You can use just about any veggies you want for this recipe. Red pepper, mushrooms, peas, and corn would probably all be good. Get creative -- and let me know what works. This is what I used:
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
2 carrots, diced
2-3 cups instant brown rice
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
2-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into -inch pieces
4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bunch of diced chives or scallion greens
Salt to taste (about 1-2 tspn)
Parsley to taste
Heat oil on medium heat. Cook onion until soft. (a few minutes?) Add carrots and celery for a few minutes until they start getting soft. Add garlic.Add rice and cook for a minute or two. Add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Start with 1:1 ratio of rice to broth - (2 cups rice, 2 cups broth) cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about five minutes.
Remove cover and spread asparagus on top of the simmering rice -- do not stir into the rice yet. Replace cover and continue simmering, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the liquid is almost absorbed and the asparagus is still crisp, five minutes or so. Try the rice - if it's still crunchy, add more broth and wait until it is almost absorbed.
Add cream cheese; stir until the mixture is creamy. Return to a simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the asparagus is tender, about five minutes more. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and half of the green onion.
Top with chives or scallions, parm cheese, and parsley.
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