Food & Culture
Dr. Annemarie Perez
Dirty Rice-Vegan Style
My dirty rice dish is a recipe that always brings back childhood memories when I prepare it. My childhood was very humble but it was also full of love and great food. I am the youngest of six children whom my Mother raised and because there were so many mouths to feed my Mother always had to be creative to make food last and also to create what we thought were these grand dishes but really it was just my Mother being creative to make ends meet. This dish has always been unique to me because it was different every time and every time my Mother made it, it was delicious. The reason it was different every time was because my Mother would always cook dirty rice when our food got low and so she would use the ingredients that we had in the fridge and cabinet and she would create a master piece out of nothing.
I now prepare the many variations of this dish for my daughter and my family. It is the only dish that I have come to master; my family loves it and often request for me to make it for them. I love to make it for breakfast for my daughter because it’s quick and tasty. I scramble eggs, cheese, white onion, green onion, sausage salt, pepper and rice and she just loves it. I also make a soup out of this by preparing my own broth with tomato paste, water or vegetable stock and seasonings and just add the rice (a photo of this is attached and you can see how red and thick the sauce is).
Now that I have become a working Mom myself, I realize that rice is actually “a saving grace staple food” and what I mean by that is that rice is one of the most inexpensive foods and being that it is so cheap it keeps many bellies full across the world without breaking the bank. It made me emotional writing this paper because as a single working Mother myself of one child, I realized how hard it must have been for my Mother to have to feed six children and at the time and three grandchildren was also added to our family. I couldn’t even imagine having to do that on the income she had. So when I think of it I am both sad and proud of my Mother for having the strength and courage to even attempt such a great task. I am sad because I know it must have been very difficult for her and I can remember that a lot of the times all we had was rice and she would prepare a “sweet rice”, which was boiled and she would add sugar, butter, salt and pepper and it was just devine!
Rice is a staple food around the world and I thought it was so beautiful to research and experience the way people around the world enjoys rice as I did when I was younger and as I continue to enjoy.
Vegan Dirty Rice:
- Jasmine rice (brand-Goya 2 cups)
- Pinapple (1 can of dole chopped)
- Serrano peppers (5 sliced)
- Garlic-fresh (half clove)
- Onion (1 white finely chopped)
- Parsley (half cup) mix at the end of preparation.
- Green onion (half stalk) chop finely
- Broccoli florets (fresh stalk 2) chop small
- Veggie bouillon, chicken bouillon or tomato bouillon for flavor and taste (2 table spoons)
- Grape seed oil (4 table spoons)
- Garlic powder (1 tablespoon)
- Cook two cups of Goya Jasmine rice in a medium sized pot with two cups of water and two cups of rice: I cook it until it is almost done because you don’t want it to be mushy when you fry it at the end. Set the rice aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Chop onion, garlic, green onion and broccoli florets add to a few tablespoons of grape seed oil and sauté until tender and golden.
- Sauté the Serrano peppers in separate skillet with a tea spoon of grape seed oil until golden or until your desired texture.
- In the same skillet you just sautéed the Serrano peppers in add six tablespoons of grape seed oil and add in the rice and veggies
- As you mix in all the rice and veggies, add the 2 table spoons of the bouillon of your choice and also add in the 1 table spoon of garlic powder
- Add in the parsley (half cup and mix in).
- Mix really well so that all the veggies and seasonings are mixed evenly throughout the rice.