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adapted from Supermarket Vegan by Donna Klein

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7.25-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, well drained
1 to 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 (10-inch) flour tortillas, preferably whole wheat
several handfuls of spinach
4 Gardein Chick’n Scallopini
4 tbsp Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

In a food processor fitted with the knife blade, or in a blender, process the beans, red bell peppers, lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper until smooth and pureed. Transfer to a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 30 minutes, or overnight.

When it’s almost chow time, toss the Chick’ns onto a lightly greased nonstick skillet, cook the first side for a few minutes over medium heat, and flip over. Top each with a tablespoon of Daiya shreds, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the “cheese” is melty. Remove from skillet and set on a plate with a paper towel to cool. Cut each into 1/2-inch strips.

Prepare the wraps by placing the tortillas on a flat work surface. Spread equal amounts (about 1/2 cup) of the bean mixture on each tortilla, leaving a 3/4-inch border all around. Place a handful of spinach leaves (or, just two leaves if you wanted to follow the original recipe… I figured the more greens, the merrier) in the center of each tortilla. Place the “cheesy” Chick’n strips on the spinach leaves, and tightly roll up each tortilla from the edge nearest you, tucking in the sides and leaves as you roll. Makes 6 servings.

I found this while looking for recipes for sandwiches- I’m already fantasizing about what to serve guests at our toddler’s birthday party in a few months. I was drawn in by the beans and roasted red peppers. This recipe is probably too close to what we served at last year’s party to make an appearance at this year’s, but I still had to make it. This was so easy to make (as are all of the recipes I’ve made so far out of this cookbook), and lent itself easily to adaptation. It would be really good with some basil leaves mixed in with the spinach leaves, especially if you tone down the lemon juice a bit (I used just over a single tablespoon and tasted it more than the garlic, which I refused to limit to 2 cloves…). This really would make a great nibble for a play date in the park. Come on sunny days! Let’s have more than one in a row. Because spreading your picnic blanket on wet grass? Not so much.
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from The Supermarket Vegan by Donna Klein

6 (10-inch) flour tortillas (I chose whole wheat)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red or yellow onion (about 6 ounces), sliced into thin half-moons
1 medium red bell pepper (about 6 ounces), cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tbsp chili powder, or to taste
1 c rinsed, drained canned pinto beans
6 tbsp prepared tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (Ich don’t think so)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, the mushrooms, garlic, and salt; cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to release their liquids, about 4 minutes. Add the chili powder and cook, stirring, until the liquids from the mushrooms have evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, salsa, black pepper, and cayenne (if using); cook stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro, stirring well to combine. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if necessary.

To assemble, place one heated tortilla on each of 6 dinner plates. Spoon equal portions (about 1/2 cup) of the mushroom mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up each tortilla from the edge nearest you, tucking in the sides as you roll. Serve at once. Makes 6 servings.

Burrito night happens about once a week in this house. This was a really nice departure from our typical black beans with red salsa-laden go-to. I was intrigued by the mushrooms, as well as the green salsa. I found a locally made one, that has such a great flavor. It will definitely be making a regular appearance on burrito (as well as Daiya cheese nacho) nights to come. The mushrooms weren’t as weird as I’d expected them to be in a burrito. They went really well with the garlic, and lent themselves well to the wrappage. Red peppers were nice and mellow, and almost brought a sweetness to the burritos. I might add more garlic next time (I’ve been trying to take it easy on the garlic, especially when trying a new recipe). Of course, using cilantro is going to add another dimension of flavor to this dish, one that I need not explore. But if you’re into that sort of thing, go for it.
Oh, and about using the oven to heat those tortillas, why not save some energy and wrap them in a tea towel (or large cloth napkin like I did), set them on a plate, and zap them for 30-45 seconds? Works like a charm.

from The 4 Ingredient Vegan by Maribeth Abrams with Anne Dinshah

1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 c vegan mayonnaise
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 tsp sweet or dill pickle relish
salt and ground black pepper

Put the chickpeas in a food processor. Pulse 6 times, or until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, celery, and relish. Stir until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 3 servings.

You might remember the saga of the stove, and how it died. Well, for a while we were restricted to microwaved, rice-cooker-cooked, or raw foods. Or takeout. Here’s a recipe that I found for one of the NINE dinners we didn’t have a stove/oven to use…
It’s a little creepy how closely this resembles a tuna salad sandwich. Who would’ve thought? I used a potato masher to smoosh the beans up (who wants to pull out the food processor for beans? You could also use a fork…) That caused our two cats came running over, circling me just like they used to in the height of our tuna eating days. The only way this sandwich differs from the fishy original is the lack of stringiness that the tuna brought, and the need to use a TON of mayo to cover up the fishy taste and dry texture. And not only to beans have protein, they have fiber! This recipe was so amazingly tasty and easy that I am making it again this week!

