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Recipes from Around the World: Tomato Rainbow Rice

Nutritional Content and Health Benefits

Tomatoes are juicy and sweet, and full of the antioxidant lycopene, a plant compound linked to improved heart health, cancer prevention, and protection against sunburns [i]. Generally, the redder the tomato, the more lycopene it has [ii]. Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

Corn, carrots, green peas, and tomatoes are all high in fiber that can benefit constipation [iii].

Chicken and tofu are great sources of protein. Sufficient protein intake can help repair body tissue and keep our immune systems healthy [iv].


Tomato Rainbow Rice


  • Rice cooker recommended, or cast iron wok or any pot with a lid


  • 2 cups brown rice (may substitute: white rice, red rice, etc.)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 whole tomato
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup corn      
  • 1 cup peas     
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped chicken/tofu (or can use any kind of protein you like: fish, beef, shrimp, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Soy sauce (recommended): 3 Tbsp


Preparation work

  1. Wash the raw rice and soak 2 cups of raw rice in 2 cups of water for 30 min in advance. If you prefer rice to be softer, you can use 2.5 cups of water.
  2. Turn the tomato upside down and cut an “X” about half way into the tomato. Lay out all other vegetables and protein (can also use frozen mixed vegetables).

If you are using a rice cooker

  1. Put the rice and water into the rice cooker, put all vegetables and protein on the top, close the lid and start “regular cook” mode.
  2. Wait until the rice cooker is ready and add all remaining ingredients (oil, pepper, salt, soy sauce) into the cooker and mix it. Close the lid and simmer it (“keep it warm” mode for another 10 min).
  3. Ready to eat!

If you are using a wok or other pot with lid

  1. Spray some oil on the bottom of the wok. Add water and rice to the wok. Boil the rice over medium to high heat until the water is boiled (about 10-15 min), stir the rice occasionally just in case it becomes sticky.
  2. Put the tomato in the middle and the vegetables and protein around the tomato, and start the normal cooking procedure. Add remaining ingredients, cover with the lid and simmer for another 15 min.


[i] ​​Aust, O., Stahl, W., Sies, H., Tronnier, H., & Heinrich, U. (2005). Supplementation with tomato-based products increases lycopene, phytofluene, and phytoene levels in human serum and protects against UV-light-induced erythema. International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Vitamin- und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition, 75(1), 54–60. https://doi.org/10.1024/0300-9831.75.1.54

[ii] Arias, R., Lee, T. C., Logendra, L., & Janes, H. (2000). Correlation of lycopene measured by HPLC with the L, a, b color readings of a hydroponic tomato and the relationship of maturity with color and lycopene content. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 48(5), 1697–1702.

[iii] Anderson, J. W., Baird, P., Davis, R. H., Jr, Ferreri, S., Knudtson, M., Koraym, A., Waters, V., & Williams, C. L. (2009). Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutrition reviews, 67(4), 188–205. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x

[iv] “Benefits Of Good Nutrition During Cancer Treatment”. Cancer.Org, 2022, https://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorship-during-and-after-treatment/coping/nutrition/benefits.html. Accessed 9 Feb 2022.

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