In honor of today being Fat Tuesday, I made a Cheesy Red Bean Sauce and Rice – a Vegan Jambalaya of sorts. Accidently. And it isn’t really a Jambalaya but it is a rice dish. And rice dishes are big in New Orleans and Mardi Gras is celebrated there. And Fat Tuesday is the official start of Mardi Gras. Did you follow that? So here is how it happened:
In my Forks Over Knives (FOK) cooking class I had an assignment where I had to cook broccoli three different ways. Blanched, parboiled and boiled. First I had to cut same-sized pieces of broccoli- a feat that is not easy with broccoli. I chopped three heads in order to find a few uniform pieces I could use.
We then had to poach, simmer and boil the broccoli and show the differences. As you can see in the picture, each is cooked slightly differently with the boiled piece being the most tender and the most cooked throughout.
So anyway, in addition to this broccoli that I used, I also had a very large bowl of broccoli I needed to do something with. After making a Vegan cheese sauce a few weeks ago, I decided to make that again and add it to rice and the broccoli. Only I ended up adding red kidney beans to the sauce. And I cooked some celery, onions and green peppers to add in. These three veggies are known as the holy trinity, a very common base in Creole and Cajun cooking which includes Jambalaya.
However, traditional Jambalaya, besides being made with sausage, is also prepared with broth and seasonings that are cooked in the same pot as the rice. I made my rice separately and kind of added everything to it. A little more the way Etouffee is cooked. But anyway, this is the end result of my dish. A Jambalaya-ish Etoufee-ish Cheesy Red Bean Sauce and Rice. I hope you like it!!
- 2 cups rice, prepared as directed on the package
- 2 cups broccoli, about 1 head, chopped
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 green pepper, diced
- red kidney beans and chopped broccoli, for garnish
- Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend well. Set aside.
- Begin to prepare the rice according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath for the broccoli filling a medium sized bowl with about 2 cups of water and 1 cup of ice cubes.
- In a deep pot, boil 4 cups of water. Add the broccoli and cook for one minute.
- Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and add to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Take the broccoli out of the ice water immediately, place on a plate and set aside.
- In a sautee pan over medium heat, add the onions, celery and green pepper. Add about three tbsp. of water to prevent sticking. (Keep a little water on hand and add to the pan as needed.) Stir continously to prevent sticking.
- After about 5 minutes, the veggies will start to soften, remove the pan from the heat.
- Once the rice is cooked and fluffed in the pot, add the broccoli, onions, celery and peppers to the rice and stir over medium heat.
- As the veggies and rice begin to warm, add the cheesy red bean sauce and continue to heat until the entire dish is heated throughout.
- Divide the rice among your serving bowls and garnish with red beans and/or broccoli if desired.
- Serve immediately.
What kinds of dishes have you “accidentally” made in the kitchen?