Red Beans and Rice

One pot meals are genius invention. Whether you be busy with work, a fussy 3 month-old or both,  it’s nice to still have a home-cooked meal. And even better when there is only one dish to clean!

I  came up with this one day while Jack was napping and I had a few spare moments to think about dinner. It’s pretty much your standard red beans and rice dish, just with frozen kale instead of bell peppers.

Red Beans and Rice
1 lb bag of Kidney Beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
5 oz frozen kale (about half a bag)
2 cups uncooked brown rice
10 cups water or vegetable broth
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large white onion, chopped
1 tbs chili powder
1/2 tbs smoked paprika
1 tps thyme
1 tps oregano
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Tabasco, to taste

Combine all ingredients–except the salt, pepper, and Tabasco– into a large pot.

Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer and cover.

Cook for an hour. The beans will be soft enough to eat but still a little firm. The rice should be fully cooked. There will be a little bit of liquid left, similar to a light sauce.

Season with the salt, pepper, and Tabasco as desired!

There is something so satisfying in a classic simple meal like red beans and rice 🙂

Sweet and Tangy Baked Beans

These baked beans are incredible. No joke. And they happened to already be vegan! My mom always made baked beans this way when I was growing up. When I had just plain beans out the can at my friends’ houses, I would think why? why would you eat something so boring? Michael loves them too. I could make these everyday and he wouldn’t complain. I could go on and on, but please make them for yourself and see. 

This recipe makes 6 serving.

Baked Beans
55 oz can vegetarian baked beans 
8 oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp mustard powder 
Salt and Pepper, to taste as needed 
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Make sure you work in the mustard powder, painful to bite into a pocket of that stuff. 
Baked for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. 
It it cool slightly before serving and then enjoy! It’s a great summertime treat, I took a big tray (made 3 times the amount) to a family picnic. I love it with a juicy Tofurky Brat

Black Bean Burgers

My best friend brought over a ton of black beans—like two Costco cases. So I decided to make some black bean burgers! This is a pretty easy recipe that can be adapted to your own tastes. Unfortunately, I am 31 weeks pregnant and suffering from severe heartburn so these are a very basic recipe. You can add in more spices, grated veggies, and even some peppers. But these still came out delicious and very satisfying.  I also baked these, rather than pan fry them like most other recipes do. If you aren’t suffering from horrible heartburn or counting calories, you can absolutely fry them in a bit of olive or coconut oil.

Did I mentioned these freeze well too? Just wrap them individually in wax paper and store in a freezer bag for up to 2 months.

This recipes makes 4 large or 8 small patties.

Black Bean Burgers
2 cans (30 oz) organic black beans
1/2 cup instant oatmeal
1/2 tbs flaxseed
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1/4 tps salt
1 tps cumin
1 tps smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
Water, as needed
Hamburger buns (I used potato buns)
Condiments and veggies

In a large bowl, mix everything together except the buns and condiments/veggies. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes. This allows the oatmeal to puff up and absorb some of the liquid from the beans. If it is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time. It should be a little gooey, but still hold a bit of shape.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Shape the black bean mixture into patties. I suggest doing this on the baking sheet with a spoon because the mixture can be very sticky.  I made 4 large patties, but you can always make smaller ones.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Turn up the oven to broil. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let them cool for minute or two.

Toast your buns, pop on your burger, and top with your favorite condiments.

I had to keep my condiments simple. Just romaine lettuce, stone ground mustard, and a bit of ketchup. However, I could have loved some vegan pepper jack cheese, Veganaise with some chipotle mixed in, tomatoes, and pickles. And try making my Homemade French Fries or my Sunchoke Fries as a tasty side dish.

Roasted Chickpeas

Being pregnant does not mean eating for two. And it is not an excuse to eat whatever you want. In reality, for a healthy single pregnancy, you do not need any extra calories the first trimester. The second about 300 more. And the third about 500 more.

