It’s not lost on me that lately I’ve been out of the “yummy food” state of mind. That is, I really haven’t made the time to play and to create in my kitchen. And, it’s kind of sucked to be honest. Anyone who knows me (and that’s you!), knows how much I love to cook!
So, this morning for inspiration, I pulled out my Experience Dinner – Recipes by Tracye Warfield the very first cookbook that I wrote and self-published almost 10 years ago (You know, the one where I had the long straight black hair and the glam shiny lip gloss…). I’ve grown so much as a cook, and, of course, as a person since then, but the foundation (and the pretty good recipes) are there. But, what really gets me charged are, actually, my own words in the preface…
I cook because it gives me refuge from the buzzing world around me. It reminds me of who I am, where I come from, and what I’ve become.
I cook because I enjoy creating personal works of art; for me, for another, or for more…
Who is this Sassy and why is her rice dirty?
Sassy will remain anonymous (except to those who already know her well), but I can tell you why she calls her rice “dirty”. Traditional dirty rice
is a southern Cajun dish that includes white rice or pilaf
with chicken liver or giblets
(the “dirty” in the rice), scallions, etc. Sassy, who happens to be
a vegetarian, loved the idea and adapted a greener, leaner version. Throw in some stir fried tofu, broccoli, and a few other surprises and you’ve got Sassy’s concoction.
It’s actually a dish that travels well. You can take this to a potluck or to a friend’s for dinner. It’s great heated or at room temperature. Take your choice here. A white or a red wine works either way.
Total: 20 minutes, 4 servings
1 box long grain wild rice mix or rice pilaf mix (These days I’d just make my own rice pilaf, but a good vegetarian box brand will do in a hurry.)
1 package extra firm tofu, cubed
1 small yellow squash, cubed
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 yellow or white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup vegetable oil (The original recipe called for canola oil, but I’ve since stopped using. Try peanut or grapeseed or even coconut oil)
2-3 tbsp pine nuts kosher salt
fresh ground pepper (or chili flakes!)
Prepare rice pilaf according to package. Place pine nuts in a pan on low heat for approximately 1-2 minutes to roast (Keep watch! Pine nuts can burn quickly. In a preheated wok or stir fry pan, add oil and tofu. Cook until lightly browned. Add garlic and onions to cook for approximately one minute. Add remaining vegetables, cranberries, and a pinch of salt and ground pepper (Note: The boxed pilaf/rice already has plenty of seasoning. Be careful not to over salt.) Cook for 2-3 minutes, high heat. Remove from burner and gently mix in rice, carefully not to break up tofu. Top with roasted pine nuts and serve immediately.