This plant-based meal is hearty. The nutty wild rice, savory mushrooms, and sweet cranberries make for the perfect bite every time. These nutrient-dense veggies also deliver a significant amount of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds to help promote optimal musculoskeletal health.
As a low calorie, nutrient-dense food, wild rice is a great choice for a balanced diet. As far as grains are concerned, the protein content of wild rice is on the higher end. It also has a fiber content comparable to brown rice. Your muscles and joints will enjoy its antioxidant properties. It also adds a wonderful nuttiness to our dish.
Mushrooms are a wonderful source of anti-inflammatory compounds. Studies have shown that when isolated, some of these compounds have been successful in decreasing inflammatory mediators in the body. This reduces cell inflammation. Their meaty texture makes them an excellent choice for a filling plant-based meal.
Add this abundant summer squash to the list of antioxidant-rich foods in our meal. Specifically, zucchini is a good source of carotenoids, precursors to Vitamin A. Vibrant, natural color is always a good indicator of nutrient content, and that holds true there. The green skin is where most of the antioxidant compounds are found (1). These compounds have also been shown to support overall bone health (2).
Sunflower seeds are a great source of healthy fats and antioxidants, including Vitamin E. Vitamin E has been shown to fight against free radicals and its anti-inflammatory actions have been shown to be beneficial to rheumatoid arthritis patients (3).
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
1/2 cup wild rice
2 portobello mushroom caps
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 cups zucchini, diced
3 Tbsp unsweetened dried cranberries
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp chives, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a sauce pot, combine 1 1/2 cups water, wild rice and a pinch of salt then bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 45-55 minutes, until tender.
- Remove stem and gills from portobello caps then rub both sides with 1 Tbsp olive oil each. Place on a sheet pan and roast 20-25 minutes, until tender.
- In a pan, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat
- Add red onion and cook 2-3 minutes, until translucent
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute, until fragrant
- Add zucchini and saute another 3-4 minutes, until zucchini is tender
- Add balsamic and cranberries and toss to coat, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon
- Combine veggie mixture and wild rice
- Scoop mixture into roasted portobello caps and garnish with sunflower seeds and chives