Friday 17 June 2016

Portuguese fried rice, National Celtic Festival and quicklinks

It has been a short week because we just had the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend.  We had some time in Geelong with my parents, spent a day at the National Celtic Festival in Portarlington, had a couple of Sylvia's friends over and then finished the weekend with Portuguese Fried Rice.

We had lovely pizza at my mum's on Saturday night but the great excitment was having Scottish food  at the National Celtic Festival.  This is our third year visiting the Festival (check out my 2014 and 2015 festival posts).  This is one of the few opportunities while eating out in Australia that we find haggis, tattie scones and irn bru.

The above kilted van pleased me with its vegetarian hot dogs.  (Mind you they cost $8 - twice as much as the regular ones.)  At least I was able to get something for Sylvia that wasn't just chips.  I complimented one of the staff.  Then I suggested vegetarian haggis and he said it was a contradiction!  Strange how there was no problem with vegetarian hot dogs! 

We had a great time at the festival.  Each year I promise myself next year I will buy a ticket rather than just going to the stalls and the free acts on the Village Green Stage.  Realistically we are only there a few hours and I am not sure it is value for money to buy a day ticket nor is there enough time just for the free stuff.

We love all the craft stalls, the Irish dancing, the Scottish dancing, the fencing, the food stalls.  E was delighted to have a really good haggis burger.  Sylvia and I helped him eat some tattie scones.  I had a cheese and onion pastie which was bigger than I expected so that when I got to Jerry's Vegie Burgers, I wasn't that hungry.  I bought a burger because I loved them so much last year but my eyes were bigger than my stomach.

We were pretty tired when we got home on Sunday night.  Then on Monday Sylvia had some friends around so I made sourdough flatbreads for lunch.  It was lovely to have some quiet in the house when she then went to the park with her friends and their parents.  By then, I wanted something simple for dinner.

I'd had my eye on the Portuguese Fried Rice on Not Quite Nigella and decided it was just the way to enjoy a vegetarian pepperoni sausage I bought in Scotland.  I also had discovered an open jar of olives at the back of the fridge and wanted to make omelette with some silken tofu that needed using.  (NB I only had half a tub of silken tofu so I halved the omelette I usually make.)  Having leftover rice clinched it.  E and I loved the rice, though I found it quite strongly flavoured.  It was a nice alternative to our regular fried rice with lots of lovely add-ins and it lasted for a couple more meals.

The long weekend meant more time for reading so I am sharing a few quicklinks:

I am sending this Portuguese fried rice to Kimmy and Mary for Healthy Vegan Fridays, to Cindy for Gluten Free Fridays and to Jac for Meatfree Mondays.

More rice dishes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Cheesy cauliflower and rice soup (gf, v)
Italian rice and beans (gf, v)
Mexican rice (gf, v)
Paella with brown rice (gf, v)
Tahini lime rice with kale and cashews (gf, v)
Veggie crumble 
Zucchini flowers with rice (gf, v) 

Portuguese Fried Rice
Adapted from Not Quite Nigella
serves 4-6

Vegan omelette (see below), diced
Oil for frying
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, diced
handful cashews
50g vegetarian pepperoni sausages, sliced thinly*
4-5 cups day old cooked rice
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
good pinch white pepper
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup peas

Fry the onion, carrot and cashews on medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes until soft and the cashews brown a little.  Add in the veg pepperoni and cook about a minute.  Turn the heat to medium high .  Now add the rice, tomato paste, salt, sesame oil, pepper, olives and paprika.  Stir until mixed and heated through.  Add the cup of peas and cook until they are warm.

NOTES: to make this meal vegan check if your veg pepperoni sausage is vegan - I had thought this one was vegan but upon checking I found it had egg in it.

adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe

150g silken tofu, drained
3 tablespoons besan (chickpea flour),
1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon mirin
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion granules
pinch black salt
1 tsp oil, for frying

Mix everything together (I usually use a blender but I just did it briskly by hand and I think it was fine).  Heat a heavy bottom frypan over low heat and swirl the teaspoon of oil about it.  Scrape all the mixture into it and spread about with the back of a spoon.  Fry for 10 minutes.  Then cover (I use a large saucepan lid) and fry for another 10 minutes.  Use an eggflip or spatular to push around under it to check it is not sticking to the pan.  The flip onto a large dinner plate.

On the stereo:
Garbage: Garbage


  1. I am interested by this recipe as it reminds me of my 'purple fried rice' dishes with purple carrots, tofu bacon and paprika flavours. I'm glad you enjoyed it and the festival. I confess to harbouring slight resentment that Australia got a long weekend last week when we didn't, despite the Queen actually being in this country! Her celebrations on the actual weekend looked to be impressive though.

    1. Thanks Kari - I think the tomato paste was what made it different to the sort of fried rice and stir fries I usually make - and the veg pepperoni. It does seem odd that Australia gets a long weekend for the Queens Birthday when the UK does not but I have noticed that we name our public holidays a lot more than the UK who often just has a public holiday because the banks shut (bank holiday)

  2. Your fried rice looks very tasty. I have never been to the Celtic Festival, but it looks like lots of fun.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - the Celtic Festival is lots of fun and a great chance to buy Scottish souvenirs we passed by in Scotland :-)

  3. the festival looks good but something I would probably not go to because I'd assume no food for me, so seeing Jerry's Vegiburgers is great. I keep meaning to try them when I see them here and there but always have other things I've eaten first so I'm too full.

    1. Thanks Faye - I really loved Jerry's burger last year but was a bit full this year to fully appreciate it. Not sure what else is vegan - if we go next year will try and look a bit harder

  4. The Celtic festival looks really cool. I've actually had veggie haggis before! Walt Disney World had it at the Food and Wine Fest at the Scotland booth. I was a bit nervous to try it but it tasted really good!

    Great links too. I'm noticing more vegan options as well.

    Your Portuguese fried rice looks amazing. Love that you use a vegan omelette for the "egg". Thanks so much for linking up with us for #HealthyVeganFridays! I’m Pinning and sharing!

    1. Thanks Mary Ellen - haggis gets such a bad rap though E loves it - but I think that those who don't want to have a sheep's stomach should try the veg haggis. I wouldn't have guessed you would find it in Disney World so perhaps that is a sign of more vegan options being offered in unexpected places

  5. You always have such fun out and about. You make Scotland look quite boring. Loving the recipe by the way. Thanks for submitting it to Meat Free Mondays, the roundup is live and I featured your recipe.

    1. Thanks for featuring the recipe Jac - luckily I know that Scotland is not at all boring so I can say you protest too much :-)

  6. Long weekends are great, aren't they?
    The festival sounds fun! I love that they had veg dogs. I don't understand the contradiction with veg haggis... it's the same as a veg burger, no?
    Your rice sounds great, Johanna! I've actually been eyeing up some vegan sausage at the store recently but wasn't sure what to do with it and I didn't want to have it plain - so this recipe is good timing. And I've only tried making chickpea omelettes from chickpea flour, I like the idea of using silken tofu to give it some good texture and taste.

    1. Thanks Kimmy - I bought two of these veg sausages and used one on pizza which was great and the the other got a bit lost and I was very pleased to remember it when I saw this recipe. And I love using both chickpea flour and tofu in omelettes - they have a good balance of textures.

  7. I love the sound of this fried rice. I bet the vegan pepperoni give it so much flavour!

  8. Sounds like lots of fun was had. Love that there are celtic festivals so far away!
    The rice looks really tasty too. It has lots of Spanish flavours about it..... but then I guess Portugal is only a short distance away.


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