Since going vegan, I’ve found myself cooking a lot more, which is great for our budget and our health. I’ve never been a great cook, but I’ve been learning quickly! This is a recipe I came up with on my own, and I’m super proud of it.
It’s cheap, low-fat, and easy to make. It’s also great for using leftover rice – obviously cut the portions of ingredients down to fit how much rice you have leftover better.
I’ve made this with a variety of veggies, the first time I made it I used corn, tri-color canned beans, zucchini and onions. The corn is great if you roast it in a pan first. Using beans will definitely up the protein.
The constants in this are rice, tomato sauce, veggies, some kind of mexican seasoning and nutritional yeast. The nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor to the tomato sauce and ensures you’re getting that important vitamin B12!
A lot of people new to plant-based cooking struggle to find nutritional yeast, but really most grocery stores have it – it’s usually in the spices section, probably very low down near the floor. I’ve gotten it at Sprouts, Kroger and Wal-Mart and I’ve seen it at lots of other chains. It’s typically not worth asking an employee who works there unfortunately, they’ll probably just direct you to baking yeast, which is not what you want!
I use a pre-made mexican blend seasoning for all my tex-mex cooking, but you can also use taco seasoning or make your own! The key spices for this are cumin, cayenne, paprika, chili powder, garlic and onion.
To keep it fat-free, I use veggie broth to cook the veggies (rather than oil). I love to cook my rice in veggie broth as well, so we go through a lot of broth here!
This time, I used zucchini and yellow squash, red and green bell peppers and a yellow onion – my current favorite mix of veggies. I could easily see using any combination of these along with eggplant, beans, corn, peas, other squashes, okra and/or mushrooms. I personally can’t have mushrooms, but don’t let that stop you. I like to get as many colors in as I can, and it always tastes great!
Start out by cooking your rice (or use leftover rice), and prep your veggies. I always chop up my veggies really tiny, because it’s easier to get picky toddlers to eat tiny bites of veggies than a huge chunk. So I dice everything.
Grab your extra large pan for this one, and put it on high. Add a small amount of veggie broth, and start cooking the onions.
After they have cooked for 2-3 minutes, add the rest of the veggies, and add some more veggie broth. Cook all the veggies together, the squash and bell peppers cooked for about 8 minutes.
Once you’re happy with your veggies, dump all your rice and tomato sauce in, and add some salt. Add a bit of veggie broth, and mix it all well. Keep the heat on high, we are going to reduce down the sauce. It’s going to look very pink at this point, don’t worry!
Dump in a bunch of seasoning and nutritional yeast, and mix it all up again.
Cook it for a few more minutes until it looks creamy. Then let it set for about 10 minutes.
Then enjoy! One thing I love about this recipe is how cheap it is. I estimated it cost about $7.50 to make about 6 servings.
Veggie Mexican Rice (Vegan)
- 16 oz brown rice
- 1/2 to 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow onion
- 1/4 cup Mexican seasoning
- 1/4+ cup nutritional yeast
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Dice vegetables.
- In a large pan on high heat, cook onions in a splash of vegetable broth until slightly translucent
- Add approx 1/4 cup vegetable broth and remaining vegetables. Cook approximately 8 minutes
- Add rice, tomato sauce, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth and mix evenly. Cook on high for 2-5 minutes.
- Add Mexican seasoning and nutritional yeast, mix evenly, cook on high for 2-5 more minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Remove from heat, let set for 10 minutes.