Becky Excell’s baked mushroom and garlic rice.

Whenever I create a budget meal plan, rice always has and always will be an integral ingredient. Not only is it incredibly versatile and a little goes a long way, but it’s one of the most affordable products in supermarkets. Most supermarkets will stock a budget brand rice that is even cheaper than their own brand, so always make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the best price.

Sticky roast broccoli fried rice (pictured top)

This speedy fried rice turns a staple side into a main that’s family-friendly. Preparing the rice ahead of time is not only key to getting it done in a flash, but also a great substitute for takeaway-style fried rice.

Serves 4
Prep 5 min
Chill overnight
Cook 15 min

For the broccoli
1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 tbsp sesame oil
1 large broccoli
, cut into medium florets

For the rice
275g uncooked long-grain rice

2 eggs
A pinch of salt
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 red peppers
, chopped
2 carrots
, chopped
3 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 handful spring onion greens,
finely chopped

Cook your rice according to the packet instructions – steamed works best. Once cooked, drain if needed and, ideally, leave to cool completely. Cover and chill in the fridge overnight.

The next day, heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and dark brown sugar for the broccoli. Drizzle the sesame oil over a large baking tray, add the broccoli and roll around until well coated. Put in the oven for five minutes, then pour over the soy sauce mixture and coat the broccoli in it. Return to the oven for eight to 10 minutes. (To cook in an air fryer, heat to 180C and remove the crisping tray. Put the broccoli in the air fryer for three minutes then pour on the soy sauce mixture and coat the broccoli in it. Return to the air fryer for five to six minutes.)

For the fried rice, crack the eggs into a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and briefly beat with a fork.

In a wok, add the vegetable oil and put over a medium-high heat. Once heated, add the red pepper and carrots and stir-fry until lightly browned. Add the beaten egg, leave it to cook for around 30 seconds, then break up the egg into chunks.

Add the cooked rice and stir to break it up. Add the soy sauce and sugar, and stir again so the rice is nicely coated. Stir-fry for another five minutes or until the rice starts to look crisp in places – if you didn’t have time to allow your rice to fully cool or chill in the fridge, you’ll need to fry for a little longer to reach that point.

Serve the fried rice topped with the roasted broccoli and chopped spring onions.

Baked garlic mushroom rice

This dish is everything I love about a mushroom risotto, but with no stirring required. With golden, tender mushrooms and fluffy, crisp-on-the-top rice, this is as pleasing on the tastebuds as it is easy to rustle up.

Serves 4
Prep 5 min
Cook 40 min

For the mushrooms
450g mushrooms
3 tbsp garlic-infused oil

For the rice
275g uncooked long-grain rice

500ml vegetable stock, boiling hot
1 tbsp dried thyme
½ tbsp dried or fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
½ white or black pepper
50g extra mature cheddar,
Small handful of chives, finely chopped, to serve
Rocket salad, to serve

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. In a small bowl, combine the mushrooms and garlic-infused oil.

AddPut all the ingredients for the rice (apart from the chives and rocket) in a 23cm x 33cm roasting dish and mix well. Lay the mushrooms on top and put in the oven for 40 minutes. Top with chives and serve with rocket.

  • Becky Excell is a gluten-free blogger and author of Quick + Easy Gluten Free (Quadrille, £20). To order a copy for £17.60, go to

Share This Article