So being 16 weeks, I need an extra 300 calories a day right now. This equates one extra snack.  I was having a glass of soy milk and a piece of fruit, but I was getting bored with that everyday. I wanted something crunchy and salty—like potato chips, but not as much fat. Plus I wanted more protein. Then I saw something on Pinterest about roasted chickpeas and knew I had to make them. I decided to just make up my own version to suit my taste. So feel free to change the spices to suit your tastes!
This recipe makes about 15 servings.
Roasted Chickpeas
1 bag of dry chickpeas
Water
4 tbs Olive Oil
Salt
Smoked Paprika
In a large bowl, add the dry chickpeas and cover with water.
Let for at least 6 hours, overnight is possible. Side note, the chickpeas making a popping noise as soak up the water. Took an hour for my husband and I to figure out where the noise was coming from…
Drain the chickpeas.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Coat with the olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika.
Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
Baked for one hour. Give them a stir or shake occasionally.
Let them cool and enjoy!
These are even better than I hoped! I am one happy expecting mama!

Tamale Pie

I have no real story or reason behind the recipe. I had dry pinto beans, I had masa, and I had fresh organic veggies. So I made a tamale pie. I decided to make it more like dumplings on top instead of a solid crust, just trying something different.

Tamale Pie
2 cups dry pinto beans
6 cups water
1 tbs chili powder
2 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
2 zucchini, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 sweet gypsy peppers, diced
2 cups masa harina
Salt
About 3 cups water

Rinse the dry pinto beans.

In a large pot, add the beans, 6 cups water, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for one and a half hours, or until the beans are almost soft and most of the water is absorbed. Add more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next add the zucchini, onion, bell peppers, and sweet peppers. Stir well and let if cook covered 30 minutes. Now the beans and the veggies should be all soft.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the masa and salt. Add a little water at a time until the dough reaches a moist play-dough-like consistency.

Pour the bean and veggie mixture into the baking pan.

Tear off small chunks of the dough and cover the top of the bean and veggie mixture. It’s okay if not every spot is covered.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the masa is slightly golden.

I topped mine with homemade guacamole, try one of my Guacamole 3 Ways recipes. And all the veggies (but the onion) were organic from the box delivery I mentioned in Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad post.

Beanadilla? Noquesadilla? Something Like That…

My work has these quesadillas with mushrooms in them, and it sounds amazing. But, queso is not vegan so I can’t have them. Then it dawned on me today that I could make a quesadilla with beans instead, like I often do at home. I originally got the idea from a recipe I saw on VegWeb for one with white beans.

I had the luxury of making this on the flat top grill at work. And I used the homemade slow-cooked pinto beans and the already marinated mushrooms and poblano peppers. But, luckily I have already posted a recipe for how to slow cook pinto beans and it’s not that hard to marinade and sauté veggies at home.

As I was making this, the cooks all looked at me funny and asked what I was making. When I explained it was, they thought I was crazy, “Quesa-dilla, you need queso in order to make it, not frijoles!” So I said, “Fine, it’s a noquesadilla…a beanadilla.”

This makes 1 large quesadilla/beanadilla/whatever you want to call it.

Beanadilla
1/2 cup mushrooms, washed and sliced
1/2 of a poblano pepper, chopped
1/2 tbs of olive oil
Juice of a lime
Red pepper flake, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large tortilla (read the label carefully to make sure it doesn’t have lard)
1/2 cup of cooked pinto beans (try mine)
Salsa, guacamole, or whatever other condiment for dipping

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the sliced mushrooms and chopped poblano pepper until soft.

Immediately add to a small bowl and add the oil, lime juice, pepper, and salt and pepper. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Drain off the excess liquid when ready to use.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, place the tortilla down in it.

Spread the beans evenly on one half.

Top the beans with the veggie mixture.

Fold the tortilla over to cover the filling.

Brown on the onside as desired.

Flip carefully and brown on the other side.

Slice into wedges and serve with the sauce of your choice.

My restaurant makes killer homemade salsas. I had some of the tomatillo, my favorite and our delicious homemade guacamole.

Forget cheese, mushrooms are good no matter how you serve them. And the poblano gives it just a touch of sweetness.

Veggie Pot Pie

Like I have said before, Michael is usually no help when it comes to figuring out something for dinner. But tonight he actually said pot pie! I had all the ingredients already so I was more than happy to oblige his request.

I made the crust using Bisquick because it was what I had on hand, and I used fresh veggies too.

This recipe makes two small personal-sized pies.

