Tag Archives: carrots

VOTE! Virtual Vegan Potluck: Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

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UPDATE: The potluck is over, but the voting for faves just started! Below find my entry in the Virtual Vegan Potluck then click on over to cast your vote for Veg Bon Vivant for salad winner!

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I’m part of a GLOBAL plant-based potluck today. Doesn’t that sound super impressive? Over 170 of my virtual vegan friends have committed to participation in Virtual Vegan Potluck, a twice-a-year, orderly, and yummy way to expose their blog followers to new recipes and new vegan blogs. I am so excited about the blogroll itself I can hardly stand it. New reading! My “dish to pass” is a salad. A tried and true salad that never has leftovers and leaves everyone shocked that they just ate Thai food. Hey, eat more veggies while you are at it.

I relish all of the different flavor combinations that comprise regional foods and on occasion I like to make up my own recipes from the most awesome parts of other recipes.  I love peanut sauce in Thai restaurants; however it is not good for you. At. All. I modified a recipe I found online cutting out the non-veg ingredients, pinched a little of the fat (bye-bye oil) and yet maintained a “dressing” consistency suitable for a salad instead of satay duty. Paired with a few of my fave salad ingredients including the beloved soba noodle, I dropped in a spicy protein too to give you a delightfully filling and portable salad that could hold its own at a REAL potluck. Hello summer!

Peanut Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
  • 1 T tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp to 1 T chopped, ground, or pre-chopped ginger (test along the way)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • drizzle of toasted sesame oil (keep it to less than a tsp)
  • big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or 1 tsp-1T of hot sauce, your choice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot water

Salad:

  • 1 package soba noodles prepared according to package instructions
  • 2 carrots, peeled, grated
  • 4 radishes, chopped
  • 1 head napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 C crushed peanuts or cashews, toasted
  • a handful of bean spouts per salad
Mix dressing ingredients together in the food processor, let set 10-20 minutes to develop in flavor intensity, reserve 1/4 C dressing for topping salad.  Shred cabbage, toss with chopped radishes and grated carrot, mound in 3-4 salad bowls.  Toss soba noodles in the peanut sauce until coated nicely, divide and add to cabbage salad, top with 1/4 C reserved dressing and crushed peanuts or cashews and fresh bean spouts.  Serve immediately.

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Well you know how a potluck works right? So that was JUST my dish to pass, scoot on over to the next blog for another delish salad and start filling up that plate! Just make sure you save room for dessert….I went through the blogroll today and down the line are some vegan desserts you will not want to miss!
Click “go forward” for the next salad from Yum for Tum or depending on how you found this post, you might have missed the one before me at Mojo Central. Happy potluck!
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Pictured with salad ginger/garlic/soy marinated baked tofu (recipe below):
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained, sliced in half (thickness wise) and pressed (after pressing 20-30 minutes, cut into pieces about the size of a pinky finger-sorry, that’s kinda gross!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
Marinate tofu in mixture of the ingredients above for 30 minutes to overnight. Bake tofu on a foil lined, lightly greased, rimed baking sheet at 375 or grilled until firm in texture, turning every 5-10 minutes.  Serve with the salad.
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Virtual Vegan Potluck: Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

vvpLOGO

I’m part of a GLOBAL plant-based potluck today. Doesn’t that sound super impressive? Over 170 of my virtual vegan friends have committed to participation in Virtual Vegan Potluck, a twice-a-year, orderly, and yummy way to expose their blog followers to new recipes and new vegan blogs. I am so excited about the blogroll itself I can hardly stand it. New reading! My “dish to pass” is a salad. A tried and true salad that never has leftovers and leaves everyone shocked that they just ate Thai food. Hey, eat more veggies while you are at it.

I relish all of the different flavor combinations that comprise regional foods and on occasion I like to make up my own recipes from the most awesome parts of other recipes.  I love peanut sauce in Thai restaurants; however it is not good for you. At. All. I modified a recipe I found online cutting out the non-veg ingredients, pinched a little of the fat (bye-bye oil) and yet maintained a “dressing” consistency suitable for a salad instead of satay duty. Paired with a few of my fave salad ingredients including the beloved soba noodle, I dropped in a spicy protein too to give you a delightfully filling and portable salad that could hold its own at a REAL potluck. Hello summer!

