A whisper from the woods

Food for Thought, October 2022

Oct 3, 2022

Wrapping up


Almost one year has passed since this blog was launched.

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, an excellent opportunity to look back and wrap up the last 12 months.

The reason behind this blog column is simple! Research shows that meat and dairy products are fuelling the climate crisis, while plant-based diets — focused on fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans – can help protect and restore the planet [1].

Our vision at the Global Tree Initiative is that “Together we can create a conscious, wise, warm-hearted world of peace, where people respect and live in harmony with animals and the environment.”

As we have had the opportunity to learn from past articles, current food production systems are failing to meet the nutritional needs of the human population. At the same time, this has a  negative impact on our planet.

It is not all bad news. Food is power! Quite literally.

This means we – all of us – have the perfect tool to help our environment, well within reach. But we must work together!

In this last year, we have touched upon the link between food systems and climate change; we have discussed food waste and why it should be avoided; we have opened the door to discussing growing one’s own food, and we have also talked about our diet’s role in our health.

Besides, I have shared various recipes from a very easy hummus to a home-grown fava bean stew; from a pulse curry to a banana ice cream (and so much more…).

It might seem like we have said it all, but there still is so much to explore. There is so much to explore and learn. In the first year of the Food for Thought blog, we have set the ground for what comes next.

Thank you for coming on this tasty and informative journey with me, as we learn and explore, together.

Please remember to share any topics that you would like to explore within the Food for Thought blog, or any questions you may have.

Creamy vegetable rice

Now, as usual, we like to savor some delicious food at the end of each article.

It is early Fall, in Portugal, where I am. Temperatures are dropping which means I’ll start enjoying warm, filling, and comforting foods more often.

The recipe I am sharing today is one of my favorites on cold days. It is simple to prepare and versatile. You can easily adapt it to use vegetables you have locally available.


  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup (60g) carrots
  • ½ cup (60g) bell pepper
  • ¾ cup (60g) broccoli
  • 3 cups (130g) mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup (200g) short grain rice
  • ½ cup (120g) tomato sauce
  • 3.5 cups (830g) water/vegetable stock
  • ½ cup (80g) black beans
  • ½ cup (80g) peas


  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Spring onions/cilantro


  • Roughly chop or cube all the vegetables. Strain and rinse the pulses.
  • To a non-stick pan add the garlic. Allow it to gain some color.
  • Add the carrots and cook for a few minutes (4-5).
  • Add the broccoli and mushrooms. Once the mushrooms have reduced in size, add the soy sauce, followed by the rice and the tomato sauce. Let this mix cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the water or vegetable broth (if you are using water or unsalted vegetable broth, don’t forget to add a pinch of salt).
  • Let the broth simmer away for 10 minutes. Then, add the pulses and cook until the rice is soft to your liking.
  • Remove from the stove and let it rest for 3.4 minutes before serving. At this point, you can add spring onions or cilantro.

This dish is best when eaten right away. As it cools down, the rice soaks up the extra moisture becoming significantly mushier.

You should not discard any leftovers, though. With a bit of creativity, you can prepare an amazing stir fry of some burritos.

If you are looking for a fresher dish, I recommend boiling some long-grain rice on the side. Then, you can add it to the vegetable mix and enjoy it with some salad or inside a burrito.

Either way, I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Remember to use the comment section below to share any comments or questions you might have.

If you wish to learn more:

[1] Loken, B (2020). Bending the curve: the restorative power of planet-based diets.

Download your printable recipe card here:
Creamy vegetable rice

Please share this. Thank you!


  1. Jill Lancashire

    Looks great. I’m going to try it. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kika Gusmao

      Thank you for your comment, dear Jill. I hope you get to try it and enjoy it.


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