Vegan Pepper Steak with Homemade Rice-a-Roni

Pepper Steak (23)

So many of the recipes I develop happen because I crave my mother’s cooking. All of a sudden, as if out of nowhere, this craving hits me and it’s powerful. It engages all my senses – I’m back in the kitchen and I can see her food on the stove, smell the delicious aroma, hear the sounds of talking (or yelling) in the house and remember just how good everything tasted. It’s always a strong craving filled with memories and lots of complicated emotions.

Having those strong cravings doesn’t surprise me. Food was important in my family. It was a source of consistency – it was always good, it was always homemade and it meant things were ok – at least for a moment. Food was the way caring was shown and the offering of food was an unspoken peace treaty after the war.

What does surprise me, כאָטש, is when I crave dishes my mother made that I didn’t really like back then. I was a picky eater and all I really ever wanted was meat in one form or another. Even that, I liked plain, not in stews or covered in sauces. When my mother made those types of dishes for my father and sister who preferred meat that way, I would pick out the meat and leave the vegetables, beans or other ingredients on my plate.

Pepper Steak (4)

One of those dishes was pepper steak. Not the Chinese dish but the American version. Whenever we had roast beef, pepper steak would be made out of the leftovers, much to my disapproval. The roast beef would be cut up into long slices and cooked in a rich, gravy-type sauce with lots of bell peppers. It was served with rice-a-roni in a big skillet. My dad would be thrilled; I would pick out the meat. No way was I eating the peppers.

Pepper Steak (2)

So recently, I got a strong craving for my mother’s pepper steak. Even though I didn’t like it then, I could appreciate it now. The rich gravy, the sauteed peppers, and the crunchy rice I really didn’t like back then. I knew I had to make a vegan version of this dish.

Pepper Steak (25)

Making homemade rice-a-roni is easy. It’s just a simple pilaf. Toast the rice with broken spaghetti or orzo until crispy and then cook the rice as usual. You can also toss chopped walnuts in it but I didn’t want that.

Pepper Steak (8)

Since I only use brown rice, the broken spaghetti cooked for 40 minutes and it got a little softer. If you really want it to stay crunchy, toast the spaghetti separately and add it to the pot half-way through the cooking time for the rice.

Pepper Steak (17)

If I weren’t making the dish gluten-free, I would have used seitan for the steak but since that wasn’t the case, I turned to my beloved soy curls from Butler Foods. I rehydrated them in “beef-flavored” broth so they would taste more beefy than chicken-y. Then I cooked them with spices until they were crispy and then tossed them in some vegan Worcestershire sauce (also gluten-free) for extra flavor.

Pepper Steak (32)

Then I sauteed onions and peppers and made a rich, thick gravy with tamari, וואָרסעסטערשירע סאָוס, ברוין צוקער, טאַמייטאָוז, lots of spices and more “ביפי” יויך. I thickened it with an arrowroot powder slurry and put the soy curls back in the pan to soak up the gravy goodness.

Pepper Steak (20)

Served with the rice, my vegan pepper steak tasted so similar to my mother’s dish. It was “ביפי” in that vegan beefy way, the veggies were tender and the gravy was so rich and delicious. Everyone loved the dish but for me, the success of it was that it transported me back to that dish in my childhood kitchen that I used to grimace at. It tasted like Mom’s but vegan and that was what I wanted.

Pepper Steak (5)

When you make this dish, you can certainly make it with seitan if you’re not gluten-free or use tofu or just long, thick slices of Portobello mushrooms. But whatever you use, make it. Even if you never had this as a kid, or refused it as a kid, it’s worth adding to your menu rotation now. האַנאָע האָבן!

Vegan Pepper Steak with Homemade Rice-a-Roni

גף

Pepper Steak (26)

For the Rice-a-Roni­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

1 Tbs. גרינס ייל

2 טעפּלעך ברוין רייַז

4 אַז. גלוטען פֿרייַ ספּאַגעטי

קאָשער זאַלץ

3 ½ טעפּלעך וואַסער

For the Soy Curls---------------

1 “beef” flavored bouillon cube

1 פּעקל Butler Foods Soy Curls

2 Tbs. גלוטען פֿרייַ מעל

2 tsp. ערד קומין

2 tsp. פּאַפּריקאַ

1 tsp. קאָשער זאַלץ

½ צפּ. שוואַרץ פעפער

3 Tbs. גרינס ייל

1 Tbs. וועגאַן, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce or gluten-free tamari

פֿאַר די שיסל

2 Tbs. גרינס ייל

1 גרויס ציבעלע, cut in half and thinly sliced

3 גלאָק פּעפּערז, various colors, סלייסט

¼ cup gluten-free tamari

2 Tbs. וועגאַן, גלוטען-פֿרייַ וואָרסעסטערשירע סאָוס

¼ טעפּל ברוין צוקער

1-15 אַז. קענען דייסט טאַמייטאָוז

1 tsp. ערד קומין

½ צפּ. שוואַרץ פעפער

1 cup “beef” flavored broth

2 tsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch

¼ cup water

קאָשער זאַלץ צו טעם

אין אַ מיטל-סייזד פאַן, היץ די ייל איבער מיטל-הויך היץ. Add the rice and toss to coat in the oil. Break the spaghetti into small pieces and add to the pot. Let the rice and pasta cook until slightly browned and toasted. Add a pinch of salt and the water to the pot. Cover and bring to a rapid boil. Stir the rice and recover the pot. Reduce the heat to low and let cook for 35 minutes until the water is absorbed. Shut the heat and let sit for 10 מינוט. ופדעקן און פּוך מיט אַ גאָפּל.

