When I was in middle school, my family started a tradition of going out for Chinese food on Christmas Eve with friends. And now, even if it’s take out, I must have Chinese food on Christmas Eve. It’s just not Christmas Eve without this ritual meal.
I thought of this easy vegan variation on the classic sweet and sour chicken back when I was brainstorming for the Vegan Month of Food. And it’s such a simple recipe, it’s hard to even give it recipe status. But it hits the spot in terms of all the classic Chinese flavors of sweet and tart sauce, crunchy vegetables, and piping hot seasoned rice. Bonus in that none of it is breaded or fried!
- 1 T coconut oil
- 1 c bell peppers, chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 14-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 c pineapple, diced
- 2 T agave nectar
- 1 T sriracha
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 T tamari, divided
- 1 tsp arrowroot (or cornstarch)
- 1 T toasted sesame oil
- 2 c brown rice, cooked
- 1 c mushrooms
- 1 c frozen mixed vegetables
- 1/4 c cashews, toasted
- Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add peppers and onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and pineapple and let cook for another 2 minutes.
- Mix agave, sriracha, vinegar, arrowroot, and 1 T tamari together. Pour over skillet mixture and stir to combine. Reduce heat and cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and wipe out pan.
- Heat sesame oil in same saucepan over medium low heat. Add cooked rice and stir to coat in oil. Push rice to the side of the pan. Add mushrooms and let cook down, about 10 minutes.
- Once mushrooms are nice and brown, add veggies and tamari. Stir together to let flavors meld. Cook until veggies are warm.
- Serve chickpeas over rice. Top with cashews.
Per serving: 535 calories, 89 g carbohydrate, 16 g fat, 11 g protein, 451 mg sodium, 17 g sugar