This dish is fragrant, spicy and very satisfying. It won’t matter whether or not you’re a vegetarian.
And to make this dish vegetarian it is important that the Worcestershire sauce you use is vegan, made without anchovies. It’s possible to find this product online or in health food stores. Once you make a batch of the Creole spice, you’ll find other excuses to make this dish or add it to your favorite vegetables.
I was a vegetarian once for a short period of time towards the end of high school and beginning of college. I decided to join a friend in her dietary preferences and young women often do. There’s strength in numbers. Most of my family thought I was crazy, but I always found plenty to eat and I think it made me more creative when cooking for myself. I still seek out ways to make new combinations for vegetarians who dine in my restaurant, but this is a favorite that’s always on the menu.
I attempt to put soul food into a new light by using the freshest, most sustainable and organic ingredients whenever possible. And I personally try to limit my consumption of animal fats and proteins. Balance is the key. Most of our side dishes are vegetarian and some are vegan. I want everyone to feel welcome at Brown Sugar Kitchen and know that they can find something on the menu that they can eat that will also satisfy their cravings for comfort food.
Recipe: Vegetarian Dirty Rice
Fresh vegetable-laden rice sauteed with Creole spices
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 1-1/2 cups basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño chile
- 1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon Creole Spice (see recipe below)
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- Fresh chopped Italian parsley for garnish
In a large bowl cover rice with cold water. Stir the rice and drain. Repeat this process 5 to 6 times until water runs clear. In a medium saucepan add washed rice and cover with enough water to measure 1 inch above rice. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered until just done, about 20 minutes; do not overcook.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions, peppers, and jalapeño chile and cook, stirring until vegetables are soft but still have some crunch and integrity, add garlic to soften with other vegetables and cook about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in Creole spice, herbs and seasoning. Add cooked rice, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, a little bit of water and heat through, stirring until rice is coated with sauce. Add spinach. Lower heat. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
Recipe: Creole Spice
Yield: Makes about ½ cup
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Store extra spice in an airtight container at room temperature.