The idea of something big to share with family and friends, as a treat, came to me a few days ago when, I was yearning for some sun to hit my courtyard. And as I looked up at the grey sky, I knew that that wasn’t about to happen outside anytime soon, and that I couldn’t do anything about it. But then I thought again – “I will bring the sun, and shine it on our plates for dinner tonight”. And it happened last night, and here it is for you to share. Without despair, and with compassion, here comes this delicious, magnificent work of art (sorry to sound like I am boasting, but you will know what I mean after you have made it yourself).
- 2 cups Arborio short grain rice, boiled in water with 1 tsp of turmeric
- 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- olive oil for frying
- 1 cup mince replacement – either soya mince or chopped roasted pecans (I use Linda McCartney veggiemince) – or the equivalent in veggie mince burgers – use 2 and mince them in your processor)
- ¼ of a zucchini, cut into small squares
- 2 tsp curry powder
- salt to taste
- 2 tsp cardamon powder
- 6 dried apricots, cut into small pieces
- a dozen salted olives, chopped into small pieces
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups grated vegan cheese (Daiya or Redwoods – one that will melt)
- 1 cup sweetcorn (cooked)
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 tbsps red pepper, cut into small squares
- 3 tsp egg replacer, mixed with ¼ cup water
- 3 tbsps golden breadcrumbs (for coating)
Pour your oil in a large non-stick pan, and fry your onions and zucchini until transparent. Then add your vegan mince and garlic and stir, then add all the spices and apricots, mix and allow to cook on a low heat for a minute or so.
Now add the olives, lemon zest, sweetcorn, grated carrots and red pepper, and mix again. Finally, add the cooked yellow rice and stir properly. Take off the heat, and add the egg replacer mixture and grated cheese. Stir and mix well, until ingredients are well distributed.
Now, the next step is to scoop it up and place it in a large glass round bowl, then turn it over into a greased oven dish. Sprinkle on some golden breadcrumbs (I used Paxo), and bake in a hot oven for 25-30 minutes, until it is crispy looking from the outside. Inside will be a little moist, which makes the texture interesting and contrasting !!!
Sticking some cut lengths of fresh carrot around the top for decoration makes a great feature, emphasizing the sunshine element. Parents beware, kids love this !!!
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