Seared Pineapple Fried Rice Using START! Hot Curry Sauce – Recipe and Review

100% Natural START! Hot Curry Sauce

A few nights ago, I finally got to try START! Hot Curry Sauce in a recipe for dinner.  START! Sauce was the perfect addition to a meal that was simple, nutritious, fulfilling, balanced, and… of course… cruelty-free.

“Great Taste with Peace of Mind”

START! was made to bring Eastern influences to conscientious Western cuisine.  (Or any Western cuisine, for that matter, but it’s ALSO approved by health freak weirdos like me who won’t consume 99% of the “food” I witness others around me eating).  START!, I can actually call food without quotation marks.  That was the only semi-offensive comment I make in this post, I promise.  Please read on.

Anyway… Their concept allows the sauce to transform many of your favorite recipes instantly by substituting it for other sauces and by simply alternating a few ingredients.  Stir frys, pastas, sandwich wraps, hummus, dips, noodles, burritos… whatever!

Here’s where the recipe comes in.

Seared Pineapple Fried Rice Using START! Hot Curry Sauce

Ingredients
  1. START! Original Hot Curry Sauce, 4 tablespoons (or more or less to taste)
  2. Pineapple, cut into bite sized bits
  3. 1/4 vegetable oil (or coconut oil if you like the taste… I don’t prefer it)
  4. Small white onion, diced
  5. Ginger, 1 tablespoon, grated
  6. 4 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
  7. Sea salt, to taste
  8. Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

  1. I decided to use it in a fried rice with pineapple because pineapple is amazing and something about it just felt right.  Start by chopping your pineapple.  If you don’t know how, google it.  This isn’t a post about teaching you how to cut your pineapple.  Or, if you’re rich, go buy chopped pineapple at your favorite store.

    Searing the Delicious Wonderfruit

  2. Heat a wok (preferably) or a large skillet over high heat.  Without using any oil, sear the pineapple in its juices for 5-10 minutes.  Let it brown slightly as the flavor intensifies.  Remove from the wok/skillet.  (Warning: this makes the pineapple hot on the inside.  Duh.) 
  3. A wok works best for fancy cooking

    Add your oil, which will heat quickly since your pan is already hot.  Wait a few seconds till it heats and add the onion. 

    Ginger is Thy Medicine

    Onions will heal you

  4. Let the onion cook a minute, meanwhile add the grated ginger over the onion, and let the flavors come out.  
  5. Fry a couple minutes until the onions are translucent.  Add the curry sauce and fry for 20 seconds.  
  6. Add your cooked brown rice and mix well, breaking up any chunks as you stir through.  Add more sauce, if necessary.  Season with sea salt. 

    You know you should eat brown rice, anyway.

  7. This is FRIED rice, so fry for a few minutes while stirring consistently.  Allow the rice to brown and crisp.
  8. Add the pineapple back in and stir through.
  9. Taste, adjust seasonings, and garnish with chopped cilantro!
  10. Enjoy, and post this recipe on your social media pages.

    Dinner is served.

  11. Head over to Facebook and “like” START! and post this to your friends.
  12. Follow START! Sauce on Twitter!  They are super nice and will surely respond to you if you give them a shout out.  Let them know you heard about them here and that would be pretty rad.  Tweet this blog to your followers!  I’ll retweet you and my followers are pretty cool.
  13. Take this form to your favorite store and ask them to carry START! Sauce or shop online.

The spices bring my awareness to a place where meals are still considered a social gathering and are worthwhile occurrences where family members, neighbors, and friends are nourished with foods from the earth herself.  It is flavorful, drawing from South Asian and Indian cuisines, and can stand alone as a base for any meal (as it did with the recipe I made)… while also catering to the conscious Californian who craves an all-natural product sans “sugar, oil, or anything artificial”.  

START! Sauce is certified Vegan, Gluten Free, and using only ingredients that I can pronounce easily and most of which I have in my own spice cabinet.  And it’s 100% NON-GMO!  That’s more than Whole Foods can say, these days.  Read about that here and here.

START! also takes into consideration that not all are keen on extremely spicy foods.  Its balanced kick satisfies my spicy food cravings while making my neighbor comment that “ooo, it’s spicy”.. but only once.  Then there were only positive remarks about how distinctive the flavors were and inquisitions about the recipe and sauce.  The acidity of the pineapple was perfectly balanced by the red pepper and curry spices in the START! Sauce.  Searing the pineapple initially for 5-10 minutes in the wok brings the natural sugars out and it starts to caramelize as well, and the result is a mouth-watering spicy, sweet, and tangy fried brown rice that satisfyingly stands alone as dinner.

START! sent me a sample of their product to review. The opinions above are mine only. I was not compensated for this review.

Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

2 cups Red Lentils, sifted through to remove dirt, rinsed
6 cups Water or Vegetable Stock
1 Large Onion, chopped
Olive Oil/ Vegetable Oil for frying onions
1 Large Potato, peeled, chopped

1 Carrot, peeled, chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
1 tbs cumin, more to taste if needed
All Spice, Pepper, Salt, to taste
3/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice

  1. Bring stock/ water and lentils to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, fry onion in a frying pan in oil.
  3. Boil lentils for 10 minutes, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Add a teaspoon or so of Allspice or pepper.  (DON’T ADD SALT until after lentils have cooked thoroughly, at the end, or else they won’t soften.  Don’t add it yet.)
  4. Add onions to mix, add cumin, potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes to lentils and cook about 10-15 minutes longer until all ingredients are soft.  
  5. All salt to taste (about a teaspoon.. add less and taste until you reach the right amount.. you can always add more!)
  6. Blend with a hand blender (or a regular blender and return to pot).
  7. Add lemon juice after soup is done cooking, and season to taste.
  8. Enjoy!
  9. Love, Rima

Vegan Chili Chz Fries

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Vegan Chili Chz Fries 

Inspired by Native Foods delectably Vegan Chili Chz Fries, I embarked upon a journey to create my own.  Luckily, I didn’t have to travel further than the Whole Foods down the street.  Recreate these and trick even your most carnivorous friends.

