Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rice Beet Salad with Sauteed Veggies, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Hubby and I were both very hungry tonight and wanted dinner as fast as possible.  I love those dinners where you have some leftovers that you can incorporate into making a tasty, quick dinner.  For this dinner, I had already had the cooked mashed potatoes, gravy and cooked beets.  I had also already chopped, washed and dried the lettuce the night before, so there wasn't a lot to do for this dinner, and I would say it was on the dinner within half an hour.  30 Minute Meals for vegans!  The main thing I had to do for this was cook some rice, which took like 15-20 minutes, so in the meantime, I just started reheating everything and sauteing some veggies.

When Hubby saw the rice beet salad, he was very suspicious.  He is a rice-aholic you must know.  Loves eating it everyday and would if he could .  But, he is also a purist when it comes to rice - he likes the Spanish Yellow rice (colored with annatto), Moro Rice (like a Spanish Rice Pilaf) and Rice con Gandules ( Rice with Pigeon Peas).  Beyond that, especially in salad form, it freaks him out.  I told him I got the idea from my previous coworker M, who made it for us for family meal one day when everyone was so busy and didn't have time to make anything.  She just threw together some rice, beets, garlic and spices.  I wanted to simplify it a little bit, so just added the rice, beets, garlic, oil & vinegar, then salt & pepper.  It was a delicious success and once the Hubby actually tried it, he really liked it and had two servings. 

Rice Beet Salad:

Salad, Beet & Rice Salad, Sauteed Veggies,
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Beet & Rice Salad:
1 cup cooked chopped beets
1 1/2 cups cooked white rice, warm
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Splash agave

Veggie Saute:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced, about 3/4 cup
1 medium orange belle pepper, sliced, about 1 cup
1 small onion, sliced, about 1 cup
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 carrot, sliced on the diagonal, about 1 cup
1/2 zucchini, 1/4'd and sliced on the diagonal
3/4 cup snap peas, tough ends removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Couple pinches sea salt

1.  Prepare the Rice Beet salad first.  In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well to combine.  You want the rice to turn a gorgeous pink color, so keep stirring until the rice turns that nice color.  Taste - it should have a nice spicy flavor from the raw garlic, but should not be overpowering.  If it is too tart from the vinegar, give another splash of agave.  Set aside to allow the flavors to marinate while preparing the veggies. 
2.  Prepare the sauteed veggies: in a large wok over high heat, add the olive oil and allow it to become hot.  Once it is hot, add all the veggies except the garlic.  Cook the veggies until crisp tender, stirring all the while.  If the veggies begin to stick, deglaze the pan with a few tablespoons of water.  Add the garlic and saute till fragrant.  Add the cajun seasoning, black pepper and sea salt, seasoning to taste.



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