Sunday, March 27, 2011

Forbidden Rice and Baked Seitan with Mushroom Sauce

I really do enjoy my job most of the time, especially all the people I work with.  As an added bonus, working for a natural foods store, we are able to get lots of samples.  When merchandisers have new product lines or simply new products, they always bring in tons of samples, trying to encourage us to sell their products/lines.  A lot of the time we cannot accommodate them because we have such a limited space, but that means we still get to keep all the samples.  Not sure about everyone out there, but I definitely appreciate some free food, especially when it's organic, vegan and sometimes raw! 

I receive samples and distribute them among the ladies in bakery at least once a week, and sometimes when I come home, I find myself looking in the pantry and seeing all this sample food, some of it a little strange, and requiring me to really think about what I am going to make out of it, which a lot of the time discourages me from cooking it.  I've had a package of forbidden rice (a black short grain rice from China) for about three months now and was struggling thinking of what to make with it.  I was browsing online and discovered that people make fried rice out of it using bacon, soy sauce, onions, etc., and frankly it did not appeal to me in the least.  I just wanted to make a basic rice dish.  I remember eating it once or twice before at the Natural Gourmet Institute at a Friday Night Dinner and really enjoyed it.

So I set off to make a nice dish to go along with a baked seitan I made.  I will post a recipe for the baked seitan on a later date, because although it came out okay, Hubby and I both agreed that it needed some work - definitely some more flavor.  Once I make it again and I like how it turns out, I'll give you guys the recipe.  However, for this meal, we decided to make a mushroom sauce that I will share, because the seitan was pretty plain on its own.  We both really enjoyed the meal, especially with the Forbidden Rice, which had a texture and taste similar to brown rice- a nice chewy, somewhat nutty flavor. 

Forbidden Rice, Baked Seitan with a Mushroom Sauce,
Steamed Carrots, Side Salad

Forbidden Rice

Serves 4-6

2 cups Forbidden Rice, rinsed well
1 medium onion, small diced, about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups filtered water
1 1/2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillion, No-Chicken Base
Pinch sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1.  Place a medium pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, allowing it to heat.  Once it is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. 
2.  Add the rinsed rice and cook, stirring regularly, until it is dried and the grains have separated.  Add the boullion, sea salt and black pepper and stir to combine.
3.  Add the 4 cups of water and turn heat down.  Simmer, covered for about 20 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Mushroom Sauce

 Serves 2

3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
2 tablespoons earth balance, separated
4 cloves garlic, minced
7-8 large baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons marsala wine
sea salt and black pepper to taste

1.  Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the earth balance in a medium saute pan over high heat.  Once earth balance has melted, add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
2.  Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring around in the pot continuously until they first wilt, then become crispy.  By now most of the oil will have absorbed.  Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to continue cooking.
3.  Add the marsala wine, being careful when pouring it into the pan.  Deglaze the pan - use your wooden spoon/spatula to scrape up any of the bits that have adhered to the bottom of the pan.  Add the salt and pepper to taste, turning the heat down.
4.  Once the alcohol has cooked out and the liquid has reduced halfway, add the remaining tablespoon of earth balance, allowing it to melt.  Season to taste.  Serve on top of seitan, tofu or tempeh.

The Hubby and I, like usual, were a little short on veggies, so we served steamed carrot slices with a salad and a homemade lime vinaigrette (our favorite!).  I'm sure this would be absolutely delicious with some sauteed kale or collards.  This meal turned out to be really delicious.



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