I have really been enjoying this way of choosing meals that my partner and I have undertaken for more than a year now. Inspired by the Netflix show, Midnight Tokyo Diner, the deal is simple: choose whatever you want to eat and the other person will make it as long as we have the ingredients. Substitutions and your own twist are allowed.
Cooking this way not only allows each of us to stretch our creative muscles in the kitchen, but it allows for unique twists on old favorites. And for us, it’s nice to recreate dishes we haven’t had since going vegan. Trust me when I tell you that it’s an exciting way to cook because you go to the grocery store, buy a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, vegan alternatives and the like, and each night you get a surprise.
Given how life has been for the past 12-14 months, this is a great way to keep things from getting stale in the kitchen, especially if you have the unfortunate luck of living some place there aren’t a lot of vegan takeout food options. You have to do it yourself and we’ve become pretty good at it.
This night, the request was Cajun sausage and rice, one of my favorite dishes as a child. It has everything a good meal needs, rice, spice and a little bit of protein.
As you can see, the ingredient list for this vegan sausage and rice dish is quite simple.
Red bell pepper (or whatever color you prefer)
Basmati rice (use brown Basmati for more of a bite)
Diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
Jalapeno pepper (de-seeded & diced if you can’t take the heat)
Broth or water
Vegan Worcestershire sauce
Cajun seasoning (cumin, smoky paprika, chili powder, oregano, garlic, thyme & pepper flakes)
Step One; Get the rice started first, especially if you’re using brown or whole grain rice that takes more than 15 minutes to cook. Follow package instructions but feel free to use waste-free broth instead of plain old water.
Step Two: Since we’re going oil-free for this vegan recipe, I recommend that you cook the vegan sausage first. They usually have just enough fat in–them that’s already accounted for–to help you saute the veggies afterward. If you’re using oil, add the vegan sausages last because they don’t need that long to cook.
Step Three: Add the veggies to skillet and cook until fragrant and a tad translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir often and when it’s all done, chop the sausages and toss into the skillet.
Step Four: Time to make the sauce! Grab the water or broth, vegan Worcestershire and cornstarch, combine into a measuring cup and stir. Pour into skillet and bring to a boil. Add the nutritional yeast and stir, lower the heat to a simmer until a thick sauce forms.
Step Five: Serve on top of the rice and enjoy!
And if it’s a little too spicy for you, I recommend you add a shot or two of Ole Smokey Hunch Punch to a cocktail shaker with some ice, shake until chilled and drink on the side.
And now I’m off, back to the writing cave because editing waits for no author!