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How to Make Vegan Dirty Rice. I first tried Dirty Rice in the US, and really didn’t like it. For one I have never been a fan of mince or ground beef. I found the dish to be greasy, and just unpleasant tasting. I liked the idea of it, because I love rice dishes, but the execution was just off for me. I eventually got to try a packet mix Dirty Rice, Zatarain‘s. And I kind of liked that. But only if the hamburger meat was left out. As far as instant rice mixes go, it’s actually pretty good, and super easy.
However, the discovery of vegan mince was one of the greatest days of my life. When I was first vegetarian, in the late (ahem) 80s, the only vegan mince on the market was TVP, a dried soy meat substitute. It was a bit of a palaver. You had to soak it first, and then if you add too much water, it can become kind of mushy, so actually ideal for meatloaf or meatballs, but not ideal in a dish where you want to see and taste the little bits of “mince”. Later on came things like frozen Quorn mince and that really was a gamechanger (although it’s still not 100% vegan). Easy, convenient and with very little prep involved. Nowadays I like to use Linda McCartney’s VegeMince or Tesco’s Plant Chef Mince, which is 100% vegan.
I always, and I mean always, love a rice dish. It’s quick, easy, nourishing, filling and there’s inevitably leftovers. I know, there’s controversy about reheating rice, but let it cool completely at room temperature, cover and fridge it, then either bring out the fridge and come up to room temperature again (I love cold rice), or make sure you reheat thoroughly.
Where was I? Oh yes, talking about how much I love rice. Believe me when I say that I have many rice dishes I need to upload to the blog, all quick and easy. I could almost start another blog just for those to be honest. I’m pretty sure that I’m the only one in the family who is so obsessed with rice, but I just love it so much. I don’t mind it if it’s gone mushy, or if it sticks, or if it’s clumpy, but I do not like easy cook rice. There’s not really much need for it. Long Grain or Basmati or Jasmine are all so easy to cook, and my preference is Tilda Rice, simply because it just such high quality.
What Is Dirty Rice?
Dirty Rice is a traditional Louisiana Creole dish, made with rice, which gets it’s name from the additions of meat and the triumvirate of cajun seasoning: celery, pepper and onion. It “dirties” the purity of the white rice. It was a dish devised by the slaves working on rice plantations in Louisiana, a cheap way to feed to their families, using gizzards and other organ meats to flavour it.
Since the abolition of slavery, the dish has remained a popular recipe in the South, although some of the flavours have been refined, using sausage or more expensive types of meat. Today it is still a low cost, high taste meal to make.
What Ingredients Are In Vegan Dirty Rice?
- The Cajun Holy Trinity: Celery, Green (Bell) Pepper and Onion, these are always chopped small, and sauteed down to ensure they give maximum flavour.
- Cajun Seasoning. Use whichever you prefer, some are spicier than others. The main constituents of a Cajun spice mix are dried Thyme, Cayenne Pepper, Garlic Powder and Black Pepper. It is full of flavour.
- Vegan Mince. I like to use Linda McCartney’s VegeMince or Tesco’s own proprietary brand which is really good.
- Stock. This is optional, but it adds another layer of flavour. I like to use Marigold Vegan Bouillon Powder.
I love to serve Dirty Rice with my Vegan Cornbread, the traditional flavours and textures compliment each other perfectly, and make a delicious and quick family meal.
- Large Pan
- 1 Red Pepper, diced finely
- 1 Green Pepper, diced finely
- 2 sticks Celery, diced finely
- 1 White Onion, diced finely
- 1 Scotch Bonnet pepper, left whole or omit you can't tolerate heat
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tbsp Vegan Butter
- 1 cup Basmati Rice
- 1 Vegan Stock Cube
- 1 cup Vegan Mince (I like Quorn)
- 2 tsp Cajun Spice Seasoning
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 cups Water, just boiled
- ¼ cup chopped Fresh Parsley optional
- In a large pan, gently heat your vegetable oil, add your diced vegetables and saute until softened.
- Add the vegan mince, rice, scotch bonnet, seasonings, butter and water and bring to a gently boil. Stir gently.
- Turn down and leave to simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the water is all absorbed and the rice is cooked.
- Stir in the chopped parsley, taste for seasoning and serve.