It’s Wednesday and today I have my last guest blogger. But before I go on, let me just say a huge
to all of you who helped me out so that I could spend some extra time with baby Nash and figure out this whole “mother-of-two” thing. Well, I haven’t exactly figured it all out, but every day makes a little more sense and overall I think I have a pretty good handle on it. So thank you, blogger friends. And readers, I hope you maybe discovered one or two new blogs over the past 10 weeks.
Okay, now onto my very special guest, the multi-talented Cadry from the blog Cadry’s Kitchen. I came across Cadry’s Kitchen quite awhile ago, but didn’t start following her regularly until Vegan MoFo 2013 when I quickly came to realize that Cadry was creating magic over in her corner of the internet. Cadry is a jill-of-all trades, an actress, recipe developer, potter, comedian, photographer, writer, and more. It has been sheer joy to keep up-to-date with the wild creations she and her husband are conjuring up. Oh, and they are, like, the cutest internet couple ever. Is that a thing -internet couple? Well, now it is. Cadry genuine spirit shines through in her writing which is full of heart and compassion. Her love for people, animals, and life in abundantly clear and it’s an honor to have her today.
I’m so excited to be here on The Sweet Life today while Sarah juggles the duties of motherhood, taking care of Eden and Nash. Sarah and I met in person far too briefly at Vida Vegan Con last spring, but luckily I’m able to tune in regularly to catch up with her beautiful photography, mouthwatering recipes, and sweet spirit. Sarah makes her blog home so cozy, you definitely want to linger for a while.
The recipe I’m sharing today hearkens from a little over ten years ago when my husband and I were first dating. Neither of us were vegan or vegetarian at the time, and we’d often spend whole weekends engaged in Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathons. We’d order Thai food from a favorite place that was only a couple of blocks away and plan on not leaving the apartment until it was time for brunch on Sunday. One of my standing orders was a vat of pineapple fried rice. I’d tuck into a paper container, taking in the combination of sweet and salty flavors while Buffy fought the Big Bad, and we both fell in love.
Fried rice is something I never order anymore. Since fried rice often is light in vegetables and includes scrambled egg in the mixture, my order these days tends to be for a vegetable-heavy rice noodle dish instead. But the other day I remembered that old fried rice of yore… I thought about how, like a chopped salad, you get a little bit of all of the flavors with each individual bite.
I’ve been regularly tucking into eggy tofu for breakfast, which gets its eggy quality by way of kala namak, also known as black salt. (A little goes a long way with this sulfury salt. In fact, just one whiff out of the bag is an olfactory overload of egginess.) It occurred to me that while I’ve used kala namak for tofu omelettes and chickpea scrambles, I’d never included it in a classic fried rice-style dish.
To say this dish took me back is an understatement. The combination of sugary pineapple and savory soy sauce, chewy rice, and chunks of tofu “eggs” was the perfect match. Just like I remembered, each bite had balance – drawing from all of its contrasting elements. The only thing missing was our old blocky TV set, no obligations until Sunday, and a generous helping of vampires.
- 1 Tablespoon tamari
- 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce (I use the Healthy Boy brand)
- 1 teaspoon refined coconut oil, divided
- 1 small to medium sized onion, chopped small to medium
- ½ orange, red, or yellow bell pepper, chopped small (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium sized carrot, diced medium (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups cooked long grain brown rice, cold
- 1 cup pineapple, chopped medium
- Cilantro, garnish
- ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon organic canola oil or other neutral cooking oil
- 10 ounce vacuum-packed package of organic super firm tofu (I use Wildwood SprouTofu), diced in even small to medium squares
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon black salt (a.k.a. kala namak), or to taste
- In a small bowl, combine the tamari and sweet soy sauce with a fork until blended. Set aside for later use.
- Bring a large skillet to a medium heat and put ½ teaspoon refined coconut oil into the pan and let it melt.
- Add onion to the skillet and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion is softened and translucent.
- Add the bell pepper and carrot to the pan and sauté for 5 to ten minutes more, until the carrot has softened but still has some bite.
- Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of coconut oil to the pan in a corner of the pan and sauté the garlic in that small area for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the cold cooked rice to the pan and lower heat if necessary, so that the rice doesn’t stick. Combine the rice with the vegetables until it is spread evenly across the pan.
- Add the tamari/sweet soy sauce mixture to the skillet, using a spatula to make sure it’s evenly coated throughout the rice.
- Add the pineapple to the rice and continue cooking on a low heat until pineapple is warmed through, stirring occasionally.
- Spoon the fried rice onto plates and top with the cilantro garnish and a helping of eggy tofu.
- In a medium-sized non-stick skillet, add enough organic canola oil to the pan, so that it lightly covers the bottom. Bring the skillet to a medium-high heat.
- Add the diced tofu to the skillet and brown for five minutes, flipping the tofu occasionally, so that all of the sides and pieces brown evenly.
- Once all sides are brown, add black salt to the tofu and toss, so that it salts all sides. Start with ¼ teaspoon and add more to taste. (If you like a very eggy fried rice, feel free to add a sprinkling of black salt to the fried rice itself just before serving.)
Cadry is the writer, photographer, and recipe creator at Cadry’s Kitchen. She delights in sharing down-to-earth recipes and demystifying what it means to be vegan. Her other interests include making hand-built ceramics, cuddling her two affectionate cats, and traveling with her husband.