turmeric:
Turmeric contains more antioxidants and cancer-fighting phytochemicals than many common conventional fruits and veggies! Adding just 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric to your diet each day can have profound benefits on your overall health, according to Dr. Michael Greger.
Turmeric can help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow to the heart, enhance digestion by assisting with bile production, and the pigments it contains which contribute to its bright color have been linked to better skin, enhanced immune system health, reduction of high blood sugar and blood pressure, and much more.
Turmeric root is similar to ginger root but has a noticeably brighter color and a more savory flavor.
Quick ‘n’ Easy Turmeric Wild Rice and Veggie Pilaf – An Easy and Healthy Dish!
So the other day when I decided to cook up some wild rice, I knew I had to add some turmeric to it along with some of my favorite veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and asparagus.
I cooked everything up in a medium-sized pot on the stove and used quick-cook wild rice which made the entire cooking process so much faster!
As the wild rice started to absorb the water and fluff up, I tossed in a little turmeric for a mild smoky flavor, some oregano for some depth and savoriness, and some black pepper because, in my book, black pepper makes everything better!
In five minutes, I had this delicious and easy dish that smelled exactly like comfort in a bowl!
But this recipe needed just a touch of something extra special, so I added two teaspoons of Low-Sodium Sweet White Miso by Miso Master Organic to enhance the digestive benefits of this recipe along with the overall flavor.
The low-sodium sweet white miso pictured above is my favorite of all the various miso varieties because it’s not only lower in sodium, but it also tastes better than stronger types of miso, in my humble opinion. Sweet White Miso has a mildly sweet and mellow, nutty flavor which works great in my miso dressing, oven-roasted potatoes, or in dishes such as this Quick ‘n’ Easy Turmeric Wild Rice and Veggie Pilaf.
Miso is also full of probiotics and works well as a healthy condiment in dishes with whole grains and veggies. Plus, it tends to tolerate mild heat a little better than other types of fermented foods, so the beneficial cultures in miso won’t die off in cooked foods like other fermented foods may.
The teeny bit of miso added the perfect bit of flavor to this simple pilaf, but honestly, you could eliminate it if you want to since this recipe is full of flavor on its own.
Or, add a teaspoon of low-sodium soy sauce, coconut aminos, or another low-sodium condiment of your choosing if you want to add a little more flavor to this recipe and don’t have any miso on hand or can’t find any. If you’d like to try miso and haven’t yet, you can easily find it located in the refrigerated section of the produce section at most grocery stores and supermarkets.
Whatever way you choose to season this dish, Quick ‘n’ Easy Turmeric Wild Rice and Veggie Pilaf is one you don’t want to miss if you’re looking for a heart-healthy recipe that’s also filling and satisfying!
Feel free to serve this with red lentils or chickpeas for more protein and iron, or just use it alone as a savory breakfast, side dish, or part of your favorite meal.
- 2 1/4 cups of water
- 1 cup of quick-cook wild rice*
- 1 8-ounce bag of mixed frozen veggies (I used an organic California blend with carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower)
- 6 stalks of frozen asparagus
- 1 tsp. organic turmeric, such as Flavor of the Earth brand
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of sweet white miso, low-sodium variety by Miso Master Organic
- First, bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil on the stove in a medium-sized pot.
- Once the water reaches a high boil, add in the rice, stir, and let it simmer on medium-high heat for another minute.
- After a minute, add in the frozen veggie mix (just dump the bag in!), and stir.
- Break apart the stalks of frozen asparagus into about 1 inch pieces (I just do this with my hands) and add them into the pot too; stir again.
- Let everything cook for 4 more minutes until the rice is tender and fluffy. The frozen veggies will add a little more moisture, so you shouldn't need to add more water to the pot during cooking.
- Once the rice is tender and fluffy and has split apart a bit (this is a sign it is done), then add in the turmeric, oregano, and black pepper. Stir to incorporate and cut off the heat on the stove.
- Put the lid on the pot and let it steam up for a minute or so; this will help the rice absorb the rest of the water in the pot.
- Next, transfer the recipe from the pot to a bowl and stir in the miso. Be sure to stir well so it coats everything well and is spread out evenly.
- Serve immediately, or let it cool for 5 minutes so the flavors intensify a bit more.
- This dish can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days and be made in larger servings. Use as a side dish, the basis of a meal with your choice of protein, or split this into 2 large servings if you want to use it as a light lunch or snack by itself! It goes especially well with cooked red lentils, chickpeas, edamame, or would also pair well with organic tofu if you enjoy it.
- *If you can't find quick-cook rice, you can use regular wild rice and reduce the cooking time by half if you soak the rice at least 8 hours first. Rinse before use and cook 20 minutes. If you don't soak the rice, follow the directions on the package of regular wild rice.
Wild Rice Cooking Tips:
As mentioned in the recipe notes above, I used quick- cook wild rice in my recipe because it tastes just as good as regular wild rice and is nutritionally the same. Quick-cook wild rice cooks up in about 5 minutes on the stove-top and isn’t refined; it’s simply pre-cooked and dried before packaging.
However, if you do use regular wild rice that hasn’t been pre-cooked, you can easily soak it overnight (or 8 hours), which will reduce the cooking time by half. Most brands that produce wild rice make a regular wild rice and a quick-cook variety so you can choose whichever one works for you.
While quick-cook wild rice only takes 5 minutes to cook, regular wild rice can take up to 50 minutes to cook if you don’t soak it beforehand. Soaked and rinsed wild rice only takes about 15-20 minutes to cook. Additionally, you can cook regular wild rice in the slow cooker, Instant Pot, or a rice cooker and follow the directions for each corresponding appliance.
My Pick for the Top Turmeric:
My favorite organic turmeric is by Flavor of the Earth which is organic and freshly ground as soon as it’s harvested. Flavor of the Earth turmeric is incredibly bright in color, it has a savory and non-bitter flavor, and it can be used in sweet or savory dishes.
Flavor of the Earth Turmeric is sold exclusively online and is featured in my Pick Your Protein Healing Veggie Stew as well as in my Turmeric Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Oatmeal, my Beauty-Boosting Turmeric Salad Dressing, and my Creamy, Dreamy Butternut Squash Turmeric Broccoli Soup.
Enjoy the recipe! 🙂