Peanut Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
  • 1 T tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp to 1 T chopped, ground, or pre-chopped ginger (test along the way)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • drizzle of toasted sesame oil (keep it to less than a tsp)
  • big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or 1 tsp-1T of hot sauce, your choice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot water

Salad:

  • 1 package soba noodles prepared according to package instructions
  • 2 carrots, peeled, grated
  • 4 radishes, chopped
  • 1 head napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 C crushed peanuts or cashews, toasted
  • a handful of bean spouts per salad
Mix dressing ingredients together in the food processor, let set 10-20 minutes to develop in flavor intensity, reserve 1/4 C dressing for topping salad.  Shred cabbage, toss with chopped radishes and grated carrot, mound in 3-4 salad bowls.  Toss soba noodles in the peanut sauce until coated nicely, divide and add to cabbage salad, top with 1/4 C reserved dressing and crushed peanuts or cashews and fresh bean spouts.  Serve immediately.

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Well you know how a potluck works right? So that was JUST my dish to pass, scoot on over to the next blog for another delish salad and start filling up that plate! Just make sure you save room for dessert….I went through the blogroll today and down the line are some vegan desserts you will not want to miss!
Click “go forward” for the next salad from Yum for Tum or depending on how you found this post, you might have missed the one before me at Mojo Central. Happy potluck!
go_forward-300x243go_bck-300x257
Pictured with salad ginger/garlic/soy marinated baked tofu (recipe below):
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained, sliced in half (thickness wise) and pressed (after pressing 20-30 minutes, cut into pieces about the size of a pinky finger-sorry, that’s kinda gross!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
Marinate tofu in mixture of the ingredients above for 30 minutes to overnight. Bake tofu on a foil lined, lightly greased, rimed baking sheet at 375 or grilled until firm in texture, turning every 5-10 minutes.  Serve with the salad.
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Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

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I devour recipe books like most people read through the Oprah Book Club.  I relish all of the different flavor combinations that comprise regional foods and on occasion I like to make up my own recipes from the most awesome parts of other recipes.  I love peanut sauce in Thai restaurants, so I modified a recipe I found online to include hot water, thus creating a “dressing” consistency suitable for a salad instead of satay duty, paired it with a few of my fave Asian salad ingredients including the beloved soba noodle, dropped in a spicy protein and surprise a delightfully filling salad.   I would consider this one of my best salad efforts.

Peanut Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • drizzle of toasted sesame oil
  • big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot water

Salad:

  • 1 package soba noodles prepared according to package instructions
  • 2 carrots, peeled, grated
  • 4 radishes, chopped
  • 1 head napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 C crushed peanuts or cashews
  • a handful of bean spouts per salad
Mix dressing ingredients together in the food processor, let set 10-20 minutes to develop in flavor intensity, reserve 1/4 C dressing for topping salad.  Shred cabbage, toss with chopped radishes and grated carrot, mound in 3-4 salad bowls.  Toss soba noodles in the peanut sauce until coated nicely, divide and add to cabbage salad, top with 1/4 C reserved dressing and crushed peanuts or cashews and fresh bean spouts.  Serve immediately.
Pictured with salad ginger/garlic/soy marinated baked tofu (recipe below):
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained, sliced in half (thickness wise) and pressed (after pressing 20-30 minutes, cut into pieces about the size of a pinky finger-sorry, that’s kinda gross!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
Marinate tofu in mixture of the ingredients above for 30 minutes to overnight. Bake tofu on a foil lined, lightly greased, rimed baking sheet at 375 until firm in texture, turning every 5-10 minutes.  Serve with salad.

Independence Day Holiday Weekend = Food Coma

Hello summer!  Nothing screams 4th of July holiday like making a ton of high-calorie food and carting it all over the city visiting friends, drinking adult beverages, and watching small children play with matches.

