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Protein-Packed Rice for Vegans

In Health

Don’t think rice and vegan recipes match? Think again! Vegans need their complete fill of nutrients just as much as other people do. What is health without complete nutrition?

And contrary to popular opinion, rice isn’t the enemy that some people make it out to be. Carbohydrates aren’t the only thing it has on its sleeves.

Don’t believe it? Allow the next paragraph to convince you otherwise.

Rice doesn’t just come in the popular white variety most people recognize. Different types exist—some being healthier than others. There’s brown rice, red rice, black rice, brown rice, wild rice, and Cahokia rice. So the next time you want to buy grains, you won’t have to worry about not having options.

Speaking of healthy things, let’s get back to the topic at hand. Here are a few protein-rich rice recipes that are perfect for vegans!

Vegan Arancini

Looking for a party-starter? This classic Italian appetizer is right up your alley!

Arancini is a dish that has its roots stemming from Italy’s Sicilian region. If you think its name equates to complicated prep and cook time, don’t worry—you’ll be surprised at just how simple it is.

This golden brown goodness is an easy recipe that even beginners can pull off. In true vegan fashion, we’ve swapped out some ingredients to make them more vegan-friendly. Is it the healthiest recipe in the world? No. But hey—a little indulgence can’t hurt anybody, right? Just imagine the explosion of textures and flavors from one little ball!

Here’s how to make this crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients

2 cups of leftover Cahokia risotto
Cubed meltable vegan cheese, 1 cup
Flour, ⅓ cup
Panko bread crumbs, 1 cup
Psyllium husks, 2 tablespoons
Nutritional yeast flakes, 2 tablespoons
Oil (for frying)
Marinara sauce, 1 cup (for dipping)
Chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons (for garnishing/topping)

Instructions

  1. Get a large  frying pan and heat 2 cups of oil. The fire should be on medium heat. The oil should be 170℃ by the time you’re ready to fry.
  2. While the oil is heating up, prepare your baking tray and line it with some parchment paper. Set it aside once you’re done.
  3. Scoop a small amount of your leftover Cahokia risotto with your hands and flatten it out; make sure your hands are clean and wet for this step.
  4. Get a cube of your meltable vegan cheese and place it in the middle of the flattened rice.
  5. Shape the rice into a ball around the cubed cheese.

Repeat steps 3 to 5 until all the leftover risotto runs out.

  1. Take your psyllium husks and mix them with 6 tablespoons of water. Set the mixture aside in a bowl. Take your flour and place it in a separate bowl. Add the nutritional yeast to your Panko bread crumbs in a third bowl.
  2. Take a rice ball and roll it gently into the flour. Roll it onto the psyllium-water mixture and bread crumbs afterwards. Place each ball onto the parchment-lined baking sheet after coating.
  3. Check on the oil. Once it hits 170℃, you’re ready to fry. Grab a few balls and dip them into the hot oil. Let it fry until it becomes golden brown and crispy. Make sure to turn them slightly while they cook for a more even fry. Avoid overcrowding your pan by doing this step in batches.
  4. Once the balls are done frying, set them aside on a paper towel-covered plate or a wire cooling rack to let the excess oil drip off.
  5. Get your marinara sauce and pour some of it in a small bowl for dipping. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on the sauce for added freshness. Enjoy!

One-Pot Spicy Vegetable Rice

Don’t you just love one-pot dishes? We know we do! The convenience of cooking everything in just one pot means less cleanup—and who doesn’t like that, right?

Luckily for vegans, there are many one-pot dishes they can recreate and enjoy. This next dish is one of them. If you’re a fan of spicy food, this one will win your spice-loving heart over.

Who says vegan food is bland? This one-pot spicy vegetable rice says no! Bring the heat into your kitchen by following this fuss-free recipe.

Ingredients

Uncooked Cahokia rice, 250 grams
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 large bell peppers, large chunks
Cherry tomatoes, 1 cup
Frozen peas, 1 cup (chopped green beans is a fine substitute)
Salt, ½ teaspoon
Red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon (chili flakes or chopped small fresh chili also works)
Ground turmeric, 2 teaspoons
Smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon (or chipotle power)
Water, 2 ½ cups (add more if necessary)
Olive oil, 1 tablespoon (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. You can opt to skip this step if you don’t want to use oil and go for a dry fry instead. You can also substitute the oil for a drop of water.
  2. Put the onions in and saute them until they’re translucent. Add the carrots, bell peppers, and garlic in and let them cook down for a few minutes.
  3. Bring the rice, tomatoes, spices, peas, seasonings, and water in. Stir everything well while letting them cook until the liquid starts bubbling. 
  4. Turn the fire down low and cover the pan with a well-fitting lid for further cooking and liquid absorption. Stir the rice and veggies occasionally while you’re at it. If all the liquid’s absorbed and the rice isn’t tender yet, feel free to add ¼ cup of water (or more) to get to your desired consistency.
  5. Serve the dish immediately after everything’s cooked.

Vegan Paella

Paella is arguably Valencia’s best export. What’s not to like about this hearty dish? It’s got everything you can ever want tucked in a bed of rice. And the good news is that vegans can have their fill of this Spanish classic too!

