Wednesday, 28 March 2018

What We Ate Wednesday--Vegetable Frie(n)d Rice with Roasted Chickpeas

Hello lovelies! I sometimes like to browse recipe sites on my tablet in the evenings and look at all the pretty pictures of food and dream of cooking them in my tiny kitchen.

Sad, I know. But delicious, too.

Minimalist Baker is a blog that I often take inspiration from. I was just a-looking at recipes when I saw her recipe for fried rice which looked delicious and full of things we love and  ingredients I had on hand, so I thought I would give it a whirl.

Interesting fact:  for some reason I always  type the words FRIEND rice instead of FRIED rice. Every. Single. Time. So, in my mind, this is Friend Rice.

Anyway, the recipe was initially supposed to be made with tofu, which I have no doubt would be *amazing.* But as I have said before, a packet of tofu for one meal costs me around £2.09. I made this with roasted chickpeas which cost me 50p (Lidl was sadly out of the tins that cost 33p.) But even 50p is a savings compared to £2.09.

Is it less authentic with chickpeas? Sure. But was really tasty? You betcha.

If you can afford tofu, then by all means use it. Minimalist Baker has a great technique for drying tofu in the oven to really get all the water out and then frying to make it crispy. If you want to try her tofu techniques you can go HERE to get instructions.

Instead, I just roasted a tin of chickpeas that had been drained and rinsed. I added a TB of oil and a TB of tamari (or soy sauce). They came up savoury and crispy and yum.

So, as Spiderman will tell you, I cannot seem to cook a recipe without adapting it slightly. That is just my nature. I don't just mean substituting cheaper chickpeas for more pricey tofu, either. I added ginger root because.....ginger root. Plus, I cut the rice back from 1 cup to half a cup and added more vegetables and mushrooms.

It made two really full bowls with half a cup of rice. Next time (and there will be a next time) I may bump it up to 3/4 of a cup of rice or maybe just add more vegetables. If I was sharing this with company (instead of two greedy vegans) I would definitely use the full cup of rice and double the sauce, because we like things saucy in the Spider household.

Frie(n)d Rice Adapted from a recipe by MINIMALIST BAKER
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F

Follow the directions for drying out tofu if using (see link above) or drain and rinse a tin of chickpeas.

Put the chickpeas in a large roasting pan and add a TB of oil and a TB of tamari or soy sauce. Stir to coat. I used sunflower oil, but I bet toasted sesame oil would make it even more amazing and complement the flavours in the Friend Rice.

Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway.

The rice-y bit:

Cook however much brown rice you want.....we used half a cup for two people, but you could double it for four. My easy cook brown rice takes 25 minutes (or there about) to cook, so I started the rice when the chickpeas went in the oven.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.

The Saucy bit:
3 TB tamari or soy sauce
1 TB peanut butter
a few cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Now, cook the veg.

The Veggie bit:
When the rice is nearly done, cook the veg. In a large pan cook the following in a splash of oil or a splash of water. I used water as I had used oil to roast the chickpeas.

1 diced onion
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
half a (red) pepper, diced
some finely chopped ginger root (about a TB)
a couple of button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
half a cup frozen peas

Cook the veg until softened and then add the peas and stir until the peas have defrosted and warmed up. Add the cooked rice and stir to mix it all up and then mix in the sauce. Heat until the rice and veg and sauce are piping hot, then mix in the roasted chickpeas. Top with some roasted peanuts  for garnish.

This was fairly quick and easy to make and completely delicious. All the flavours that we like. I hope someday to try it with the tofu, but would happily eat it with chickpeas if that day never comes.

We like it quite saucy (Ooo-er, Mrs) so were happy to have half the rice and the full amount of sauce. Personally, if I made it with more rice, I would double the sauce.

So my dear friends, enjoy your Friend Rice.

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