Vegan Puerto Rican Pink Beans & Yellow Rice with Homemade Sofrito (Habichuelas Rosadas Y Arroz con Gandules) for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So I bought those pink beans above for pennies.  I Googled for idea & these Puerto Rican bean recipes kept popping up.  They all called for Sazon & Sofrito – both, allegedly, readily available in the Hispanic section of the grocery store.  I live in Hollywood – with a huge Hispanic population so – it ain’t hard to find ingredients for recipes of the Mexican or Central/South American variety.   Yet, my local Ralph’s had no Sofrito.  Lots of Sazon (which you can make at home – as it is just a bunch of spices) but no Sofrito.

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So – I bought all the Sazon varieties & decided to make the Sofrito.  It is just a sort of salsa with green bell peppers as the base rather than tomatoes.  The problem is – I made 4 cups of the stuff before I realized most recipes only call for a tablespoon or two.  I didn’t want to waste all the fresh produce goodness – so – I dumped a full two cups of the shit into my beans.  As a result, these are less than authentic but they still taste great – so – I give less than no fucks.  So there!  Lol!

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The rice calls for pigeon peas (above) – which are really a variety of bean.  They were in the Hispanic aisle and, it seems, critical if you want your yellow rice to be authentic.

Like most of my slow cooker recipes, this can be made stove top in a fraction of the time but where is the fun in that?

So – let us begin with the sofrito recipe.

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Homemade Sofrito

makes 4 cups (but you can freeze it in an ice cube tray or other small containers for future use)

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

15 sweet peppers

1 sweet or red onion

3 heads (not cloves – HEADS) of garlic – peeled

2 tomatoes

1 bunch cilantro

1 TBS salt

Directions

Puree in a blender or food processor.  Set aside.

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Vegan Puerto Rican Pink Beans (Habichuelas Rosadas)

feeds – like – 6 to 8 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. dry pink beans

1-3 cups of sofrito (recipe above) – you can add it in increments & taste as you go but I went with three whole cups

4 cups water

2 packets Sazon (I used the Con Culantro Y Achiote but I don’t think it matters much which you use)

Garnish – cilantro, hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

Stick it all in a slow cooker & leave it on high for 5 hours.  Serve with rice (recipe below) & garnish as you like.

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Puerto Rican Yellow Rice with Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules)

Serves as many as the amount you make – but I started with 2 cups dry rice

INGREDIENTS

2 cups rice (I used brown Texmati)

Water as per instructions on your rice (make 1/4 cup less – so the rice doesn’t get mushy)

1 packet Sazon (I used Con Azafran (saffron) but any kind will do)

1 TBS sofrito (recipe above)

1 (15 oz) pigeon peas

1 TBS olive oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Cook the rice as directed on the package with with the rest of the ingredients added to the uncooked rice.

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Rustic Pizza with Vegan Sausage, Broccolette (Broccolini), Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Farmers Cheese, Goat Cheese and Micro Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Pizza.  Everyone loves pizza.   So many ways to top them – and I have posted dozens.  Look HERE & scroll down for a recap.

This one I am posting today was quite a show stopper.  I used broccolette – which Wikipedia describes as “a cruciferous vegetable derived from a cross between broccoli and the Chinese kale called gai lan. Also known by the trade names broccolini and aspiration, broccolette has a milder, sweeter taste than broccoli and features thin, tender stalks that can be cooked whole without peeling.”

It looks like that there – next to my shaved Brussels sprouts.

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You could use regular broccoli – if you prefer.

I used Farmers Cheese because I had never seen it before & I was curious.  Look at it there.  Doesn’t it look delicious?

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Here is what Wikipedia said about this cheese: “In the United States, farmer cheese (also farmer’s cheese or farmers’ cheese) is pressed cottage cheese, an unripened cheese made by adding rennet and bacterial starter to coagulate and acidify milk. Farmer cheese may be made from the milk of cows, sheep or goats, with each giving its own texture and flavor.”

In fact, it is sorta like a denser cottage cheese & very mild in flavor.

I also used herbed goat cheese & one of these vegetarian sausages.

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I also used that micro arugula because I LOVE arugula, that micro shit is pretty & it has a really powerful flavor.  Regular arugula would be fine – just not as pretty to look at.

So – like with most of my pizzas – I only list ingredients here – because topping quantities are up to you.  I like thin crust – you might like thick.  I like light amounts of sauce & cheese – you might prefer to go deep dish.  So – I will just leave it up to you.

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Rustic Pizza with Vegan Sausage, Broccolette (Broccolini), Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Farmers Cheese, Goat Cheese and Micro Arugula

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I always make THIS)

Vegan sausage

Broccolini – chopped small

Brussels sprouts – shaved

Mushrooms – sliced

Tomato sauce (I used a really chunky homemade one I had left over – but you use your favorite one)

Goat cheese (or vegan alternative)

Farmers cheese (or vegan alternative)

olive oil

garlic – minced

S&P

Semolina flour (for rolling the dough) – VERY optional

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-500 degrees.

In a large saute pan, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil & saute the sausage, broccolette, Brussels sprouts & mushrooms until soft.  Add the garlic & saute another minute. Add some S&P.

Roll out the dough in some semolina or other flour.  Semolina will give the crust the speckled look you see here & really seems to add some crunch.  Regular flour is fine, though.  Put the dough on a greased cooking sheet or on a cooking sheet topped with parchment paper.  Top with sauce, add the sausage & veggies.  Crumble some of the cheeses on top.

BE SURE YOUR OVEN HAS REACHED FULL TEMPERATURE.  Cook for about 13 minutes – but time depends on your oven & the density of your pizza & your own preferences.  When it looks golden & the cheese are browned & soft – it should be done.

