If there is an ingredient that can please different tastes is rice. It is indeed one of the most consumed grains by half world’s population.
Since its first discovered crop in China, rice has found a way to reach every corner of the globe. There is any country where rice doesn’t have a special place in its meals. From savory and sugary dishes to several types of drinks, it is part of most traditional food worldwide.
The reasons for this popularity are simple:
- It is easy to cook with varied cooking techniques.
- It can pair with any ingredient.
- It has multiple health benefits.
- It is the perfect substitution ingredient in many recipes.
- It is the preferred option for dietary restrictions or alternative dietary choices.
Rice is the best vegetarian ally
A balance and appetizing diet must be varied and meet all nutritional needs. A vegetarian diet must include protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12. So, the food choices have to meet a complete healthy food plan.
As a plant-based food, rice is the ideal ingredient for a vegetarian diet. It contains protein, iron, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the body needs to work properly.
A vegetarian diet includes rice in various ways. The most common use is as a side dish for curries, beans, stews, curries, and vegetable preparations.
However, there are plenty of creative ways of using this versatile grain; beyond an accompaniment. Here, variety and creativity play a key role in cooking vegetarian rice dishes. The focus is on not getting bored following a vegetarian plan.
White rice is the favorite side dish for any vegetarian preparation. It works like a bed for many tasteful and juicy options. Imagine a dish of Indian chana masala, Korean bibimbap, Baked General Tso’s Cauliflower, or Thai coconut curry with a big bowl of white rice.
Rice can also be delicious in more complete dishes. Its blank taste favors the absorption of the other ingredients’ savors. Try to cook Spanish rice and beans, lemon basil risotto, fried rice, and rice pilaf.
Another way to use rice is as stuffing. This is a fun and great way to cook it. You can effortlessly make various combinations in little time. The options are endless; since there are thousands of food you can fill with rice.
The most common vegetables are eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, squashes, and cabbage.
These different types of vegetables allow you to try new dishes every time you cook. You can turn stuffed vegetables into delightful dishes with international flavors. For example, try some mediterranean eggplant recipes, or enjoy Asian flavors in stuffed peppers.
There are no limits; you can mix anything with rice and stuff any vegetables. One thing is for sure; all stuffed options have intense flavors and are surprisingly healthy.
Let’s learn how to make a flavorsome stuffed eggplant with worldwide flavor rice.
Italian Stuffed Eggplant
Ingredients (4 servings):
- 2 medium eggplants.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 2 minced cloves of garlic.
- 1 ½ cups of Basmati rice.
- 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning.
- ¼ teaspoon of salt.
- 12 pitted black olives.
- 2 tablespoons of drained capers.
- 1 can of diced tomatoes.
- 2 cups of vegetable broth.
- 1 cup of ricotta cheese.
- ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese.
- ¼ cup of chopped fresh basil.
- Prepare the oven. Preheat it to 350 degrees F.
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the eggplant flesh. Leave a-thick shell. Reserve the flesh. They have to look like a boat.
- Place the eggplant on a baking tray. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil inside the eggplants. Bake for 20 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, pour a tablespoon of olive oil and heat at medium temperature.
- Add chopped eggplant flesh, garlic, rice, Italian seasoning, salt, black olives, and capers.
- Mix and cook for 5 minutes.
- Incorporate diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. Cook until boiling.
- Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until rice is done.
- Fill the eggplant with this mixture.
- Add ricotta cheese to the stuffing.
- Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve with chopped fresh basil at the top.
Chinese stuffed eggplant
Ingredients (4 servings):
- 2 medium eggplants.
- 1 cup of sticky rice.
- 1 ½ cups of water.
- 8 shiitake mushrooms.
- 1/3 cup of chopped green onions.
- 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce.
- Salt to taste.
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper.
- Olive oil to taste.
- Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Slice the eggplants half lengthwise. Take out the flesh with a sharp paring knife. Leave some flesh to make a thick container. Save the flesh for the stuffing.
- Set aside the eggplants.
- Prepare the stuffing. Rinse rice until the water is clear.
- In a saucepan, add rice with water and cook until the rice is tender.
- In a frying pan, incorporate olive oil and heat at a high temperature.
- Add eggplant flesh and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Incorporate green onions, oyster sauce, salt, white pepper, and ½ cup of water.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add cooked rice and combine very well.
- Place the mixture in the eggplant shells and bake for 25 minutes.