Makes about 4 servings, depending on how much people devour!

Ingredients

  1. Favorite frozen fries or fresh cut… prepare however you like!  I like shoestring fries… (This mixture can make enough chili for two bags of fries, if you wish)
  2. Half a white onion, diced
  3. BOCA Meat-less Ground Crumbles (Whole or half the bag, depending on preference and how much you want to make)
  4. One can of preferred Vegetarian Chili – mmm, Spicy!
  5. Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds

Directions

  1. Start by cooking the fries according to the directions on the bag or if fresh cut potatoes, bake or fry as you wish
  2. Sautee the onion in a pan with a little oil until they are translucent
  3. Add the BOCA Meat-less Ground Crumbles with a bit more oil, and cook according to the package directions
  4. Add the Chili to your mixture and cook until heated
  5. When fries are golden and crispy, and the Chili/ BOCA Mixture on top and sprinkle with Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds, as much cheeziness as you wish
  6. DEMOLISH!

Spicy Potato and Bean Tacos

For this one, I made one of the tacos a double decker with soft tortillas and taco shells

Ingredients

Potato filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds golden potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 white mushrooms, chopped

Other ingredients

  • Preferred shredded lettuce for 6 tacos
  • Corn on the cobb, grilled, cut
  • Can of pinto/ black refried beans (Amy’s are my FAVORITE and so worth so $2.something a can), warmed
  • Black olives
  • Avocado slices
  • 6 taco shells (store bought or you can make your own with corn tortillas and oil)

Directions

  • In pot, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to boil. Cook until fork-tender, 20 minutes; drain and break up. Heat oil in nonstick skillet; add onions for one minute, then garlic, and a minute later, jalapeno and mushroom; cook 2 more minutes. Stir in potatoes; season with your favorite taco seasoning (I made one at home:
    • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
    • 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper), or you can just use any assortment of seasonings.
  • Spread in even layer and cook 5 minutes or until crispy brown, then flip and crisp the other side.  Keep sautéing until mixture is brown and crispy, adding more oil if necessary.
  • Warm shells while potatoes are cooking or starting cooking shells if making home-made.  (Or you can use the beans to make double-decker tacos… heated soft corn tortilla, spread beans, and then fold around a warm hard taco shell).
  • Fill with warmed beans, potato mixture, avocado slices, olives, corn, and lettuce.
  • Enjoy!

    Hard-shell tacos with beans and corn on the side

Amazing Vegan French Toast

Amazing Vegan French Toast

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
1 cup almond milk (or favorite non-dairy milk)
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
12 slices vegan French bread
Oil for frying
Fruit to serve on top; strawberries, mangos, blueberries, etc. (optional)
Vegan chocolate chips (optional)
Vegan powdered sugar/ confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle on top
100% maple syrup (I use Trader Joe’s Maple Agave Syrup Blend – much cheaper than real maple syrup)

Directions

Blend together bananas, non-dairy milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet with a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat.  Pour batter into a pie plate or bowl and dip slices of vegan bread into batter (only 1-2 seconds each side; you don’t want to saturate the bread or else it will stick to the pan).  Fry each side in skillet until slightly golden and make sure to flip a few times to make it crispy.  Be liberal with the oil so it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, fruit… go crazy!

Serves: 6

TIP: Freeze unused batter for next time!

Vegan Fettucine Alfredo

Ingredients:

Alfredo sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (unsalted) (or 1/3 cup cashew butter)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp white miso
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or safflower oil
  • Handful of parsley
  • 6 – 8 green onions, sliced

Additional ingredients

  • 1 12 oz package vegan fettucine (spinach, if you can find it), cooked
  • 1 cup of broccoli, steamed lightly in shallow boiling water
  • Garnish suggestions: minced parsley, chopped green onions, pine nuts, etc

Directions:

  1. Cook the noodles in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain
  2. While the pasta is cooking, blend together the cashews and water until completely smooth and creamy, about 90 seconds
  3. Add remaining sauce ingredients, except oil, and puree until smooth
  4. Slowly add oil until the mixture is thick and oil is emulsified
  5. Transfer sauce to a saucepan and heat on low heat for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring frequently
  6. Add noodles and broccoli to mixture and stir
  7. Serve; garnish with minced parley, chopped green onions, pine nuts, if desired!

Fettucine Alfredo is delicious with fried tofu, other steamed veggies, or a green salad!

**NOTE** Recipe will still work sans the tahini and miso, so don’t fret if you don’t have those 2 ingredients.

Vegan Fettucine Alfredo

Vegan Oven Baked Mac n Chz

The mac n chz of your dreams.
12 ounces elbow macaroni
1 cup firm tofu, drained
2-1/2 cups plain unsweetened soy milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon plain yellow mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
black pepper to taste
2 cups cooked and chopped broccoli
Bread crumbs (optional)1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes

2. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine the tofu, soy milk, yeast, cornstarch, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.

3. Drain the cooked macaroni and return to the pot. Add the tofu mixture above and broccoli and cook over medium heat, stirring untill the sauce comes to a boil and begins to thicken, about 4 minutes. Add a little more soy milk if sauce is too thick to your liking. Taste and adjust seasoning or salt if needed.

4.  Transfer mixture to a large baking dish. Then top with about a 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I grated a plain bagel) and bake in 375 degree F oven until the crumbs are browned.
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