The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

Recipes for 'Vegan Beans and Legumes'

Southwestern Quinoa Confetti SaladThis delicious salad was inspired by one I enjoyed at Pompano in NYC.  I use more ingredients–including the kale, tomatoes, cucmbers, and optional black beans–because if the salad was scrumptious without them, it would be even better with.

Yield: 6 servings

1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used a mixed colored variety)

2 cups water

Sea salt

1-15 ounce can yellow hominy, rinsed and drained

Optional: 1-15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (not included in accompanying photograph)

1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 cup coarsely chopped kale

2-6 inch cucumbers, diced

Approximately 12 grape tomatoes, quartered

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice of 1/2 large lime

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon chile powder

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, or to taste

Optional: 1 tablespoon nutrition yeast

 

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine quinoa, water and a teaspoon of sea salt, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed/evaporated, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, preheatoiled  grill pan over medium high.  Place onion slices in one half of pan and kale in the other, lightly salt, and grill for about 3 minutes on each side or until nice caramelized grill marks appear.  Combine quinoa, hominy grilled onion and kale, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes in a large non-reactive bowl.  In a small cup or bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice, and all spices, seasoning to taste with additional sea salt.  Pour over salad, sprinkle with cilantro and optional nutritional yeast, and gently toss to coat completely.  Note: I like to enjoy a couple or three servings of the salad without the black beans and then add them to the leftovers to enjoy for a another few servings.

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Leftover Redux--Coconut Yellow Dal CakesYield: 1 serving of 2 medium cakes (easily multiplies for the amount of leftovers on-hand)

Let’s just say, to put it non-judgmentally, that my husband has a very different diet than I do.  So, when I make a dish, it is usually mine and mine alone.

On Saturday, I posted a recipe for my divine Vegan Coconut Dal with Grilled Kale and Cashews which I have been enjoying all week because it serves 6.  Yesterday, wanting to finish it for lunch but perhaps in a different form, the idea for Dal Cakes sprang into my mind.

Wow, how simple and delicious!

On the way home from yoga Sunday morning, I was brainstorming what I would use to thicken the mixture to be able to shape it into patties–Panko bread crumbs, cashew meal, flour, etc.–but when it came to making them, I wondered how simple I could keep it.

Pretty darn simple as it turns out.  I just added half as much Panko breadcrumbs as I had leftovers, stirred gently with a fork and, instead of pre-shaping into patties, I just mounded the mixture into the lightly oiled and preheated skillet, flattening the tops to make about 3/4- to 1-inch thick cakes.  After a couple of minutes, they were plenty firm enough to flip, somewhere between a pancake and a veggie burger.  If you want them, firmer, however, simply add a few more breadcrumbs.

I topped mine with vegan sour cream, as we are uanble in our area to purchase vegan yogurt that isn’t very sweet and quite runny.  Had I had some cucumbers, I would have diced a few up in the sour cream or placed a few slices on top.  But I didn’t, and my mini-meal was still delicious.  Nontheless, wanting a hint of green and not having any cilantro, I added sprigs of lemon thyme from my herb garden.  Though there is no thyme in the dish, it seemed appropriate given the citrusy notes and lent a lovely herby freshness.  Half of a grape tomato would be a really nice addition, as well, adding contrasts of color, flavor and texture.

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/2 cup leftover Vegan Coconut Yellow Dal with Grilled Kale and Cashews (you only need the dal part for this recipe), very thick and very cold

1/4 cup Panko or other coarse, dry breadcrumbs

Sea salt

Optional toppings: vegan sour cream/plain yogurt, pinch of chili powder or plain/smoked paprika, sliced or diced cucumber, sprigs of fresh cilantro or lemon thyme, and halved grape tomatoes

Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together leftover Coconut Yellow Dal with breadcrumbs and a pinch of sea salt to taste, adding more bread crumbs if necessary to reach desired consistency.  Divide mixture in half, making two mounds in the skillet and gently flattening each with a spatula to create 3/4- to 1-inch thick cakes and to help compact the cakes.   Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and a little crusty, loosening each cake from the bottom of the skillet with a spatula after about a minute.  Carefully flip and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes on the second side, again loosening the cakes from the bottom of the skillet after the first minute, and pressing gently on the top to compact.  Lower heat at any point if necessary to prevent scorching.  Serve immediately topped with vegan sour cream or yogurt, cucumbers, sprig of herbs and, if desired, grape tomato halves.  Note: cakes on the smaller side are easier to flip, so avoid getting over-zealous with the size.

