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Jollof rice is also a handy dish for parents on a mission to clean out the fridge -- since you can use a variety of whatever veggies you have on hand. I chose carrots, zucchini, and green beans, but I’ve also seen plenty of versions that use peas and corn as well as cabbage. With regard to spices, there is a huge range from country to country. Some use garlic or ginger, others use curry or cinnamon, some use a combination. Feel free to experiment and let kids help decide how to season the dish. Older kids may even enjoy learning about how certain countries came to use certain spices in their food. Many recipes for jollof rice include red pepper or cayenne. I have left it out of this recipe since my kids aren’t into spicy foods, but if yours can take the heat, add a little into the mix!
Read on for a festive Kwanzaa dish that will keep appearing in your family’s meal plan throughout the year. And find one-page, printable directions here.
1. Gather the ingredients.
For the jollof rice:
- 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup small-diced carrot
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1 small can of tomato paste (6oz)
- 2 cups medium-grain brown rice (*If you decide to use white rice, be aware that your cooking time will be shorter)
- 4 cups veg broth or 4 cups water and 2 cubes of vegetable bouillion
- 1 cup chopped green beans
- ½ cup small-diced zucchini
- Salt, about 1- 1 ½ tsp, or to taste
- 1 tsp ginger
- Any other spices you would like to add, such as curry powder or cayenne pepper
For the tempeh (recipe adapted from The Voluptuous Vegan):
- 1 8oz package of tempeh (any variety, but I like flax)
- 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp shoyu or tamari
- Spices such as ginger or paprika to taste (I used 1 tsp paprika and ½ tsp ginger)
2. Make the tempeh.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss the tempeh together with the olive oil, shoyu or tamari and spices, coating well. Cook for 30 minutes until crispy, stirring the tempeh after 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. Sauté the vegetables.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, deep sauté pan, skillet, or wide soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 min. Add carrots and garlic and sauté for a minute or two. Add tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.