 

from The 4 Ingredient Vegan by Maribeth Abrams with Anne Dinshah

Barbecue Tempeh
1 package (8 ounces) tempeh, cut in half
1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 to 2 c barbecue sauce

Fill a medium saucepan about halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down slightly to maintain a simmer. Add the tempeh, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Drain. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook and stir for about 7 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Cut the tempeh into 1-inch cubes and add it to the vegetables. Cook and stir for about 7 minutes, or until the tempeh starts to brown, adding up to 1/2 tablespoon more oil if it starts to stick.

Stir in 1 cup of  the barbecue sauce and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, adding more barbecue sauce, 1/4 cup at a time, if the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

New-Fashioned Greens and Black-Eyed Peas
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 large bunch collard greens, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
2 cans (15 ounces each) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 c vegan worcestershire sauce
salt and ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the collard greens and cook and stir for about 5 minutes, or until bright green and slightly tender. Add the black-eyed peas and worcestershire sauce and mix well. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the greens are tender to your liking. Season generously with salt and pepper before serving. Makes 3 servings.

I must admit, I kind of thought that being limited to four ingredients per recipe would make the recipes easier, and they do, just a bit, as far as prep work is concerned. I also thought that it might compromise the yumminess of the dishes. NOT SO. This was one of those meals where a sadness set in as I started to feel full. The texture of the tempeh was really good. I’ve never boiled it before! I think I might try it next time I make curry- it softened it up a lot, and seemed to make it more friendly toward the sauce. I used Annie’s BBQ sauce, and their worcestershire sauce is a staple in our fridge. Served atop a toasted mini-baguette, this was a heavenly sandwich.
Now, about those Greens and Black-Eyed Peas… they could become a regular in our house, but I’d always miss the BBQ tempeh partner in crime. I’ve never made collard greens because I was always afraid that I’d overcook them, but this recipe came out perfectly. The instructions have you seeking out a boil, and there’s not much in the way of liquid to boil, so just clear some greens and peas out of the way to see that shallow liquid in there, and you’re good.
Basically, of the two recipes I’ve tried from this book, we have two winners. So far, so good!

adapted from Martha Stewart– a recipe card my mom picked up when she bought that fabulous pot for my birthday!

1/4 c olive oil
2 medium red onions, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (14.5 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 head Savoy or green cabbage (1 pound), cored and thinly sliced
2 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced

In a large (really large…) pot, heat oil over medium. Add onions, carrots, celery, red-pepper flakes, rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes; cook until some of the liquid evaporates, 1 to 3 minutes. Add potato, cabbage, cannellini beans, and 3 quarts water; bring to a boil. Stir in green beans.

Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; stir in garlic. Serves 12.

This recipe makes a HUGE batch! I’d say that it’s more like 14 or even 16 servings… and it’s even better as leftovers. Soooo…. hello freezer! I served this with Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds, which melted beautifully into the soup. It is also really good by itself. The next day, the soup is even better, as the potato thickens up the broth a bit, and the garlic and red-pepper flavors come out very nicely. Our countertops are very tight on space, so this felt like a lot of prep work, until I realized how far this recipe was going to take me. It’s also a recipe that you can change depending on what veggies you have leftover in your fridge or what’s in season… upping the potatoes would make for a heartier soup. More beans? Yes please. Just DO NOT leave out the garlic. Adding it in at the end is brilliant. This is a soup I would love to always have stashed away in my fridge for nights when I’m feeling to lazy to cook. And there are plenty of those…

from Vegetarian Express by Nava Atlas and Lillian Kayte

Prepare the couscous salad:

1 1/2 c couscous
1 small package (2 c) fresh carrot sticks, cut into 1-inch lengths (I just used 3 large peeled carrots)
1 small white turnip, cut into sticks
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium zucchini, cut into quarters and then 1-inch chunks
2 medium tomatoes, diced
3 tbsp light olive oil
juice of one large lemon, or more to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro, minced (optional)

Cover the couscous with 3 cups of boiling water in a heat-proof dish. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the vegetables as directed. When the couscous has absorbed all the water, fluff it with a fork, then combine it with the vegetables and remaining ingredients in a serving bowl. Toss the salad well to combine.

Prepare the spiced chickpeas:

2 1-pound cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c chopped scallions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground coriander
dark green lettuce leaves

Combine all of the ingredients except the lettuce in a serving bowl and toss well.

Place each serving on a bed of lettuce. Serves 6.

Seriously, this was one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made! It’s really nice and light, yet still satisfying. I was wary about using all of those raw veggies- uncooked zucchini activates my gag reflex like nothing else, but I’m trying to trust recipes in order to keep out of trouble. I’m so glad that I did! The lemon helps with any bitterness that might have happened with said zucchini, and gave the dish such a great flavor. And can we talk about the spiced chickpeas? So good! They were almost sweet, and it was such a satisfying accompaniment to the salad. The recipe suggested serving it with warm pita breads, and I used this whole wheat naan that I’m in love with. The author suggests sprinkling the leftover salad with some water if it gets clumpy, but it wasn’t necessary. It would be perfect to make ahead and pack in your lunch!

from Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann

1 c walnuts
1 c cooked brown rice
1 c canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 c oat bran (isn’t always gluten-free, read your labels of course!)
1/2 tsp sage (I used 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped)
1/2 tsp marjoram (again with the fresh)
1/4 tsp thyme (1/4 tbsp fresh)
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/4 c tomato sauce
7 medium bell peppers , tops lopped off, ribs and seeds removed

Preheat oven to 350F.

