Jessica Seinfeld’s Cauliflower Rice and Beans Is Easy Vegan Comfort Food

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Jessica Seinfeld’s Cauliflower Rice and Beans Is Easy Vegan Comfort Food

Three years ago Jessica Seinfeld thought she was done with cookbooks. After the success of Food Swings: 125+ Recipes to Enjoy Your Life of Virtue & Vice, her collection of sometimes healthy, sometimes indulgent recipes, the author was ready to move on to other ventures. But then she started to eat differently. 

“I had some health issues, and it had been suggested to me by various people that I cut meat out, cut dairy out, and that might help a bit,” she tells me over the phone. “I started to pay attention to how I was feeling when I didn’t eat those things as much, and I felt better. It was pretty undeniable, how much better I felt. So I started, just for myself at home, taking out meat and dairy as much as I could. It was not easy to get my kids on board, and it was definitely not easy to get my husband [Jerry Seinfeld] on board.”

But Seinfeld kept making dishes, and slowly but surely her family started to pay attention to how much better they felt after dinner too. A new cookbook was born: Vegan, at Times, a collection of easy and approachable recipes for anyone who grew up with a protein-and-starches kind of diet as the norm. Seinfeld and her collaborator, Sara Quessenberry, purposefully shopped at mass grocers like Walmart and Target to ensure that all ingredients are easily found, and the recipes make note where store-bought swaps—jarred salsa instead of homemade pico de gallo, for example—are possible. 

“I want people to feel they are among friends with this book, and that we are all trying to live more virtuously and hopefully take care of our planet a little better,” Seinfeld says. “But in these pages, there is no shame when you need to eat a piece of cheese or have some steak, because I’m not 100% vegan. I try, but for some reason I just fail when I put these third rails around me. If you eat from this book once a month, once a week, or once a day, you are among friends. I think there are a lot of people who feel like a gentler, more compassionate approach to eating is welcome.”

One of Seinfeld’s favorite recipes from the book is her cauliflower rice and beans. “It was the perfect comfort food in the middle of the pandemic,” she explains. “When you couldn’t run out and just grab fresh vegetables, cauliflowers are available year round everywhere. And I always have beans, salsa, and tomatoes in my pantry. The recipe is really a reflection of this whole book, which is: Where can you buy ingredients that are affordable, accessible, and understandable to people who are curious about plant-based eating?”

Try it for yourself, below, with our latest installment of That Thing I Always Cook.

Jessica Seinfeld’s Cauliflower Rice and Beans

Ingredients for the beans:

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