Veggie Pot Pie
Crust:
2 cups Bisquick
1/4 cup soy milk
Filling:
2 large carrots, chopped finely
1/2 medium onions, chopped finely
4 stalks of celery, chopped finely
1 large potato, cut into small pieces
5 tbs flour
1 can of veggie broth
Flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
2 veggies patties (I used black bean burgers)

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the Bisquick and soy milk. Once it comes together, transfer to a well-floured surface and knead until smooth.

Spray two ramekins or pie pans with cooking spray.

Roll out the dough into 4 circles. Make sure two of the circles can will fully cover the bottom and sides of the ramekins, with a little over hang. The other two need to cover the tops with a little overhang.

Cover the bottoms of the ramekins with the circles for the bottoms. Press the dough down firmly and seal the edges tight.

Heat some olive oil in a large pot over the stove.

Add the minced carrots, minced onion, mince celery, and the potato pieces. Saute until the veggies are soft.

Sprinkle the flour onto the veggies. Stir to coat thoroughly.

Add the can of veggie broth. Stir and break up any flour chunks.

Season to taste with the parsley salt and pepper.

Simmer for a few minutes until the gravy comes together. Remove from the heat.

Crumble up the veggie patties, add to the pot and mix together well.

Put half the filling into each ramekin. Cover each with the other dough circle. Seal the edges well.

Cut 4 slits into the top for ventilation.

Spray the tops with some cooking spray and place in the oven.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Creamy veggies and a crunchy golden crust! Yum!

Five Layer Dip



*This is repost, since for some unknown reason, the first one got deleted.


I hope you all had a fun Fourth of July!

Once again, so for not posting very often. As I mentioned in my last post, I am moving to California. I am still staying with Michael’s parents and looking for a job (got some good leads so far!). Hopefully soon I will have a job and my own place so I get back to posting more. 

Yesterday Michael’s parents had a little BBQ so I thought I would make something nice for everyone too: five layer dip. I made this for a party before and it was gone within minutes. What’s not to love about layers of spicy beans, creamy guacamole, tangy Tofutti sour cream, fresh salsa and gooey cheese sauce? 


Some of the layers are from recipes I have posted before, so I will spare you the repeat and just post the links. 

Five Layer Dip:

First layer: Spicy Beans
16 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 of a medium onion
1 large bell pepper
1 clove of garlic
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jalapeño pepper, minced


Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside. 


Chop the onion and peppers into bite-sized pieces. Mince the jalapeño. 



Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.


Saute the onions and peppers until slightly golden.






Add the beans, garlics, and red pepper flakes. 












Cook until the beans are heated through. Mash the beans into a paste as it cooks. 








Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and add the jalapeño. 


Remove from heat and set aside to cool.






Second layer: Basic Guacamole 
Third layer: Tofutti Sour Cream


Fourth layer: Fresh Salsa 
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/4 of a medium onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
Handful of cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste


Dice tomatoes and onions, then add to a large bowl.



Mince the garlic and jalapeños and, add to the bowl. 






Add the cilantro and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 


Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 


Fifth layer: Cheese Sauce


Assembly:
I suggest doing this in a large see-through (I know I did it in a pink one, it was the biggest one I could find) bowl or dish so you can see all the contrasting layers.


In the bottom of the large bowl, spread an even layer of the Spicy Beans. 



Second, spread on the Basic Guacamole.



Next, cover with as much sour cream as you like. 


Then, put the salsa on top of the sour cream.

Lastly, pour on the cheese sauce. Garnish with some red pepper flakes and cilantro. 



This was big hit! We munched on this while the grill heated up and it was devoured quickly. 


Halloween Taco Rice Bowl

Apparently today is National Taco day. And Halloween is just around the corner. So I thought I would combine the two. But, my normal grocery store did not have vegan tortillas and I didn’t feel like driving around town to find some, so I decided to make a rice bowl instead. All the same stuff as a taco, just over rice. For the Halloween  aspect, I used orange bell peppers, black-eyed peas (wooo, scary your food has eyes!) and topped it with a slimy-looking (but actual texture far from it) green kale pesto. I made the pesto the other day so I don’t have photos, but it’s so easy they aren’t needed. This recipe makes 2, but can easily be multiplied. Black beans would be good for the Halloween theme too.

