Thursday, August 5, 2010

Veggie Might: Market Finds‚ Callaloo, and Jamaican Cook-up Rice

Penned by the effervescent Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about the wide world of Vegetarianism.

I've got another fun find from the farmers market this week: callaloo. I'm a sucker for leafy greens‚ especially one I've never tried before.

Turns out I'd had callaloo before; also known as amaranth greens, which I've received in CSA shares past, callaloo is a Caribbean green similar in taste to and a tad heartier than spinach. Once you rinse away the dirt and cast off the stems, the deep green leaves are ready for any recipe that calls for leafy greens.

Since I spent the last month away from my stove, I was inspired to dig out an old favorite cookbook and fire up the hot box. I found the perfect recipe: Jamaican Cook-up Rice from Jay Solomon's The Global Vegetarian. It combines traditional Caribbean flavors and whatever you’ve got hanging around your kitchen into a one-pot wonder.

I added some roasted tofu with a simple marinade to the party. If you want to keep things simple and all-in-one pot‚ stick with Solomon's protein of choice: red beans or pigeon peas. And you can use any vegetables you like too; choose your own root veg, greens, and/or sub the eggplant with summer squash or zucchini.

CB, my cutie pal JBF, and I loved it. Rice, vegetables, and warm spices make this dish a perfect, stick-with-you lunch or supper. And it goes great alongside corn-on-the-cob that's perfectly in season.

Have you tried callaloo before? What's your favorite leafy green? Spill in the comments! I could talk about greens all day.

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If you dig this recipe, you may fancy
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Jamaican Cook-up Rice with Callaloo and Roasted Tofu
Makes 5 servings.
Adapted from The Global Vegetarian by Jay Solomon


1 tbsp canola oil
1 medium white onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
6 small Japanese eggplants (about 12 oz), diced
1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup almond milk
1 cup brown rice
2 cups carrots, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp dried allspice
2 tsp salt
6 cups callaloo greens or spinach, torn

Caribbean Roasted Tofu
14 oz roasted tofu, cubed
2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp dried allspice
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp canola oil

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Combine 2 tsp fresh thyme, 1 tsp allspice, salt, pepper, lime juice, and canola oil in a medium mixing bowl.

2) Toss cubed tofu in marinade until coated.

3) Spread evenly over baking sheet.

4) Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once.

5) In a large saucepan or stewpot, heat oil over medium heat. Combine onion, green and habanero peppers, and eggplant in pot and sauté for 7 minutes or until soft.

6) Add liquids (almond milk and veggie stock), rice, carrots, and spices. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked through and liquid is absorbed, stirring occassionally. Add water as necessary to keep rice from sticking to the pot.

7) Stir in greens and tofu (or beans), and cook until greens are wilted. Serve warm with corn-on-the-cob.

8) Rejoice.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price per Serving
348.4 calories, 8.9g fat, 13.6g fiber, 27.25g protein, $1.61

Calculations
Jamaican Cook-up Rice
1 tbsp canola oil: 120 calories, 14g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.08
1 medium white onion: 40 calories, 0.2g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.50
1 medium green bell pepper: 33 calories, 0g fat, 3g fiber, 1g protein, $0.49
12 oz Japanese eggplants: 79.5 calories, 0.75g fat, 11.25g fiber, 3.75g protein, $1.50
1 habanero pepper: 2.75 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0.25g protein, $0.12
2 cups vegetable stock: 40 calories, 0.2g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.38
1 cup almond milk: 40 calories, 3g fat, 1g fiber, 1g protein, $0.50
1 cup brown rice: 720 calories, 6g fat, 12g fiber, 12g protein, $0.76
2 cups carrots: 100 calories, 0g fat, 8g fiber, 4g protein, $0.64
1/4 cup fresh parsley: 5.2 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.28
2 tsp fresh thyme: 2 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.08
1 tsp dried allspice: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.02
2 tsp salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.02
6 cups callaloo: 36 calories, 0g fat, 4.5g fiber, 2.25g protein, $1.50

Caribbean Roasted Tofu
14 oz tofu: 437.5 calories, 22.4g fat, 28g fiber, 112g protein, $0.98
2 tsp fresh thyme: 2 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.08
1 tsp dried allspice: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.02
1 tbsp lime juice: 4.75 calories, 0.02g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.05
2 tsp canola oil: 79.2 calories, 9.2g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.05
1 tsp salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, protein, $0.02
Totals: 1741.9 calories, 44.57g fat, 67.75g fiber, 136.25g protein, $8.07
Per serving: 348.4 calories, 8.9g fat, 13.6g fiber, 27.25g protein, $1.61

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4 comments:

Diane said...

Here the call it yin choy, and it's widely available all summer in a lovely purple & green variety.

sarah said...

I found some amaranth at my local market last week, and it was green with red veining. Very pretty and tasty. I made a fritatta, a warm salad, and added it to stew. And there is some left, so maybe I'll make Jamaican rice! Thanks.

Evelyn said...

My favorite green will always be kale. (Possibly until I try callaloo?) Regular curly kale is the most all-purpose, but red Russian kale is great too. I, too, love to talk about greens at every chance.

Leigh said...

Diane, I've had the purple/green one too, but never heard the name yin choy. Cool!

Sarah, great idea -- a fritta. Let me know how the rice turns out if you try it!

Evelyn, I love kale too, but I've never had the red kind. I'll keep my eye out for it. Thanks for the tip!