Mr. Wonderful and I started off the July 4th Holiday weekend relatively healthy with Yin and Yang Salad with Peanut Dressing from The Real Food Daily Cookbook as and it sorta went downhill from there.

I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it’s really just some ingredients used many times…tricky.  Replication of flavors from ginger, garlic and sesame make this dish seem complex and rich, you don’t need to tell anyone you basically had to shop in two aisles, the “ethnic” and produce aisles.

  • 4 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 1 sleeve soba noodles, cooked al dente, drained and cooled
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 (2 1/2-inch) piece daikon radish, peeled and julienned (I used red radish)
  • 10 green onions (white and green parts), julienned
  • 1 cup Peanut-Sesame Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes chilled ginger tofu (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Toss the cabbage, carrots, radish, and green onions in a large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Mound the salad into 4 wide, shallow bowls or onto plates. Arrange the tofu around the salad. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.

Serves 4.

Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

Ann’s header notes: If you’d like a spicier dressing, just add more crushed red pepper flakes. This thickens up once it’s refrigerated, so you can either add a little water to thin it or leave it thick to use as a sauce on grains and other cooked dishes.

Blend the peanut butter, vinegar, maple syrup, water, tamari, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and crushed red pepper in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the cilantro and blend just until it’s finely chopped The dressing will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated.

Makes abaut 1 1/4 cups.

Gingered Tofu

  • 2 (12-ounce) containers water-packed extra-flrm tofu
  • 2/3 cup tamari
  • 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • I tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • I tablespoon canola oil

Drain the tofu and save the containers. Cut into 1-inch wide strips, and pat dry with paper towels. Cover a large baking sheet with more dry paper towels. Place the tofu in a single layer over the towels on the baking sheet and let drain for 2 hours, changing the paper towels after 1 hour.

Whisk the tamari, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a bowl to blend. Pour half of the marinade into the reserved tofu containers. Return the tofu slices to the containers, and pour the remaining marinade over. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400’F. Oil a heavy, rimmcd baking sheet with the canola oil. Drain the tofu and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on each side until golden brown and heated through. Serve warm or cold, or at room temperature. The tofu will keep for 1 day, covered and refrigerated.

Serves 4 to 6.

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Want some Kale with your Black Beluga Lentils?

Perhaps you saw the title of this post and thought, WTF I don’t even know what Black Beluga Lentils ARE let alone why I would want Kale with THEM!  I know, I know, weirdo veggie Adrienne wants us to eat crazy stuff and be kind to things with faces…well, yes, but Kale is a powerful, versatile and sturdy vegetable.  It is often overlooked, mostly because the only interaction you ever have with it is under that crappy obligatory unripe melon slice, next to your steak and baked potato at the steakhouse.  Yep, that’s Kale and it’s delicious.

Kale seems a little dark and mysterious, a little scary, and so is the amount of times this woman says “super” in this Kale video.  Nonetheless, it’s a good primer-when you are done watching, come back for the soup recipe will ya?

Black Beluga Lentil Soup

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Lively Lentil Soup at 101cookbooks.com

  • 2 C black beluga lentils (or green French lentils), picked over and rinsed
  • 2 C great northern beans, cooked
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 T chipotle en adobo sauce (from the can)
  • 2T cumin
  • 2T smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp pepper, ground
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 C water
  • 3 C of a big leafy green (chard, kale, etc), rinsed well, deveined, finely chopped

Saffron Yogurt

  • a pinch of saffron (30-40 threads)
  • 1 T boiling water
  • two pinches of salt
  • 1/2 C 2% Greek Yogurt

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the lentils, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

While the lentils are cooking, make the saffron yogurt by combining the saffron threads and boiling water in a tiny cup. Let the saffron steep for a few minutes. Now stir the saffron along with the liquid into the yogurt. Mix in the salt and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion, carrot, and spices and saute until tender, a couple minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and water and continue cooking for a few more minutes, letting the soup come back up to a simmer. Stir in the chopped greens, cooked beans, and wait another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. Ladle into bowls, and serve with a dollop of the saffron yogurt.

