Rice is basically a staple in my diet. I love rice, always have and always will. For some reason, there is always leftover rice. Growing up, there was always rice, and now in our home, there is always rice. There's always the perpetual question of what to do with it. So, what to do with it? Well, you can toss it for one. Which, if it was more than a couple of days I would totally do. (My thoughts on left over food will come another day, but long story short, I'm not a fan). You can eat it plain with some veggies. Toss it with some quinoa. Or you can turn it into fried rice! This traditional Gujurati (a sub-area of India) fried rice dish was one of my favorites growing up. It's pretty simple in the fact that you can add whatever veggies you want, and then just saute it in some cumin and mustard seed.
I took it up a notch by mashing some avocado in this dish. Avocado is an amazing little fruit. Packed with healthy fats and proteins, its a great addition to any dish. From an Ayurvedic perspective, avocados are great for almost anyone depending on what's going on. They're nice and cooling for the pittas, and super grounding for the vatas. It's also great to help for anyone with dry conditions--great source of healthy oils for the body. If you have a dry or even irritated GI tract, avos are great to help with that as well.
This dish is super easy to make. Whether you have some rice in the fridge, or you're whipping up a new batch, this really won't take long at all!
PS I absolutely love putting fresh fennel root into this dish. I unfortunately, just didn't have any when I made this. Bon Apetite!
If there are two vegetable discoveries I've made in my past year that I've absolutely fallen in love with, it's fennel and leek. Seriously, I wonder how I have made it 25 years without really knowing the existence of these two wonderful veggies. After doing some research on them, I also realized how nutrient-packed both of these are. Tons of fiber, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Magnesium, Potassium, and so much more--what's not to love about them? On top of that, the taste it amazing.
Funny story about that though. Growing up, fennel seeds were a household staple in any Indian home. You leave an Indian restaurant and there would be the fennel seeds, waiting for you to chomp away. Unless they were completely covered in sugar, there was no way fennel was getting anywhere near me or my digestive system. Fast forward to 1 year ago, and I'm in love. Many say that fennel is an acquired taste, and I'll have to agree. I still prefer the actual plant over the dried seeds, but even then, the seeds are growing on me.
From a medicinal purpose, fennel has so many benefits. It helps in digestion, it's great for the adrenals and kidneys, and can even make a great tea for lactating mothers. Amazing. Even leeks are phenomenal little veggies. With a slight milder flavor than the onion itself, the leaves and the fronds are packed with fiber--a super bonus for the digestive tract. Cooked leeks also help stimulate the digestive/metabolic fire--another point for this beauty.
From a cooking perspective, I love soups. They're super easy to make, and it's a great way to get a bunch of veggies into one dish without anyone even knowing. Fennel and Leek soup is one of my go-tos for almost any time of year. Depending on what you add, it can be a great hearty soup for the fall or winter, or something light and refreshing as we transition from the summer to autumn.
Give this soup a try the next time you're looking for a simple meal to make.
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