Almond-Chicken Rice

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My mom was an excellent cook; everyone loved to eat at our house where my parents regularly entertained people from all walks of life. In those days we were vegetarian, but didn’t understand about fats and sugars. I adapted this recipe from one she often made which was full of dairy and topped with potato chips.  Like lasagna, it is an easy one-dish meal which works great for entertaining.

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I have recently upgraded it again to using soy curls which adds such great texture and flavor.  We just had it this past weekend.  Unfortunately, I can’t show you the whole casserole, because by the time I remembered to get the camera, half of it was already gone!   But that’s OK as you can make it and see for yourself.

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Oil-free mayonnaise is necessary for an oil-free version. Use your favorite mayonnaise or try Unreal Mayo.

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Almond-Chicken Rice

Servings – 10 (3/4 cup each)
Prep Time – 20-25 minutes with precooked rice
Cook Time – 50 minutes

Ingredients:

2/3 cup soy curls*

1 1/4 cups very hot water

1 tbsp + 1 tsp chicken-like seasoning, to make your own see chick-like seasoning

 

1 cup each celery & onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups mushrooms, diced or sliced your preference

2 tsp oil or broth for sautéing, additional broth as needed

 

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup raw cashews

1 tbsp chicken-like seasoning, golden flaxseed meal, & low-sodium soy sauce

1/2 tsp garlic and onion powder

1/4 tsp salt & celery salt

1/2 cup liquid from soy curls

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise, for oil-free see Unreal Mayo

3 1/2 cups cooked Basmati brown rice

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1/2 cup sliced almonds


Instructions:
  1. Break the soy curls into 1/2-inch pieces.  Dissolve the chicken-like seasoning in the hot water and add the soy curls.  Keep them submerged by stirring a couple times while rehydrating.  Set aside.
  2. Combine celery, onions and mushrooms in a large, preferably nonstick, kettle and sauté until tender-crisp.  Remove from heat.
  3. Put the cup of hot water, cashews, and seasonings in your blender and blend until smooth as cream.
  4. Add 1/2 cup liquid from the marinating soy curls plus the mayonnaise.  Blend briefly to mix.
  5. Drain the curls, pressing slightly to remove excess moisture, and add with the rice, water chestnuts, and blended sauce to the kettle of sautéed vegetables and mix all together.  This will be soupy.
  6. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish that has been prepared with nonstick spray; the mixture should be about two inches deep.  At this point you may cover and refrigerate for a day or two or bake right away.   If refrigerated, first bring to room temperature before baking. 
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes in a preheated oven.  Remove from the oven and cover with the sliced almonds.  Return to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes until nuts are beginning to brown and rice is set.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes:
  • *For a soy-free version, you could use diced gluten; it would not have as much flavor.
  • *The soy curls have a good meaty texture.  If you have not used them before, store the dry product in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer as they can go rancid easily.