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Coconut Dal with Grilled Kale and CashewsYield: 6 servings

Last Saturday night, Joe and I were so pleased with ourselves for choosing Pompano as our dining destination in NYC.

Yes, I know that coconut dal isn’t Mexcian, so keep reading…

Located at 209 East 49th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, it is a beautiful restaurant with a second story that opens onto a terrace, which is where we were seated.  The weather was perfect–like early fall–the service swift, and the food outstanding, with lots of  vegan options, provided cheese or sour cream is omitted.

For my dinner, I ordered smooth-as-velvet black bean soup with a grilled plantain garnish and a black quinoa salad with corn, onions, and grilled–yes, grilled–kale.  Divine!  You can imagine that I came home commited to grilling some kale before week’s end.

On the Thursday night we arrived for our weekend in the city on the occasion of  a dear friend’s wedding, we dined at Amma (246 E. 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd), an intimate and warmly contemporary second story Indian restaurant.  (For meals, we tended to stick close to “home” which was POD51 at 230 E. 51st Street: hip, modern, and well-designed from quality materials with compact rooms.  Ours was a queen POD with a private bath and a very intimate one indeed: think airplane restroom–in size, not style–with a shower.)

I came home Sunday with a powerful craving for Indian food and decided to put the two together: Indian and grilled kale.  For the dal, I used a recipe from Deryn Macey at RunningOnRealFood.com with no substantive changes except more water that is ridiculously tasty, especially scooped up in lettuce leaves instead of naan which, unless veganized, contains yogurt.  To make it more “buttery” while adding a third texture contrast, I sprinkled it with roasted cashews.  And to create more of a  one-dish vitamin-packed meal, I topped it with grilled kale.

For the kale, all I had was pre-chopped, so I used it and thought it made a perfectly textured topping, though you could certainly grill whole kale leaves and use them differently.  I am an indoor griller and found my Lodge cast iron grill pan to do a beautiful job.  Grill the kale, which just takes a few minutes, in two batches while the dal cooks to creamy perfection.

Vegan Coconut Yellow Dal with Grilled Kale and Cashews

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated (I used 1 teaspoon ground ginger, as I had no fresh on hand)

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups dry yellow lentils

1-15 ounce can coconut milk

4 to 4 1/2 cups water

Grilled Kale (recipe follows)

Roasted and lightly salted cashew halves and pieces

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high.  Add onions and saute, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and ginger and continue to saute and stir frequently for about 2 more minutes until onions are quite soft.  Lower heat to avoid scorching garlic if necessary.  Add the spices, coconut milk, lentils and 3 cups water, whisking in one cup of water at a time.  Simmer for about 45 minutes or until soft and thick, lowering heat if necessary, adding another 1/2 cup water about every 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve topped with grilled kale and a sprinkling of cashews.  Note: if desired, toss kale with about 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro before topping dal.

 

Grilled Kale

4 cups coarsely chopped kale (when I purchase from the grocery store instead of farmer’s market, I purchase a bag of, prewashed and coarsely chopped

Small amount of olive oil (If possible, dispense from a spray can or spritzer to avoid over-doing it)

See salt

Heat lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high.  Add half of kale in an even thin layer to pan and grill about 3 minutes to until it starts to char, flip with a spatula and grill about 3 more minutes or until desired color and texture is achieved.  Remove to a platter (avoid heaping it in a bowl or it will steam) and repeat with remaining kale.  Sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt if desired.  Prepared this way, you can use the kale myriad ways: in salads, soups, sandwiches, side dishes, and more.  Its pretty darn good “right by itself,” as they say in the ‘Sip (Mississippi).