Ingredients

Cahokia rice, 2 cups
Minced garlic, 4 cloves
Diced onion, large
Olive oil, 3 tablespoons
Chopped oyster mushrooms, 2 cups
Frozen peas, 1 cup
Sliced sun-dried tomatoes, ½ cup
2 sliced sweet red Capia peppers
Stuffed green olives, ½ cup
1 crushed and dried nori sheet
Dry white wine, 1 cup
Vegetable broth, 4 cups (you can use water instead of the broth if your prefer to do so)
Paprika, 1 teaspoon
Saffron, 1 pinch
Hot chili pepper, 1 pinch
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Lemon wedges and parsley (for topping and garnishing)

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Make sure your stove’s set to medium heat for this step.
  2. Once the pan’s hot enough, cook the oyster mushrooms first for 7 minutes. Do occasional stirring until they achieve a light golden color. Get them off the skillet and set them aside on a plate.
  3. Pour the remaining oil onto the skillet. When it’s hot enough, bring the onions in and saute them for around 4 minutes until they become translucent and soft. Pop the garlic in and do another 2 minutes of cooking. Throw the sliced Capia peppers in and let them cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the wine in, along with the saffron, paprika, and chili. Bring the liquid to a boil afterwards. Then, lower the heat down and allow everything to simmer for 10 minutes with occasional stirring.
  5. Bring the mushrooms back into the skillet. Add the broth or water, rice, olives, and peas. Let everything cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir everything and add the crushed nori sheet and dried tomatoes. Don’t forget to sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Give it another 10 minutes of simmering until the rice becomes soft.
  7. Once everything’s cooked, get the skillet off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Garnish the dish with parsley and add the lemon wedges for serving.

Moudardara

Want to try something new and experiment in the kitchen? Flex your culinary skills and give this Middle Eastern dish a try! Aside from the unique flavors bursting from this recipe, it’s a pretty comforting one too. Heaven knows we can all use some comfort in our lives, especially during these trying times.

Ingredients

Cahokia rice, 200 grams
Sunflower oil, 4 tablespoons
Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
4 julienned medium onions
Green or brown lentils, 250 grams
Ground cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons
Ground coriander seeds, ½ tablespoon
Ground turmeric, ½ teaspoon
Ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon
Ground allspice, ½ teaspoon
Brown sugar, 1 teaspoon
Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, add the sunflower oil and let it heat up. While the pan’s heating up, place the onions in a bowl and sprinkle and cover cornstarch on them. 
  2. When the pan’s hot enough, fry them in medium-high heat for around 7 to 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir them occasionally and keep the onions from burning. Take them out when they’ve achieved a golden color. Turn the heat off and sprinkle a good amount of salt on them.
  3. In another saucepan, add the lentils and cover them with water. Let them boil for 20 minutes or until they turn soft. Make sure they aren’t mushy!
  4. Transfer the onions into a bowl and rinse the saucepan they were cooked in. Once it’s thoroughly clean, heat it again and add the spices for toasting over medium heat for 1 minute. Throw the rice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and sugar. Give everything a good stir.
  5. Add the lentils and 400 ml of water into the pan. Bring the heat down to low and let everything simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and cover it with a well-fitting lid. Give it 10 minutes to rest. Once you’re ready to serve the dish, garnish it with the caramelized onions.

Fried Rice

Even the simplest dishes make for the most comforting ones. This last recipe is no slouch in that department! How about we take a beloved takeout classic and put a vegan spin on it? Don’t have a wok at home? No worries! You can use your trusty skillet for this dish. Just make sure that everything is prepared and within an arm’s reach for easy access.

Ingredients

Cooked Cahokia rice, 2 cups (preferably day-old or leftover)
2 whisked eggs
Finely chopped small onion, 1 cup
2 finely chopped medium carrots, ½ cup
Small-cut vegetables, 2 cups (use whatever you like or whatever you have on hand)
Greens, 1 cup (optional; choices include spinach or baby kale)
Grated or minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon
2 minced or pressed garlic cloves
3 chopped green onions
Red pepper flakes, 1 pinch
Avocado oil, 1 ½ teaspoons + 2 tablespoons (divided; you can use safflower oil as a substitute)
Toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon
Reduced-sodium tamari or gluten-free soy sauce, 1 tablespoon
Sriracha or chili garlic sauce (for serving; optional)

Instructions

  1. Warm your wok or skillet over medium-high heat. You’ll know it’s good to go if you sprinkle a few drops of water and they evaporate within seconds. Get going immediately by adding 1 ½ teaspoons of oil, swirling the pan around to coat the entire surface. 
  2. Add the whisked eggs in and do another round of swirling with light stirring and slipping. Take them off once they’re lightly set and transfer them into a standy bowl. Use a heat-proof spatula to wipe the pan.
  3. Bring the pan back to the heat and pour 1 tablespoon of oil. Throw the onions and carrots in with constant stirring for 3 to 5 minutes until tenderness and translucency are achieved.
  4. Put the remaining vegetables and salt in. You don’t have to stir them around as much so that they’ll pick up a golden color on the edges. Let the cook down for another 3 to 5 minutes. While they’re cooking, take this time to break the scrambled eggs down into smaller pieces with your spatula. Once the cooking’s done, transfer the contents into the bowl with the eggs.
  5. Return the pan to the stove and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the aromatic and red pepper flakes and stir them often until they’re fragrant. Throw the rice and mix everything well. Let it cook with occasional stirring for 5 minutes until the rice gets hot and golden around the edges.
  6. Bring the green onions and greens (if you want to include them) in and combine them with the rice. Add the cooked veggies and eggs and mix everything well. Get the pan off the heat and stir in a little sesame oil and tamari. You can also add a bit of salt at this point. Adjust the seasonings according to your taste.
  7. Serve the dish in bowls. You can opt to serve them with sriracha or chili garlic sauce.

The best part of all these recipes is that they’re pretty easy to replicate! There’s no need for a fancy chef’s hat to recreate all these at home. Enjoy these vegan-friendly and protein-rich rice dishes to your heart’s content!

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