It is always a great pleasure when my grown up son calls me and tells me that he and my daughter-in-law would like to come over for dinner. “But, of course”, I say. It is a good chance to catch up in person, to relax and to laugh a little bit.
But then, there is the dilemma: What to make, What to make, What to make? It is a weekday and to tell you the truth, my husband and I often have a tomato sandwich and perhaps a salad for supper. It is the summertime, after all, and there is such an abundance of fresh produce out there to enjoy. Or maybe there are some leftovers from the weekend that need using up. Waste not, want not!
But, it is a different story when we are having company. I like to do a little something extra. Out came the cookbooks and I started checking the options. I thought about a curry dish of some sort, but decided against it. I couldn’t find anything that piqued my interest, so I looked in my cupboard and my freezer and realized that I had enough ingredients on hand to make a rice dish with coconut, sausage, corn and beans. Grilled peppers and zucchini would do nicely for the side and I even had a rhubarb cake in the fridge, that I had made using some of the rhubarb that grows in our flower garden.
I like to assemble all of my ingredients on the counter to make sure that I have everything I need. This eliminates running around unnecessarily to get ingredients from the fridge, cupboard or, heaven forbid, the grocery store..
I am not a recipe developer and don’t pretend to be (that takes a special talent), but I have done a lot of cooking and baking over the years and do know what works and what doesn’t.
This is my own creation and I would like to share it with you.
Even though much of the fat has been removed from coconut milk, it can still be can be a bit lumpy. I always whisk it a bit before putting it in with the other ingredients. If coconut is not your bag, try veggie broth, or any other nut milk or soy milk.
Adding the lemon peel to the milk and rice before cooking allows the flavor and the oil in the peel to infuse the dish in a delicate and understated way.
Field Roast are my absolute favorite plant based sausage. You don’t need a lot to spice up and add interest to any dish. I dry fry (no oil or liquid added) them for this recipe and recommend that you stay focused here or your sausage will burn. It doesn’t take more than five minutes, tops.
I almost never saute or fry things in oil, so I recommend adding a bit of water or Veggie broth to prevent onion from sticking and burning. If you would like that golden look that frying in oil gives, turn the heat to high and high and let onions brown a bit. Gotta stay focused here too, folks. It takes only about five minutes.
Add your choice of beans, corn and cooked sausage along with the coconut rice. Combine gently.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.
I would say that supper was a success, all the way around. Everyone said they enjoyed the dish. I decided, right then and there, to serve the same thing to friends of ours who were coming for dinner on Saturday of that same week. I took pictures on the second go around, so that I could share them with you.
This recipe serves six to eight people and reheats well. I imagine that it could be frozen for a later date, if you have any left to freeze. We did not.
Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips
This is a very delicately flavored dish, so I did not want to add any extra spices apart from salt and pepper. If you think it needs more lemon, please feel free to add some of the reserved lemon juice to the finished dish.
Beans: I tried black beans the first time and chickpeas the second time. Both are good, taste wise, but I preferred the chickpeas because they did not alter the creamy color of the rice.
May all beings be happy and free.