Dinner

By Aine Carlin | September 5, 2011

Photo: Aine Carlin

I’m slowly but surely “vegan-izing” all my old recipes. Slowly because I rarely think about the meals I used to cook. Not that they weren’t good, but I have absolutely no cravings or hankerings after any of the meat and dairy laden fare that once came out of my kitchen.

Hubbie, on the other hand, does occasionally talk about the wonderful Carbonaras and yummy Frittatas I produced that became firm favorites in my extensive food repertoire. Of course, he would never really want to go back to our old omnivorous ways but there is a certain nostalgia for comfort food that has brought you joy in the past.

So I was set about transforming some of my classic dishes into vegan wonders in their own right - it’s about time we started creating some new memories so that we can look back fondly in a few years time and marvel at how far we’ve come.

Photo: Aine Carlin

I suppose this version is more Creole than Cajun because it is tomato-based. I’m led to believe that the differences are fairly subtle  but Creole cuisine has more European influences and seeing as I’m nearer to Europe I’ll go with that.

Regardless of where it comes from or what influences are at play, this is just good ol’ fashioned grub that will leave you wanting more – and that is certainly something I could hanker after.

 

Photo: Aine Carlin

Aine Carlin is a vegan blogger who specializes in vegan recipes. She also has a keen interest in vegan fashion and is currently training to be a stylist where she hopes to promote cruelty free clothing and beauty. You can find more of her vegan recipes and vegan friendly fashion over at www.peasoupeats.com.

  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 rashers vegan bacon or vegan chorizo
  • 1 cup vegan chicken style pieces
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup sweet corn, canned, fresh or frozen
  • 11/2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 1 tsp tomato/vegetable puree
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses or a pinch of sugar
  • tabasco sauce (as much or as little as you like - I like a lot)
  • large handful of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

1. Heat a little olive oil in a pan. Finely dice the onion and add to the pan along with some seasoning. Allow to soften for a few minutes. Mince the garlic and finely chop the chili and add to pan along with the chili flakes.

2. Cut the 'bacon' into chunks or if using vegan chorizo pieces add to pan along with the paprika and cook until it starts to color.

3. Cut the pepper into large pieces, add to pan, season and allow to soften with the other ingredients.

4. Pour in the brown rice, give it a stir and then add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Season, add the molasses and one cup of water. Shake in a good amount of Tabasco sauce. Fill the cup with water and set aside - you will use this water throughout.

5. Allow to gently simmer for 30mins before adding the frozen chicken style pieces - if using refrigerated pieces they will take less time to cook. If it becomes too dry add more water - like you would do a risotto. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked.

6. A few minutes before serving add the peas, sweet corn and allow them to gently cook before sprinkling in the parsley ensuring to reserve some for when you plate up. Season and/or add more Tabasco if necessary.

Serve in bowls and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

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