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Brown rice for Lent

By STEPHANIE ZUBIRI, The Philippine STAR Published Mar 18, 2021 5:00 am

As a Filipino, the craving for a bowl of comforting rice will pop up every now and then. It’s probably genetic! However, I’m always looking for better alternatives to our plain old white kanin. 

Brown rice is probably one of the quickest and easiest switches you can make for a healthier diet. It’s full of fiber that helps keep you full longer. It’s also rich in selenium that helps draw out heavy metals and toxins and contains almost 80% of our daily needs in manganese, which is needed to help metabolize fats and benefits our nervous systems. 

Brown rice is a great baby food and I would suggest even making your kids get used to brown rice instead of white. It’s extremely important to choose good, quality and preferably organic brown rice because the rice is whole with the husk; poor quality can have lots of pesticides. 

This recipe is a delicious combination of brown rice with iron-rich spinach and anti-inflammatory zucchini, as well as cancer-fighting wonder root turmeric. It makes a really great side dish for anything and is even great on its own.

Lemony spinach brown rice with seared shrimp

1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup spinach (you may use 1/4 cup frozen spinach)
1/2 zucchini sliced thinly, about 1/4 cup
1/2 small onion, sliced thinly
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Fresh dill
1 tsp turmeric
3-5 shrimp, peeled and deveined
Dash of paprika, cayenne and chili powder
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tbsp butter
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the shrimp for about 5 to 10 minutes in some olive oil, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. 

In a pan on medium heat, heat some olive oil and sauté onions till golden. Add the zucchini and cook till soft. Add the spinach and cook till wilted. Add the turmeric, some salt and pepper and fry out the spices to bring out the aroma for a few seconds. 

Add the cooked brown rice. Toss together well and then add the white wine. Mix everything well and cook out the wine. Add the knob of butter and season with more salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and freshly chopped dill. 

Heat a skillet on high; sear the shrimp on both sides till just cooked. Serve immediately with the rice.