Sunday, November 11, 2007

VeganMoFo: Red Rice & Beans

Last night, I decided it was time to put my Trader Joe's veggie juice to use. I had bought a bottle of the aforementioned juice to use in Celine's Creamy Tomato Soup about a month ago and it's been sitting sadly and about half full in my fridge ever since. You see, drinking veggie juice, or tomato juice for that matter, plain does not strike my fancy. After leafing through Vegan Lunch Box, it became clear that the Red Rice & Beans recipe would use a little of my veggie juice, so I decided to go for it. I cut the oil down to 1 teaspoon because I'm a "the lower the fat, the better" kind of girl. I am also an onion hater (my apologies), so I substituted grated carrots for the onion and for the bell pepper that I was missing. I was very excited about this dish, mind you. I used to love that boxed Spanish rice back when my mom made it in my youth and I figured this would be similar. I was right; however, I had one big problem with the recipe. The problem was that the amount of veggie juice and water called for in the recipe wasn't nearly enough to cook the rice. Unfortunately, this didn't become clear until my kitchen timer beeped 25 minutes after covering the pot and leaving it to simmer. So, here I am with partially cooked red rice, not quite sure what to do next. I added another 1/4 cup of veggie juice and 1/4 cup of water and left it to simmer for a little while longer. No luck. At that point, I decided to cut my losses, portioned a bowl out for myself, drizzled it with water, and stuck it in the microwave for 3 minutes. That made it edible, at least. The flavor of the dish is good; the rice just wasn't fully cooked. Today, I had leftovers for lunch, mixed with some chipotle sauce. It was much better and the rice must have absorbed some moisture overnight in the fridge because it was tender enough this time. Whew! Another recipe saved!

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