Top with arugula & eat that bad boy.  Alone.  Rejoice!

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpea Burrito with Pickled Onions and Mint Cilantro Chutney

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Did you perhaps make my Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker – seen above?  Do you have boat loads left over – like I do?  Why not try this Indian take on a burrito?    The Mint & Cilantro chutney is genuinely spicy & insanely delicious & takes this curry to new heights.   The pickled onions add a little snap & they are SO EASY to make.  You could add paneer or feta or cotija or some cheese to this – if you eat cheese – but it really doesn’t need it.

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The recipe for that mint & cilantro chutney above is HERE.

The recipe for the pickled red onions above is HERE.

The recipe for the Butter Chicken & Chickpeas above is HERE.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpea Burrito with Pickled Onions and Mint Cilantro Chutney

INGREDIENTS

Mint & cilantro chutney is HERE

Pickled red onions are HERE

Butter Chicken & Chickpeas is HERE

Cooked rice

Large tortillas

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DIRECTIONS

Warm the curry.  Assemble the burrito.  Grill on a dry grill pan until it looks good to you.  Dip it in extra chutney & shove it into your motherfuckin’ pie hole.  Mmmmmmm!

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Pickled Red Onions

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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These go very well on sandwiches.

Pickled Red Onions

INGREDIENTS

2 large red onions – sliced thin

1 cup rice vinegar (any light colored vinegar works – even using just one kind works)

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 TBS sugar

2 tsp salt

1 garlic clove cut in half

1 TBS black peppercorns

1 small dried red chili

DIRECTIONS

Bring the vinegar & spices to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add onions to the hot vinegar.  Allow to cool.  Store in a jar in the fridge.

Spicy Cilantro and Mint Chutney

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I have posted a recipe for this chutney before but I like this version better.  Simple ingredients & a blender.  Easy & I could eat it with a spoon.  It goes great with Indian foods & as a naan dip.

Cilantro & Mint Chutney

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 1/2 cups cilantro

1 jalapeno (I used a huge one & left the seeds in & this came out quite spicy!)

1 TBS fresh ginger

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

2 TBS lime juice (this helps the chutney stay vibrant green)

pinch of salt (I used black salt but any salt will do)

DIRECTIONS

Puree in a blender using JUST ENOUGH water to get it to mix.  Be careful not to add too much of the chutney will be too thin.  I used maybe 1/4 cup water.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I have really become obsessed with my slow cooker.  Slow cookers – as I have many.  The one that I can set to cook for 5 hours & then just keep the food warm is the best because I can set it & go to work & come back 10 hours later to a house that smells delicious & a warm meal waiting for me.  If you don’t have a low cooker – I really encourage you to get one.  Easy doesn’t get easier than a recipe like this one.  Just throw everything in & set the timer for 5 hours & that is it.

I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken because it is, hands down, the best fake chicken on the market.  But you could use real chicken or just use chickpeas.  Your call.

I used two kinds of saffron:

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That Golchin liquid stuff is affordable (under $10) and is GENIUS.  If your store doesn’t carry it – buy it on Amazon or something.

The saffron threads are delicate & lovely but very costly.  They were part of a gourmet gift box I was given for my birthday – and not usually on my shopping list.  Either or both of these work – but I suggest trying to use one – because saffron is such a specific & lovely flavor & adds gorgeous color – but it isn’t really critical for this dish to be a success.  So – if you don’t have it, don’t like it, can’t find it – blow it off.

I used dry chickpeas because I am delighted by how cheap they are & I like that they have been processed less & have no added sodium.  But – if you want to use canned ones – go ahead!  This could be made stove-top easily with canned beans – just don’t add the 4 cups of water.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a LOTTA folks – maybe 8-10 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry chickpeas (or 4 cans – but if you use canned chickpeas – eliminate the water here)

3 cups water (4 cups if you are gonna leave it for 10 hours – like I did)

9 ox vegan chicken

2 jalapenos (red or green) – seeded & diced

1 onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS ginger – minced

8 oz tomato sauce (I used a homemade arrabbiata)

6 oz tomato paste

14 oz can lite coconut milk

1/2 tsp crushed saffron threads (optional)

3 TBS saffron liquid (optional)

1 TBS garam masala

1 TBS curry powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 TBS turmeric

2 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

garnish – cilantro, scallions, yogurt (vegan or otherwise), cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything into a slow cooker & set on high for 5 hours.

If you are using canned chickpeas – do not add water.  As you see above – this recipe has lots of gravy (the upper picture is before it cooked & the other is how it looked 10 hours later).  If you want  it thicker – whisk some cornstarch (2-3 TBS) into a little water & stir it in.  It should thicken up.  If it is too thick – add water.

Serve over rice & garnish at will.

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5-Minute Garlic, Salt & Pepper Sugar Snap Peas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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The name of this recipe says it all.  Fast, easy & yummy!

5-Minute Garlic, Salt & Pepper Sugar Snap Peas

Serves 2 as a side

INGREDIENTS

10 oz fresh sugar snap peas (the ones in the bag in the produce section already have the string removed.  If you can find these – learn how to remove the string HERE)

Olive oil –  1or 2 TBS

Salt – to taste – I used maybe a scant teaspoon

Pepper – to taste – I used a heaping tablespoon but I am a NUT for pepper

Garlic to taste – I used about 6 cloves & chopped them sorta chunky

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a pan over med-high heat.  Add the sugar snap peas.  Stir & heat for 2-4 minutes – or until they are nearly done to your liking.  Add the S&P & the garlic & saute another minute or so – just until the garlic browns a bit.  Be careful not to burn the garlic because it will taste bitter.

Season with more S&P – if you think it needs it & serve!

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