Easy Spinach Rice Recipe
Spinach Rice is a vibrant looking greenish, delicious, and healthy vegetarian dish that is full of nutritional benefits, vitamins, and minerals. It is tasteful, rich, and a healthy side dish or a main course.
Looking for a simple yet delicious rice recipe? How about you try spinach rice. Spinach and rice may seem to be a weird combination but trust me when I tell you, this dish is very tasteful. Filled with health and nutrients, spinach rice offers not just taste but also a healthy option for your lunch or dinner parties. It is a wholesome dish that tastes perfect with a variety of dishes.
Like my Jollof Rice, Turmeric Coconut Rice and my Jamaican Rice And Peas recipes, this spinach rice recipe is perfect for a large crowd or for picky eaters. I prefer to use long grain brown rice like basmati or jasmine rice for this dish, they are not as sticky as short-grain rice.
What is spinach rice?
As the name indicates, spinach rice is a simple yet delicious dish that is perfect for feeding a large crowd. The dish consists of two main ingredients, i.e., spinach and rice. Although the dish has a Greek origin and is also known as spanakorizo. But you can find its presence in several other cuisines as well. For one, you might have heard of Palak rice which is the Indian version of spinach and rice.
The best thing about this dish is that they are versatile. You can serve it with pretty much anything and everything.
How to choose the right rice for spinach rice?
Since rice is the main component of this dish, you need to take care of the type of rice you choose. High-quality rice will give you better results. Although there are so many types of rice out there, the two main types include short grain and long grain rice.
There might be a little difference between short grain or long grain rice before they are cooked, but the true difference is seen after you cook these. Short grain rice has a sticky and mushy texture once it is cooked. This rice is perfectly well for molded salads, sushi, and pudding. Some example of short-grain rice is bomba rice, sushi, and rice arborio rice.
In contrast, long-grain rice, when cooked, gains about three to four times longer. Furthermore, it is a lot drier and has a fluffy texture after it is cooked. Some of the examples of long-grain rice are jasmine rice, Basmati rice, and black rice.
Because you serve spinach rice as a side dish or an entrée, the texture of the rice needs to be fluffy and dry. The best rice grain to use for the purpose is either basmati or jasmine rice. Furthermore, you can also use brown rice as well.
Is spinach rice healthy?
Believe it or not, spinach rice is super healthy. That’s because both spinach and rice are jam-packed with nutrients. Here are a few benefits of spinach:
- Firstly, spinach is rich in insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is extremely important for your digestive health, and it keeps your digestive system on track by eliminating constipation.
- Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, and K1.
- Furthermore, it is also rich in minerals like iron and calcium.
- It is rich in anti-oxidants, therefore, helps to prevent cancer and reduces inflammation.
- It also improves the health of your eyes and improves your vision.
Whether white or brown rice, it is rich in many nutrients and has several benefits. Although, when compared, brown rice seems to win the competition and offers ultimate nutritional benefits. Some of the benefits of rice are:
- Rice is rich in fiber. Because of the fiber, it reduces risks of heart strokes and diseases.
- Rice also helps in regulating diabetes.
- Rice, especially brown, helps in controlling the risk of cancer.
For this dish, you will need a few important ingredients. Here is a detailed breakdown of every ingredient and what it does to the final dish:
- Rice: you can’t make spinach rice without rice, can you? Choosing the rice is your own preference, but ideally, this dish should be fluffy and dry. So, the best type of rice for the purpose is long-grained rice. You can either use basmati rice or jasmine rice. Furthermore, you can also use brown or black rice for the purpose.
- Spinach: The next main ingredient for spinach rice is spinach. You can either use baby spinach or flat-leaf spinach. It is better to use fresh spinach to get the maximum nutrients and benefits from the vegetable. However, if you dint have fresh spinach available, you can use frozen spinach or canned spinach as well.
- Coconut milk: If you think form where you get the richness and creaminess in the dish, the answer is coconut milk. It is a vital ingredient that adds a unique flavor and richness to the dish. However, if you are looking for a substitute, you can use soy milk or almond milk as well. But, for best results, I prefer you use coconut milk only.
- Vegetables: Among vegetables, onions, garlic, and ginger as essential. They add tons of flavors to the dish. Furthermore, these vegetables are readily available in your kitchen pantry. However, if you want to add more texture to the dish, you can also use green beans.
- Spices: Spices add flavor to the dish. It intensifies the natural flavor of the ingredients and brings in the punch. For this dish, I use cumin powder and curry powder. You get a flare of Mexican punch and the complexity of curry powder.
- Vegetable broth: I use vegetable broth for cooking the rice. However, if you don’t have vegetable broth, you can also use water instead.
How to make spinach rice?
Making spinach rice is super easy. And because of its ease of preparation, you can prepare t in large batches as well. So, if you have a huge party at home, add spinach rice to your menu. It’s easy to make, and everyone will love it:
Step 1: Firstly, you have to wash brown rice to get rid of any dust. Once washed, drain and set the rice aside.
Step 2: In a blender jug, add spinach leaves, fresh cilantro, and coconut and blend until all the ingredients are smoothly pureed.
Step 3: In a pot, heat coconut oil. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until the onions are soft and start turning translucent. Next, add curry powder and cumin powder and cook for an additional minute.
Step 4: Next, add spinach puree and stir. Let the mixture simmer for a minute or two and pour the vegetable broth. Season with salt and cover the pot with a lid.
Step 5: Once the broth starts boiling, reduce the heat and add rice. Cover the pot again and cook the rice for about 50 minutes on low heat.
Step 6: Once the rice is fluffy and tender, turn off the heat and serve.
What to serve with spinach rice?
The reason I really love this dish is that it is very versatile. You can either serve it as a side dish or as a main course. It goes perfectly well with a number of ingredients. Here are a few ideas for serving spinach rice:
- As for the vegan diet is concerned, the options are limitless. You can serve this dish with steamed or roasted vegetables.
- You can also serve it with Tofu Broccoli Skillet.
- It goes perfectly well with Lentil Meatballs as well.
- Try serving it with Vegetable Stir-Fry or Thai gravy. I bet it will taste just as delicious.
- It tastes divine with Salsa or bean salad.
How to store spinach rice?
Now storing spinach rice is a breeze. All you have to do is place it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. The spinach rice is good to go for up to 3 days. Furthermore, you can also freeze this dish for up to 2 months. All you need is to put it in an airtight container and place it in the freezer. However, make sure that the rice is completely cool before you put it in the airtight container and store it.
How to reheat spinach rice?
Reheating spinach rice is just as easy as well. You don’t have to wait for it to thaw. Simply reheat in the microwave or in the saucepan.
Can you cook spinach rice in an instant pot?
Although spinach rice cooks perfectly well on low heat and takes about 50 minutes, you can also speed up the cooking process. You can do that by cooking it in an instant pot. This way you can reduce the cooking time to half. So, if you are in a hurry or too tired to indulge in a longer cooking time, the instant pot can come to your rescue.
Other Rice Recipes To Prepare
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- Energy: 283 kcal / 1183 kJ
- Fat: 19 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Carbs: 23 g
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 50 min
- Ready in: 1 h
- 4 Servings
- 2 cups long grain brown rice
- 4 cups spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- Wash brown rice using a colander, drain and set aside. Add spinach leaves, cilantro, coconut milk to a blender and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook stirring until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add curry powder and cumin and cook until fragrant.
- Add Spinach puree and stir, add rice and stir to coat. Add vegetable broth and salt. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 50 minutes or until rice is tender and fluffy when stirred with a fork.