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Brown Rice Pilaf with Bitter Greens, Olives, and Orange rectangle
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5 from 1 vote

Brown Rice Mustard Green Pilaf with Orange, Olives, and Peanuts

This flavorful brown rice pilaf makes a delicious side dish. For a simple meatless dinner, bump up the protein with black-eyed peas or sautéed soy-based sausage style ‘meat.’ Serve with a crisp lettuce salad. See notes for time-saving pressure cooking.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan
Keyword: vegan, brown rice, pilaf, mustard greens
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (zest the orange before squeezing)
  • 1 pinch ground turmeric
  • 8 ounces mustard greens, spinach, arugula etc. , washed, stems removed, leaves cut into thin chiffonade (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
  • ¼ cup sliced pitted green olives
  • 1 orange , peeled, cut into sections, and diced
  • ¼ cup roasted unsalted peanuts


  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until you see a bit of golden color, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin seeds, and stir a minute, but don’t let the garlic turn brown.
  • Add the vegetable broth, orange juice, and turmeric. Cover, and return to a boil. Lower the heat as low as possible and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about one hour. Do not stir. (To see if the water has been absorbed without stirring, tilt the pan to the side.)
  • Meanwhile, if you are adding faux sausage, heat a tablespoon of avocado oil in a medium to large skillet. Cook the “sausage”, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until you have lightly browned crumbles. Set the skillet aside, but keep warm.
  • When the rice is almost cooked, place the mustard greens on top. Cover the pot and let the greens steam and wilt while the rice finishes cooking, about 10 minutes.
  • To serve, whisk the lemon juice, maple syrup, and orange zest together. Mix into the rice, along with the olives, diced orange, and peanuts. Stir in the black-eyed peas or faux sausage crumbles, if using.


To pressure cook brown rice pilaf:
Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot. Follow the steps as for stovetop cooking, except after adding the liquids, lock the lid in place. Bring to high pressure and cook for 25 minutes. Release the pressure immediately, following the directions for your pressure cooker. Quickly stir the greens into the pot, cover, and let the greens wilt 5 to 10 minutes. When they're nicely wilted, mix in the rest of the ingredients, including black-eyed peas or cooked soysage crumbles, if using.
Spinach, kale, arugula, and collard greens are possible substitutes for mustard greens!