 

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Kale, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Fritter Cakes--with ForkThese savory fritter-cake hybrids are made from a trifecta of favorite, healthful, colorful and plentiful ingredients: chopped fresh kale, shredded sweet potato, and black beans.  Green onion adds a fresh, pungent, herb-y kick.

A food processor made short order of  finely chopping the kale and, with a quick blade switch-out, creating beautiful, consistent shreds of sweet potatoes and no scraped knuckles.  For efficiency, I used canned black beans, rinsed and well-drained, mashing about half of them with a potato masher to help the fritter-cakes hold together without  a lot of additional ingredients.  However, I did use a little flour and soymilk (use the nondairy milk of your choice) plus some baking powder and soda for a hint of lift, but not enough to create a “batter.”  The finished consistency of these is somewhat similar to a latke with a bit more body.

For spices, black beans would suggest Mexican or southwestern flavor notes.  But, for some reason, I wanted to nudge these fritter-cakes in a slightly Middle Eastern direction.  So I did invite cumin, coriander and lime zest to the party, but also smoked paprika and sumac which lends a lovely earthy lemony profile.  It is widely sold in Middle Eastern grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, just order it online or leave it out.  However, it has been one of my favorite kitchen companions of the last few years.

For cooking, I tried both oil and nonstick spray and found that the calories in the oil were worth achieving a crispier crust, but see what you think.

I love a savory and ever-so-slightly sweet balance, so for a topping, I whisked a little lime juice and tamarind syrup into vegan sour cream.  Tamarind syrup lends a heavenly, subtle and distinctively Middle Eastern floral note tempered by the sweetly acidic lime juice.  Again, the syrup is sold at Middle Eastern grocery stores and online.  But you could substitute pomegranate syrup which is fruity without being floral or just leave out all together and go with a citrus sour cream which would be delicious too.

A little spoonful of the sauce, a thin slice of lime, a few pine nuts and a sprinkling of smoked paprika created a beautiful presentation of these delectable disks, perfect for breakfast brunch, lunch or even dinner, perhaps with a side salad.

3 cups shredded sweet potatoes (slightly over a half-pound potato)

4 cups coarsely chopped or torn kale, finely chopped (I used a food processor)

1-15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and well-drained; half of beans mashed with potato masher

6 green onions, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste + a small amount more for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

1/2 cup soymilk (or an nondairy milk)

Tamarind-Lime Cream (recipe follows)

Garnishes (optional): thin slices of fresh lime, a few pine nuts, dusting of smoked paprika

 

Kale, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Fritter Cakes--Uncooked

Mixture Before Frying

Line a baking sheet with paper towel and set aside.  Set oven to lowest temperature.  In a large mixing bowl, toss together with your hands sweet potato, kale, green onions, and unmashed sweet potatoes.  In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed beans, flour, baking powder, baking soda, all spices, including salt and pepper, and soymilk.  Spoon in roughly even dollops over vegetable-bean mixture and combine well with a fork.  The mixture will be very textured and moist, mounding nicely, but will not form a batter.

Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil (or a combination of vegetable and olive oil) in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Divide mixture into 1/12ths and, using a spoon or scoop, place 4 evenly-spaced mound into the sizzling oil pressing to about 1/2-inch thick with a metal spatula.  Cook for about 2 minutes, flip and cook 2 more minutes, lowering temperature if necessary to prevent scorching.  They will turn a rich nutty brown (as opposed to a light golden brown).  Remove fritter-cakes and drain on prepared baking sheet, sprinkling each with a few granules of sea salt.  Keep warm in oven.  Repeat twice more with remaining mixture.  Serve immediately topped with Tamarind-Lime Cream and garnished as desired.

 

Tamarind-Lime Cream

1/2 cup vegan sour cream

1 teaspoon tamarind syrup (or pomegranate syrup)

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Sea salt to taste

 

 

 

 

 

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Black Eyed Pea ChiliHappy New Year, all !

You still have time to shop for groceries and make this simple and simply delicious chili for dinner…and you’ll be glad you did.

When I was visiting my parents and sister in MS over Christmas, they were enjoying a batch of legendary chili shared with them by our longtime family friend, Anne Crumbley.

