Monday, November 5, 2012

Spicy Pineapple Cashew Rice

I am now on day three of having no budget for groceries. I have to say I am really luck that I seem to hoard non-perishable food. I have lots of dried herbs and lots of canned and frozen vegetables. It is truly saving my life this week.


I made this recipe sort of loosely based on chicken and rice. It was something that I lived on while when I was traveling in Thailand. At the time, I was a little scared of spicy food and a little scared of anything that I didn't know. Chicken and Cashew was this one dish that was everywhere. On every menu at restaurants and sometimes on food carts and stands. It had a little spice, but nothing crazy. It was filling and most of all, tasted really good. I decided to veganize this... but my version is very, very loosely based on this Thai version. What you get in Thailand is usually very simple. I am not sure how they are cooking the rice, but it seems flavours. Mine, however, is a pretty much a dump of all sorts of stuff I had in my fridge with a base of rice and cashew... anyways, both are good, but this version has not meat making it even better.

Spicy Pineapple Cashew Rice
*Serves 2-3, about 30 minutes to cook if rice is pre-made.

Ingredients:
Many Ingredients not pictured. I sort of built
this as I cooked.

  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice
  • 1 can of pineapple, drain and reserve the juice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 of a package of firm tofu, pressed and diced
  • 1 Tbsp oil (I used canola)
  • 1/2 cup of toasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup of frozen (or fresh, I don't have any) spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp toasted coconut
First, drain the pineapple and reserve the liquid in a bowl. Add to it the soy sauce and the tofu and let it marinate for at least 20 minutes, but can go as long as a couple hours if you want.

Prepping for marinade - Very important when dealing with tofu.
Marinated is always better

If you have this meal planned out, do this the day before. It can
soak for up to 8 hours.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tofu to the skillet and cook for about 5-6 min a side or until it is golden brown. Add the cashews and the pineapple and cook another 5 minutes or so. Now add all the other ingredients (except the reserve liquid and the green onion). Stir fry this for at least 5-6 minutes or until everything is well heated through. If things are sticking, add some of the reserve liquid, about a table spoon at a time. I ended up used 3-4 table spoons. if you like a little crunch, turn the heat up for a couple minutes and stir fry on high to crisp up the rice.

Building the dish.. I started with tofu

Added my other base ingredients

Then really, I just kept adding until this is what I had!
One pot/one bowl meal.

Now when this is done or close to done, toast some coconut. Get your unsweetened shredded coconut and add it to a dry pan on low-medium heat. Toast for about 3-4 minutes. Watch it really closely and remove from heat as soon as it browns. Add it to the rice bowl with the green onion prior to serving.


The final result - Sweet, spicy, filling. Good.

For a dish that is essentially a basic grain and left over and frozen foods.. I cannot believe how good this tasted. It was nice to start this week of being on a zero budget with something good. It made me feel like I might actually be able to pull this off. The toughest part for me is that I have no fresh fruit for snacks and I have no popcorn... I have been relying on these for snack foods and without them, cravings have gone from strong to intense.

Just four more days to get through.... Not going to be easy!

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