Friday, May 13, 2011

Crunchy-Chewy Baked Wild Rice and Gardein

I regret there's no recipe today -- this meal was created alongside a non-vegan version for the others, and I made it up as I went along, not knowing when everyone would alight at the dinner table on a busy weeknight. The way we do meals sometimes is not always what I would choose, but I find that a "roll-with-the-punches" attitude is best for everyone when there are many competing agendas.

So, basically, as I was assembling dinner(s), a few of my family members decided to go shoe shopping. I figured something baked slowly in the oven would provide a more flexible presentation time, so that's the method I chose. You can see from the photo that the gardein really didn't need to be cooked as long as it was, but the flavor was amazing, and I really didn't mind the chewy texture. Now, conversely, it's the very chewy, crunchy texture (think the exposed corners of a noodle casserole) of the rice that really makes that part of the meal. I loved the substantial, nutty crust over the creamy soft rice underneath.

Lets see if I can remember what I did:  I just mixed raw wild rice with broth and a couple of spoonfuls of tofutti sour cream (the amount of the liquids together equalled the water amount called for on the rice package). I added a chopped rib of celery, some salt and pepper and then baked it at 350 degrees for about an hour, then stirred in some fresh herbs from my garden (parsley, oregano and dill) and added the gardein which I had quickly sauteed in earth balance, lemon and capers. Then I put it all back in the oven and lowered the heat to 300 and waited for everyone to come home. About half an hour more went by, which is too much, so don't do that. Probably 5-10 minutes to marry the flavors would have worked.

As I said, though, I loved this dish despite/because of its chewiness! A simple rubbed kale salad with sunflower seeds was served alongside.


  1. Yum CHeryl! Looks healthy and satisfying! I love rice based meals so much!

  2. I'm going to try this, as soon as I google 'gardein" and figure out what that is. I love when I discover new things. Thank you!

  3. Thanks ladies. Colleen, Gardein is a namebrand for meat substitutes, which I rarely use, but I think it is the best of those I've tried. This type is like a chicken cutlet.

  4. Hi Cheryl,
    I love the Gardein product. Your dish looks really tasty with the healthy kale on the side:)