Here we are on a Monday again and I love the idea of trying to go one day a week without any meat. I’m not a Vegan (as I have said many times, I just love good food) and I know I can get so many more exciting flavours and dishes going with all the fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes there are out there.
But I do know that sometimes best intentions are scuppered by a lack of experience or options.
This dish is for people that want to try a ‘Meatless Monday’ (or any day really) but like the texture of meat and would miss the ‘meat’ on the plate
It is full of flavour, super simple and uses ingredients you will have in your food cupboards. (Really, nothing too out there at all)
If you are living in a lovely part of the world where things are growing (it is snowing AGAIN here) then please feel free to top with a big handful of chopped parsley, or better still, fresh coriander leaves, mint and rocket … oh yeah!
And .. wait… AND it is outrageously cheap to make
For more ideas, have a look at this fantastic blog that is just starting 🙂
‘Meaty’ Spicy Rice – A Vegan Treat We All Love To Eat!
1 large white onions
3 medium sized carrots
2 stalks of celery
4 cloves of garlic
1 Butternut Squash/sweet potato/swede/parsnip (what you have preferably in season 🙂 )
2 tbsps of olive/sunflower oil
2 tbsp Tomato puree
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Parsley
1 tsp Coriander spice
2 tsp Cumin spice
1 litre / 2 pt water or vegetable stock (from a cube is ok but if you have any of the superb but totally underrated cabbage water – then use that)
2 cups/240g/8oz Rice (I prefer brown for this dish as it adds to the ‘meat’)
1 cup/ 120g/4oz Couscous
400g / 14 oz Can Kidney Beans (or whichever is your favourite) drained
2 cups frozen peas
60ml/2 fl oz Good quality Olive oil
Peel the onions, carrots, squash (remove the seeds) and garlic. Wash and trim the celery. And chop everything up but not too small, through the halved onion cut though it 4 times in one direction and four times in the other, that’s enough, you want to have something to chew on.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy frying pan and over a medium heat.
Saute the onions, carrots, celery and squash (or whatever you have chosen) until they start to soften and turn translucent.
Add in the garlic and give it a good stir
Now add the tomato puree and the stock, Bay leaf and Oregano, Parsley, Coriander and Cumin.
Let them cook for a minute.
Now add stock/water/amazing cabbage water and bring up to the boil.
Add in the beans and then add in the rice. Give it a good stir and bring it up to the boil.
Now turn down the heat to a simmer, pop on the lid and allow it to cook for 5 – 35 minutes (check what the rice packet says – Basmati will take 10 minutes but my brown rice needed 40 minutes)
Just check the pan every 10 minutes as depending on the heat you’ve used, the type of rice, the moistness of the vegetables, you will probably have to add some water now or take the lid off to allow it to dry a little The fluid level should be just visible under the top layer of food.
Add the peas. Bring up to the boil again.
Now add in the olive oil and the cous cous. A nice big stir, lid on – now go wash the pans, go look out the window, pour a cuppa tea or a glass of beer.
You are ignoring the pan completely for 10 minutes.
Now it is ready, run a fork though it to loosen the grains. Dish up.
This will surely be the dish that will convert the ‘Vegan Curious Meat Eater’.
My photos show me cooking a much larger quantity than the above recipe 🙂
Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)
Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.