Tag Archives: beans

Middle Eastern feel

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Summer is almost here. As I signed up for long evening classes this year, I need to come up with practical food ideas for recess so that I don’t resort to buying next door junk. Here is a good idea for a cold salad with Middle Eastern feel. Garbanzo beans, carrots, tahini and cilantro fit well together and make a great curry salad. Soak and cook some more garbanzos to make hummus afterwards. Salad recipe here…

Tuscan soups

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Warming cold winter nights. Although the expected super snowstorm passed us by and went to Massachusetts, we got a lot of snow in the following days. So much that we don’t know where to put it anymore. The cold temperatures don’t let any of the accumulated snow melt. Warming up with a hot soup when the snow falls is the best way to prepare for shoveling duty. I found this soup recipe on Epicurious.com and veganized it. A wonderful whole soup in the cold weather. Here’s my recipe.

Nutty schmear

SchmearDSC_5858What will go on my bread? If you don’t do cheese, cold cuts or liverwurst, you may wonder what will go on your bread. While you can make your own cream cheese or paté, even ajvar in summer, I recommend to experiment  with a wide selection of nut and seed butters.
Europeans grew up with chocolate noisette creams, such as Nutella and Americans have their Peanut butter. Real peanut butter, technically not a nut butter, but a bean butter, is avoided by some because of high aflatoxin and allergy risk. Stores readily sell alternative butters from ‘real’ nuts and seeds, some are even made from peas.

With a food processor, you can make some fresh butters yourself with ingredients of choice, which may also qualify as RAW food.
Doing it yourself  also brings you awareness of how highly concentrated food a butter is. See 1/2 cup of tree nuts turn into concentrated spoonfuls of delightful butters that will be gone quickly. For example hemp butter, which also adds healthy Omega3’s. See recipe

Cowboy cookoffs…

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If you don’t care how your food looks–Chili is for you!
I find it impossible to make chili look good in a picture, it has this ‘canned dog food’ appeal. But the  soul food is popular for games, tailgating, and is perfect for cold weather. Just the amount of spice should prevent several colds.
As one of our local fire departments is participating in a cook-off for the hot Tex-Mex American Cowboy dish, my own memory of tailgating with bean chillis was rather painful, so I kept avoiding them. Today, I am convinced that the beans were not soaked long enough, not cooked right, or maybe contained too much grease in combination with spices. The official Texas State dish, by the way, does not contain beans, even though chili beans are likely named after it… 

Yesterday, I found out that there are safer, fart-free chilis, very easy, pressure cooker fast that will not give you the blows for days to come, tastes are surprisingly real as a vegan version. Sorry Texas, no cows compromised for this one. Also environmentally friendly, it uses dry beans and fresh pumpkin mash, which saves at least 3-5 cans; You can make up that extra prep-time easily in using a pressure cooker. See recipe

Variation of a Theme

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Black beans are such a Soul Food. As mushrooms have Umami flavor, black beans, I am sure have something similar. While red bean Chili is an American favorite… ( just read our local fire department’s participates in a chili contest,) there are some like me, who are just not able to survive the day after Red Bean Chili (maybe the beans were not soaked?) however, I have never met anyone who can pass up a velvety Black Bean soup.
My earlier recipe contained butternut squash, this one here is even easier, it is based on tomatoes. I always recommend to go as fresh as possible with ingredients, use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, which in winter may be a challenge. This soup is more succulent less sweet and more spicy than the other recipe and it comes close to Dobbs Ferry’s Tomatillo restaurant soup. See here for recipe.

New Twist for a well known theme

DressDSC_5216Burgers again? The real advantage of plant based food is that there are so many different recipes to discover. Even though they might look the same as their carnivore cousins, they’re never the same old recipe. This time I tried a blend with mushrooms, walnuts and oatmeal. Mushrooms add umami and juice and the rest adds texture, if you want, you can also add some leftover black beans to the mix. See recipe
I also posted my variation of easy veg’n carrot ginger dressing that goes very well with a light garden salad, or even baby spinach. See recipe

Tasty Bites

DalDSC_3203.1Madras Lentils and other Indian Dishes are available as ready-to-eat pouches even at Costco. The popular Punjabi recipe is the Indian answer to Chili, a sure bet in the U.S.; The Indian original, called Dal Markhani, means ‘lentil rich sauce’, it can be prepared with little effort and money at home, with much healthier ingredients and dairy free. See recipe

Greetings from Guatemala

PlantainDSC_3195Plantains can be a dessert or vegetable. While green plantains are high in starch to be cooked and used like potatoes, the riper fruits with yellow or black peel have developed a nice sweetness, without becoming mushy like dessert bananas do. Often Latin American recipes deep fry plantains, such as the ‘Rellenitos de plantano’; Plantain rolls with a sweet bean filling. However when the plantains are cooked first, mashed and filled and then lightly cooked in a frying pan, they are not as greasy and taste great as dessert or snack. See recipe

Anti-Inflammation foods

VeggiebuDSC_3136Wintertime is body stress. Muscles hurt, (…or was it from snow shoveling?), the skin feels dry and food allergies tax our system more than usual, which manifests as inflammation in different areas of the body. Some foods such as sugar for example, can directly cause inflammation. Continue reading

Asian Spring

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Marry Italian ‘prima vera’ with Asian sesame pasta, and you will get an Asian inspired dish that provides you with some fresh greens. Rice or buckwheat noodles give it an authentic Asian feel, but whole wheat linguine also works well. Snowpeas and scallions are just lighly sauteed and blended into the pasta with a sesame or spicey sauce. If available, you may also try fresh fava beans. See recipe 

Mardi Gras

There is nothing traditional except color. I must admit, this is a wacky and not very festive combination, but despite the looks it is really tasty. The real recipe of the bake is with white or savoy cabbage, white beans and potatoes. However if you like a stronger taste with more character, try red cabbage and juicy black beans which also won’t discolor. Serve with quinoa burgers and tartar sauce. Cabbage blend recipe
The quinoa burgers or croquettes are quite tasty with tartar sauce. The recipe is adjusted to be non crumbly as the original German recipe was more like granola. Quinoa burger recipe

Winter soups

A good soup makes up for a rainy day. We are back in the rainy season. There is rain from all sides washing down the hills and merging into a powerful stream on the street. A short errand outside and I was soaking wet, despite my umbrella. It is good to have some warm comforting food. A choice of chickpeas, beans and veg. sausage in a spicey soup, another keeper. See recipe

Yellow season

It is clearly yellow season. The leaves are turning, the nights are getting colder and we are craving warm foods. Ahh spicy foods. I picked up this Indian style burger recipe but never had all the ingredients, to make it. So today again, did  some creative replacements. I notice, all my burgers seem to look the same, however the taste is every time different. This time the idea comes close to Samosas. See recipe

Eat & Run

Many runners ‘study’ food these days. Especially ultra runners, finicky about what they eat, become knowledgeable of long lasting performance food. Scott Jurek, multiple ultra marathon champion writes not only about running, but also food, so I had to read ‘Eat & Run’, which was just published. Continue reading

The green cowboy

If you don’t have an ingredient, be creative… Sometimes replacing creatively brings us a nice new recipe. Here is the ‘Cowboy’ salad with a twist in ingredients. A smoother much more refined version in green. With the season the possibility of weekend salad combinations is endless. See recipe

How the cowboy got better

Cowboy foods are made of beans, lots of them… Food such as dried corn, rice and beans were easy to bring and prepare in the wild.
Each grown culture with food rich in beans, peas and lentils, has discovered methods that would help digestion and fight gas. Which refutes the old assumption that veg people necessarily fart. Our cowboys slurping their bean soup around the campfire, were most likely unaware, which wild weed could spice the dish and help with the after effects. But maybe the concert was part of the fun, so why bother?
It already helps to soak or sprout beans and grains several hours before cooking. Continue reading

Milking the soy cow

Try milk making at home. As I started this blog with my home made foamy almond milk, quick ‘milk making’ became an easy habit.
Despite storing a package of dried beans at home, I have never tried making soy milk. I never use much anyway. Soy milk easily flocks in hot drinks and sensitive people find the taste green and bitter. I am not a big fan of tofu either and the process sounded more involved. Besides, don’t you need special equipment for it? Continue reading

Beat the Heat

We are in the midst of dog days… Heat around the 90’s and high humidity. I catch myself thinking twice if I should use oven and stove. Not primarily to save energy, but to keep the carefully balanced inside temperature down. In that sense using a pressure cooker for grains and beans is a blessing as it really reduces cooking time.
Today’s CSA pickup had some surprise ingredients such as optional okra. What about an African Stew? At least the heat helps to make it feel very authentic…   See recipe

French Country Style

What shall we do with all the pesto?  Besides serving with Ravioli or other pastas, or spread on bread with tomatoes, I found this french twist… The french ‘Soupe au Pistou’ uses the pesto (Pistou) to flavor soups, here a mixed country style vegetable soup with pasta. A very convincing mix with early Spring vegetables and lots-a garlic. See recipe

Wild Eats

Our first outside market had wild spring greens. I found claytonia and nettles. Also in season the first small zucchini squash (courgette). While nettles are widely used in Europe, (especially for a home made spray against aphids), Claytonia perfoliata is new to me. The Western American native plant, is also known as miner’s lettuce or winter purslane, and belongs with purslane to the portulacae. White flowers are surrounded by a round leaf collar. The plant is supposedly easy to grow on sandy and poor or wet soil and might be found on abandoned land. Eat in spring and colder months, as hot temperatures will turn the leaves bitter. See recipe