This recipe came about by accident. I love it when things go wrong and that turns into something going very right. By very right, I mean, Vida took one bite of this before I told her it was called Rainbow Rice, and she immediately said, “this is yummy, Mom!”. Let’s just say that is not always her reaction when she sees what’s on her plate. She even ate it as leftovers the next day and devoured all of it. Friends, that’s YUGE. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
The accident happened because the cabbage (which plays a prominent role in this recipe) that was being prepped for Winter Rolls was shredded instead of sliced, resulting in these tiny pieces of bright, beautiful cabbage. And then…it hit me. Cauliflower rice is all the rage, but why not make ALL THE VEGGIES into “rice”? Thus, rainbow rice was born.
Now, let’s all agree on one thing from the get-go. This is not rice. I understand that. You’re picking up what I’m putting down. But I think we can also agree that if I can serve a plate of shredded vegetables to my 4-year-old daughter and she EATS IT ALL, then gosh darn it to heck anyway, I’m calling it Rainbow Rice. So there. Glad we’re on the same page.
There are three ways to make Rainbow Rice – the long way, the medium-long way, and the short way. The long way involves shredding 4 different vegetables on a box grater until your arm falls off. The medium-long way involves buying a bag of preshredded veggies and pulsing it in your food processor to make shorter pieces, and the short way involves using the shredding disc on your food processor thereby saving your arms. I vote for the short way, because I’m going to assume you want to keep your arms right where they are, but it’s really up to you.
Then, you take the teeny pieces of bright and cheery veggies, lay em’ all out on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast the heck out of em’ for 20 minutes. A sprinkle of salt goes a long way to bring out their flavors, and you can also add a bit of olive oil if you like. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Depends on how oily I’m feeling that day, I guess? That sounds weird.
After rainbow rice is done, it looks like this.
Beth, all the colors of the rainbow are not represented here. Where is the indigo, the yellow, the red?
Yes, I took a little creative license here, but it was all in the name of not making you buy 7 different vegetables to make one side dish. If you really wanted to, you could use a delicata squash for the yellow, and then call the darkest of the purple cabbage pieces the indigo, and use a red bell pepper for the red. That actually sounds really good. Maybe I should have done that. Great, now I have regret. Moving on.
When I served this to Vida, it was alongside roasted chickpeas tossed with date-sweetened teriyaki sauce, and as previously mentioned, she gobbled it up. She also enjoyed it mixed in with cooked spaghetti and said teriyaki sauce, along with some broccoli. For the purposes of a pretty picture, I plated it with air-fried tofu tossed with the same teriyaki sauce (I know, it’s gotten some mileage), and added broccoli, even though there is already broccoli in the rainbow rice. Veggies on veggies – it’s good stuff.
Anyway, it’s not quite rice, and it’s not quite the rainbow, but it’s approved by a 4-year-old. What more do you want from me?
Apparently I’m feeling quite defensive today. 🙂
- 1/2 head green cabbage (shredded (about 3 cups ))
- 1/2 head purple cabbage (shredded (about 3 cups ))
- 3 cups broccoli florets and stems (shredded)
- 3 carrots OR 1 large sweet potato (peeled and shredded)
- 1 teaspoon olive or grapeseed oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Arrange shredded vegetables on a large rimmed baking sheet, then drizzle with oil (if usinand sprinkle with salt as desired.
- Roast 20-25 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking.