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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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