My idea of meal prep these days is cooking up a large bowl of a super flavorful whole grain and a sheet pan of roasted veggies so I have the building blocks for lunches and dinners through the week. I add leafy greens for a vegetarian meal, some black beans for burrito bowls, or grilled fish for a quick weeknight dinner.
Today’s new recipe is my favorite grain to make on meal prep Sundays. This savory brown rice and quinoa recipe packs a ton of flavor with the olive oil, garlic, onions, red pepper and lemon zest. I tried the Seeds of Change quinoa from Costco several years ago and determined to make my own variation with an even more delicious flavor. And here it is!
Here’s what you need to make Garlic Brown Rice and Quinoa:
- long grain brown rice
- red quinoa
- garlic cloves
- yellow onion
- lemon zest
- vegetable broth
- salt and pepper
- red pepper flakes
- olive oil
Step by step instructions:
Begin by heating two tablespoons of the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When warm, add 1/2 cup diced onion, 8 cloves of minced garlic, teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (if using). Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until transparent and fragrant.
(Don’t mind my scratched pot. It has a glass lid that I find ideal for cooking rice, so I’m sticking with it!)
Rinse 1 cup of long grain brown rice and 1/2 cup quinoa in cold water.
Add both to the pan and stir for about 30 seconds, coating the grains well in the oil and sauteed alliums.
Once coated, add 3 cups of vegetable stock (or three cups water and 3 veggie stock cubes) and stir to combine.
Bring the pot up to a full boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 22-25 minutes, until the stock has fully absorbed and the grains are tender.
Add the lemon zest and fluff the rice to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
FAQ’s about garlic brown rice and quinoa:
Can I use other varieties of quinoa?
I’ve made this with several types of quinoa, including the tri-color and white quinoa. Cooking time can vary by several minutes based on the type you choose, so begin testing for doneness at 22 minutes.
Can I use other varieties of rice?
Short grain brown rice usually requires a few minutes longer long grain brown rice. So substituting is fine, just keep checking for doneness and add a little more stock, if needed.
What else can I use to flavor this dish?
You have endless varieties of substitutions and variations with a grain dish like this one. Here are my two favorites:
Asian: for a far East themed grain bowl, use a teaspoon of sesame oil, a splash of soy sauce (or two) and green onions instead of white onions. A few tablespoons of fresh grated ginger could be added at the same time as the fresh garlic and green onions.
Southwest: for that Tex-mex vibe, add finely diced green or red bell peppers with the onions and garlic, then stir in a teaspoon of cumin and chili powder as the grains cook. To finish the dish, top with lime zest and cilantro.