Messy Rice and Veggies

What do you do when there’s nothing left in the fridge except for a couple of cups of cold rice?  Raid the freezer for the frozen vegetables left from the summer’s harvest and toss them up with said rice and a few seasonings.  It’s ready in under twenty minutes (if you exclude the time to defrost the vegetables) and feeds two as a main course or four as a side-dish.  Perfect.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, anything goes but I personally like something pretty hot for this recipe
  • 1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder (omit if you don’t like the taste of anise)
  • 1 cup diced Swiss chard stems or celery, fresh or frozen that have been defrosted
  • 2 cups green bean segments, 1’’ pieces, either fresh and blanched or frozen that have been defrosted
  • 1 cup corn kernels, either fresh-cooked cobs that have been cooled and shaved or frozen that have been defrosted
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled rice (any leftover grain will work really, flavoured or not: I make it with a couple of cups of rice and mushroom pilaf and it turned out great)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, black or unhulled preferred


What you do:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat.
  2. When hot, add the onions and garlic and stir and fry until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the curry powder and 5-spice powder and stir to coat. Toss it around 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  4. Add the defrosted veggies (a bit of ice is ok, just not rock solid) and stir them around. Add the rice making sure to break up any clumps – a fork does the job, but it’s far more fun (from my point of view) to do it with your hands.  Mix well.
  5. Add the soy sauce, lime juice and agave nectar and distribute throughout, turning the rice and vegetables over from the bottom of the pan or wok to heat everything evenly.
  6. Turn off the heat, mix in the sesame seeds and serve.



  • Replace the vegetables in the recipe with any mixture of frozen and defrosted veggies, just make sure they total 4 cups.


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