Feijoada has always been one of my favorite vegan dishes. I was introduced to it as a junior at Oberlin College when I read Frances Moore Lappe’s seminal book, Diet for a Small Planet. Since meat analogues and plant-based protein products weren’t around in the 1970’s, my college version contained just black beans, onions, garlic, celery, peppers, tomatoes, oranges, cumin, and cayenne over brown rice.
But since Feijoda traditionally includes pork, beef, or sausage, I’m glad to be able to amp up the protein by making it with a cool plant-based chorizo – El Zapatista by No Evil Foods.
My Asheville friends at No Evil Foods have done it again. I wrote about their Italian Sausage (cleverly named The Stallion) a few weeks ago, so this time I thought I would try El Zapatista instead of the Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo (which is one of the products I recommended for this dish in Fool a Carnivore).
I was pleasantly surprised at what a difference this made. Whereas Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo is very loose and crumbly once you remove the casing, El Zapatista’s soft (but relatively firm) texture allows you to either crumble it or cut it into irregular pieces – which is what I did to make it look a lot more like meat.
And El Zapatista contains no soy – which is important to a lot of folks. Like The Stallion, El Zapatista relies on a few simple ingredients that these clever wizards at No Evil Foods assemble into a surprisingly realistic chorizo:
Filtered Water, Non-GMO Vital Wheat Gluten, Organic Tomato Paste, Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Chili Powder, Sea Salt, Smoked Paprika, Organic Onion Powder, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Ground Cumin, Organic Garlic Powder, Mexican Oregano, Organic Cayenne.
And they have a powerful message that links your individual decision to not eat meat with the environmental consequences of that choice. While The Stallion’s packaging message focused on cars and carbon emissions, with El Zapatista, the focus is on trees:
Pretty cool, right? Becoming intentional about what we eat, and understanding how it is linked to improving the quality of our lovely planet matters a lot to me. I give No Evil Foods top marks!
Please try my updated version of Feijoada. It is simpler to make and even tastier than my original version – thanks to El Zapatista from No Evil Foods!
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided use)
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped (divided use)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 bay leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pint chopped fresh grape or cherry tomatoes (I used a mix of red and yellow)
- 3 cans organic black beans (two drained and rinsed, and one undrained)
- ½ cup vegetarian stock or broth
- 2 oranges, zested and juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 package El Zapatista from No Evil Foods (quartered and cut or crumbled into irregular pieces)
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more, if you really love cilantro)
- ½–1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
- Cooked brown rice
- If you are using a slow cooker that has a sauté function, choose the sauté function and set the temperature to 250 degrees. (If you don't have a regular slow cooker with a sauté function, you’ll have to use a large skillet and transfer the contents to the slow cooker at step 2.) Either way, add 2 tablespoons of olive oiland sauté the onion for 7-8 minutes over low heat. When the onion is translucent, add the garlic, and then the celery. Sauté for about 5 minutes and add the red pepper, half of the orange pepper, cumin, cayenne, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Sauté a few more minutes (and then add to the slow cooker if you have been using a skillet).
- Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, orange zest, orange juice, and lime juice to the slow cooker. Drain and rinse 2 cans of black beans, and add them to the slow cooker, along with the remaining can of un-rinsed black beans. Cook on high for 5 hours.
- About an hour before you’re ready to serve, make your brown rice, either on the stove top or in your rice cooker.
- About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve, sauté the remaining chopped orange bell pepper and cut or crumbled El Zapatista in a skillet using about a tablespoon of olive oil for about 4–5 minutes. Add the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker, along with the scallions and cilantro. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until heated through. Add the optional hot pepper sauce right before serving over plenty of hot cooked brown rice.
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