Vegan Spanish rice also known as Mexican rice (arroz Mexicano), red rice (arroz rojo) or tomato rice is a hearty nutritious dish made with long grain brown rice, tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and classic Latin spices.
Preheat a 12 inch high sided sautee pan over medium heat. Add a light drizzle of olive oil and pan sear the soyrizo until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
2 links soyrizo
Add the diced onion with a pinch of salt and sauce until translucent and starts to get some color. Add the bell pepper and sauté a few more minute just until it begins to soften. Push the veggies to the side and add the garlic in the center with a drop of oil. Cook for about 40 seconds or so just until fragrant then give everything a good stir.
1 onion, 1 bell pepper, 3 cloves garlic
Add the tomato paste and mix well.
2 Tbsp tomato paste
Sprinkle in your spices: paprika, onion + garlic powder, cumin, coriander, brown sugar, salt and oregano. Stir and cook another minute or so until you start to smell the aroma of all the spices.
Stir in the brown rice and make sure to coat all over. Add the tomatoes with all the juices. (If starting with whole tomatoes make sure to lightly crush them with your hand before adding them.)
2 cups long grain brown rice, 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
Pour in the water, add the thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Give everything a good stir, turn the heat down to medium low and cover with a tight lid. Simmer for 55 to 60 minutes or adjust timing depending on the type of rice you are using. Remove from heat and allow the rice to sit covered and additional 10 to 15 minutes to finish absorbing all the liquid.
3 cups water, 10 sprigs thyme
Fluff with a fork and add the soyrizo back into the dish. Serve hot sprinkled with fresh cilantro, parsley or scallions.
2 links soyrizo, 1/3 cup cilantro or parsley
WFPB + Plantricious
For compliance sautée in water instead of oil and omit the soyrizo + brown sugar.
The Tomatoes - The recipe calls for both tomato paste + canned tomatoes, they both add their own delicious magic. Because I love rustic textures in food i prefer to start with whole fire roasted tomatoes that I gently crush with my hands before adding them in. You can use diced tomatoes instead and skip all the fun ;)
About the seasonings - an earthy mix of coriander, cumin, onion and garlic powders, smoked paprika and a pinch of oregano. You can add a touch of brown sugar or maple syrup to balance out the acidy of the tomatoes, it's totally optional! (San Marzano variety tomatoes are the sweetest so use those if available and forget about adding any sweetener).
Water vs Broth - I'm a huge fan of water! There is so much flavor happening here from the aromatics, the tomatoes and the seasonings, essentially a crazy delicious broth that happens all in the pan. Although this rice is cooked pilaf style it's actually going to end up with more of a risotto creamy texture because of the liquid to rice ratio. If you are after a drier rice then make sure to cut back the water by 1/2 cup or so.
Vegan Chorizo / Soyrizo - If you are a fan start by pan searing a couple of links and then proceed to sautée the onion and aromatics in those drippings. It ads a nice authentic depth of flavor to the dish but it can totally be omitted for a healthier WFPB complaint variation of this rice dish.
Storage - the leftovers keep in the fridge in lidded air tight containers for up to a week and they also lend nicely to freezing if you wanted it.