from Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm

1 c brown rice, uncooked
3 tbsp olive oil
2 to 3 tsp Italian herbs of your choice (basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, etc)
1/2 c oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into strips
1/4 c pine nuts
1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 large handfuls baby spinach (I used closer to 4)
zest from 1 lemon

Start cooking the rice… when rice is finished, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.

Add the herbs, tomatoes, and pine nuts. When the pine nuts start to turn golden brown, add the beans. Toss gently, trying your best to keep the beans whole.

Add the salt and vinegar and stir gently. Turn the heat down to low.

Place the spinach in one layer on top of the beans. Place the hot, steaming rice over the spinach and leave for 30 seconds or so, until you see the spinach start to wilt. Mix gently and taste. If it doesn’t have the “pop” that you want, add in a little bit more vinegar and salt to taste.

Grate the lemon zest on top of the rice and beans to serve. Serves 2 to 3.

WOW. I’ve made a few recipes out of this book, and they’ve all been relatively simple, and very tasty. Lauren Ulm mixes flavors I wouldn’t expect to taste all that good together, and I’m always wary of lemon in my entrée (I know I’m weird), but the lemon zest is what really made this dish SPECTACULAR. I’m not kidding- I made it on Sunday night, today’s Thursday and I’ve wanted it every day since. Since this was our meal, I doubled the spinach, and we ate all of it between the two of us. Good thing there wasn’t any more, because I could eat this until my stomach burst. Mike said it tasted kind of buttery, and I think that might have actually been the zest! The author recommends using a Microplane grater, and I will second that. I’m adding this to my regular meal rotation!