As I wrote in my last post, preparing some of your own food when traveling and staying in hotels is good for both your health and your wallet if you have the means to do so (aka have use of some basic kitchen appliances wherever you are staying). Plus, when in a foreign country, it gives you more excuses to browse the sometimes curious and sometimes wonderful and new-to-you items found on their store shelves (…orrr maybe that’s just me?). So, first came smashed avocado toast, and now here’s another simple yet satisfying concoction: mixed beans with brown rice, pumpkin seeds and soy. It consists of literally just 4 readily-available ingredients, is 100% vegan and also gluten-free.
Interestingly, on a gluten-related note, New Zealand seems to be very gluten-conscious and it’s extremely common for restaurant menus to indicate GF (gluten-free) options. From the little bit I’ve heard, it seems that gluten allergies/intolerance is quite common here. I’m curious to do some more digging into that and why it is so.
But anyway – back to the recipe! I boiled some medium grain brown rice (read more about the benefits of brown rice vs rice here), cooled it a bit in the fridge, and then mixed in a 14 oz can of a five-bean mixture (rinsed & drained), some pumpkin seeds and some low-sodium tamari. Back into the fridge it went in a ziplock baggie, and we ate it as part of dinner one night and I had it for breakfast as well. Yes – a grain/bean/seed/veggie (though there were obviously no vegetables in this recipe) combo makes for a really great and nutritionally optimal way to start the day!
I didn’t have any measuring utensils to use, so I just eyeballed everything and taste-tested to get the right amount of tamari. You can definitely use a different rice/grain and any bean(s) you prefer, and use soy instead of tamari – just know that soy sauce is not gluten-free.
This recipe was inspired by a friend of ours back home who has been a vegan for years and serves as a go-to source of nutrition-related info for people in her life. One challenge people on a plant-based diet sometimes face is preparing some interesting, tasty and nutritious food at home that can be taken on the go and doesn’t need to be refrigerated all day to prevent spoiling. She pointed out that mixing a few ingredients, like what’s in this recipe, can be preserved in the fridge for a longer time and also withstand a day without refrigeration because the tamari and its sodium content acts as a preservative of sorts. So it’s a great meal or snack to have with you when you’re traveling/ out and about, or – if you make it when at home – keep it in a container in your refrigerator separate from veggies, and then chop and add vegetables in as you want to eat it to help preserve freshness.
Final thought – did you know that pumpkin seeds have LOTS of healthy benefits? They are the most alkaline-forming seed, are high in good quality protein, are loaded with important vitamins and minerals, can be an anti-inflammatory agent, and much much more. High in fat, yes, but good-for-you fat.