Since all my posts this week have been about quick and easy meals, eating out, or convenence products, I've felt illogical guilt and made semi-complex meals, even when I've been super tired from work.
After work today, I needed to stop and pick up a few items from the grocery store. While there, I decided to make chick'n and yellow rice for dinner, but instead of using some form of chicken analog like usual, I thought I'd mix it up and try using some of the chickpeas I made earlier in the week, so it would be a bit healthier and little more satisfying.
I started making chick'n and yellow rice after Daisy Martinez inspired me with her show Daisy Cooks! (if I ever have a show, I want some kind of punctuation in the title). My version of this dish usually looks similar to hers, but that's where the similarities stop. I often use brown rice, she always uses white. She uses about 1 tablespoon of salt per cup of rice, in addition to the olives and the chicken stock. I think that's an insane amount of salt! She uses sofrito and recaito and her dish gets its gorgeous yellow color from achiote oil. I use mirepoix and turmeric for color. You get the point.
There's just something about this dish that always makes me want more. I was so excited about eating it tonight. But it was missing something. I don't think it was the fake meat. I actually really loved the texture of the chickpeas. The rice was too sweet, and some kind of tang was missing. JD and one of our friends, who joined us for dinner, both enjoyed it, as did I, just....not as much as usual. Mostly because I was expecting a very specific flavor, and this just wasn't it.
Chickpea and Yellow Rice
But I was really pleased the other part of the meal, savory empanadas! I made a vegan chorizo, potato and caper version, and a spinach, roasted poblano and potato version. These actually would have been perfect for last week's Iron Chef challenge. It's odd, now that I think about it, since the challenge, I cannot get enough potatoes.
Closeup of soy chorizo, potato and caper empanada
I thought up this dish while I was at the store today, when I saw the veggie chorizo. For some reason the chorizo seemed like it would be perfect with potatoes and capers, but I tasted a little flat. I think maybe some daiya would help next time.
For the Spinach, Roasted Poblano and Potato version you'll need:I also made sparkling raspberry lemonade with Topo Chico, lemons and some leftover raspberry syrup.
2 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes and boiled
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 an onion, minced
half a roasted poblano, minced
1 cup frozen spinach, chopped
1--2 heaping tablespoons Vegenaise
seasonings of your choice, including, but not limited to: garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, pimento stuffed olives, capers, roasted red peppers, black pepper, red pepper flakes, etc.
empanda dough, pie dough or puff pastry dough, see note
oil for frying, optional
After boiling potatoes, drain them and set them aside.
Heat olive oil in a small skillet. Add onion and sauté until translucent. If using fresh garlic, add it now, mincing or pressing first. Add poblano pepper and sauté for a few minutes. Add spinach and heat through and cook for a few minutes so liquid can evaporate.
Add potatoes and mash them up a bit, so some are broken and some are still whole. Turn off heat and add Vegenaise. Taste and adjust seasonings. Potatoes should be chunky, and have a creamy but not liquidy consistency.
I used premade emapanda wrappers, and filled them with about 1/4 cup of filling each, then fried them in safflower oil, but the size and amount of filling needed for each empanada is totally up to you. if you don't want to fry them, you can bake them.
As far as seasoning goes, I used a bit of nutritional yeast for a slightly cheesy flavor, plus freshly ground black pepper and garlic.Spinach, roasted poblano and potato empanada
P.S. Sorry for the awful pictures lately. I don't know why, but I can't get photos to come out the way I envision them lately.