Easy Vegan Mexican Rice

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Last night we had a little get together for D’s birthday. He’s the JET (that’s the program I’m here with) ALT (assistant language teacher) that’s been in Mimasaka “city” for the longest between him, A and me.

I am so thankful for D. If it wasn’t for him, I would have had to do a lot more biking around to find where I can purchase pretty plates, pay utility bills and buy avocados. Though if you can remember/have been following for that long, I still did A LOT of initial biking/adventuring around. But in all seriousness, D has been amazing and I would have had an even harder time surviving this place without his friendship and ability to speak both Japanese and English. Ari-ga-to brother.

Anywho, D is from Jamaica but since I don’t know anything about Jamaican food other than the incredible Jamaican banana fritters he made us once (sweet, savory and cinnamony all at the same time), I opted for Mexican cuisine seeing as it’s relatively easy to throw a Mexican/taco night.

From my previous experience of Mexican nights in Japan thus far…A and I stuck to the basics, mince, guacamole, chopped veggies, sour cream, jalapenos, shredded cheese and of course, tortillas. But this time, I also made a super easy/lazy but healthy “Mexican” vegan rice (below). For dessert/cake we simply topped a chocolate brownie with plain yoghurt and strawberries.

2 cups long-grain brown rice
1 onion, chopped small
2 cups frozen mixed carrot, peas and corn
1 can of preservative-free pinto beans, drained
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp hot chili powder
salt and pepper

First, cook rice as per packet instructions – this is probably the trickiest part… try not to over-cook like moi.

In a large pan, fry onion with a little oil until golden.

Add mixed veggies and stir-fry for 5-10 minutes.

Add everything else, pinto beans, tomatoes, turmeric, cumin, chili, salt and pepper and cooked rice then mix to combine.

Cook for a further 5 or so minutes or until everything’s steamin’.

Eat as a side-dish, as a main-dish or stuffed inside a burrito.

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