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Archive for the ‘Beans and Legumes’ Category

If you’re craving Americanized Mexican food, this is a wonderfully quick meal to toss together and makes a great portable lunch the following day rolled into a tortilla.  Garnish them up with freshly cut radishes, crisp romaine and heady cilantro, or grilled onions and green peppers.  You could, and I often do,  add some diced bell pepper, kale, carrots, zucchini or any other vegetable to the onions as they sauté and add yet more goodness to the mix.  It’s also wonderful garnished with some chili beans.

 

Tempeh Taco/Burrito Filling

Ingredients:

8 oz tempeh, ground to crumbles in a food processor [Careful not to overprocess and turn it pasty.]

1 medium onion, diced ~ ½ cup

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T tomato paste

8 oz tomato sauce

1 T chili powder [I used Ancho chili powder]

1½ tsp cumin

1 tsp Mexican oregano

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ – ½ tsp red pepper flakes, depending upon your tastes

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

water

oil for sautéing the onion and tomato paste [I use a small dollop of coconut oil, macadamia nut or olive oil.]

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic until softened.  Add the spices and cook until fragrant.  Clear a spot in the pan and add the tomato paste.  Cook for a couple of minutes to rid it of the metallic flavor from the can.  Add the tomato sauce and tempeh.  Mix well and add water to the consistency you prefer, I used ~4 oz of water. 

Serve with chili beans and garnish with fresh cilantro.

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There is a reason that street foods are eternal and craved relentlessly; they’re just damned good.  When you load your diet with legumes, you’re always after new ways to be creative with them.  In my opinion, the queen bean is without a doubt the garbanzo.  Call it ceci, chickpea or Bengal gram, it’s still the reigning sovereign of many vegan’s diets and a favorite of omnivores the world over. 

Here I celebrate and pay homage to panelle, a Sicilian street eat that is traditionally served as a simple sandwich filling on a bun.  One of the reasons that I love panelle so much is because, when pan-fried and warm,  it has that contrasting textural thing going on with the crispy edges and a velvety soft interior.  It is, hands down, a great sandwich.

Panelle [Chickpea Polenta]

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups garbanzo bean flour

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Olive oil

Directions:

Slowly add broth to the flour while whisking to avoid lumps.  Add in the oregano, salt and pepper.  Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, stirring the entire time.   (It does not need to boil and shall spit molten chickpea lava at you if you do let it boil, so be careful.)  It is going to be very thick once finished but you want it to have that consistency because you want a substantial texture for a sandwich filling.

Transfer panelle to a non-stick pan and tamp down with a spatula. (I used a loaf pan sprayed with olive oil.)  Place into the refrigerator until chilled solid.  Invert onto a cutting board and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.  You can either pan fry in oil (as is traditional) to crisp it up or do as I did and simply give a quick spray of olive oil to each slice and place in a pan until the sides are golden.

As always, my predilection for the savory-sweet combination shines through here.  I like to add a nice slather of apricot jam to my panelle sandwich, though it’s entirely up to you how you wish to assemble your own masterpiece.

 

[This slightly-modified post/recipe was originally published at VelvetPark last year.  I wanted it here, on my personal blog, because it is one of my favorites and I felt it was important to include it here in my collection/index.]

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This is a simple and delicious rice dish that’ll become a favorite.  It has wonderful flavors and a variety of textures that keeps it interesting until the last bite.  It also just happens to contain some ingredients that are powerful antioxidants/anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, chile peppers, and ginger.

 

Lime Rice

[Serves 4]

Ingredients:

1 cup brown basmati rice

⅓ cup raw cashews

¼ cup yellow split peas

2 spring onions, sliced

1 T fresh ginger, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 T unsweetened dried shredded coconut

½ tsp turmeric

Juice and zest of one lime

1 dried chile [I used a Chile de árbol]

2 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

Rinse rice and split peas under running water in a colander.  Drain well and transfer to a heated pot on the stove over medium high heat.  Add the chile pepper.  Stir frequently until the rice begins to dry and pop.  Add water to cover by a couple of inches.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Drain in a colander.  Reserve the chile pepper.

Return the pot to the stove and add the coconut oil.  Sauté the onions, ginger, garlic and finely diced reserved chile pepper for a couple of minutes.  Add the turmeric, dried coconut and lime zest.  Add the cooked rice and peas, cashews and lime juice.  Stir until the rice is well coated.

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One of my favorite Indian dishes is daal.  There are so many variants of daal that this “dish” could fill a cookbook.  I made this version after picking up a jar of tamarind paste and daydreaming about what to do with it.  The tartness of the tamarind is a wonderful surprise that is mellowed and smoothed by the canela.  Though black beans are traditionally used in latin dishes, they worked really well with these Asian flavors.

