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I shared a little sneak peek of my vegan Thanksgiving meal this year on YouTube and TikTok and received so many requests for my Holiday Harvest Rice recipe! Now I have to be honest, I had to retrace my steps and break out the measuring cups because the last time I made it, it was mostly freestyle. I took inspiration from a delicious wild rice based dish that I tried at a friendsgiving party a few years ago, and since then, make something similar every year.
It’s a great vegan and gluten free side that everyone can enjoy and not just at the Thanksgiving table, but throughout the fall and winter time! In fact, I think it deserves a spot at any holiday table because we’re using fresh herbs that remind me of the holidays and festive pomegranate gems. Also, maybe it’s just me, but the pomegranate seeds kind of look like ornaments to me.
It’s a combination of wild rice, quinoa and long grain rice, lots of fresh herbs and mushrooms (we all know I can’t get away from herby mushrooms, so much flavour!), and crunchy bites of apple and pomegranate. The beauty of this Holiday Harvest Rice is that you can enjoy it as is, or serve it alongside your mains. It also stores well, so it’s leftover friendly and great to make for the family.
The recipe is vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free and made with simple, whole food ingredients. You can make this recipe sans oil if you prefer, but I recommend using a smidge to help tap into the aromatics of the herbs. It is a fairly lengthy ingredient list, but the process is simple. Trust me! Sauté away in one pan and enjoy.
What’s in this Holiday Harvest Rice?
Mixed grains → I use a mix of quinoa, wild rice and long grain rice, but you can make substitutions here as desired. I think using a mix adds a nice variety in texture and flavour.
Flavour builders → AKA onions, garlic, shallot, celery and carrots. Many great holiday dishes start here!
Mushrooms → They add an amazing umami component to the dish, but also, there’s just something so magical about fresh herbs and mushrooms together.
Fresh herbs → I like to use rosemary, sage and thyme–the holy trinity in my book.
Apple → For some crunch, and light sweetness. Don’t worry if you’re not usually a fan of fruit in savoury dishes. I am typically not the biggest fan either but this really helps to balance the dish and adds a nice freshness.
Pomegranate → Again, please don’t exclude these! (I’m just kidding, you can skip them if you want). They add an amazing burst of tart flavour and of course, make the dish extra visually stunning.
Plus a few more ingredients like gluten free soy sauce and vegetable broth. Salt and pepper too, of course!
Secrets to success
A quick tip here–finely chop your celery and carrots to speed up the cooking process. If you prefer crunch, however, do feel free to keep your pieces a little larger in size.
If you’d prefer to make this dish without oil, you can do so, but you may want to use ground dried herbs instead of fresh. The oil really helps to bring out the flavour in the fresh herbs, so I do recommend using at least a small amount.
You can prepare your grains in advance or use leftovers in place of the grain mix.
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram@veggiekinsso I can see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too.
12 oz mushrooms of choice (I used button, oyster and shiitake)
1 tbsp fresh sage, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme, stems removed
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
1/2 large apple, diced
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
salt and pepper to taste
1–2 tbsp vegan butter*
Add grains and vegetable broth to a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Once grains are ready, give them a gentle fluff and set aside.
In a large saucepan, sauté onion, shallot, celery and carrots with a touch of neutral oil until tender. Add garlic, mushrooms, herbs and gluten free soy sauce and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
Add the cooked grains to the mix and gently fold to evenly combine all of your ingredients. Finally add apples to warm for a few minutes. If using vegan butter, toss into the rice until melted and nicely incorporated. Taste, and season your rice with salt and pepper as desired.
When ready to serve, toss pomegranate seeds into the rice and enjoy!
*Adding the vegan butter gives the dish a nice extra oomph and richness. You can exclude it if you’d like.
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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