I hadn’t seen Almost Vegan before I met Amber at Vida Vegan Con, and her charming ways immediately won me over. Amber eats an “almost vegan” diet, and from what I can tell most of the recipes she posts are vegan, with a focus on raw food. She actually just turned in the manuscript for her first cookbook, an all raw cookbook. Plus, her boyfriend Matt performs some mean karaoke.
A lot of her recipes were tempting, but on the day I was choosing this one-two punch of Latin food sounded fantastic.
This is Yellow Cilantro Rice, Venezuelan Black Beans and Cuban ‘Ropa Vieja’ Shredded Seitan, which were all adaptions from Viva Vegan. Amber made this meal in three hours, I made this meal in…three days. The first step was cooking the sofrito, a mixture of onion, peppers, garlic and oil. I reduced the oil by half, because that’s what I do. I also made seitan, from the recipe in Veganomicon. The next day, I soaked and cooked the black beans. Then on the third day, I finally prepared the meal!
The yellow rice is supposed to get its color from annatto oil, but Amber didn’t have any so she used turmeric, which worked just fine for me. The black beans were seasoned with bay leaf, sofrito, tomatoes, cumin and brown sugar, and they were very delicious. The seitan ropa vieja involved the same sort of seasonings, and reminded me that I don’t eat seitan often enough. That’s some wilted swiss chard with onion in the back. This was a darned delicious meal, and the recipes made a ton of food. The flavors were mellow but good and harmonious, perfect for spicing up with Tapatio.
I’ve got my eye on more of Amber’s recipes, particularly the Single Serving Raw Blondie.