Friday, September 19, 2014

Vegan MoFo, Day 19: Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Cajun Red Beans and Rice Mix form Vegan Food Gifts (page 105)

Today's recipe is from Vegan Food Gifts: More Than 100 Inspired Recipes for Homemade Baked Goods, Preserves, and Other Edible Gifts Everyone Will Love. And while it's true that this jar of goodness makes a yummy gift, it's also true that these types of mixes also make for great pantry staples.  Whole food convenience foods, if you will.  Keep the jars in your pantry, and when you are ready to cook, pretty much all you have to do is add water!

Cajun Red Beans and Rice
Mixes like this not only make great gifts, but they are super nice to have on hand at home for easy dinner times during a busy week.

2 cups (360 g) dry uncooked white rice
1 tablespoon (1 g) parsley flakes
1 tablespoon (2 g) dried chives
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup (185 g) dry uncooked small red beans

Place rice in the bottom of a quart sized mason jar.
Mix together spices and bay leaf, and place in a small resealable plastic bag.
Place seasoning bag on top of rice in the jar.
Top with red beans and seal.

Using a pretty ribbon or twine tie on the recipe card below:

To Prepare the Mix:

As written, this dish has no added fat! If you are not concerned about the added calories from fat, feel free to add a bit of nondairy butter to your final dish before serving.

Remove beans from jar.
Remove seasoning packet and set aside.
Rinse the beans.
Add beans and 4 cups (940 ml) water to a large stock pot or Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid.
Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for two minutes.
Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
Drain and rinse beans. Return beans to the pot.
Add 8 cups (1.88 l) fresh water and seasoning packet.
Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 60 minutes, stirring about every 20 minutes.
Add rice. Stir to combine.
Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring often, until rice and beans are tender and almost all of the moisture has been absorbed.
Discard bay leaf before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vegan MoFo VII, Day 17: Curry Tofu and Arugula Salad

Curry Tofu and Arugula Salad from
The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions (page 177)

Man, I don't know about all of you, but where I live we are experiencing a late summer heat wave like we haven't had in YEARS.  Hovering around 104 since Saturday. Sheesh.  You better believe no ovens are getting turned on around here. And if I can help it, no stove either!  This recipe from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions: Veganize It! Foolproof Methods for Transforming Any Dish into a Delicious New Vegan Favorite is quick and easy, and requires no cooking.

Oh, and happy 20th anniversary to my lover!  I cannot believe I have been with this amazing man for 20 years already.  I seriously still feel like this kid in the photo.  Time really does fly.

Curry Tofu and Arugula Salad
*Quick and Easy
*Wheat Free
*Gluten Free
The more natural colors on your plate, the healthier the meal! This salad is a riot of peppery green arugula, sweet red peppers, and yellow curry dressing. You’re welcome to enjoy it on its own, but why not try scoop it onto a crostini or stuff it in a wrap or pita? If you are not a fan of arugula, feel free to substitute baby spinach.

1 pound (454 g) extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed, pan-fried if desired
3 ounces (84 g) stemmed arugula
1/4 cup (40 g) raisins
1/4 cup (30 g) pine nuts
1/4 cup (46 g) diced roasted red peppers
Half a medium red onion, finely diced
1 cup (224 g) vegan mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade (page XX)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (6 g) curry powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop tofu into small cubes and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add arugula, raisins, pine nuts, red peppers, and onion.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, vinegar, curry powder, salt, and pepper.
Add dressing to salad and toss to coat.

Yield: 4 main-dish or 8 side-dish servings

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Vegan Mofo VII, Day 16: Fusion Rice Bowl

Fusion Rice Bowl from Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen (page 69)

You guys!  Last night I went to Terry Hope Romero's Authors Worth Celebrating dinner at Mohawk Bend in LA.  So good.  A trio of salads, from her new book Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don't Have to Be Vegan to Love, followed by a luscious Ethiopian Spiced Chocolate Flourless cake from Vegan Eats World: 300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet.

One of the courses was the Polish Summer Soba Salad, which was a fusion of summer flavors.  I don't really like beets, but this salad was probably my favorite dish of the night...even with the beets! I was cracking up when Terry was talking about it and asked if it was still cool to say "fusion."  I hope so, Terry!  I hope so.

So with fusion on the brain, I thought it appropriate to share today's recipe from Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen.  This one is a bowl.  Most of my favorite bowls come in bowl form.  And I am giving y'all a few options for the sauce on this one, too.  Technically, you get 5 different recipes from the book in one post. You're welcome.

Fusion Bol
This is a complete meal in a bowl!  And who doesn't love a bowl?  The recipe makes enough for 8 people, and it is really a great way to serve a big group.  Make the rice, chop the veg, set up a station, and let everyone make their own bowls.  It also packs well, so it is a perfect meal to pack up for lunches to go.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups dry jasmine rice
3 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 (15 ounce can) diced tomatoes with juices
1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (1, 15 ounce can, drained and rinsed)
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (store bought or homemade)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups (3 ounces) fresh spinach, chiffonade
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup Creamy Sesame Sriracha Sauce (Spicy) or Aji Verde (Medium)  (SEE BELOW) or Nori Garlic Ranch Dressing (mild)
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup Cotija Style Tofu Crumbles (SEE BELOW)
1 tablespoon black and white sesame seeds

Make the rice by heating oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan.
Add the rice and toss to completely coat.
Continue to cook until rice is toasted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes, constantly stirring.
Stir in 2 cups of the vegetable broth, the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, onions, curry powder, salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer until rice has absorbed all the liquid and is tender, adding  additional 1 cup broth as needed.
Assemble the bowls.
Start with the rice, then layer on the spinach and carrots.
Drizzle liberally with sauce, top with green onions and Cotija Style Tofu Crumbles, then finish it off with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Yield: 8 servings

Sara's Aji Verde
My Peruvian friend, Sara, introduced me to this amazing condiment. It sits in squirt bottles on the tables of Peruvian and South American restaraunts and is used for everything. When I went out to eat with her, we used it to dip our bread in, to dip our sweet potato fries in, to dip our fried Yucca in, I squirted a healthy dollop into my Croilla soup…this stuff does it all. It even tastes great on salads as a kicky dressing, mix it with some mayo and you have yourself just about the best tasting aioli EVER! I asked the Peruvian waitress what it was called and she told me “Gringo Killer” HA! I lapped it up like I was some sort of maniac. Anyhow, everyone has their own special way of making it, and these are the ingredients Sara told me she likes the best.
*Gluten free
*Soy Free
*Nut Free
*Quick and Easy

2 ounces (56 g) fresh baby spinach leaves
1 ounce (28 g) fresh parsley
6 Aji Amarillo Escabeche Peppers*, thawed, with stems removed
1 1 /2 cups (355 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 g) minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
*Aji Amarillo Escabeche Peppers, also known as Peruvian Yellow Peppers, or Chile Guero, are dark yellowish orange chile peppers from Peru that are about the size of a large jalapeno. They are most likely found at a latin market in the freezer. They are precooked and then frozen.

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth.

Yield: About 2 cups

Cotija Tofu Crumbles
Traditional Cotija is a bland, salty, crumbly Mexican cheese similar in texture to feta. It is most often used as a topping for soups, salads, enchiladas, tacos, etc...

1 (12 ounce) block extra or super firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar

In a mixing bowl, using your fingers, crumble tofu until it resembles crumbled feta.
Mix in spices and vinegar until well incorporated.
Allow to sit overnight before using, to allow the flavors to absorb into the tofu.

Yield: 2 cups
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2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, or remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni