National Celiac Awareness Month, Day 4: Gluten-Free Vegan Cinco de Mayo – Vegan, Gluten-Free Mexican Rice
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We love rice in just about any preparation, so we will find any excuse to make it. Cinco de Mayo week is a perfect reason to enjoy it! Mexican rice is a favorite of many because it is delicious blend of tomatoes, green peppers, onions and garlic. Add the fresh cilantro and this is a dish that is a burst of flavor! We adapted this dish from one of our favorite Mexican cookbooks, Aprovecho: A Mexican-American Border Cookbook.

While this is not an intentionally gluten-free, vegan cookbook, we love it because, being a mexican food book, it is mostly gluten free. All we have to do is substitute some of our favorite vegan meat alternatives for the meat-based recipes. What we’ve found with mexican food cookbooks is that, unlike many other cookbooks, we don’t have to substitute as much. For instance, in this recipe, we just had to substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth; the rest of the ingredients were already happily vegan and gluten free!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Mexican Rice

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

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  • 2 cups long-grain rice
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 to 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 3 to 4 stewed tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

Soak the rice in hot water for 15 minutes. Work your fingers through the rice when the water is cool enough to handle. Rinse the rice in cold water and repeat until the water runs clear. Spread the rice on wax paper to dry for 10 to 15 minutes. When the rice is dry, heat the shortening in a skillet and saute over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer. Add the cilantro, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent from sticking. Add the peas and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

The cookbook notes that you can give this dish a cuban feel by adding a can of your favorite (vegan, gluten-free) beer for some of the broth. While we haven’t tried that yet, it sounds like a delicious option! Either way, this dish will be amazing mixed with some of your favorite beans as an entree, or on the side of another entree, such as tempeh tacos with lime crema.

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