When I started dinner tonight, I walked into the kitchen trying to think through what I had in the fridge and the cupboard to make. The thunderous rainstorm was enough to deter me from driving to the store or taking people out to dinner. I had an idea of a quick soup that I could make with this strange new soy protein I’d purchased over the internet. It failed MISERABLY when I tried to make fake bar-be-que. I mean…it was so gross we threw it out. But, I had a feeling that it might be okay if it was cut up into much smaller pieces.
In addition to the few ingredients I had on hand for the soup, I saw the ripe mangos in the fruit basket and had one of those instant-mega-cravings I sometimes get. This was for that Thai sticky rice pudding that is both sweet and salty at the same time. Given the time frame, rice was out of the question, so I decided to try quinoa with the flavors.
The soup was good, but the quinoa and mango was a real hit. I didn’t even get a picture of it before the bowls were empty.
1 Cup Soy Curls (google it)
1 Tsp “Not Chicken Boullion base”
One clove Garlic
3 cubes Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillion (Or equivalent)
6 cups water
1 teasp. dried basil
One cup rice/rice blend (I used brown and wild rice)
one bag frozen mixed veggies (Corn, green beans, carrots, peas)
One can diced tomatoes
Fresh Spinach (or not, this would have been fine without it)
Bragg’s or soy sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste (Taste first as the bouillion’s seem to be salty enough for my taste)
Add a cup of hot water to the chicken bouillon and put the soy curls in to soak.
While the curls soak:
Sweat the onion (or sauté in Oil) until limp. Add the garlic and stir around a bit. Add the basil and rice. Continue to cook for about five minutes. While the onions and rice are cooking, Squeeze the soy curls dry and Chop into small pieces. Spray with Bragg’s or toss with a teaspoon of soy sauce. Add to the onion and rice mixture in the pot and stir fry together for a couple of minutes, until the curl bits are browned. Stir in the vegan soup cubes and water, the bag of veggies and the can of diced tomatoes. Bring all to a boil and then reduce heat. Let simmer until you need to eat. I tossed in a package of fresh spinach right before serving. It was really pretty floating around on the top.
QUINOA PUDDING WITH MANGOS
1 cup quinoa, dry
one can light coconut milk
one stick cinnamon
three green cardamom pods
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/2 cup (or less to taste) Agave nectar
1/2 tsp dried, ground cardamom
Mangos (1/2 to 1 mango per person)
Rinse the quinoa. Put in pot with cardamom pods and cinnamon and add water to cover well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let cook for fifteen minutes. Drain well. Put quinoa back in pot, leaving spices in, add the can of coconut milk, sugar, agave nectar and ground cardamom. Stir well, bring to simmer on stove and let sit on lowest setting for a while. (I put it on low just before sitting down to dinner and left it while we ate…so half an hour or longer is fine. You might want to stir it to make sure it’s not sticking.)
Slice the mango (I cut it in half on either side of the pit, slice it like an avocado and peel back the skin to cut the slices off. Put the mango in one side of the bowl and a spoonful of the pudding on the other side of the bowl. I left the salt out of the dish, but I suppose you could add salted coconut milk to mimic the Thai dish if you want to.
Oh…and watch out for the cardamom pods and cinnamon bits–pull them out before serving or watch as you eat.