Tamarind Daal

Ingredients:

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced

2 cups dried black beans

1-1/2 cup yellow split peas

1-15 oz can sweet potato purée

1-15 oz can coconut milk

1-2 T tamarind paste [I used Neera’s]

1 large cinnamon stick [I used a stick of Mexican cinnamon called canela]

2 star anise pods

~ 2 quarts vegetable stock [to cook the black beans]

Coconut oil for sautéing the onions and garlic

Optional garnishes:  fresh cilantro, non-dairy yogurt [So Delicious plain yogurt is our choice], cinnamon nibs, shredded coconut.

Directions:

Soak beans overnight.  Drain and rinse.  Place in a large pot and cover with vegetable stock by a couple inches.  Add the star anise and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.  Add the split peas and continue cooking until the beans and peas are tender.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sauté the onions, ginger and garlic in a spoonful of coconut oil until softened.  Using a whisk, mix the sweet potato purée, coconut milk and tamarind together until the mixture is homogenous.  Add into the pan with the onions.  Cook covered on a low simmer for ten minutes.  [Taste for seasoning and if you want to add more tamarind to make the sauce tarter, now is the time to add it in.]

Once tender, drain the beans and remove the star anise and cinnamon.

Transfer the beans to an oven-safe dish and stir in the sauce mixture.  [If you need to extend the sauce, add in some vegetable stock or water.]

Bake at 350°F until bubbly.

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Hummus is a true comfort food in our house.  We love to make wraps with it or use it as a healthy and filling vegetable dip.  This version is sweeter than traditional hummus because of the roasted carrots, but it’s fabulous, especially for youngsters who tend to have a sweeter tooth.  It’s also a great way to tuck the goodness of a vegetable into a dish where you’d least expect one to be lurking!

 

Roasted Carrot Hummus

[Makes ~4 cups]

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans

3 cups carrots, roasted [Cut into large chunks and toss with olive oil.  Roast at 400°F for 45 minutes.]

½ cup roasted tahini

¼ cup olive oil

juice of two large lemons, zest of one

1 ½ T cumin

½ tsp coriander

½ tsp sweet paprika

4 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth.  [You can adjust the thickness of the hummus by adding in water to thin it out if desired.]

Serve garnished with sesame seeds and a dusting of paprika.

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This was a “I’m in the mood for curry, what do I have in the pantry” kinda dish.  More specifically, I was in the mood for a rich tomato-based curry flush with lycopene and lutein and…yes, I really do think this way.  Colorful foods make me feel good in so many different ways and I try to include the entire spectrum into each day’s food choices.  This curry turned out to be a great way to use up leftover baked squash as well!

 

Tomato and Squash Curry with Yellow Split Peas

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

10 oz squash, cubed @ 2 cup’s worth  [Mine was already cooked, but raw squash could be used]

16.5 oz chopped  tomatoes [I used a box of Pomi]

1/2 cup split yellow peas

4-6 T red curry paste

2 cups vegetable stock

1 – 15 oz can lite coconut milk

red pepper flakes, to taste

coconut oil, for sautéing the onions

* Optional – freshly shredded herbs, for garnish [basil, cilantro and parsley are all good options]

Directions:

Sauté the onion in coconut oil over medium heat until softened.  Add in the curry paste and red pepper flakes and cook for a couple of minutes, spreading the paste evenly over the pan so that it’s all exposed to the heat.  Add the coconut milk and whisk the paste into it.  Add the peas,  tomatoes, squash and vegetable stock.  Cook at a low simmer until the peas [and squash, if added raw] are soft.

If the curry becomes too thick, you can easily thin it out with some additional stock.

 

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We love greens and eat several varieties each day either raw in salads and smoothies or lightly sautéed or steamed.  Greens are an amazing food that provide a healthful abundance of macro- and micronutrients.  Their variety is staggering and we celebrate them all.  That said, it’s easy to fall into a rut and shop on autopilot at times, grabbing the tried and true romaine, spinach and kale rather than the watercress, stinging nettles, amaranth or mustard greens.  Mix it up as often as you can and you’ll be blown away at the bounty of nature’s variety and the amazing gift our senses get to experience.

 

Lima Bean and Mustard Green Soup

This soup has very few ingredients, yet is an incredibly flavorful meal.  The Lima beans and mustard greens combine to surprising perfection.

Ingredients:

2 cups large lima beans, soaked overnight [I used an heirloom “Christmas” variety but any will do nicely]

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, sliced [I like to cut the carrot lengthwise and then cut into half-moon slices.]

