Dirty Brown Rice is another old family favorite. I created this after someone asked about a vegan dirty rice recipe on a message board. The only recipes anyone could provide were going to taste nothing like an original recipe. They had ingredients in them like black beans, corn, cumin, and curry powder. Curry powder! I didn’t have a recipe to suggest either, so I set out to make this one. I read a half-dozen dirty rice recipes and then replaced chicken livers and gizzards with lentils and textured vegetable protein (TVP), used brown rice instead of white, and increased the quantity of vegetables.
I posted the recipe on VegPeople and it was a big hit. Several people tried it, but didn’t have TVP on hand, so they used bulgar or extra lentils. Last night I didn’t have TVP either, so I used chopped seitan. I’ve written this up how I made it last night, but at the end, I’ve suggested some alternatives.
A great side for this is baked sweet potatoes, and possibly a salad. Put Tabasco sauce on the table for people who like it really hot.
Dirty Brown Rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion or ½ of a large one, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
¾ cup brown rice
¼ cup green lentils
2 cups water
1 large or 2 small vegetable bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon thyme (see notes)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
3/4 cup chopped seitan (see notes)
1 green onion, green part, sliced
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, celery, onion, and green pepper and cook until onion is translucent, 5-7 minutes. Stir in brown rice and lentils and cook 1 minute. Add water, bouillon cube(s), thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne and black pepper, bay leaf, soy sauce and liquid smoke.
Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes. At about the 1/2 way point, throw the seitan into the pot, but don’t stir it in. Remove cover and stir in green onion. If rice is a little soupy, turn heat off burner and leave rice on burner uncovered for a few minutes.
Note: You can replace the thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne and black pepper with 2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning, or use salted Cajun seasoning to taste and omit the soy sauce.
The seitan can be replaced with any veggie protein you have on hand, such as chopped up sausage or burger crumbles. You can also throw one of the following into the pot with the water and seasonings: 1/2 cup TVP + 1/2 cup additional water, 1/2 cup bulgar wheat+ 1/2 cup additional water, or 1/4 additional lentils + 3/4 cup additional water.