I was first introduced to Cajun Cuisine by none other than Emeril Lagasse. As a child I would stay up late and watch him vigorously spicing up dishes in front of a live audience. He was enthusiastic as well as informative as he danced across his kitchen. I was later introduced to Dirty Rice by my cousin Lisa. I didn’t fully understand as a child what it was. All I cared about was that it was absolutely delicious.
Recently, I’ve been working on “veganizing” my childhood favorites and even though this wasn’t anything that my family cooked from scratch, I do have a fond memory of my cousin sharing this with me. I also have an alpha galactose allergy (mammalian meat) so I couldn’t have typical dirty rice with beef. Instead, I decided to try TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) for a beef substitute and it turned out better than I could have imagined.
What is TVP? It’s a defatted soy flour that is dehydrated. It is quite inexpensive and can take on the flavor of any seasoning or marinade. In this recipe in particular I used a vegan beef bouillon to re-hydrate the TVP to give it a beefy flavor. I was quite impressed with the way this cooked up in my favorite cast iron skillet.
I hope you enjoy my take on this Cajun favorite. You can enjoy it just like this or I absolutely love using the Hot for Food Sour Cream on top. I also made my kids happy with this recipe which makes me feel like this old favorite of mine just might become a favorite of theirs as well. Emeril Lagasse continues to inspire the new generations.
Do you have a favorite Emeril memory too? Share it with me in the comment section below this post. I’d love to hear about it.
To Prepare the TVP:
- 2 Cups of Texture Vegetable Protein
- 2 Cups of Water
- 2 Beef Bouillon Cubes
- 1 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
- 2 Cups of Rice
- 4 Cups of Water
- Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Vegan Butter
- 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- Fresh Parsley for Garnishing
- First, cook your rice the way you know best. If you use a rice cooker, go ahead and use that. I always use a steel pot and a 2 to 1 ratio. Check the rice package for the time on the particular kind of rice that you are using. It can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 so be sure to check. When done, set aside off the heat.
- Dissolve your vegan beef bouillon in hot water and add to the TVP. Set aside and let it soak for 10 minutes. When it is softened use paper towel to press the TVP and remove any excess moisture.
- Add olive oil and about a tablespoon of vegan butter to a hot skillet. When the butter is melted add in the diced onion and saute until soft.
- Toss in your seasoned TVP into the pan and stir well. Remember, this has no dairy, or animal products so you’re really just trying to reduce the moisture, crisp the TVP, and cook it through.
- Add minced garlic here and cook until fragrant.
- Throw in the cooked rice to the pan and make sure to season your rice! Sprinkle with garlic and onion powder then stir to combine the mixture.
- When warmed through and the rice starts to crisp up it’s done. This only take 3 to 5 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and enjoy.