Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vegan Jambalaya

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I don't know why, but I'm really into eating rice recently. I'm not usually a big rice eater, but the idea of an one-pot-wonder appeals to me. And rice is the perfect carb for it. Here, we have a vegan jambalaya and it is delicious. I tried yet another meat substitute -- Trader Joe's Beef-less Ground Beef -- and it adds some texture and flavor to this dish.

You'll need:
  • 1 cup of white rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green bell pepper, small diced
  • 1 yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 celery sticks, small diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more if you like it spicier)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package ground meat substitute (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy, preferably non-stick pot, heat up olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add red pepper flakes. Stir in chopped celery, onion and bell pepper. Sweat until vegetables become soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, dried oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, and Bay leaves. Cook gently until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add rice, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water/vegetable stock and ground meat substitute (if desired). Season with salt and pepper. Bring liquid to simmer. Turn the heat all the way down. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes, undisturbed. After 45 minutes, stir then cover. Turn off heat without removing the lid. Allow the rice to steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve.

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