This is my absolute favourite way to eat brown rice at the moment – it’s a savoury taste explosion for those nights when you want something simple, wholesome and satisfying.
I recently started reading up about the importance of iodine, a crucial mineral for thyroid function that is readily available from fish and sea vegetables. Vegans are at a risk of not consuming enough of this vital mineral through dietary sources alone, unless they use iodised salt. I choose to eat natural, unprocessed foods wherever possible, so using highly processed salt doesn’t really align with that. Along with vitamin D3 in winter, vitamin B12, and DHA omega-3, iodine is another nutrient that it is quite difficult to obtain on a 100% plant based diet, even a carefully planned one.
I looked into the amazing nutrition powerhouses that are sea vegetables – a readily available source of vegan iodine that is far more sustainable than the fishing industry. Some seaweeds are also reasonable sources of omega fatty acids. Kombu in particular is incredibly rich in bioavailable iodine, so much so that consumption should be limited, to avoid consuming too much iodine with potential negative effects on thyroid function. Everything in moderation!
I love this simple brown rice bowl with added sea weed as a great way to boost my levels of iodine. I use kombu, as it’s not only delicious, but is such a rich source of iodine, that hopefully my levels should be kept topped up for a while! But you could also use dulse, kelp or even nori sheets (although, green seaweeds such as nori generally contain less iodine than brown and red seaweeds).
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
1.5 cups of brown rice (long grain or short grain)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 organic vegetable stock cube / 750 ml vegetable stock
1/4 sheet of kombu, dulse or other sea vegetable, sliced very thinly
1 ripe avocado, sliced thinly
nutritional yeast flakes
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Cover the rice with water and add the vegetable stock cube, if using, or cover the rice with vegetable stock. You want about 1 cm of water above the rice level in the pan. Add the oil and sea weed. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed and the rice and seaweed is tender.
Serve topped with nutritional yeast, black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and sliced avocado.