Thursday, December 1, 2011

Caribbean Rice

This dish gives an island flair to the classic rice and beans duo.

  • 1 and 1/4 cups vegan chicken broth (prepared from Not Chick'n bouillon)
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain parboiled brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (1/4-inch) peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) rinsed and drained can black beans
1. Combine the broth and coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the rice.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.  Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes.

3. Reduce heat to medium.  Add the squash; cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Note: Be sure to cut the squash into small, 1/4-inch cubes.  That's the secret to obtaining tender squash cooked all the way through, but not browned on the outside.

4. Add the thyme, salt, turmeric, black pepper, and black beans.  Cook for a final 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the rice, and stir well to combine.

Continue the fun Caribbean theme by pairing this dish with a store-bought jerk spice rub over your favorite vegan protein - tofu, tempeh, or Gardein chicken for example.

To play up the island feel, I decided it was also the night to try the vegan calamari from relatively-new brand Sophie's Kitchen that's been lurking in my freezer.  This "vegan seafood" company also makes shrimp, prawns, and breaded fish fillets, and the calamari was recently voted best new vegan product of the year by VegNews magazine, so I had to give it a try.

Quite honestly, I was a little weirded out eating these breaded rings, but the seafood flavor did pair well with the rice.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (about 1 cup), Calories 186 

Tasting Notes:
Mild and tender, with the smooth black beans and squash that paired perfectly together.  I would definitely increase the spices next time - more turmeric and perhaps curry powder as well, but a very pleasant dish nonetheless.


1 comment:

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