Vegetable Stir-fry with Brown Rice and Sauerkraut

Thursday, September 5, 2013


About eight years ago, I worked with a rather pensive man named David*.  He was awkward, skinny, and couldn't eat peaches because he was hypoglycemic.  Because I'm an extremely curious person, I spent most of our shifts together asking him unrelenting questions about his life, to which he succumbed.  One day, he read me my future by drawing a chart with the sun and stars, and told me I had been reincarnated.  Another day, he showed me his artwork, which was extremely disturbing and graphic, but I felt like I understood him on some level.  But my favorite day was the day David told me he had once lived in a macrobiotic commune.  What is macrobiotics?  I remember asking.  And tell me all about this commune.  I mean, all of it.  I was completely enthralled by this specific lifestyle and wanted to learn as much as possible.  The next day, David gifted me with his copy of Kushi's Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking.  I was shocked that he was so willing to give it away, especially since it had been so precious to him.  I'm still kind of floored.

A little over a month ago, I remembered that macrobiotic book, which had been tucked away on my bookshelf all of these years.  I skimmed through the recipes and read the first few chapters.  Although I don't think I would ever intentionally switch to a macrobiotic lifestyle, I do agree with several of their principles and have begun to incorporate them into my diet.  Firstly, I now make more of an effort to include more grains into my diet.  Although I always eat grains at breakfast, I have started to enjoy them during lunch and dinner as well.   I also rekindled my love for sauerkraut and now eat it with dinner almost every night.  Lastly, I have been more conscious of choosing local produce over imported, which is a large component of macrobiotics.

This dinner is one which I created to incorporate these specific macrobiotic principles into my diet.  It's my "Almost Macrobiotic Dinner".  I love how hearty and healthy it is, and how well my body processes it.  I also love that it incorporates a new-to-me flavor component that I am now obsessed with- umeboshi plum vinegar.  

*This story is not about my husband.

Vegetable Stir-fry with Brown Rice and Sauerkraut
serves one
1/4 c uncooked brown rice
1/2 c water

1/4 tsp olive oil
1/2 a small red onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices of portobello mushroom, diced
1/3 zucchini, diced
1 carrot, sliced
6 brussels sprouts, slivered
1 small head of broccoli (stem included), chopped
2-3 leaves of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped

spinach leaves
1/4 sauerkraut (I use Bubbie's)
umeboshi plum vinegar (I use Eden Organics)

In a small pot over high heat, combine rice and water.  When water begins to boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Cook until water is absorb, about 30 minutes.

In a large cast iron skillet, combine olive oil, onion, and garlic.  Saute until onions are translucent.  Add mushroom and zucchini and continue to saute until their water is released.  Add carrot, brussels sprouts, and broccoli, and cook until lightly browned.  Add kale and cook until just tender.

Place a heaping handful of spinach leaves on a plate.  Add rice, vegetables, and sauerkraut, each in their own little section.  Top with desired amount of umeboshi plum vinegar (I use a lot!).  Enjoy!

24 comments:

  1. that is such a fun story of how you two met:)
    i love whole grains and love this bowl. this is totally my kind of food. though i havent tried the umeboshi plum vinegar. time to make space for another vinegar!

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    1. haha, richa! this is NOT about my husband ;) just a co-worker i bonded with ;)

      make space for umeboshi!

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    2. :D my bad.. my brain auto completed the name it while reading:)
      dayv is probably fuming:)

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  2. This sounds so healthy and delicious. I keep hearing about umeboshi, but I have yet to try it, is it easy to find?

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    1. you need to try it. it is pretty easy to find. i get mine at whole foods in the asian section, around where they have toasted sesame seed oil, etc. i use the eden organics brand, which is labeled as "ume plum vinegar". i hope this helps!

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  3. ooooh I haven't eaten sauerkraut in such a long time, my grandfather used to make big batches of it in huge clay pots to keep throughout winter. Need to look for some store-bought version! It's such a good idea to serve it with a vegetable stir-fry!

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    1. i love that story, aurelie! i wish i knew someone who made sauerkraut (i never even knew you could make it yourself until about a year ago!). bubbie's sauerkraut is raw and only contains cabbage, water, and salt, so try to look for a similar brand ;)

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  4. I really want to try sauerkraut; this seems like the perfect vehicle!

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    1. absolutely! i think brown rice and sauerkraut go together magically. sometimes i eat them in a different bowl because they're so perfect together ;)

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  5. I love macrobiotic food! And I love sauerkraut with so many things....especially brown rice. I think I will be making this recipe soon. I too love Bubbies sauerkraut!

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    1. amanda, i'm pretty sure i'm obsessed with brown rice and sauerkraut together. they taste perfect with one another. i'm excited to explore more of the diet!

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  6. Oh man, I've never thought of sauerkraut paired with a stir-fry, so awesome! The macrobiotic lifestyle is so interesting. In a way that means I could never do it, but there are totally good parts of it!

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    1. i completely agree! it's sososo interesting. i feel like i'll never completely grasp it, but it's fun to explore.

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  7. Love the story of how you came into possession of the macrobiotic book. That looks like a very tasty meal!

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  8. What a great story! There are a few macrobiotic restaurants in nyc that i have been to and enjoyed, i'm not sure i would adapt it as a lifestyle but Soeun has this great kabocha they serve in the winter
    I'll have to try making this at home, looks like a great dinner
    Ttrockwod

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    1. i've always wanted to go to a macrobiotic restaurant. i'll have to look for some in the philly area. that kabocha dish sounds lovely ;)

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  9. This macrobiotic cooking sounds very interesting. I really need to look this up. What principles do agree with?

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    1. it is interesting! do you remember david?

      i don't know everything about macrobiotics, but basically what i said above- i like the incorporation of whole grains with every meal, using seasonal and local produce, and having a "pickled" element with dinner. also, umeboshi plum vinegar is a staple condiment in macrobiotics, and i LOVE IT.

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  10. yeah, I have to say, that looks like a meal I could get into. Isn't umeboshi plum vinegar amazing? I have some in the cupboard, but I haven't used it in far too long. I gotta drag it out and put it to use!

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    1. I cooked this last week because my grandmother visited me in my house and she really liked this one. Actually, my kids also like this one and they requesting to cook this again.

      Beef Stir Fry

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  11. This looks delicious, this recipe is a great excuse. Thanks!

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