This recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook. If you are not vegetarian/vegan but would like to incorporate more vegetables and better quality meals in general, I highly recommend Bittman’s cookbooks. A New York Times columnist, Bittman acknowledges the many benefits to your health, the environment, and to animals of eating less meat and more plant-based foods but also realizes that going 100% vegetarian or vegan may not work for some people. It doesn’t for him. Instead, he eats vegan and vegetarian meals most of the time. The Food Matters Cookbook has some, but not all, vegetarian recipes. The recipes instead put the focus on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and use smaller amounts of meat and seafood. His recipes are also pretty simple, are easy to modify, and use easy-to-find ingredients. The recipes are usually not low-fat though. He uses a lot of oil, so I just use less when I make the recipes.
My husband and I grill all the time, so I wanted to try this Grilled Zucchini and Scallions with Miso Rice recipe. It was very easy to make. I cooked the rice while my husband was getting our Weber charcoal grill ready, and by the time the veggies were grilled, the rice was done so I just had to put everything together. Zucchini, eggplant, and portobello mushrooms can all be used in this recipe. The taste of the scallions was good, but I found them very tough to cut and eat. If you grill scallions, be sure to peel off the outer layers before eating. Or, substitute regular onions. If you don’t have a grill, you can use a grill pan or roast the veggies.
I planned to have this as a side along with grilled corn on the cob and a veggie hot dog. However, it was so filling that I didn’t eat the veggie dog and only ate half the corn on the cob. I made the leftovers into a main meal by simply adding tofu. I’m hard-core and like plain tofu, so I just cubed it and mixed it in. You can fry tofu with a bit of cooking spray or grill it if you prefer or throw in beans or whatever protein you want.
Grilled Zucchini and Scallions with Miso Rice
- Zucchini, eggplant, and/or portobello mushrooms, sliced and brushed with oil (if using eggplant, salt it, let it sit, and then rinse)
- Scallions or other onion, washed and prepared for grilling
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 1/4-1/2 cup miso
- ginger (the original recipe called for minced ginger, but I just used a few dashes of powdered ginger)
- Soy sauce and pepper to taste
- Cook 1 cup brown rice with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt for about 45 minutes, until the water has evaporated.
- When the rice is almost done, put the veggies on the grill. Depending on how thick your slices are, flip everything between 3 and 5 minutes.
- When the rice is done, mix it with miso. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup miso, and I thought that was way too much. Start with less, then add more if you want.
- Add in your minced ginger or a few dashes of powdered ginger.
- Season with soy sauce and black pepper to taste.
- Add your veggies, and enjoy!