Arroz Verde - Mexican Herb Rice from Herbivoracious

Easy Healthy Meals Vegetable Side Dishes
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It is DAY 18 of "Gluten Free Vegan Recipes with Breville" and we celebrate our Breville Sous Chef® Food Processor Giveaway with one of the most creative food bloggers in the world, the phenomenal Michael Natkin, the genius behind the widely popular and award-winning vegetarian food blog, Herbivoracious.

For several years, Michael was the author of the bi-weekly column “Serious Meatless” on Serious Eats, where he gained a reputation for cutting-edge vegetarian cooking. His blog and his recipes have been mentioned nearly a dozen times in the New York Times Diner’s Journal; been listed for four consecutive years on Saveur’s “Sites We Love”; and his photos are regularly featured on TasteSpotting, FoodGawker, and other sites. I confess, when I met him in Seattle earlier this year at BlogHer Food I was more than a little excited! 

Michael began cooking at the age of 18, when he started experimenting with a macrobiotic diet in order to cook for his mother who was dying from breast cancer. Vegetarianism just made sense to him, and he never looked back. You can read more about Michael’s passion for plant-based living here.  

July of 2007 turned out to be a huge turning point in Michael’s life, when after 25 years as a software engineer, he made a snap decision to start his food blog, Herbivoracious. Michael says about the name, “I think it captures both the idea of being vegetarian, and my insatiable, voracious appetite for everything related to food. I’m happy to spend every waking minute either looking for beautiful ingredients, reading about cooking, or cooking myself, or eating, so I think the moniker fits!”

You can find incredible recipes on Michael's blog. Some of my favourites include: Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine, Persimmon Carpaccio With Fennel Salad, and the Smoked Pineapple and Tomatillo Salsa. But there are TONS of amazing ideas. I could spend ALL DAY on this website, and still be left wanting MORE. Thankfully, I can now thumb through my well-loved copy of Michael's spectacular debut cookbook, HERBIVORACIOUS: A Vegetarian Cookbook for People Who Love to Eat, where he has created 150 innovative, prevocative recipes that take the reader on a world culinary journey.

With his modern, international style, Michael works with local, and seasonal ingredients, putting his signature spin on ethnic favourites by taking flavour concepts and techniques and applying them in a totally new context. Mexican, Asian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern dishes are served up with bold, authentic flavours and reinvented in spectacular fashion.

Hearty main courses such as Caribbean Lentil-Stuffed Flatbread, Sicilian Spaghetti with Pan-Roasted Cauliflower, Sichuan Dry-Fried Green Beans and Tofu, Chickpea and Green Olive Tagine, and Pozole Rojo de Frijol delight the senses; and quick easy Chirashi Sushi, Salad of Persimmon, Parsley and Olives, Brown Butter Cornbread, Mujadara, Vietnamese Vermicelli with Ginger Grapefruit Sauce offer quicker meals.

There is also a myriad of wonderful soups, salads, sauces, condiments, sides, appetizers, desserts, and breakfast recipes. All of the dishes are satisfying, light, beautiful to look at, and packed with interesting flavours. More than half of the recipes are either vegan and gluten free, or can easily be made so with simple substitutions. Michael also shares advice how make vegetarian meals nutrient-dense and protein rich, and offers pantry staple suggestions of seasonings and sauces to make vegetables sing!

This simply yummy herbed rice dish Michael is sharing today is a glorious example of some of the super easy dishes in his book! Now, traditional Arroz Verde recipes direct you to cook your rice with a puree of poblano peppers and herbs. Instead of boiling the herbs, Michael has taken a different approach and omitted the poblanos, and made a pesto-like puree of the fresh raw herbs, garlic, and a little oil that gets stirred through the rice at the end. The result is a delicious clean, summery flavour with a lush green colour. Michael raided his herb garden and used flat-leaf parsley, oregano, and cilantro, and smaller amounts of chives, rosemary, mint and dill. But you can use whatever herbs you have on hand, and because the herbs are pureed, you can use the stems of parsley and cilantro as well as the leaves.

Honestly, I cannot recommend this book or blog more highly. If you want to serve up interesting, mouth-watering vegetarian meals, HERBIVORACIOUS is a MUST BUY! I am not alone in this opinion. It has been listed on the Amazon and NPR Top Ten Lists,  featured in the Boston Globe and Chicago Sun-Times, and widely celebrated in the culinary world. 

Trust me, take a journey around the world Herbivoracious-Style, and fall in love with the taste sensations of Michael Natkin. 
Michael’s next project is to open a small, innovative restaurant in Seattle. I cannot wait for that! 

Michael, thankyou for sharing your immense talent and humility as part of this event. You inspire me.

Check out Michael's original recipe post
Learn more about Michael Natkin at Herbivoracious
Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and You Tube

Arroz Verde - Mexican Herb Rice from Herbivoracious

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  • 1 1/2 cups medium grain white rice
  • 2 cups edible parts of lightly packed fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, chives, dill etc)
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or according to package directions.
  2. In your Sous Chef® food processor, combine the herbs, garlic, and olive oil. Process until thoroughly pureed.
  3. Just before serving, stir the herb mixture and salt into the rice. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  4. Variation: you could also stir in a bit of lime or lemon juice.
  5. Serves 4 as a side dish

Check out Michael's original recipe post
Learn more about Michael Natkin at Herbivoracious
Follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and You Tube

Tip: Releasing the flavour and oils in fresh herbs

Making dips, pestos and sauces in the food processor and blender is quick and easy. But the fast action of the blades pulverizes everything so quickly, that you don’t always get the most out of fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley and mint. To capitalize on their divinely flavourful oils - bruise them a little bit with a meat mallet or rolling pin before placing them into the machine. This will help to release the full flavour of the herb, resulting in a richer, more full bodied blend.

This makes it so easy to serve delicious and healthy sides and the variety for the family is welcomed. We love the rice and herb combination. Thanks Tess

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Pleasure. Check out Michael’s book. There are SO many amazing ideas. LOVE rice and fresh herbs too :)

Thanks so much for featuring this recipe, and Herbivoracious, Tess! I’m so happy to be part of this event. If anyone has any questions, just post them right here and I’ll get back to you right away.

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ThankYOU Michael. I have admired you for many years, and it was an honour and a joy to celebrate you.

Thankyou for this simple recipe. Fresh herbs make everything taste better don’t they? I am going to spend some time on Michael’s website. His background sounds very interesting.

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Yes! Please do spend some time on Michael’s website. He is just AMAZING. Yes! I agree, fresh herbs make EVERYTHING taste better!

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