Growing up, my mom would cook Arroz ala Cubana for us. Dissecting meaning of Arroz ala Cubana, it means Cuban Style Rice, but quite honestly, I have no idea why it is called Cuban. I grew up in the Philippines and nothing about the country is Cuban. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the Philippines was colonized by the Spaniards for many years? Who really knows? One thing I can say is that the dish is cooked many different ways and its main ingredient is ground beef. Once cooked, it is topped with a sunny side up egg and fried plantains ….hmmmm now that I think about it, maybe it is the deliciously fried plantains that make it cuban? Finally, the dish is served over WHITE RICE..sometimes, it can be served over garlic fried rice….Ah! In any event, whatever the story is, this dish has everything….protein, vegetables, vitamins, starch and sometimes it even has vitamin C…yes, I’ve seen this cooked with raisins (not my preference).
Being a vegetarian but not a vegan, as I do eat eggs and fish, I learned about Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Grillers Recipe Crumbles from my awesome massage therapist, Kathleen. She mentioned that she makes her lasagna with the crumbles so I thought why not try it?
Last Sunday evening, for our family dinner, I cooked Arroz a la Cubana Vegan style…I call it ALMOST vegan as I served it with scrambled eggs, sprinkled cheddar cheese and wrapped it in a grilled tortilla. Yes, it looked like a burrito. I also added Zatarain’s Black Bean Rice which is delicious and savory.
Now, only my husband and I know that I used Morningstar’s Vegetable Crumbles instead of ground beef to cook the dish. When my kids ate it, they both asked if I can cook it again next week. They really enjoyed it. My older son, Jack, is watching his diet and when I told him that he had a vegetarian meal, he was very surprised. He had to read the package several times to be certain that what I served was vegetables and meat. Needless to say, he was surprised. The flavor and texture was just like ground beef and flavorful.
Here’s my version of Arroz Ala Cubana Almost Vegan Style
2 packages of Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Grillers Recipe Crumbles
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves chopped
3 small shallots chopped
1 cup frozen vegetables
1/4 cup Lee & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Box of Zatarain Black Bean Rice
Sliced plantains (your preference)
In a 1-1/2 Quart sauce pan, prepare the Zatarain Black Bean rice by following the boxed recipe. While that is cooking…..
In a skillet, add the olive oil. When hot, add the garlic and shallots, cook for a 2 minutes continuously stirring. Add the Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Grillers Crumble and stir until softened. Add the salt and Worcestershire Sauce. Cook for another 5-7 minutes. Then finally add the frozen vegetables and cook until it is thoroughly incorporated about another 7-10 minutes.
While you’re waiting for the Arroz ala Cubana to be fully cooked, in a separate skillet cook the scrambled eggs. You can also fry an egg sunny side up (your preference).
You can also add fried plantains if you prefer. ( I opted not to this evening).
Grill a burrito in a pan and then remove when slightly browned. Add the Arroz ala Cubana, then the Zatarain Rice followed by the scrambled eggs and shredded cheddar cheese. Wrap like a burrito and grill for a few minutes until each side is golden brown.