Karyn Calabrese serves up tantalizing meat- and dairy-free dishes in her Chicago restaurants Karyn’s Cooked and Karyn’s Raw. A new year is all about getting unstuck from ruts, so we asked Calabrese, â??What vegetarian dish is most in need of redemption, and what’s your advice on redeeming it?â?
Most in need of a makeover is the bland vegetarian staple of steamed rice and boiled vegetables. Having been a vegan for over 30 years, there is no way I could have stuck to the diet eating bland, boring food!
I need spice, flavor, and excitement in life, including in what I eat.
At Karyn’s Cooked, I’ve created two variations on the rice and veggie staple. One is the Asian-inspired Buddha Bowl: a stir-fry of brown rice, tofu, broccoli, red peppers, zucchini, onions, cauliflower, carrots, garlic, ginger, and turmeric in a teriyaki sauce. The second I call Southern Comfort—here, the rice is spiced Cajun style with cayenne, paprika, and cumin; it’s mixed with thyme-flavored kidney beans, and served with collard greens seasoned with onion, and a side of cornbread.