Thursday, February 08, 2007

Black Beans & Rice with Vegan Chorizo

If you've been reading my blog, then you probably have noticed that I am all about vegan meat analogues. I got into vegetarianism, and then eventually veganism, strictly for the animals. It had nothing to do with trying to improve my health or because I didn't like the taste of meat, I just didn't agree with what was being done to obtain it. So I am fascinated by vegan replacements for meat and by how close people, or large companies, can come to making an exact vegan copy of an animal-based product. I know not all vegans are into meat replacements, I mean, how "natural" can it be to turn plant ingredients into something that looks & tastes like a hot dog? But after a lifetime of being conditioned to enjoy the taste of meat, I find vegan meat replacements to be an essential part of helping me live the most cruelty-free life that I can, while still allowing me to enjoy myself by eating things that I like.

That being said, I have been fascinated by the Melissa's Soyrizo that I have seen at the store several times before. If you've never seen it, it looks just like a package of some type of real sausage. It's bright red, enclosed in some type of non-animal casing and then twisted there in the middle, just like a real sausage. I've never had actual Chorizo before (the greasiness of it, plus even as an omnivore I always had trouble with that whole intestine casing thing) so I don't have anything to compare the vegan version with. What I can tell you is that this stuff is dang tasty!

I ended up cooking half of it in a skillet, you just squeeze it out of the "casing" and fry it on high heat. Then I cooked up a pot of Zatarain's Black Beans & Rice and then poured all of the Soyrizo into it and let it simmer for a while. This stuff tastes really good, and I mean really good. I will DEFINITELY be making this again.

The next time I do it though, I may try making my vegan Chorizo from scratch. There is a recipe for it in VwaV, and I would bet that it tastes just as good, if not better, than this store bought stuff. I mean, really, when it comes right down to it, all this stuff is made of is TVP and all of the necessary spices. Surely I could do that from scratch. I want to try that soon.

I also brought along some more of those mixed vegetables, but I cooked them a little bit differently today. I tossed them in a little bit of olive oil and sprinkled them with some garlic salt before cooking them. As you can see the color of the veggies is not quite as vivid as when I just plop them in the container frozen and heat them up in the microwave at work. They don't taste as fresh either, but they're still good. I think from now on, I'll probably skip trying to jazz them up any. I like them better when they are brighter in color and taste fresh instead of tasting "cooked". Lesson learned.

I had a cornbread muffin (with ground flax seed added) left over from Tuesday. so I brought that. And then I went ahead and made up another pan of those delicious Peanut Butter & Chocolate Bars from the recipe that I found in La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer. I really need to try a new recipe from that book and quit making candy all the time. Once I find something I like though, I tend to over do it everytime. Oh well.

So there's lunch for Thursday. If you see Melissa's Soyrizo in the store you might want to try it out. It's definitely tasty. I want to try making my own vegan chorizo from scratch too though, as soon as possible. You'll see the results of that here in the blog of course.

Thanks for stopping by today. See everybody on Friday!


bazu said...

Oooh that lunch sounds perfect for the freezing day we are having up here (in NY) today. Boo- I wish I could have your lunch instead of my leftovers today!

kennyboy said...

I would mail it to you, but I just ate it.


Stay warm!

Anonymous said...

i love melissa soyrizo!!! never tried it like this though. yum. cant wait to see how the homemade turns out. i love the soyrizo with potatoes and scrambled tofu in a tortilla. :)

kennyboy said...

I am SO trying that.

raising_kahne said...

Ive never seen or really heard of chorizo, but I never really ate sausage, so it doesnt surprise me. I happen to love rice(especially with yummy seasonings), so it's no shocker that this lunch looks fantsatic. Thanks for posting about the peanut butter bars again, I really have been meaning to try those! I recently got the book, and am trying to search blogs to find what looks good. Thes do! Speaking of desserts, I personally love the pudding from VWAV! Im an addict!

shebytches said...

Is it wrong to want to kidnap someone, just so they will make your lunch for you? hmmmmmmm

kennyboy said...




Anonymous said...

I just realized you're back! I hadn't checked in a while and there's a whole month of posts to catch up with. Good to see you again!

maria_bodoh said...

I grew up eating real chorizo in Puerto Rico. Yep, I can tell you that Soyrizo is as close as it gets to the real thing. YUMMY looking lunch, Ken. I have some soyrizo and black beans in my fridge as we speak, so I might just have to make something like this for lunch tomorrow. I'm glad you are blogging again!!!

oodlesofnoodles said...

Did you ever make the vegan soyrizo from scratch? I would be interested in on how it turned out.