Sunday, June 22, 2014

Slow Cooker Brown Rice Veggie Bowl with Asparagus, Red Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Feta (Gluten-Free)

Slow Cooker Brown Rice Veggie Bowl with Asparagus, Red Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Feta found on KalynsKitchen.com
This Meatless Monday Slow Cooker Brown Rice Veggie Bowl has asparagus, red bell pepper, zucchini, and Feta

Summer means garden-fresh vegetables, and this Slow Cooker Brown Rice Veggie Bowl is a simple way to cook them without heating up the house.  I made this with my nephew Jake and even though we ended up tasting it at the end of a long cooking day when we had sampled lots of other things, we gobbled this up and I was excited to have the leftovers another day.  The recipe couldn't be simpler.  Start by cooking brown rice in the slow cooker with vegetable stock, spices, and a chopped onion until the rice is nearly done.  While the rice cooks, chop up vegetables of your choice; we used asparagus, red bell pepper, and zucchini, but you could also substitute other vegetables that taste good with Feta such as yellow summer squash or green beans.  Add the vegetables and cook until they're tender, then stir in some crumbled Feta and serve, topped with a little more feta sprinkled on top.

Personally I think this would be fabulous for a Meatless Monday dinner!  (To see lots more meatless recipes, click the label Meatless Monday or Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index or visit my Meatless Monday Pinterest board.  I also share Meatless Monday ideas from other blogs each week for Meatless Monday at BlogHer.com.)

Chop up a medium-sized onion.

Put the onion, brown rice, vegetable broth, Greek Seasoning, Spike Seasoning, and dill weed in the slow cooker and cook for 1 1/2 hours on high.  (I used Uncle Ben's Brown Rice; other types of brown rice may take longer to cook.)

Cut up about 2 cups of short asparagus pieces.

Also cut up about 1 cup of zucchini pieces and chop up one red bell pepper.

We cooked the rice mixture for 1 1/2 hours, until it was close to done but still had some bite.

If you like your asparagus quite tender, you might want to add it a little sooner than the other vegetables.  We cooked all the veggies about 45 minutes, and the asparagus still had a slight crispness that I actually didn't mind at all.

While the vegetables cook, chop up about 4 oz. Feta, more or less to taste.

After 45 minutes stir in most of the crumbled Feta, saving enough to sprinkle a little on the top of each serving,  Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Brown Rice Veggie Bowl with Asparagus, Red Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Feta found on KalynsKitchen.com
Slow Cooker Brown Rice Veggie Bowl with Asparagus, Red Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Feta
(Makes 4 servings; recipe created by Kalyn with sugggestions and tasting assistance from Jake.)

Equipment:
I used a Crock-Pot 3.5 Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe, but any slow cooker that's 3-4 quarts will work.

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
1 C Uncle Ben's Brown Rice (other types of brown rice may take longer to cook)
1 can (14 oz.) vegetable broth (or use 1 3/4 cups homemade vegetable stock)
1 tsp. Greek Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning
1/2 tsp. dill weed
2 cups asparagus pieces (or green beans)
1 cup diced zucchini cubes (or yellow summer squash)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 oz. crumbled Feta

Instructions:
Chop onion into pieces slightly less than 1/2 inch square.  Spray the inside of the slow cooker with non-stick spray or mist with olive oil.  Put the chopped onion, rice, vegetable broth, Greek seasoning, Spike Seasoning, and dill weed into the slow cooker and stir.  Cook on high for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the rice is nearly tender but still has a little bite.  (If you're using a different type of rice it will probably take longer to cook.) 

While the rice cooks, cut up the vegetables into short strips or cubes about 1 inch square.  It's important to have vegetables in pieces about the same size so they cook in approximately the same time.  When the rice is nearly done, add the vegetables and continue to cook on high for about 45 minutes more.  (If you want all the vegetables to be well-done without any crispness, you might want to add the longer-cooking vegetables like asparagus (or green beans) after an hour and 15 minutes, and then add the zucchini (or summer squash) and red bell pepper 15 minutes later.)

While vegetables cook, crumble about 4 oz. of Feta.  After 45 minutes, check to see if vegetables are done to your liking.  When they are, stir in most of the crumbled Feta, reserving a few tablespoons of Feta to sprinkle some on the top of each serving.  Serve hot.

This wasn't bad when it had been refrigerated and reheated, but it was definitely best when freshly made.

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South Beach Suggestions:
The vegetables in this recipe are good low-glycemic choices, but the use of rice makes this limited to Phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet.  (I like brown rice in recipes like this, but some charts show that white Uncle Ben's Converted Rice may be lower-glycemic than the brown rice, so feel free to use that if you prefer. 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Meatless Monday Dinners with Rice:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Slow Cooker Spicy Brown Rice and Black Bean Cheesy Bowl ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Lentils with Brown Rice and Feta ~ A Family Feast
Cheesy Vegetarian Brown Rice Casserole with Broccoli and Mushrooms ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Risotto with Roasted Chickpeas, Mushrooms, and Kale ~ Carrots and Cake
Slow Cooker Vegan Brown Rice Mexican Bowl with Black Beans, Bell Peppers, and Poblano-Avocado Salsa ~ Kalyn's Kitchen 
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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8 comments:

  1. I love bowl meals. What an easy way to make rice. I definitely want to give this a try.

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  2. I always forget about making rice in the slow cooker. What a great way to keep the kitchen cool in the summer, and still incorporate summer veggies into a completely cooked in the slow cooker meal.

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  3. Whoa! This is veggie loaded in a crazy way. Love it!

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  4. Thanks Lydia and Joanne. We really loved this for an easy meal that's heavy on veggies. I'm going to try it again with fresh green beans when they're in season.

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  5. This sounds delicious and I have all the ingredients so will give it a try.
    Ann

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  6. What an amazing combination! Would make a great light lunch.

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  7. Ann, hope you enjoy!

    Thanks Zerrin! We really liked it.

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