Fill a small saucepan with water and add the bouillon cube to it. Bring the water to a boil and dissolve the cube. Empty the soy curls into a bowl and cover with the broth you just made, reserving 1 cup for later. Let the soy curls sit for 10 מינוט ביז סאָפאַנד. Drain and gently squeeze out the excess liquid. Pat dry and toss the soy curls with the flour, קומין, פּאַפּריקאַ, זאַלץ און פעפער.

Heat the oil in a deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook the soy curls until browned on all sides, וועגן 8 מינוט. Add the Worcestershire sauce or tamari to the pan and toss to coat the soy curls. אַריבערפירן צו אַ שיסל און שטעלן באַזונדער.

In the same saucepan, heat the 2 Tbs. oil and saute the onion until softened, וועגן 5 מינוט. Add the bell peppers and cook for 4 מינוט ביז זיי אָנהייבן צו פאַרווייכערן. Add the tamari, וואָרסעסטערשירע סאָוס, brown sugar and tomatoes. Mix everything to combine. Add the seasoning to your taste.. לייג די יויך. You want enough to cover the veggies. Bring the liquid to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low.

Add the soy curls back into the pan and toss to coat with the veggies and the gravy. Let it simmer while you prepare the slurry. Combine the arrowroot and water and add it to the pan. It will thicken the gravy. Cook until the gravy is to your desired consistency. Add salt to taste and taste for any seasoning adjustments. דינען איבער רייַז.

Pepper Steak (30)

די “V” וואָרט: זאָגן אים. עסן עס. לעבן אים.

Soy Curl Pepper Steak with Homemade Rice-a-Roni
מעכאַבער: 
רעצעפּט טיפּ: אַנטריי
קוויזין: אמעריקאנער
 
ינגרידיאַנץ
  • For the Rice-a-Roni
  • 1 Tbs. גרינס ייל
  • 2 טעפּלעך ברוין רייַז
  • 4 אַז. גלוטען פֿרייַ ספּאַגעטי
  • קאָשער זאַלץ
  • 3 ½ טעפּלעך וואַסער
  • For the Soy Curls
  • 1 “beef” flavored bouillon cube
  • 1 package Butler Foods Soy Curls
  • 2 Tbs. גלוטען פֿרייַ מעל
  • 2 tsp. ערד קומין
  • 2 tsp. פּאַפּריקאַ
  • 1 tsp. קאָשער זאַלץ
  • ½ צפּ. שוואַרץ פעפער
  • 3 Tbs. גרינס ייל
  • 1 Tbs. וועגאַן, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • פֿאַר די שיסל
  • 2 Tbs. גרינס ייל
  • 1 גרויס ציבעלע, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 3 גלאָק פּעפּערז, various colors, סלייסט
  • ¼ cup gluten-free tamari
  • 2 Tbs. וועגאַן, גלוטען-פֿרייַ וואָרסעסטערשירע סאָוס
  • ¼ טעפּל ברוין צוקער
  • 1-15 אַז. קענען דייסט טאַמייטאָוז
  • 1 tsp. ערד קומין
  • ½ צפּ. שוואַרץ פעפער
  • 1 cup “beef” flavored broth
  • 2 tsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • קאָשער זאַלץ צו טעם
ינסטראַקשאַנז
  1. אין אַ מיטל-סייזד פאַן, היץ די ייל איבער מיטל-הויך היץ. Add the rice and toss to coat in the oil. Break the spaghetti into small pieces and add to the pot. Let the rice and pasta cook until slightly browned and toasted. Add a pinch of salt and the water to the pot. Cover and bring to a rapid boil. Stir the rice and recover the pot. Reduce the heat to low and let cook for 35 minutes until the water is absorbed. Shut the heat and let sit for 10 מינוט. ופדעקן און פּוך מיט אַ גאָפּל.
  2. Fill a small saucepan with water and add the bouillon cube to it. Bring the water to a boil and dissolve the cube. Empty the soy curls into a bowl and cover with the broth you just made, reserving 1 cup for later. Let the soy curls sit for 10 מינוט ביז סאָפאַנד. Drain and gently squeeze out the excess liquid. Pat dry and toss the soy curls with the flour, קומין, פּאַפּריקאַ, זאַלץ און פעפער.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook the soy curls until browned on all sides, וועגן 8 מינוט. Add the Worcestershire sauce or tamari to the pan and toss to coat the soy curls. אַריבערפירן צו אַ שיסל און שטעלן באַזונדער.
  4. In the same saucepan, heat the 2 Tbs. oil and saute the onion until softened, וועגן 5 מינוט. Add the bell peppers and cook for 4 מינוט ביז זיי אָנהייבן צו פאַרווייכערן. Add the tamari, וואָרסעסטערשירע סאָוס, brown sugar and tomatoes. Mix everything to combine. Add the seasoning to your taste.. לייג די יויך. You want enough to cover the veggies. Bring the liquid to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low.
  5. Add the soy curls back into the pan and toss to coat with the veggies and the gravy. Let it simmer while you prepare the slurry. Combine the arrowroot and water and add it to the pan. It will thicken the gravy. Cook until the gravy is to your desired consistency. Add salt to taste and taste for any seasoning adjustments. דינען איבער רייַז.

(באזוכט 2,736 מאל, 1 וויסיץ הייַנט)

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2 רעספּאָנסעס צו Vegan Pepper Steak with Homemade Rice-a-Roni

  1. Anna נאָוועמבער 13, 2015 בייַ 7:06 PM #

    I made the Pepper Steak and served it over mashed potatoes, it was excellent! The only adjustment I made was cutting the amount of sugar in half but it is just a taste preference. Great recipe!

    • ריאַ נאָוועמבער 17, 2015 בייַ 10:04 PM #

      Thanks Anna. איך בין אַזוי צופרידן איר לייקט עס. 🙂


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