I love rice and peas. It is such as simple dish, and is perfect for when you aren’t feeling too great (perhaps due to a few too many glasses of vino the night before – as was the case for me when I cooked this for dinner earlier this week!). Since I have transitioned to a vegan/plant-based diet I have been thinking of ways to make this into a high protein vegan meal. The other day I stumbled upon frozen edamame beans as I was picking up my peas in the supermarket, and I decided to give them a try (after having seen them pop up many times on my Instagram feed). They pack a whopping 12 g of protein per 100 g (which is about 3 times more than peas). Here are some other benefits of this meal:
- As it is uses frozen vegetables, it is great for those days when you are running low on fresh vegetables.
- Edamame beans (which are green soybeans) are a ‘complete protein’ (i.e. they include all nine essential amino acids). However, in addition to being just like an animal-based protein, they are also packed with dietary fibre.
- There is very minimal chopping to do (just the onion) and you just chuck everything in a pan and leave it for 25 mins. This also means hardly any washing up!
Ingredients (Serves 1)
75 g of brown rice
Half a red onion, chopped
100g frozen edamame beans
100g frozen peas
Large handful of spinach
Salt and pepper
Sauté the chopped onion in a pan with a glug of olive oil for a few minutes.
In the meantime boil the kettle.
Add the rice and heat for about 1 minute.
Next add the peas and the edamame beans and heat for a further minute.
Add boiling water (which should be twice the volume of the rice – I find the rice fills about half a glass, and so I add a full glass of boiling water).
Season with salt and pepper.
Leave on a low heat with the lid on for about 25 minutes.
Add the spinach, put the lid back on and leave it to wilt. Stir in the spinach, e voilà!
This year I am spending Christmas in three different places. I started in England a week before Christmas for a few days with my mum, one of my brothers and his family. I cooked a three bean and lentil chili for everyone which seemed to go down well – that was the first time I had ever cooked for my family, and it took me becoming plant-based/vegan for it to happen! I then came back to Italy for a couple of days and so I decided to cook an early vegan Christmas dinner for my partner and I, so we could have our own quiet Christmas celebration before flying to Portugal to spend time with his family.
I looked for inspiration in the Deliciously Ella app and found a ‘Sage and Apricot Nut Roast with Cranberry Sauce’, which sounded perfect. As usual, however, I ended up modifying the recipe as I couldn’t find some of the ingredients in the supermarket (which happens quite a lot as I live in a small town in Italy). I couldn’t find sage, brazil nuts or cranberries so the recipe became just ‘Apricot Nut Roast’, but it still tasted so good. It was full of great vegetables, nuts and spices, and the dried apricots really were the pièce de résistance.
I also decided to cook a side of Brussel sprouts and roast potatoes, but although I didn’t quite follow the ‘Roasted Maple Sprouts with Hazelnuts’ recipe from Deliciously Ella (as I just wanted to keep things simple), I still decided to roast the sprouts together with the potatoes, and Ella was right when she said this makes them tastier than boiling. For once I also actually made desert, and I went for the ‘Healthiest Chocolate Mousse’, which has avocado as the main ingredient! Although Ella claimed that the avocado flavour would disappear, my partner and I both felt that it was still there. Perhaps I didn’t put in enough cacao, or maybe it was just knowing it was there (I really shouldn’t have told him!) – I would still make it again, though, as it is full of healthy fats. So that was our vegan Christmas dinner – simple to cook, healthy and tasty. Do let me know if you have tried any of these recipes, and how you got on in the comments below.