Halloween Taco Rice Bowl

Kale Pesto:
1 large bunch of kale (sorry I didn’t measure it exactly)
Handful of basil
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)
The Rest of the Stuff:

1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup black-eyed peas (I used dried and cooked them myself but canned is fine too)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 orange bell peppers, sliced into strips
1/2 cup onion, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium tomato, chopped
Cilantro, chopped
Jalapeños
Or any taco toppings you wish.

To make the kale pesto, first wash the kale and basil well. You can remove the stems if you like but I left them on. Peel the garlic too.

In a blender or food processor, add the kale, basil, garlic, and pine nuts. Pulse until ground up and combined.

Add the olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. I also added some red pepper flakes for a little kick.

The color might be reminiscent of slime, but it’s so good. And not to mention the wonderful health benefits of kale.

For the rest of the rice bowl….

Cook the rice according to the direction. I did mine in a rice cooker. Set aside.

I soaked my beans overnight and cooked them according to the package with just a bit of salt. If using canned, rinse them well and just heat them up. Set aside.

Slice the onions and peppers into strips. Chopped the garlic.

Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook just until it softens.

Add the onions and bell peppers. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and cook until the bell peppers start to blacken a bit and onions start to caramelize.

Time to assemble. In a bowl, put a serving of rice.

Next put on some black-eyed peas.

Then the orange peppers and onions.

Now put some of that lovely green kale pesto.

Lastly, I topped mine with some cilantro and jalapeños. But sour cream, vegan cheese, olives, or any taco toppings would be wonderful too. I am trying to eat more holistic foods so I kept it simple.

The pesto is what totally makes the rice bowl. And the orange peppers are just fun.

There will be more Halloween posts to come. It’s my favorite holiday because I am named after Elizabeth Montgomery’s character Samantha on the TV show Bewithched.

Cincinnati Style Chili

I had heard of Cincinnati style chili before, but never had the chance to try it. The other day I was trying to decide what I want to make next for my blog when I saw something on the Food Network about some restaurant in Ohio that famous for their chili (can’t remember the restaurant or what show it was) and thought it looked delicious.

Cincinnati style chili is more like a sauce than a chili. It was first made by Macedonian immigrants who wanted to expand their restaurant menus. It consist of not only traditional chili ingredients like chili powder and cumin, but has some unusual ones like chocolate, cinnamon, and vinegar. I like savory/sweet combinations so I knew I was going to like it. The real version has worcestershire sauce (not vegan since it is fish based, though there are some vegan versions out there) and ground beef. I omitted the worcestershire and used Smart Ground Veggie Protein Crumbles instead of beef.   
The chili is normally served over spaghetti or a hot dog since it is more sauce-like, though it is good enough to eat on its own. I got to give it you Cincinnati, you make a very fine chili. I will definitely make this again sometime. This recipe is based on one from foodnetwork.com called Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati Style Chili

  • 1 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 and 1/2 fps ground cumin
  • 1 fps ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili turmeric 
  • 1 package Smart Ground Veggie Protein Crumbles  
  • 1/4 cup red wine 
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs cider vinegar 
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato sauce (I used a pasta sauce) 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • Salt and pepper to taste 





Heat cooking spray in a large pot over medium heat. I made mine in sauce pan but I only made a single serving. Add the onions and garlic, cooked until the onions are translucent. 



Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric. Thoroughly coat the onions and garlic. 



Add the protein crumbles and cooked until the crumbles are heated through. Don’t worry if the spices start to stick to the bottom of the pot. 



Add the wine, soy sauce and vinegar to deglaze the pan, make sure to scrap all the brunt/stuck stuff off the bottom of the pan. 



Next add the tomato sauce and chocolate, mix together well. 



Cook for about 15 minutes until the chili tightens up a bit more.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 










I boiled up some pasta (ok, it’s actually ramen noodles, I didn’t have any spaghetti on hand and I am a college kid!) and slathered the noodles with the chili. Traditionally, the dish is then topped with kidney beans, onions, and TONS of cheddar cheese. I just went with some kidney beans to keep it healthier.