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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Purple Extravaganza: Sweet and Sour Purple Cabbage with Tofu and Purple Rice

It is butt cold here.  Not as bad as in Minnesota or even Michigan, but still it's around 0F now.  My original plan to have a salad for dinner tonight just did not sound very good and I wanted something warm.
A few weeks ago I saw a recipe for purple rice topped with sweet and sour red cabbage  and tofu. Purple rice is sometimes called black rice, or, more poetically, forbidden rice.  It is black when it's dry but cooks up purple.   I was intrigued since I had some purple rice and liked all the other ingredients, so I made it tonight.
I'm feeling lazy and am not going to put the recipe here - go look at the recipe link if you're intrigued.  It was easy and looks quite beautiful and purple, and was very delicious.  In fact, it looks more purple than in the picture since I spread it out on a plate rather than cover up all that nice purple by putting it in a bowl. If you've ever had sweet and sour red cabbage (German style), just imagine it a bit crispier, with Asian flavors and not quite as sweet.   Molly the cat did not approve of this completely vegan dish - I think this was the first time I've even seen her refuse to clean my plate, although she did go after the tofu right out of the package.
For the science geeks out there, the color in the cabbage and rice is due to compounds called anthrocyanins.  They are highly colored compounds and the color varies from pink at low pH (acidic), purple at around neutral pH, and green under basic conditions.  My purple dinner didn't have that much vinegar in it - just one tbsp.  I played around with a little and added some vinegar to it.  The juice turned pink, although the cabbage and rice retained their purple color - a lot of the anthrocyanins were still trapped within the cell walls.

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