Meatless Mondays

16 May

A few weeks back I decided to start doing Meatless Mondays, encouraged by several factors including the global warming crisis, a desire to explore more interesting vegetarian dishes, and a friend who was also doing it. However, the most compelling reason I started was that the Sunday before we had done some sort of barbeque and I had eaten so much meat that my stomach was upset at me for days. Hence, Meatless Mondays was started to counteract Shitless Sundays.

To be honest, eating is a much more interesting act now than before I started. It’s not like I’m doing salad and health food on Mondays. No, the food is actually quite filling, and in many cases involves a healthy dose of oil, cheese, and glutenous things. It’s just that I am able to break the monotony of the standard weekly fare – rice plus some sort of grilled meat, or rice plus stir fried onions and peppers. Mondays I look forward to experimenting with whatever strange, exotic, and green leafy things I bought on a whim on a previous Haymarket run. Some examples include eggplant and tofu stir fry, grilled muenster sandwich and tomato bisque soup, and daikon and baby bok choy stew. Maybe if I start doing reruns I will make posts of those on a future Monday.

This week I mixed my Asian and southern roots, and made a collard greens and daikon gumbo. Can you even call it a gumbo, even though i’m from the coastal south, not the gulf south? I don’t know, but it turned into a ricey, beany, spicy mix that has the consistency of gumbo. So here’s the recipe to a super creamy and rich asian/southern cuisine.

Collard greens and daikon gumbo with brown rice and black beans

1 bunch collard greens
1 onion
3/4 can black beans
1/2 large daikon
2 cups brown rice, cooked
red chili pepper flakes
1 can vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic

Heat oil in a wok, and add in chopped garlic. Wash collard greens and chop into small pieces (1-2 inch squares). Peel and roughly dice an onion. Add onion to the hot oil and cook until almost translucent, and then add all the collard greens. Stir fry collard greens and onions for about 5 minutes, adding in salt and a generous amount of red pepper flakes.Add in black beans, then add in the can of vegetable stock, plus a second can’s worth of water.

Peel and slice daikon, then cut slices into quarters. Slices can be thick and chunky. Add the daikon and the precooked brown rice into the wok, and make sure there is enough water to partially submerge the daikon. Put a lid on the wok and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes. Occasionally stir the daikon and rice into the liquid so that it will cook thoroughly. I used brown rice that was still slightly crunchy, so by the time the vegetables were ready the rice was essentially recooked.

The dish is ready when the daikon is thoroughly soft, and the stalks of the collard greens are tender.

time to procrastinate: 45 minutes
ways to put off studying for finals more: make corn bread and sweet tea

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