Vegan Black Bean Chowder with Yogurt-Cilantro Relish

adapted from the Pioneer Woman

1 32-ounce package dried black beans, soaked overnight, rinsed, and cooked. (Do not discard the cooking liquid!)
2 onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil
2 4-oz can diced green chilies
4 cups water or stock
4 cups soy milk
2 cups Daiya Pepper Jack or other vegan cheese
4 tablespoons brown rice flour
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup unsweetened plain soy yogurt
2 cups chopped English cucumber
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt

The next morning, prepare the relish by mixing all the ingredients together, then place in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Then drain the beans and rinse them well.

In an 8-quart pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic, and diced green chiles. Place beans back in the Dutch oven and add water/stock, chili powder, cumin, curry powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Next, soy milk and simmer another 30 minutes. Place the shredded vegan cheese in a large bowl and add the rice flour, toss to coat the cheese with the flour. Bring the chowder to a boil and stir in the cheese. Boil while stirring constantly until the chowder thickens to your desired consistency. Ladle chowder into bowls and top with the yogurt-cilantro relish.

Family-Secret Chili

Full disclosure, we’re still catching up on blog posts. Stef isn’t here right now, and I didn’t actually make this chili (but I ate a lot of it), so if there are errors, I will correct them when she’s back.

Topped with Daiya. Or DAAAAMMMMNNN as we call it around here.

This is Stef’s family recipe adapted for the modern gal.

1 package Gimme Lean Sausage, crumbled and sauteed
1 onion diced
1 green peppper, diced
3 15 oz cans whole tomatoes (break up with hands)
3 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 heaping TBL vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 TBL chili powder (we used unsalted)
1 heaping tsp oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
3-6 bay leaves
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 oz can kidney beans
1 15 oz can pinto beans
1 15 oz can white beans

In a 8 qt stock pot (or 5 qt will just fit if you are careful), saute gimme lean, then add the onion and pepper and cook until soft. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed.

Stir and cover. Simmer for 2 hours (minimum).

The longer it cooks, the more flavorful it becomes. Ideally make it the night before, or make it, freeze, and thaw it again. Goes well with cornbread.

Black Bean Chilaquiles

This week hasn’t been too good for health. When one of us gets sick, it’s likely that the other will fall sooner or later. This was a quick and easy meal using up ingredients we had on hand. No running out to the store today!

Adapted from Not Eating Out in NY and The Art of Eating In.

1 can black beans, drained
2 cubes dried chipotle chilies (these were leftover from very long time ago occasion)
3 cups packed beet greens, chopped
4-5 oz pepper jack Daiya
2 large leftover (homemade!) corn tortillas (about 5 oz.)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion (about half of a medium red onion, save the other half for the topping)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp turbinado sugar
salt to taste
1/2 tsp oregano
1 TBL olive oil
1 cup canned tomatoes
2 cups water
1/2 cup tomatoes chopped (canned or fresh)
1/2 cup sliced red onion for topping (reserved)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Sautee red onion, jalepeno, and garlic on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chipotle cubes, water, and 1 cup of tomatoes, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Add salt, oregano, turbinado, and vinegar. Turn off heat and let cool. Then blend in a blender or food processor.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish place a layer of half of the tortilla strips on the bottom. Add about 1/3 of the sauce evenly on top. Add a layer of half the beet greens. Add about 1/3 of the Daiya, then about half of the beans. Add another layer of tortillas, more sauce, the rest of the greens, more cheeze and the rest of the beans. Top with the rest of the sauce, then the rest of the cheeze. Top with extra tomatoes (canned or fresh) and sliced red onion.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool five minutes before serving.

White bean dip with roasted mushrooms and asparagus

First, toss 16 oz of mushrooms and one large bunch of asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Set aside to cool.

For the white bean dip, drain and rinse one can of white beans. Add 2 TBL raw cashews, 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1 shallot (chopped), 2 TBL tahini, 2 TBL lemon juice, and some salt and pepper, then blend well until smooth and slightly pink. You may need more tomatoes depending on your tastes.

Top fresh arugula with mushrooms and asparagus, white bean dip, and slice black olives. BOOM.

Vegan Português kale soup

This recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray, and inspired by my friend Heather (check out her photography).

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
* 1/2 cup diced onions
* 2 diced carrots
* 1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
* Chorizo seasoning (see below) or [1-2 store-bought soy chorizo, but omit lentils]
* 1 TBL tamari
* ½ cup red lentils
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 TBL parsley
* ½ tsp thyme
* 2 not-beef bullion cubes
* 8 cups water
* 1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained
* 1 cup diced tomatoes
* 3 red potatoes, diced

**Chorizo seasoning mix: 1 TBL granulated onion, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 TBL dried chili flakes, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp turbinado sugar

In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale, chorizo spices (or soyrizo), bay leaves, parsley and thyme and mix well. Add the “beef stock”, beans, lentils, potatoes, and tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and serve hot.

Beans, beans in everything

**My Kid Bean looks like this, but about 6 inches tall and without the person inside.

Earlier today, my sister commented that she loved how beans end up in everything featured on the blog, even pumpkin pasta. My sister is also a true bean lover, so much so, that a few years ago, she and my mother ate enough Hanover kidney beans to order not 1, but 2 of the little “Kid Bean” plush toys. Of course, my sister had one first, and then I had to have one.

Beans are full of fiber and protein, tasty, cheap, and can be eaten any time of day. To prepare for my work week, I’ve started making a large tofu scramble on the weekend and freezing it in individual portions. Tofu (obviously) comes from soybeans, and I like to add in pintos or black beans depending on my mood. For lunch and dinner, the bean possibilities are endless: beans and rice, soups/stews, pasta dishes, burritos, burgers, falafel, mixed in a salad, barbecued, baked, blended, mashed. Even eaten straight from the can.

We keep a stock of beans, both canned, dried, and frozen in the house: black beans, pintos, chickpeas, white beans, kidney, lima, black eyed peas. We also are quite fond of pulses–peas and lentils.

Why is this relevant? I’ve been thinking about buying a pressure cooker.

Although canned beans are cheap and healthy, we could (probably) save money (factoring in the cost of the cooker, electricity, water), we would certainly control the amount of salt, and it would save on packaging (thus, less recycling a loathsome task in my opinion.)

More recipes tomorrow!

**Kid Bean photo from The Beantown Gazette.

Pumpkin pasta with kale and pintos

With the best of intentions, I started to make Chef Chloe’s awesome sounding Creamy Pumpkin Penne. Something about the nutmeg and sweetness just didn’t appeal to me today, so I made the most delicious gluten free mac and cheese, using pumpkin as the sauce base. Behold!

(sorry, phone photo)

1 box Brown Rice elbow pasta
2-3 cups cooked kale (I used about half a bag of frozen)
olive oil
1 onion diced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tomato chopped
2 TBL low sugar ketchup
1 TBL sage
1 tsp coriander
1 14 oz can of pumpkin (minus 1/4 cup because I used it for the delicious Microwave Muffin)
1 cup of water
1 veggie bullion cube
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 14 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper

Cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain all water, then add the kale (no need to defrost) and a little olive oil to the noodles. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Saute onion, garlic, and tomato until the vegetables are soft (5-7 minutes). Add ketchup and seasonings. Add pumpkin, bullion cube, and water. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Add nutritional yeast and mix well. Add noodle mixture and taste for seasoning. Cook until mixture is warmed through and serve.