What can you say about the national dish of Brazil? Well, for starters, it's pronounced fay-jho-ah-da. You can also say it's the antithesis of healthy vegan fare, as it is typically made with a variety of salted pork and beef products. (I'll spare you the details of the specific ingredients.) But at the heart of Brazilian feijoada are black turtle beans, (the word "feijoada" is derived from the Portuguese word for beans, "feijão.") So you do have the basis for a dish that is vegan and delicious.
Now I'm not saying that vegan feijoada tastes a lot like the classic Brazilian dish, but the combination of ingredients like cumin, red pepper flakes, celery, garlic, and onions, accentuated with a hint of orange do give this stew a unique flavor, which will not be confused with any other dish from any other Latin American country.
In Brazil, feijoada is usually served with rice and chopped refried collard greens. I prepared a lovely Brazilian rice for this dish and served it with Bryant Terry's Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux from his wonderful book, Vegan Soul Kitchen. Since his collard dish is flavored with garlic and orange, it made the perfect accompaniment to my vegan feijoada.
I "McDougallized" the following recipe from Mark Bittner (of all people!) And my Brazilian Rice is adapted from a recipe on southamericafoodabout.com
Cooking oil spray
1 6-oz. pkg. Lightlife Fakin’ Bacon smoky tempeh strips
2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 Tbs. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp grated orange zest
1 orange peeled and sliced for garnish
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
1 1/4 cup orange juice (divided)
parsley, minced (optional)
Spray pan, add tempeh strips, and sauté for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside. Put the beans in a large pot with broth over warm heat. Add cumin, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Zest the orange and add to the beans, then peel and dice the orange, and set aside. Cook the onions, celery, and red pepper in a large skillet over medium heat, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add to beans. Turn the heat under the skillet to high and add 1 cup of the orange juice. Cook, stirring and scraping to deglaze the pan for about 5 minutes. Add to the beans with the remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice and parsley, if using. Serve with rice and garnish with orange slices. Serves 4.
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 small onion, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 cup rice long or medium-grain rice
Rinse the rice several times, until the water runs clear. Heat the vegetable broth in a saucepan over medium heat, and add the mashed garlic. Cook garlic for 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and tomato and cook, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave rice covered for 5 minutes more.
Fluff rice with fork and serve. Makes 4 servings.