Ros il Forn With a Twist

When I was vegetarian I used to make this a lot, using Quorn(soy) mince, a lot of cheese, eggs and dairy milk. Since becoming Vegan I completely forgot about this recipe!

Recently I had been craving a good rice bake and remembered this old Maltese favourite. I’m really happy with my Vegan version!

Oh, and ‘ros il forn’ translates loosely to baked rice.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1½ cup Raw, Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup Dry Brown Lentils
  • 1 Brown Onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp, Curry Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1½ tsp Italian Herb Mix
  • 8 Roma Tomatoes (or 2 tins of crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Mandioca Flour (optional)
  • 2 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp, Baking Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Cashew Cheese (I used my own cheese – see here for the recipe)
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive Oil as needed
  • Water

Tools

  • 2x pots
  • Pan
  • Lasagna dish
  • Chopping board
  • Knives
  • A small bowl
  • Foil
  • Spatula / spoons for mixing
  • Measuring tools

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180℃.
  2. Boil a pot of water and cook the rice half way (roughly for 10 minutes).
  3. The rice should be softer but still firm.
  4. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  5. Boil another pot of water, add the dry lentils and soy sauce and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft (general rule is 3 cups of water to 1 cup of lentils).
  6. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  7. Add two tablespoons of flax flakes or flax meal to a small bowl.
  8. Top with water until the water is just above the line of the flax (roughly 2½ Tbsps).
  9. Set aside.
  10. Chop the tomatoes and add to a pot on medium heat.
  11. Add half a cup of water, the sugar, Italian herbs mix, curry powder, garlic powder, a dash of olive oil and allow to simmer for 15 minutes (add more water if the mixture becomes dry, it should be the same consistency of a tin of crushed tomatoes).
  12. Finely dice the garlic and onion.
  13. Add to a separate pan with a dash of olive oil and cook until the onion is semi-transparent.
  14. Add the cooked onions and garlic, and cooked lentils to the tomato mixture.
  15. Allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  16. Turn off the heat.
  17. Mix the rice and soaked flax into the tomato sauce.
  18. Add the nutritional yeast, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, flour, salt and pepper to taste, and cashew cheese to the pot.
  19. Mix all of the ingredients together.
  20. Lightly grease a lasagna dish.
  21. Pour the tomato rice mixture into the dish.
  22. Sprinkle nutritional yeast and pepper on top.
    Optional, to make it extra crunchy you can drizzle a little bit of nut milk over the top. If you have firm / grated vegan cheese you can sprinkle this over the top too. 
  23. Break off enough foil to cover the tray and grease the underside of the foil.
  24. Cover the tray with foil, careful not to allow it to touch the rice.
  25. Bake the dish for 40 minutes covered.
  26. Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes.
  27. After 30 minutes, check to see if the top is nicely browned and the moisture has evaporated. If it hasn’t, continue to bake until it does. Don’t be afraid to allow the edges to burn a little bit – the crunchy bits are the best!
  28. I like to serve this with a garden salad.
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