OK, I’ll tell you right now that I struggled with what to call these things. They are based on a loaf recipe, but they are certainly not a loaf. I typed in “Pumpkin Rice Cakes” but then was afraid that people would think I’d made pumpkin-flavored rice cakes. And they aren’t muffins, although they were made in a muffin tin. So I finally settled on “rounds”… as they are indeed round! If you have any other suggestions, please let me know….
This amazing recipe is very closely based on the amazing Cashew Rice Loaf that Shira made for the Virtual Vegan Potluck last week. In fact, this is her recipe, with a few modifications that I made based on what I wanted to use up or didn’t have in the house. So please make sure you visit her site to see the original recipe and her beautiful photos!
I’m generally not one for vegan “loafs”, especially not the ever-present lentil loaf. To me, they always seem really dense and heavy, and afterwards I usually wish I’d passed on it. But when I saw Shira’s recipe, I knew this was one I’d have to try. It was a huge hit!
Here is my version:
- (1/3) cup brown basmati rice
- (1) cup water for cooking the rice
- (1) tbsp grapeseed oil
- (1) small onion, finely chopped
- (1) cup fresh pumpkin, diced and steamed
- (1) cup finely ground raw cashews
- (1) cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- (1) cup water
- (1/2) teaspoon dried thyme
- (1/2) teaspoon dried marjoram
- (1/4) teaspoon cayenne pepper
- (1) tbsp tamari
- (1/2) teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Grapeseed oil spray for oiling the muffin tin
Start by combining the rice and cold water together in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and turn down to simmer with the lid on for 35-40 minutes while you prepare all the other ingredients. (I used a rice cooker for this, so I didn’t have to watch it).
While the rice cooks, chop the onion finely and heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Saute the onion for 6-8 minutes until brown and fragrant. Once the onion is cooked, add it to a large mixing bowl that is ready and waiting to go.
In the mixing bowl, combine the cooling cooked onion with the remaining ingredients. Once the rice is cooked, add it to the mixture while still warm, this will help it all to mix beautifully together. Mix everything well – hands are the best to make sure it’s well-combined.
After mixing, the mixture should be nice and moist, but not too dry. You can add extra breadcrumbs if it feels too wet, or more water if it feels too dry.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the mixture to a well oiled muffin tin (I used the large cup pan that makes 6 muffins) or a standard loaf pan and bake until it has browned on top. The muffin pan took about 20 minutes, and a loaf pan will take about 40.
I realized that once I turned them out of the muffin tin, the bottom would be up and the nice crusty top would be underneath, so I turned them out onto a cookie sheet, and placed it under the broiler for about 5 minutes. That way, both sides were nice and crunchy!
Make a sauce to enjoy with your Pumpkin Rice Round. I didn’t have any red peppers to make Shira’s Red Pepper Cheese sauce, so I improvised with the remainder of my Spicy Tomato Jam, blended with some leftover tahini salad dressing and a little extra nutritional yeast. This came out great too!