Dirty Rice is a main staple in Creole and Cajun cuisines both respectively and interchangeably. There are endless combinations in the way dirty rice can be made. Its origins have been steeped deep within the rich blend of Louisiana cultures. This dish derives its richness and bold flavor from a blend of French,Italian,German, West African and Choctaw ingredients. It is a prerequisite in traditional Cajun cooking. For vegans and vegetarians the idea of making a Dirty Rice dish, or to clean up the term, a “traditional Cajun or Creole rice dish”, may be a daunting task; as these dishes are meat centered. Our vegan version forgoes the “holy trinity” of Creole and Cajun cooking; this trinity consists of onion, bell pepper and celery. We instead use turmeric, cayenne pepper and barbecue sauce— just to make things more interesting and challenging. We of course also forgo the meat, using lentil beans as a substitute for beef and Tofurky Italian sausage as a substitute for pork sausage. Paired with corn on the cobb, kale and squash this tasteful alternative pleased many a palate.
*For a taste of the sea add vegan shrimp!
This recipe serves about four people 🙂
What you’ll need:
3 3/4 cups water
2 cups brown jasmine rice
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon “Creole Seasoning/Salt”-Tony Chachere brand is what we used
1 tablespoon Earth Balance soy free butter (or “regular” Earth Balance)
2-3 tablespoons bbq sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Tapatio brand sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 vegan Italian sausage links chopped into small pieces (Tofurky brand Italian Sausage)
1 1/2 cup lentils
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Greens and Butternut Squash
2 cups collard greens or kale ( I used organic frozen kale from Whole Foods)
1 1/2 cup butternut squash, cubed ( I used organic frozen squash from Whole Foods)
2 teaspoons raw brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons soy butter
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Agave
Corn on the cob- 2 husked cobs of corn-each split into two.
For the rice bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add rice, reduce to medium heat, simmer. Add butter, turmeric and creole seasoning. Allow rice to simmer while you get started on cooking your other goodies. Five minutes before your rice is done, add the pieces of Italian Vegan Sausage. (Rice should take 30 min total to cook).
In a medium sized pot, cook your lentils. Add water to the pot, bring to a rolling boil. Add the lentils and sea salt. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer. (Lentils should take 25-30 min total to cook).
In a large wok/frying pan, combine all ingredients required for greens and squash. Turn heat to high, once simmering reduce heat to medium. Cook until tender, this generally takes about seven minutes to cook.
On to the corn! Put your halved corns in a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to medium. Corns should take about seven minutes to cook.
After your rice has finished cooking, add all other ingredients required for the rice, including that yummy bbq sauce. Add the cooked lentils (which you should have drained excess water of after they were finished cooking). Gently stir all ingredients together.
Remove your corn from heat, butter (with Earth Balance).
Taste your squash and greens, add a little more butter for taste, although they should be tasting pretty buttery right about now!
And there you go. A delicious Louisiana inspired Creole feast. Serve with warmed cornbread if you really want an extra kick!
FYI since this dish requires many burners and pots/pans to be going at once, be sure to be cognizant of the cooking time for everything and continually monitor your pots/pans.
Another delicious meal brought to you by Go-Vegetarianista!