Parsnip Rice with Hemp Seeds, Spring Peas, and Basil

by Gena on June 20, 2012

Parsnip Rice with Hemp Seeds, Spring Peas, and Basil

I’m so happy that you guys are as excited about my green juice with avocado as I am! What a delightful summer snack.

I was also grateful that everyone is so understanding about time constraints and the fact that it’s tough for me to churn out a lot of stellar recipes right now. Ironically, in my short lunch break at home yesterday (I typically leave my morning class, go home for an hour or two, and return to the library), I created a parsnip rice dish that was as delicious as it was quick and easy to prepare. So I have some blog-worthy food for you today in spite of myself!

I think I’ve decided that parsnip rice is my favorite of all veggie “rice” dishes. I really love jicama, but jicama rice can be a little watery (unless you dehydrate it, which is what Sarma does in her remarkable sushi rolls at One Lucky Duck!). Cauliflower rice is great, but it’s slightly bland, so it’s important to use it as a base in fairly flavorful dishes (my chard wraps with  are a great example—lots of cumin and cinnamon!). Parsnip rice also stands up well to flavoring with herbs and spices, but it has a distinctive flavor of its own (far more mild than you’d expect), and the texture is just right. I never expected to enjoy parsnips raw, but the first time I made my raw parsnip sushi, I was hooked.

This recipe is brightened up with green peas and fresh summer basil (starting to appear at farmer’s markets!), along with a squeeze of lemon. For variety of taste, as well as a protein and healthy fat boost, I’ve thrown in some hemp seeds and oil. I think pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews could all be good here. Nutritional yeast would also be a nice addition, although I use nooch so often that I think I need to train myself to adopt some variety Winking smile No matter what, it’s hard to mess this recipe up. And, aside from the cleaning involved (food processor, that is), it’s incredibly fast and easy to make: I was done in about 10 minutes. Seriously.


Parsnip Rice with Spring Peas, Hemp Seeds, and Basil (high raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Serves 2 generously

1 heaping cup fresh green peas (frozen is also fine)
1 lb parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
Dash of black pepper
1 tbsp hemp oil (your favorite high quality oil is fine here: flax, sacha inchi, avocado, olive…)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Small handful (about 1/4 cup) chopped fresh basil

1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Blanch the peas until bright green and tender. Submerge in ice water to stop cooking and preserve color; drain and set aside.

2. Place parsnips, hemp seeds, sea salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process till the mixture is finely chopped, and resembles rice.

3. Turn parsnip mixture into a bowl, and toss with the peas, hemp oil, lemon, and basil. Done!


5 healthy ideas for how to serve this dish:

1. Stuff it into romaine, chard, or collard leaves, and top with chickpeas or black beans for easy vegetable tacos.

2. Spread it onto nori sheets, top with some fresh, julienned vegetables, and roll up into sushi.

3. Serve it atop a nutrient dense salad.

4. Bake a marinated portobello mushroom cap, and stuff it with the parsnip rice as a part of your dinner.

5. Eat plain, along with a salad—add a generous helping of legumes to the salad to make the meal well rounded.

So just as I was stressing out badly about the lack of time in which to make food, I stumbled on a recipe that was both blog-worthy and easy enough to make on a busy school day. Phew. I guess I should take my own advice sometimes, and remember that vegan and raw food can be fast food, too.

I hope you all enjoy this delightful parsnip recipe! And I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.


Print Friendly
Be Sociable, Share!

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy June 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I was really excited to try parsnip rice after seeing you post about it before but I have to say I couldn’t STAND it- much much too strong of a parsnip flavor! The dish still looks beautiful, and maybe I will make it with regular rice :)


Gena June 21, 2012 at 7:47 am

Ha, I understand: the parsnip flavor is very distinct! I think it would be great with most whole grains, but rice in particular. In fact, there may be a CR recipe along these lines brewing as we speak…;-)


Averie @ Averie Cooks June 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Cauli rice, parsnip rice, gotta love those fast “rice” meals. Love the bright peas. Perfect for summer!


Janae @ Bring Joy June 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I’ve forgotten about parsnips. Not quite on my radar, & not every grocery store carries them.

Reminds of when I first when vegan & was 100% raw for the first little while. I tried parsnip rice but I don’t think I did it right because I remember not being a huge fan. I’m excited to try this though, now if I can just get my hands on some parsnips!


Nancy June 20, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Gena, what do you think about using raw peas? I have lots from m,y garden.


Gena June 21, 2012 at 7:48 am

Hmmm…I’ve never tried peas raw, except in a soup. I’m sure they’re fine, but I do like them blanched so much that it’s never occurred to me to try!


Lisa @ The Raw Serenity June 20, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I bought a parsnip for the first time 2 days ago so this looks like the recipe it will be used for (make it into sushi).
To be honest I haven’t cooked with it before because alot of friends and family told me that they cant stand parsnip but after the comments that state how yum it is, I think ill give it a go!
Thanks for sharing your recipe x


Gena June 21, 2012 at 7:48 am


It’s an acquired taste, so it may not be your thing, but I hope you enjoy!



Amelia June 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Wow! Thanks for the dinner inspiration! I was just trying to think about what to do with the bag of parsnips in my fridge that came in my CSA this week. I never thought about eating them raw. I will probably add edamame though instead of peas since I am out of those.

Like you, I too LOVE nooch. My husband says that I have trained my taste buds to need it on everything that I eat, whether I sprinkle it on dry or turn it into a sauce. That and hot pepper flakes. ;)


Valerie @ City|Life|Eats June 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm

This looks so so good. Love the touch of basil.


Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm

That sounds so delicious! yum — perfect for summer!


