Peas and Compassion

Cruelty-free crunchiness and shameless veg-elation.


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VeganMofo Day 28: Rainbow Jambalaya

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You’ve probably heard the health advice to “eat a rainbow” – it’s sage advice to fill your plate with lots of plant foods, where vibrant colors are often an indicator of the nutrients hiding inside. Tonight’s supper, a plant-packed jambalaya, looked so gorgeous in the pan and is full of so many awesome nutrient-packed veggies that I nicknamed it Rainbow Jambalaya. While it does require a bit of chopping, it also pulls on the prep-friendly tastiness of vegan kielbasa, which you can buy in packs; or if you’re really adventurous and you just want to kick ass in the kitchen, then you can make your own. I personally went for the time-saver, and used good old reliable Tofurky kielbasa:

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Tofurky: Savior of vegans everywhere.

The recipe also calls for cooked brown rice and cooked lentils – I made the rice in advance tonight while I went out for a run, and the lentils I’d prepped earlier in the week for Creamy Seitan-Lentil Pasta. I’m trying to make it a habit to pre-cook grains and beans on the weekends or the night before, so that I’ll have a steady supply on hand during the week.

As for veggies, this one’s packed with onions, celery, red bell pepper, scallions, white button mushrooms, jalopeno, and fresh tomatoes. I’m sure there are others you could throw in for an even more robust meal. This is a good way to clean out your bins. The results are quite pretty:

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In hindsight, I might have added a bit of additional Cajun seasoning, but this was pretty darn good – the kielbasa, mushrooms, and lentils really gave the dish a strong umami vibe. Feel free to play around with the seasonings a bit to get it spicier, as you like (this is a child-friendly version).

Rainbow Jambalaya

Serves: 5-6 Prep time: ~30 minutes (assumes rice and lentils are pre-cooked)
Accessibility Notes: A fair amount of chopping here, but everything’s confined to one pan. You’ll need a large skillet and a good knife (and maybe a glass of white wine to help you pass the time).

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 2 Tofurky kielbasa links, diced into rounds
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • ~ 1/2 cup scallions, chopped (green parts)
  • 1 good-sized jalopeno, diced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup cooked green/brown lentils
  • ~ 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat skillet over medium heat or flame; add 2 tsp of oil to the hot skillet and follow-up with the kielbasa rounds. Cook, 3-4 minutes, tossing the rounds to ensure that the kielbasa cooks on each side. Try not to nearly burn them, as I did.

2. When the kielbasa is finished, transfer to a small bowl or plate. In the same skillet, add the onions, celery, and red pepper to the remaining pan and cook 3-4 minutes, until softened.

3. Next add the mushrooms, tomatoes, scallions, jalopeno, garlic, and Cajun seasoning. Stir well to distribute the seasoning, and let cook ~5 minutes until the mushrooms are juicy.

4. Add in the lentils and cooked kielbasa, stirring and allowing to cook about 3 minutes, until the lentils and sausage are heated through. Add the cooked rice and stir well, making sure everything is coated.

5. Add the parsley, stirring to just mix through, then season everything with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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VeganMoFo Day 23: Isa’s New England Glam Chowder

400x84_g2Tonight I decided to pay homage to one of the creators of VeganMofo, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, with her recipe for New England Glam Chowder. The recipe is included in her 2013 cookbook Isa Does It, which has been an amazing addition to my collection. Isa has basically ruled and revolutionized vegan cooking with her cookbooks over the past 10 years, especially Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance. She makes hearty dishes that are full of bold, amazing flavors and she’s an expert at veganizing old favorites and comfort foods – which is why I was excited to see a recipe for a “glam” chowder in the soup and stew section of her cookbook.

This dish has a mild sea-flavor due to the addition of crumbled nori, but it’s also full of mushrooms – including pillowy shittake mushrooms, which soak up the sauce and add a delightful chewy texture. In my version, I used a blend of white button, baby bella, and shittake mushrooms. Isa also uses a savory cashew cream to thicken up the soup – I switched up the cornstarch in the cream with an equivalent amount of arrowroot powder, with awesome results – everything still thickened nicely. We were left with a hearty, delicious stew that definitely had rich umami undertones, with the addition of crumbled saltines and fresh parsley taking it over the top.

20140923_194201The full recipe is over at the link above, and Isa even includes a video so you can get an idea of the work involved (note that this was completely doable as a weeknight meal, the biggest pains of prepwork being remembering to soak the cashews and  peeling those potatoes.) But it’s worth it! I would definitely make this again….and again… and again.