Recipe: Quick and Easy Rice Salad

I had quite some rice over from last night because my hand slipped and I ended up putting much more rice than intended in my rice cooker. Which turned out to be quite perfect for today’s dinner as I didn’t feel much like cooking so I threw together a quick rice salad with chickpeas. Any other grain will work as well, quinoa, cous cous, bulgur, even pasta. You could also substitute the chickpeas by any other kind of beans but I found the subtle taste to go well with this dish. I used a red bell pepper, onion and some mushrooms because that was what I had at hand but you can basically throw in any vegetable you like. I personally liked the crispness of the pepper and the onion and as I found out yesterday red bell peppers have a huge amount of vitamin C so I was happy I still had one lying around and I’ll be making sure to eat them more often. I added some raisins because I liked to have something sweet in my salad as well to even out the onion and spicy dressing. I used mayo for the dressing today because it was the easiest but I will be better here next time and substitute for something vegan with less fat but I was lazy tonight. I realized later I still had some soy cream in the fridge I could have used… I didn’t have lemon or lime juice at hand but next time I’ll add a bit to the dressing (which may be completely different next time because I made this one up ad hoc and I might not remember exactly what I put in unless I come here to check.

Ingredients

Salad:
Rice
Chickpeas
Bell pepper
Onion
Mushrooms
Raisins

Dressing:
Mayo (or substitute)
Chili sauce
Curry powder
Cayenne pepper
Dried coriander leaves
Powdered mustard seeds
Agave syrup (or anything to sweeten it a bit)
Olive oil
White wine vinegar (rice wine vinegar would work as well)
Salt

Mix everything together to make the dressing and then mix it with the other ingredients and enjoy. Perfect summer time dinner which you can vary to your own likings.

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Recipe: Indian Spiced Quinoa with Raisins and Pine Nuts

I’ve got quite some new recipes I tried to share but I’ve been too lazy to write them up, transfer the photos to my computer etc… I finally did the latter so I should start writing now as well. I guess I’ll just go backwards and see how much I remember.

Saturday I made another recipe out of Vegan Planet, something I usually do on Fridays, or well try to do unless I feel like eating something else like last night or in case I find another recipe to try elsewhere or if I feel like trying a new recipe another day. The recipe I tried was Indian Spiced Quinoa with Raisins and Pine Nuts, unfortunately it all sounded much better on the paper than it ended up tasting. Maybe it was because I had a little accident with my quinoa and had most of it going down the drain (so I used couscous), maybe it was the fact that I replaced the cardamom with turmeric (I really need to remember to look for cardamom at the Asian store next time I’m there because I’ve not been lucky at other places), maybe it was the fact that I added more water so the couscous didn’t cook dry. Or maybe it just wasn’t really my kind of thing.

About quinoa, I’ve cooked with it twice now but I’m not a huge fan of it. Mainly because of the hassle rinsing those little suckers and draining them, which was what went wrong today. I used a wrong drain with too big holes so a lot of the quinoa went through them. Yes, sometimes I don’t really use my brains. The first time I cooked chili with them and while I didn’t mind them in my chili much because they added some texture and all the other things overpowered the taste, when I tasted them before adding them to the big pot, I didn’t really like it. I’ll have to try again sometime and find a better method for rinsing and draining them. After all I gave tempeh another chance as well (another adventure I still have to write about I just realized).

I started by rinsing and losing my quinoa so that’s not pictured because there wasn’t much left of it. I then continued by chopping the shallots and ginger.

I sauteed the onion and ginger…

 …and added the quinoa, couscous, spices and vegetable broth.

While all of that was simmering, I decided to make some vegan cheese but I also had to roast the pine nuts for the dish I was cooking. Not the best of ideas because stirring and tasting in one pan and roasting pine nuts in another can lead to not paying proper attention for a second and roasting a bunch of your nuts to the point where they’re black. In the picture everything was still alright with the world.

I decided to add them all anyway and just pick out the burned nuts while eating, which didn’t make for the most relaxed meal but I was hungry by that point so I just wanted to get dinner on the table, which looked like this:

It doesn’t look like the tastiest male you’ve ever seen and as I said at the beginning, I didn’t like it that much but after I added some salt (which I forgot before) it was alright and the raisins did give it a special twist. I might try it again but maybe add some more spices or make it with quinoa completely.