This soup hurts so GOOD!!  It has a little kick to it, but the saffron yogurt is cooling.  To make less spicy, just put in less of the hot stuff up there silly!  I of course added Frank’s Red Hot to this before I served it.

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Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Grilled Tofu

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I had a little hiatus from blogging due to my first cooking injury.  Good thing Mr. Wonderful bought really sharp knives or I might be down a finger, instead I just filleted myself a little bit.  You would not believe how incredible the combo of super glue and liquid bandage are in avoiding a visit to urgent care and stitches. I digress, on to the recipe.

I’m officially obsessed with Isa Chandra now that I have her newest cookbook Appetite for Reduction.  I mean, I loved her before with her Post Punk Kitchen (PPK), Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar and her Veganomicon, but this book is her best and healthiest yet (um, can we get more pics in the next book please?).  Here is the first recipe Mr. Wonderful and I tried from the book.  Just try it, don’t let the ingredients scare you. Most of them are readily available at the “normal” grocery store in the ethnic aisle.  If you want a deal on the price of these items venture to your local Asian grocier, just don’t freak out about what you might see in the freezer section.  You have been warned.  Now you have no excuse NOT to get to know chili garlic sauce as a binder for a delish dressing.  Even Walter the Wonderdog got in on the cooking action this time.

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad with Grilled Tofu

Serves 6 – Active Time: 30 minutes  Total Time:  40 minutes

(Can be made gluten-free if using GF tamari in place of soy sauce)

Cook’s Notes:

1. I used my heavy duty cast iron grill pan & it made gorgeous, “grilled tofu”.  Get a grill pan at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for 20% off.

2.  I used Nasoya light firm tofu to cut the fat.  My nutritional info, therefore, differs from Isa’s in the book.

3.  You can sub walnuts or cashews for the peanuts if you like.

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey..heck you could use maple syrup)
  • 3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes, depending how juicy your limes are)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, optional

Salad:

  • 12 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package of thin rice noodles (vermicelli)
  • 1 medium-size cucumber thinly-sliced half-moons (1 heaping cup or 6 ounces)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 handfuls of bean sprouts (I’m all about bean sprouts right now)
  • 4 ounces string beans, sliced into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)  These stay raw!
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (this I added because I’m obsessed with them)
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves

Peanut-Mint Gremolata (I used walnuts):

  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • Zest of 1/2 lime

Instructions:

1.  To make the dressing, mix all its ingredients together and stir vigorously.  Set aside.

2.  Slice the tofu into eight equal pieces widthwise, then slice those rectangles corner to corner to form long triangles.

3.  Place in a single layer on a large plate and pour 6 tablespoons of the dressing over the slices.  Also drizzle 2 teaspoons of soy sauce.  Let marinate, flipping occasionally, while you prepare everything else.

4.  Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions.  Usually they say to boil water, turn off the heat, and soak the noodles for about 8 minutes.  Once cooked, drain in a colander and run the noodles under cold water for about a minute until they are fully cooled.  Set aside to drain while you finish prepping everything.

5.  Mix all of the vegetables and the mint leaves into the noodles. Just use your hands–it’s messy, but the best way I found to incorporate everything.  Mix the dressing into the noodles and toss to coat.  Refrigerate while you prepare everything else.

6.  Combine the gremolata indredients in a small bowl.

7.  Now grill the tofu.  Preheat a non-stick grill pan or a cast-iron grill pan or a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.   Do not spray a non-stick pan with oil–it will ruin it!  The tofu will not stick! If you only have a cast-iron pan you will have to spray it or the tofu might stick.  Grill the tofu on each side for 4 minutes, or until grill marks appear.  If using just a regular pan, cook it for 3 minutes on each side.   Add the excess marinade to the noodles.

To serve: Scoop the noodles into six pretty bowls.  Wedge two or three tofu peices on the side of each bowl.  Sprinkle with the gremolata and serve with lime wedges and extra chili garlic sauce.

