More Vegan Rice Mixes

Update: my mistake. vigo rice contains dehydrated chicken. don't know how i missed that the first time around. but i found a carolina yellow saffron rice that was animal and dairy free. the spicy yellow is not vegetarian. but the saffron yellow is vegetarian/vegan.

i also learned mahamtma rice is the same as carolina rice. different branding depending on your location.

visit their website for more detailed info on ingredients. you can quickly look up the nutritional info and ingredients of any of their products.

http://www.carolinarice.com/en-us/products/categories/15/RiceMixes.aspx

also go to the mahatma site. http://www.mahatmarice.com/en-us/products/categories/2/RiceMixes.aspx

notice how it is the same as the carolina one. one brand for the east coast, the other for the west i would guess.

The other day I was browsing amazon for vegan food. Rice mixes in particular because I love flavored rice, but do not love buying lots of expensive spices. What I was really craving was saffron yellow rice. That stuff is soooo goood. I used to eat carolina rice brand spicy saffron rice, which was cheap and delicious, but it has chicken stock in it. So I was searching for vegetarian, hopefully vegan saffron rice. I found two brands at amazon that seemed promising. Vigo and Mahatma. They both rang a bell, so I assumed I'd glanced them in my local supermarkets at one time or another.

When I got to the supermart I sadly could not find the mahatma brand. I was at pathmark. Perhaps I'd seen it in a different grocery store. I did find vigo and was very excited about it. Right on the front it stated yellow rice with saffron. Yum and yay! It was $1.99 for an 8 ounce packet at regular price. I read the ingredients. No animals, no milk, no eggs. I was all set to buy it and probably still will sometime soon, but then I spotted a box of Vitarroz Spanish rice for only 89 cents for the same 8 ounce supply. It didn't specify that it contained saffron. It said hot and spicy spanish rice. It's kinda orange, not yellow. Still at 89 cents I decided to try it anyway and grabbed myself two boxes.

It may or may not contain red saffron. The ingredients spices can be any number of things. But it was such a bargain and it was supposed to be spicy, so I was more than satisfied with my selection. I made it right away because I was very curious to know how good of a flavor 89 cents could buy me with this brand. Turns out pretty darn good.

When I put it in the pot, a big lump of orange spice came out at the bottom of the packet. Maybe paprika, chili powder, perhaps red saffron powder. Maybe some spanish spices I'm not even familiar with. It's hard to be certain. I just have an ordinary palette, no special ingredient detecting super powers.

It was very spicy. Tasted a lot of hot peppers and hot pepper powder. There were many small pieces of hot peppers in it. Jalapeno I would guess, but I'm not a hot pepper expert by any means. By whatever means it used, it very much delivered on its hot and spicy claims. I was immensely satisfied with price, value, ease and flavor.

To my spicy spanish rice I added broccoli, carrots and tofu. I cooked by frozen broccoli and carrots in a fry pan on a dry heat. No oil. No water. Then I used the same pan to sear my tofu which was marinated in soy sauce, garlic powder and a little bit of chili powder.

A dry stovetop cook is my favorite way to cook frozen and fresh vegetables. They turn bright beautiful colors. There's no water to leech away nutrients. It's quick and easy. There's no added fat. It's nice to ocassionaly cook veggies in olive oil, but for day to day cooking I prefer to reserve my fat allotment for other things like potato chips, cookies, nuts and hummus. Vegetables taste really good cooked plain provided you don't overcook them.

Tofu tastes its best when fried. Pan or deep fried. The oil really helps the tofu retain the flavors you add to it. But it's very good just seared on high dry heat too. Just use a little cooking spray so it doesn't stick. The soy sauce and spices give it just enough flavor that it can integrate nicely with a strongly flavored rice. This again reserves our daily fat quota for treats like french fries, oreos and almonds.


All in all, some wonderful vegan rice mix finds to be had from the convenience of your regular supermarket. Smaller brands tend to have less animal and chemical ingredients. So they should definitely be supported and recommended whenever possible. Vitarroz, Vigo and Mahatma. Three great rice mix brands that offer spanish style pre-seasoned rice mixes that are vegetarian and vegan.

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