Using a food processor fitted with the S blade, process the walnuts into very small bits. Scrape the walnuts into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Add the brown rice and chickpeas to the bowl of the food processor and process until the mixture forms a coarse mash. Add this mash to the mixing bowl along with the oat bran, sage, marjoram, thyme, onion powder, soy sauce, mustard, peanut butter, and tomato sauce. Using your hands, knead the mixture well until it is thoroughly mixed and holds its shape… Stuff this mixture into the peppers, and replace the tops if you desire. Place them on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.

You’ll have to excuse me, I made some changes here. First off, the original recipe is for wellingtons, to be made with puff pastry instead of bell peppers. I don’t do puff pastry (too tasty, too dangerous), so I was happy to see that the author included a variation that her sister-in-law came up with. Second, the bell peppers that I picked up at the farmers market were HUGE. So I used 4 of them. Also, I realized that I had no tomato sauce once I had the mix all kneaded up. So I smashed a tomato with a little garlic and a splash of olive oil. Ugh. Maybe that’s why I didn’t find this to be my favorite recipe to date? The filling to pepper ratio was too much, and made for a lot of the same texture throughout the entire pepper. The tomato sauce situation was a sin, I know. I have no excuse- I was hungry and I panicked.
I must say though, that the filling itself was really good. The mustard-peanut butter-onion powder combo is simply brilliant. It was savory and dense- total comfort food. I will definitely make these again, but only with the sauce, and I might knead some red onion in at the end to give it a little more texture. And as far as traveling well and making for a good leftover for a hearty lunch? Indeed.
Still, my apologies. I’ll try not to cook when I’m THIS hungry.

 

from ExtraVeganZa by Laura Matthias

2-3 tbsp oil (coconut oil was a delicious option)
1 medium whole leek, finely diced
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced; stems and seeds removed
14 oz can garbanzo beans
1 each medium red and yellow pepper, seeds and stems removed and thinly sliced
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 c corn kernels, fresh, frozen or canned
2-14 oz cans coconut milk
2 c water

Thoroughly clean the leek before chopping. I find that slicing it lengthwise and rinsing the insides is an effective way to clean it.

In a medium pot, fry the leek, carrots, garlic, cayenne and jalapeno in the oil on medium-low heat. Stir the ingredients so that they do not stick to the bottom of the pot. When the leeks begin to soften, stir in the garbanzo beans, salt, red and yellow peppers, corn, coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Serves 4.

This is one of the best soups that I have ever had. EVER. I topped it with avocado, and oh my. It reminded me of an avocado curry that I used to get at our favorite Thai restaurant before we went the vegan path. The soup itself is pretty sweet, with just the right amount of salty, and a little bit of zing, thanks to the cayenne and jalapeno. Baby liked it… Husband loved it. It would serve 6 if you had a side dish for it, 8 if you served it as a side; it’s so rich! And really, it was pretty easy to make. I do love a one-pot meal, and I love a meal that makes for good leftovers, which this one most definitely did. Again, like a good curry, it was even better the next day. I will keep coconut milk in my pantry just to make this when the mood strikes…

from The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
3 1/2 c cooked or canned chickpeas
1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Braggs
2 c vegetable stock
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 c fresh parsley, minced

In a large soup pot on medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, and carrots in oil until the onions are translucent. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cumin, mustard, cayenne, pepper, vinegar, Braggs, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until carrots become tender. In a blender or food processor, blend 1/2 of the soup and tahini until smooth (be careful when blending hot liquids); return to pot. Stir in parsley and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Here is a list of reasons that this is my new favorite soup.
1. Sun-dried tomato chunks.
2. Beans!
3. I love the opportunity to use my immersion blender.
4. Perfect balance of sweet and savory. I think the fire-roasted tomatoes really added to that.
5. Thick and stew-like; with just a bit less vegetable stock, it could be a rice topper. (Beans and rice!)
6. The rest of the chunks. Not just of sun-dried tomatoes, but of the carrots and bean too.
7. It’s good for you!

from It Ain’t Meat, Babe, a really awesome vegan blog

This was a yummy excuse to go out and splurge on saffron, the most expensive spice EVER. It brought a buttery flavor to this dish, which was super easy to make. The variations on the dish are endless, with so many beans and greens out there to choose from. I’ve made it a few times since I first tried this dish out late last spring, with different stuff each time.
If you’re new to cooking, this might be a good dish to begin experimenting in the kitchen with. Try different spices and herbs, different veggies, add protein (hello faux beef, I’ve got my eyes on you…)