Meatless Any Day of the Week

When I discuss being a vegetarian with people, usually they say things like “I could NEVER live without eating meat”.  I would never be so bold as to say, everyone should be a vegetarian or vegan, but perhaps you could find it within you to give the “weeknight vegetarian” concept a try.  Shoot for 2-3 nights in the regular week, to go meat-free.  This might be a practice you observe currently and just don’t really recognize it.  Why don’t you give it a shot?  Start with this simple and fast weeknight recipe, Sesame-Honey Tempeh & Quinoa Bowl.  You won’t miss the meat AND you can incorporate that “quinoa  stuff” that you bought a while back after seeing it on Oprah, into this meal.   Recipe courtesy of Eating Well Magazine.  Mr. Wonderful says: “WOW, that red quinoa sure is nutty.  Is that sesame?”  Why yes it does, and yes it is.  Mr. Wonderful approved.

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There are two components to the recipe a slaw and the tempeh:

Sesame-Honey Tempeh & Quinoa Bowl

Slaw

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (I prefer the red quinoa, but any will do)
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 3 large)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

Tempeh

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 8-ounce packages tempeh (see Note), crumbled into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 scallions, sliced

PREPARATION

  1. To prepare quinoa: Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, 10 to 14 minutes. Uncover and let stand.
  2. To prepare carrot slaw: Meanwhile, combine carrots, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. To prepare tempeh: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 7 to 9 minutes.
  4. Combine honey, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened and coats the tempeh, about 1 minute.
  5. Divide the quinoa among 4 bowls and top each with 1/2 cup carrot slaw and 3/4 cup tempeh mixture. Sprinkle with scallions.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Tip: To toast sesame seeds, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Ingredient Note: Look for tempeh near refrigerated tofu in natural-foods stores and many large supermarkets.

Per serving: 536 calories; 27 g fat (5 g sat, 9 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 53 g carbohydrates; 13 g added sugars; 28 g protein; 5 g fiber; 588 mg sodium; 899 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (182% daily value), Magnesium (46% dv), Iron (32% dv), Folate (27% dv), Potassium (26% dv), Calcium (21% dv), Zinc (19% dv).

Soup Season!

Fall is my favorite food season.  Tailgating and soup making are really the highlights in my humble opinion.  Mr. Wonderful did all the grocery shopping for the week after we picked out our recipes for the week over a blueberry pancake breakfast (yes, some of THOSE blueberries).  So this evening, all I had to do was pull together this easy, soul warming soup.

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Black Bean Corn Chowder

  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 baking potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 C black beans, cooked
  • 4 C veggie broth
  • 2 C skim milk
  • 1/4 C sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/2 T onion powder
  • 1/2 T garlic powder
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste

Saute’ veggies (not corn) in EVOO, cook until soft.  Add spices, cook 1-2 more minutes, stirring.  Add liquids bring to boil.  Drop in frozen corn and beans.  Bring back to boil.  Serve hot with toppings of your choice.  We like sour cream, avocado and a squeeze of lime.

My black beans generally do not come from a can, except for when I am in a super duper hurry and haven’t done a good job of planning ahead.  Tonight I made a two pound bag of black beans before putting together the soup so that I had a few bags in the freezer ready to go for the next few weeks.  To quickly cook black beans, in a large pot, dump rinsed and picked over beans, cover with water plus 2 inches up the side of the pan and boil until al dente.  They will cook the rest of the way in whatever you cook them in, soup, tacos, etc.  Yeah, that’s it.  You don’t have to do all that soaking if you have about 45 minutes to boil the crap out of them.  This way, you save money, they taste WAAAYYYY better and the sodium content is much lower.  I then take the beans and freeze them in plastic bags.  They don’t last long, so I’m not sure how long they keep.  Hispanic food stores have the BEST deals on dried black beans.  I once bought a 10 pound bag for $4.00.  Seriously.  I just finished that bag a few weeks ago, it lasted about 6 months.