3 stalks celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch mustard greens, chopped [10 oz greens after trimming]

8 cups vegetable stock

1 T olive oil

Directions:

Place a soup pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil.  Sauté the onions and celery until softened.  Add the garlic and carrots and sauté for a few minutes, until you can smell the garlic cooking.  Add the lima beans and stock.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for about an hour or until the Lima beans have softened.  Add the mustard greens and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

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Making faux tuna using garbanzo beans isn’t an idea original to me;  I simply modified the idea to mimic how I used to make the real deal.   It’s quick, easy and can be made nearly on the fly.  It also happens to be delicious and full of healthy and filling fiber.  Plus,  the vitamin C-rich red bell pepper helps your body absorb the iron found within the garbanzo beans more readily.  It’s an all ’round rock star of a sandwich filler.

 

Faux Tuna Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups garbanzo beans

¼ cup celery, small dice

¼ cup red bell pepper, small dice

¼ cup apple, small dice

¼ cup dill pickle, small dice

¼ cup fresh dill, minced

¼ – ⅓ cup  plain non-dairy yogurt [So Delicious Plain is my choice] or Vegenaise  [The amount depends upon how wet you like your salad]

freshly-cracked black pepper

sea salt

Directions:

Using a potato masher, mash the garbanzo beans in a large bowl.  You could use a food processor for this, just be careful not to over-process the beans.  You do not want a purée, but rather a coarse mash with texture.

Add the remaining ingredients to the mashed beans and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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This savory baked toast rocks because it tastes like pizza.  You could definitely use this as a base for a thick-crusted pizza and top it with whatever you wish.  For this dish,  I took a helping hand from Trader Joe’s and used their six-bean medley as the base and then added in some eggplant, fresh herbs and vegetable stock to make a quick stew.   

 

Savory Baked Toast

This recipe yields four slices of baked toast.  If you need more, simply multiply the ingredients by whatever factor you need.

Ingredients:

4 inches ciabatta bread cut into 1 inch-thick slices

4 T flax seeds, ground

2 T tomato paste

6 cloves roasted garlic

1 tsp faux chicken or vegetable bouillon

1 tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

2T olive oil

1½ cups water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place a Silpat-covered or non-stick sheet pan in the oven to preheat as well.

Add all the ingredients to a blender except the ciabatta bread.  Blend until completely combined and frothy.  Pour into a small shallow container that is large enough to accommodate the ciabatta bread.  Let sit for five minutes to thicken.

Dunk the bread into the mixture and soak completely.  Transfer to a plate until all the slices have been dunked.

Place slices upon the preheated sheet pan [If you do not preheat the sheet pan the underside will be mushy] and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  The baked toast will get puffy and the tomato will caramelize slightly.

 

Herbed Beans with Eggplant

Ingredients:

1 package Trader Joe’s 6-bean medley [Found in the refrigerated produce section of the store]

1 small eggplant, cut into a small dice [Whether you peel it is up to your tastes, I prefer mine to have the anti-oxidant rich skin on]

1 T tomato paste

½-1 cup faux chicken or vegetable stock [I really love Kitchen Basics unsalted vegetable stock]

2 sprigs fresh oregano, plus some for garnish if you wish

2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus some for garnish if you wish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F degrees.

Spray the eggplant with a mist of olive oil.  Place in the oven and roast until soft.  This should take about 30 minutes. [You should roast the eggplant at the same time as you are baking the toast so that the entire meal comes together at the same time.]

Place a pan on the stove over medium heat.  Add the tomato paste and cook it for a couple of minutes to remove the tinny flavor of the can.  Slowly whisk in the broth until the sauce is smooth.  Add the beans and fresh herbs.  Cover and reduce heat to low.

Once the eggplant is soft, add to the bean mixture.  If you need more liquid, simply add more broth.

Divide into four equal portions and spoon over the baked toast.  Serve immediately.

 

 

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Coconut-Kaffir Lentil Soup

 

So…I’ve been on a lentil kick lately.  I love them and just can’t seem to get enough of these wee legumes.  Not a bad predilection to have, I suppose,  since lentils are nutritional superstars.  You’ll dig this soup.  It’s rich, thick and amazingly flavorful. 

Coconut-Kaffir Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

1-15oz can lite coconut milk

1 quart faux chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup lentils

1 medium onion, sliced

1 lime, zest reserved for garnish

4 kaffir lime leaves, plus some sliced thinly for garnish

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 T fresh ginger, finely diced

1 ½ tsp curry powder

½ tsp red pepper flakes, plus some for garnish

toasted coconut flakes, for garnish

coconut oil

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic in a drizzle of coconut oil until softened.  Add the curry powder, ginger, red pepper flakes and lime leaves and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the coconut milk and broth.  Bring to a low simmer and add the lentils.  Cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes.  Transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth.  Add the juice of one lime and blend to mix thoroughly.  Return to the stove and taste for seasoning.   Adjust as necessary with salt and pepper.

Garnish with lime zest, red pepper flakes, toasted coconut and thinly-sliced kaffir lime leaves.

 

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