The base looked delicious–a little less “tomato-y” than some–so, though it was made with meat, I sampled just a little of the base and knew I had to have the recipe, which my mother happened to own in her impressive files.

The secret ingredient?  Picante sauce!  My secret ingredient for even more mellowness?  Tofutti cream cheese!  But, you can omit if you prefer.

Yesterday, for my New Year’s Eve post, I shared some of my black eyed pea favorites from the past, but I wanted a new black eyed pea recipe–not to mention lunch–to celebrate 2015.  Considering lots of options, from some kind of fritter to gumbo to black eyed pea sausage–all of which I still want to try–it suddenly occurred to me that I could substitute black eyed peas for Ann’s black beans.  Holy Moly!

I tweaked her recipe only slightly in order to add a bit more “umami” depth and richness since I would most certainly not be using meat, and I hope you love the results as much as I do.

Top your chili with whatever you choose.  I like sour cream and sliced scallions; but Ann also recommends Fritos.  I cannot be trusted with an open bag of those, so I never buy them.  But if you can, more (will)power to you!

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)

Sea salt

2 large cloves minced garlic

12 ounces soy crumbles, tempeh, or your favorite ground “round” substitute (tempeh is typically sold in 8 ounce packages so use 1 or 2 for 8 or 16 ounces; don’t feel you need to split a package)

1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika (or chili powder; Ann’s recipe calls for the latter, but I was out of it

and I loved the smoked paprika)

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon turbinado sugar

1 teaspoon Liquid Aminos

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked black eyed peas ( 1 used frozen, thawed, but you can substitute an approximate 15 ounce can, rinsed and drained, or beans cooked from the dried state)

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup picante sauce (I used Pace brand)

Optional but recommended: 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese)

Recommended toppings: vegan sour cream (I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream), sliced scallions, sliced black olives, roasted pumpkin seeds, sliced jalapenos, etc.

In a large heavy pot (like a Dutch oven) or even a wok, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high.   Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.   Add garlic and continue sauteing, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.  Add soy crumbles, smoked paprika nutritional yeast, cumin, oregano, sugar, Liquid Aminos, and pepper, and cook, breaking up crumbles, until heated through and all ingredients are well combined.  Add black eyed peas and heat through, stirring frequently.  Then add broth and picante sauce.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and reducing heat as necessary to insure that chili does not stick on the bottom.  During the last 2 minutes, melt in the vegan cream cheese.  Serve chili in mugs or bowls, topped as desired or allow guests to top their own from a toppings bar.

 

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There’s nothing wrong with a big pot of–if you’ll pardon the pun–garden variety black-eyed peas, or Hoppin’ John, for that matter.  Tried and true.

But if you’re looking for something a little different to do with your blackeyed peas, making them into more of a meal, try this trifecta of flavor from The Blooming Platter, all of which elevate the humble pea to a glorious meal.

First up is a whimsical vegan take on crabcakes and tartar sauce from my Blooming Platter Cookbook, generously published by One Green Planet.  It hardly gets more festive or tasty than this.  Look at all of that red and green yumminess!:  Vegan Black-eyed Pea and Spinach Cakes with Sun Dried Tomato Tartar Sauce.

 

Next up is a little kicked up southern comfort and colorful whole grain extravaganza including good luck and good-for-you greens: Vegan Blackeyed Pea Pilaf Over Collards with Green Tomato Salsa and Roasted Pecans.

 

Finally is another “southern” dish–southern Indian!  The title is a mouthful, so to speak, but I wanted to reference all of the ingredients that make this dish addicting:  Vegan “Southern” Indian Cilantro-Scented Cardamom-Coconut Cream Blackeyed Peas, Peppers & Spinach.

 

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Happy New Year!

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BBQ Bean Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Fall Festival SlawYield: 4 sandwiches

My new Fall Festival Slaw was the inspiration for this delicious sandwich.  After I made the luscious slaw, though, it seemed to cry out for tangy BBQ beans and sweet caramelized onions.  Oh boy, what a great combination, though the slaw is a beautiful side dish on its own.

