HOW TO: Make Vegan, Kid-Friendly Jollof Rice To Celebrate Kwanzaa

vegan cooking, healthy recipe, kwanzaa recipe, kwanzaa

Vegan Jollof Rice with Vegetables and Roasted Tempeh

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)

Gather the ingredients. 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.

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. Add rice and tomato paste, stirring well to coat the rice with the tomato paste and making sure all the ingredients get mixed in. Add the vegetable broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer over medium-low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.Add zucchini and green beans, cover again, and cook until rice is tender, another 30-45 minutes. Continue stirring every few minutes to make sure rice doesn’t stick and adjust heat as necessary. Add salt and ginger (or other spices) when rice is almost tender.

Jollof rice appear to range in texture and dryness from country to country in Africa; this recipe lets you adjust to your family’s taste. If you like “soupier” rice, you can always add a little extra broth or water during the cooking process. Likewise, you can remove the cover and let any liquid cook off for a version that is more dry. There are even recipes that recommend baking the rice at the end of cooking for a fluffier texture. Once the rice is cooked to your liking, serve immediately, perhaps alongside some Peanut Butter Stew, or turn off the heat and let the jollof rice settle and firm up for 10-15 minutes. Top with pieces of tempeh and enjoy!

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