Monday, October 13, 2014

Vegan Jamaican Jerk Tofu with Coconut and Bean Rice

Yes, Chicago is up there as one of the best foodie cities in America.  I'd love to be able to hit up all the top restaurants here, but there are two main reasons why we do not:  One, I do not have deep enough pockets to afford a $500-$1000 dinner.  And secondly, it is hard to find many places with great, veggie options that are something different than an old salad.  I could only hope more and more vegan friendly restaurants will pop up in the next few years.

This is a fun recipe because the flavors are so unique and different from what I usually cook.  The Jamaican jerk sauce that I concocted is simply to die for!  It's tangy, sweet, a bit sour and a bit salty.  It's mouthwatering and probably drinkable.

The rice is a beautiful accompaniment.  It is creamy and has a nice, smooth texture to it due to the coconut milk.  I used 1/2 can of light coconut milk and 1/2 vegetable broth to cook the rice in.  The balance was perfect!

Vegan Jamaican Jerk Tofu with Coconut and Bean Rice

for the Jamaican Jerk Tofu:

1 package extra firm tofu, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces and drained thoroughly
3 green chiles (I used Anaheim chiles)
3 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1/2 tbsp allspice
1 tsp cayenne papper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp thyme

Preheat your home grill, George Foreman, or whatever your choice of grill is.  In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the tofu.  Blend until completely combined.  Adjust seasoning to taste. 

Before brushing on the sauce, make sure each piece of tofu has been pressed with paper towels to remove excess liquid.  Brush jerk sauce on all sides of each piece of tofu.  Place on the grill and grill each side for about 3-4 minutes.  Make sure you get those beautiful grill marks on them.  Remove and serve with coconut and bean rice!  Don't forget to save excess sauce for dipping!

for the Vegan Coconut and Bean Rice

1 c white rice or rice of choice
1 c light coconut milk
1 c vegetable broth
1/2 can black beans, rinsed 
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 tbsp evoo
salt to taste
2-3 scallions, chopped

Heat evoo in a medium saucepan and saute scallions and garlic for 2 minutes.  Add in rice and beans and continue to saute for a few more minutes, stirring frequently.  Add in coconut milk and vegetable broth, bring to boil, then cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes or until rice is done and liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat, season to taste and serve!

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