Tag Archives: pigeon peas

Easy Pigeon Peas

Since going vegan, I’ve easily had guacamole and chips for dinner at least once a week. It sounds weird when I say it out loud, but it’s the reality of my vegan lifestyle. That said, I was in no mood for guacamole tonight. So I threw together a pigeon pea dish.


Ingredient list:

1/2 dried pigeon peas or gandules
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 tbsp tomato paste
dash of annatto powder
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I boiled the pigeon peas in 2 cups of boiling water for a few minutes and then set it aside for an hour. Then, I heated a pot, browned the garlic and onions in olive oil until the onions were translucent, and then added the diced tomato. Once the tomato was softened to my liking, I added the peas, the spices, tomato paste, and a cup of water. I covered the pot until it boiled and the water had dried out a bit. I served the pigeon peas over some garlicky fried rice.

I was definitely in need of something more hearty than guacamole for dinner and this fit the bill! –Melissa

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Rice Cooker Cuisine: Arroz con Gandules

Arroz gon gandules has always been an exotic dish to me. I imagined that in order to cook it well, you needed someone’s abuela to teach you. Therefore, I never tried making it. Ever. Until yesterday. I found myself craving it and also wanting to cook something that was easy to bring for lunch and reheat at work.

4oz dried gandules
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 packet Sazon Con Culantro Achiote
3 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 tomato, diced and crushed
olive oil
salt and pepper

I went to the store looking for frozen green gandules but settled for dry non-green ones. I took the beans beans and left them to soak for about 6.5 hours. I literally left them: I left the house and wore myself out doing stuff, so believe me when I say that the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was slave over a stove. So, I decided to use a rice cooker.

In a perfect world, I would have boiled the beans a little bit at this point. But, I didn’t. And things still turned out OK. Here’s what I did do: I rinsed and drained the beans and added them along with the rice and the seasoning packet to the rice cooker pot. Then, I heated up the onions, garlic, and tomato in a pan with some olive oil. I first let the garlic and onion heat up. Then I added the tomato, crushing them with my hand before while adding them to the pan. When the tomato was soft, the onion was translucent, and there was some nice liquid in the pan, I added all the pan contents to the pot with the rice and beans.

Now, here is where I get really scientific. I added enough water to the pot to hit the 3 cup line. This doesn’t mean three cups of water. I don’t know what it means. You’ll have to ask my rice cooker. My rice cooker doesn’t talk. I’m sorry! I mixed the ingredients and then turned on the rice cooker.

Here’s what it looked like about 10-15 minutes in. Now, even though my intent was to let this dish cook itself without me having to supervise, I should have stirred things every 7-10 minutes to prevent sticking. Of course, I kind of enjoy sticky rice, so it ended up OK. After the rice cooker declared things finished, I stirred up the rice again and pressed the cook button again. It went for at least another 5 minutes. Here’s how it looked:

I was worried my rice would be too mushy. It ended up perfect. I was worried my beans wouldn’t cook all the way through. They weren’t as soft as I would have hoped, but they turned out okay. Boiling the beans beforehand would have helped. I’m actually surprised that this didn’t turn into a soupy mess.

I’m really happy with how this turned out and I know my next attempt at making it will be even better! Things I will do next time is throw in some minced fresh cilantro, more garlic, more salt, maybe some spice, and some chopped olives. Yummm….

Not bad for a “lazy” dish! –Melissa

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Kadios and Langka!

Full disclosure: My dinner wasn’t totally vegan because it was cooked with pork, which I did not eat. I could not resist being a vegetarian for one meal because this is one of my favorite dishes that I don’t often get to have (maraming salamat to my Aunt who brought it over). I’m extra excited because it’s a dish that can easily be veganized simply by not cooking it with meat.

The beans are kadios or pigeon peas. The meaty-lookimg stuff is langka or jackfruit. For real! I’ve seen jackfruit used in many interesting ways in the vegan blogosphere. This jackfruit is unripe. You should be able to find it in an Asian grocery store labeled as “young green jackfruit.” It’s hearty, picks up flavors nicely, and has a good texture to it. (In case you’re wondering, the green stuff is bok choy. My mom added it so there was more non-meaty stuff.)

What’s great about this dish is that the meat is almost an accessory. This is in comparison to other Filipino dishes where meat takes center stage and the veggies are for decoration. The flavor and color comes in large part from the kadios, which is the real star of the dish.

For dessert, I had ripe jackfruit, which was bought frozen:

This is a definite notch above the canned ripe jackfruit that I’m used to. Hmm… if only I could travel to a place where I can get fresh jackfruit… I will say that jackfruit is not for everyone. When I was little, the smell was a turnoff. It still is a bit of a turnoff, but the taste of the fruit more than makes up for it. Take this with a grain of salt; no one else I know has an issue with how jackfruit smells.

In other news, I just took some vegan spinach artichoke dip out of the oven. I followed Christie’s recipe. Yay! Time to nosh! –Melissa

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