Creamy and cheesy red pepper sauce covering nutritious brown rice and plenty of vegetables makes for a satisfying vegan lunch or dinner.
Remind me to expect good when creating impromptu dishes on a whim or at least keep pen and paper on the kitchen table at ll times? Because that’s when true magic can happen. That is, if you consider super easy, fast and satisfying meals magic. I know I do. As much as I like fancy meals sometimes [read: in 90 per cent of the cases] I’m ravenous by the time lunch rolls around and just want to eat. Like, ten minutes ago.
The creation of this dish started with a mad craving for bell peppers. Actually, that began roaring while I was running errands already. Or else I wouldn’t have found myself with a bag of peppers at hand in the first place – you might remember my sensitivity to them? It seems to be better these days but I’m still very careful in terms of amounts. Anyway, another characteristic of meals I was longing for – or constantly am – is creaminess. Red pepper cream sauce? Cheesy? Yes, please.
While there’s a time and place for actual cream and full-fat cheese-filled dishes it’s not on a regular weeknight for me. This version might not fool a die-hard cheese fan. Nevertheless, cauliflower, almond milk and nutritional yeast team up creating an addictive sauce that will make you wish you’d prepared a double batch. And why not, really? I may or may not have eaten this as a soup at some point.
There are two key ingredients to the sauce: coconut oil for just the right amount of richness [don’t omit this!] and nutritional yeast. I’ve been going nuts about nutritional yeast lately. Oddly enough, I wasn’t a huge fan when I first tried it years ago but as of late have found I actually prefer its taste to that of real cheese. Strange but really good for me, however, was the impromptu add-in of actual [vegan if desired ] melty cheese. Crazy when there’s the nutritional yeast already? Trust me on this one. The yeast for flavour, the cheese for that stretchy [is that even a word outside of the world of yoga pants?] cheesiness. More of that, please.
Vegan Red Pepper Cream Rice
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely*
- 3/4 cup cauliflower, chopped
- 1/4 tsp granulated onion
- 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- Pinch of paprika
- 1/2 tbsp frozen or fresh chopped parsley
- 1-2 tbsps nutritional yeast [I will be honest and let you know I didn’t measure but just kept adding it to taste – at least 1 1/2 tbsps, though]
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Coconut oil, about 1/2 tsp
- 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 2 small red onions, sliced into rings
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 cup kale, sliced thinly
- 5 brown button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup cooked brown rice [I used short-grain]
- [vegan or regular] shredded cheese** – I used a small handful but the more the merrier
- Add the bell peppers and cauliflower to a small sauce pot and add just so much water so they’re not fully covered.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Let simmer until the vegetables are tender. There shouldn’t be a lot of water left.
- Pour in almond milk and add the seasonings. Blend until smooth.
- Sauté the onions until caramelized.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have realeased most of their liquid. Stir in kale and let it wilt.
- Stir in the rice, chickpeas and sauce. Just before serving sprinkle in the cheese, stir and let it melt into the sauce.
- * This tastes even better if you roast the pepper in advance. I just went the very lazy route adding everything to a pot and letting it simmer until tender.
- ** If using vegan make sure to use a kind that melts well. I like Daiya brand.
I’m linking up with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Lean Lena’s Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Recipes, Tasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday and #glutenfreefridays.
Happiness-inducing today: Today [January 6th] is the birthday of this fabulous lady and long-time blend right here. Happy Birthday, Emily!
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Do you like nutritional yeast? If so: what are your favourite uses for it?
How do you create recipes: plan them in advance or go with the flow and trust in brilliant results?