Carrie (Carrie on Vegan) June 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Ohhh, Gena, you are so creative!!! I agree, cauliflower rice is really, really bland so I can’t wait to try this version. Thank you! P.S. I also love the idea of adding avo to fresh juice, I’m gonna have to try that one this summer (that is, if I haven’t used all of my avocados in chocolate pudding first).


jess June 20, 2012 at 10:06 pm

i know it doesn’t match the flavour profile much, but i love how much this dish looks like indian rice pilau!


Melanie St. Ours June 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I have to admit that I’ve never been much of a rice-lover, but I have a new fondness for Morocan-style rice dishes with their warming cinnamon, cumin, and the sweetness of dried fruit. Do you think parsnip rice would work with those flavors? I’m usually a total Brassica fan, but cauliflower rice somehow turns me off with it’s distinctive odor and I don’t think it’d play nicely with the Moroccan flavors. Any tips?


Gena June 21, 2012 at 7:50 am

I think parsnip would work nicely with those flavors (and I have tried it with cumin and cinnamon before, and loved it). If you’re not into parsnips, you won’t be into them raw (they’re very assertive, flavor-wise), but if you are, it’s worth a shot! I’d do cumin, cinnamon, and maybe some currents!


Karise June 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Hi Gena,
I am an avid reader of your blog but this is my first comment! I am vegetarian but not vegan just yet but hoping to achieve this one day :)
This post got me thinking a little – you don’t sem to eat a lot of actual rice? I do and am wondering if this is not so good? I eat both white and brown, arborio etc probably at least twice a week along with other grains such as quinoa and spelt breads.
Any thoughts helpful!


Gena June 21, 2012 at 7:51 am


I love rice, especially with a tangy dressing: I have one recipe that involves caramelized butternut squash and peas, another that’s a salad with citrus and a sweet miso dressing. I’m also a big fan in sushi rolls, etc. So yes, I’m on team rice :)



Vegyogini June 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I love parsnips and this looks delicious!

Your mention of nooch reminded me that I emailed you in late April about a sensitivity I have to nooch and would love your thoughts when you get a chance!



Gena June 21, 2012 at 7:52 am

I emailed you, Jenni!


Kari @ bite-sized thoughts June 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

This is fantastic! I rarely have parsnips and have never had parsnip rice, but I think it will be appearing soon now I’ve seen this recipe.


jenny June 21, 2012 at 3:40 am

LOVE hemp oil… I have two parsnips in the fridge (was going to roast them) but now I may end up eating them raw instead.


Marlena Torres June 21, 2012 at 8:49 am

Oh, wow. That’s just so pretty and fresh looking! As was your smoothie juice from yesterday :)


Skye June 21, 2012 at 9:03 am

I’m not sure if I’d like parsnip rice, but it sure does look delicious in your photos. I really love how you suggest 5 healthy ways to enjoy this! It sounds especially intriguing in a portobello cap.


Kristy June 21, 2012 at 11:26 am

This sounds like another one to try! I love parsnips, and the portobello cap sounds like the perfect vessel for this rice! Thank you, Gena!


Laury June 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Gena, this is so amazing! I am making this for my 13 month old and I! She love peas and parsnips! And I already add hemp seeds to pretty much everything she eats! Thank you yet again for your brilliant recipes. One question though, do you use a food processor or your Vitamix? I only have a Vitamix and a mini prep food processor. I am wondering if my Vita wil be too powerful and puree it instead of making it into rice?


Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles June 22, 2012 at 10:50 am

I don’t think I’ve ever had a parsnip! I love how versatile vegetables can be when creating raw versions of cooked dishes like rice and pasta. The peas make this look so fresh and summery! Glad you were able to get a quick, easy, and new meal in.


Kate June 22, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Hi Gena,
I made this rice today for lunch. I added it to the bean tortillas I eat on an almost daily basis, and it was delicious. I love finding small ways to change favorite meals to add variety and extra taste. I also prefer the parsnip rice to the cauliflower rice. I have wanted to find a way to eat parsnips, and now I have it. I liked the parsnip rice flavor while I didn’t love it in the cheesy parsnip spread. So thanks for sharing even your simple meals. Those typically are the ones that I am able to tackle. Good luck with your courses.


Purely Twins June 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm

yum, never tried raw parsnip rice plain, always done a mixture of parsnip and cauliflower.


Hannah June 23, 2012 at 12:49 am

I know I’ll love this! Several night this past week, I’ve been making cauliflower and beetroot rice flavoured with a bit of white miso and some cashews or sesame seeds. The bring pink colour gives my heart joy.

It’s been a long time since I’ve bought parsnip but, seeing as it’s winter now, I foresee fresh root veggies in my future. Thanks Gena.


Erica June 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Thanks for another helpful recipe! Really appreciate fast-as-in-quick fast food :) And can you do a partnership w/Pepperplate — I’m totally filling up their app w/your recipes anyways :)


Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See June 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Mmm I love parsnips, but I rarely remember to get them in the store! Guess I’m going to have to make a bit of effort now :)


Carol August 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I never ate a parsnip in my life (I’m 53!) until today, when I made this delightful recipe. I added drained/rinsed canned chickpeas, and served with Romaine lettuce leaf wrappers, as you suggested. Super delicious! Easy and quick to put together. Very satisfying. Just perfect! Love it! Thank you so much, Gena!


Anja August 7, 2012 at 3:17 am

Hey Gena,
I started reading your blog some months ago and love it. You inspired me on using salad in my smoothies. Great one!
Just made your parsnip rice and love it. I added an avocado. Thank you so much for this recipe. It makes me use one more vegetable that I could not figure out what to do with it.


Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: