Monday, July 2, 2012

Seasoned Rice & Beans With Vegetables

The other night I went out to a mexican restaurant in Cleveland.  I'll admit, I still haven't mastered the art of ordering vegan in a restaurant so I usually just find the best choice and get that.  It certainly makes ordering easier since it usually rules out about 99% of the menu. 

This time my best choice was called a "Burrito Bowl" which was described as having "Seasoned rice piled high with your choice of...."  and they listed different types of meats or (thank God) black beans and vegetables.  I opted for the last choice.  Then the whole thing was topped off with their special blend of cheeses.  If I had just asked to have the cheese left off I would have had a perfectly delicious vegan dish but since I had never eaten there before and I was really hungry and would have been angry if my "Burrito Bowl" relied exclusively on the cheese for its great taste I opted to keep the cheese.

So I ordered it and it was absolutely delicious.  In fact, everyone else at the table said they wished they had gotten what I got instead of what they got.  They were probably right.  It was the best restaurant meal I had had in a long time and I would never have even thought about ordering it had I not been a vegan. 

I wanted to try to make a cheeseless version of this and this (with a few adjustments for my own taste) and here are the results.  You, of course, could substitute any vegetables for the ones I have listed but these are the ones I had on hand (and the yellow squash and zuccini were in the original dish).  Have fun with this!  I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

1 1/2 Cups Uncooked Brown Rice
1 1/2 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 Small Onion, chopped
1 Small Zuccini, sliced thin
1 Small Yellow Squash, sliced thin
Juice of One Lime
Additional 1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth
8 Ounced Sliced Mushrooms
1 15 oz Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 Ounce Can Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
2 Additional Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast (if desired)

Start by making the rice.  Put rice, 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and 1 1/2 cups water, chili powder and nutritional yeast in a small sauce pan.  Stir slightly and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover and simmer the rice until all of the liquid is absorbed.   When the rice is finished add the chopped cilantro to the rice and stir.  Cover until the vegetables and beans are ready.

While the rice is cooking heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add enough vegetable broth to cover the bottom of the pan and add the onion.  Cook the onion for three to four minutes in the vegetable broth, adding more broth as needed.  Add zuccini and yellow squash and cook an additional 5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through.  Squeeze the juice of one lime over the vegetables.  At the end, add the mushrooms and cook an additional two to four minutes until all of the vegetables are cooked to your taste. 

To serve, layer beans and vegetables on top of seasoned rice on your plate (or in a bowl).

This would also be wonderful with chopped fresh tomatoes or mixed together and served in a tortilla.


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