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.

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!


  1. I found your page on "Food Bloggers of Canada" - so glad I did! Love the blog name! :)

    - a fellow Albertian foodie

  2. Do you still have my number? Call me!