Chef: Del Sroufe
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min
1/3 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 lg yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 lg bell peppers (preferably 1 red, 1 green, and 1 yellow), seeded and thinly sliced
1 lb portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T dried basil
2 t dried thyme
1 t dried marjoram
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 c unsweetened plant milk
1 T mellow white miso
1 T nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
4 c cooked brown rice (recipe below) or mashed potatoes
2 c brown rice
4 c water
Sprinkle the flour in a small skillet and toast it over medium-low heat until it starts to turn brown and fragrant. Set it aside while you finish the rest of the dish.
Sauté the onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the onion turns translucent and starts to brown, about 8 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking. Add the garlic, basil, thyme, and marjoram, and cook for another minute.
Add the crushed tomatoes and reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes.
In a blender, puree the toasted flour, plant milk, and miso. Add the mixture to the pan with the vegetables, along with the nutritional yeast. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and cook until a gravy develops, about 5 minutes.
Serve over brown rice.
Combine the rice and water in a 2-quart saucepan, cover, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 45 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
While I like the color of the three different bell peppers, when all I have is green bell peppers, I am happy to use them instead. But remember, we eat with our eyes as well as our sense of smell and our taste buds, so how a dish looks is part of how it tastes
Toasting flour is tricky because it goes from fragrant to burned in a split second. You can’t walk away from the stove for even a minute.
The key to cooking any grain is to make sure to leave the lid on for the entire cooking time. Uncovering the pan before the end of the cooking time will release steam, and then you will not have enough liquid left to fully cook the grain.
When a recipe calls for you to simmer a dish, it means to cook it at just below the boiling point, with the liquid barely moving in the pan.
I find it useful to always have a pot of rice on hand for different dishes. This basic recipe can be used in any number of ways—as a side dish, as a filling for burritos, as the base for a hearty stew, or even as a breakfast cereal with a little warm plant milk, chopped dates, and cinnamon.
Chef Del Sroufe teaches cooking classes at local venues like Whole Foods, Community Recreation Centers, and The Wellness Forum. Sroufe is the author of The China Study: Quick & Easy Cookbook, The China Study Family Cookbook, Better Than Vegan, and Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, a vegan cookbook companion to the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives. Learn more at www.chefdelsroufe.com.