Saturday, November 15, 2014

Jade Pearl Rice with Bell Pepper, Kale, Scallion, and Broccoli; Pressure Steamed White Sweet Potato; and Seeded Ciabatta Bread with Smoky Cashew Nut Cheese, Tomato, and Scallion (Almost No Added Fat)

We were supposed to go to a friend's house for a party including dinner, but my daughter was looking tired, so we decided to stay home. I wanted to put a nice meal together fairly quickly.

I used my Instant Pot pressure cooker to cook white sweet potatoes (whole). I put a cup of water in the pot, put the steaming trivet in, and set three sweet potatoes on top of the trivet, above the water level. I set the pot to high-pressure steam for 14 minutes. When I slowly let the steam out some minutes later and opened the pot, I found the potatoes not soft enough, so I turned the pot on in regular pressure cooking mode for another 4 minutes.

I also made some Jade pearl rice. I sauteed maybe a teaspoon of ginger, a garlic clove (I had thought we were going out so had already fed my Dad, who doesn't eat garlic), a scallion, 2 broccoli florets, and a quarter bell pepper, all finely diced (to 1/4" or smaller cubes) for a few minutes with no oil or liquid, then added about a half cup of rice, a cup and an eighth (I usually use a 1 : 1 3/4 or 1 : 2 ratio, but thought I'd add a bit more with the vegetables) of water, and 2 kale leaves, roughly cut into approximately 1/2" squares. I skipped a vegan bouillon cube as I had so many vegetable flavors already included. I brought the rice to a boil then reduced the heat and simmered on low, covered, for about 20 minutes.

A few days ago, my daughter and I had met some friends for dinner at Fiction Kitchen, a favorite local vegetarian restaurant. They make a nice cashew nut cheese that even my wife, who doesn't like almost any kind of cheese, likes. We brought home some of their smoky cashew cheese spread and I used it for the final part of the meal. I lightly heated some seeded ciabatta bread, spread the cheese, and topped with tomato, scallion, and hemp seed. The "cheese" of course has some fat as it is made from cashews, but each of our servings was just a swipe of the spread, so I feel justified in calling this dinner "almost no added fat".

Dinner came out great! Jade pearl rice is always so good, and this was certainly no exception. I wonder if a bit of nutritional yeast could have been good in it, as well. In my love for purple sweet potatoes, I had forgotten how much I love white ones. The sandwich was great!

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