 

BBQ Bean Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Fall Festival Slaw

4 sandwich rolls or 8 slices of whole grain bread, toasted

Fall Festival Slaw

Caramelized Onions

BBQ Beans

Vegan mayonnaise (I like Vegenaise)

For each sandwich, spread bottom piece of bread with about 1 tablespoon or less of mayo.  Top with 1/4 of the beans, 1/4 of the onions, and about 1/4 cup of slaw.  Serve immediately.

 

Fall Festival Slaw

Note:  I use the grater attachment of my food processor to grate vegetables, as it creates a nice julienne style shred.  You will have slaw left over.

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup grated apple

1/2 cup grated carrot

1-4 to 5-inch small mild red chili pepper, stemmed and seeded, grated

1/2 cup taosted walnut pieces

1/4 to 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise (I like Vegennaise)

1 teaspoon anise seed

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

Place grated vegetables in a colander or strainer, press gently to remove excess moisture, and let drain for a few minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and combine will with a fork.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time.  Stir again before serving.

 

Caramelized Onions

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, slivered

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add all remaining ingredients and saute, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until preferred degree of caramelization is reached.  Reduce heat if cooking too fast. While onions caramelize, prepare beans.

 

BBQ Beans

Use your favorite BBQ bean recipe or:

1-15.5 ounce can vegetarian (which are actually vegan) barbeque beans (I used Bush’s brand with bourbon and maple syrup)

1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

In a small cast iron skillet or saucepan, heat together all ingredients, cooking for 7 or so minutes until thick and a little “sticky” to intensify flavors and insure that the beans will hold together nicely inside the sandwich.  Remove from heat.  Note:  you may need to tweak amount of mustard and vinegar or you may even need to add turbinado sugar depending on the type of beans you pruchase.  Mine were already sweet, so the mustard and balsamic vinegar balanced the flavors beautifully.

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Green-Go Bean Burger 3Yield: 4 burgers

I love developing recipes, like these “Go Bean” green-themed burgers, exclusively for Tofutti Brands, Inc! 

These simple, delicious and nutritious Mexican-spiced patties hold together beautifully and their pleasantly chewy texture is the perfect counterpoint to their spicy-tart Green Chili “Cream Cheese” Topping made with Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese.

Lima beans may sound odd for a bean burger–though you can use whatever bean you prefer–but I had some fresh ones on hand from our farmer’s market; and they are, in fact, what spawned the whole “green” approach: butter lettuce instead of a bun, a thick slice of green tomato, the Green Chili “Cream Cheese” Topping with lime zest, and a garnish of fresh lime.

And about that topping:  it’s delicious on these burgers, but it would be fabulous on an old shoe…it’s that good!  Your beef burger-eating friends will be green with envy!

Note that Tofutti makes two types of Better Than Cream Cheese and Better Than Sour Cream, one with transfat and one without, each in its own color carton.  So read the nutrition information to make sure you purchase the one you prefer. 

1 3/4 cup fresh cooked lima beans (or 1-15.5 ounce can of your favorite bean, rinsed and drained)

1/3 cup walnuts (or your favorite nut)

1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal

1/3 cup vital wheat gluten

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Liquid Aminos or soy sauce

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

Optional: 1 tablespoon water

4 toasted hamburger buns or 4 butter lettuce leaves

4 slices green tomato

Green Chili-“Cream Cheese” Topping (recipe follows)

Optional Garnish: lime zest and/or thin slices of lime

 

Place all ingredients, except tomato, topping, and bun–using only 1 of the tablespoons olive oil and optional water–in a food processor and pulse until mixture is well combined.  Then run motor for a few seconds until mixture holds together; avoid over processing.  Shape mixture into 4 patties about 3/4-inch thick.  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high in a large cast iron skillet.  Add patties and cook 5 minutes or until golden brown, adding another tablespoon of oil and swirling around pan if needed halfway through.  Flip, add remaining tablespoon of oil, swirl, and cook another 5 minutes to brown remaining side.  Place each patty on a bun or lettuce leaf, top with a slice of tomato and 1/4 of the sauce, and serve immediately.  Garnish, if desired, with lime zest and/or thin slices of lime.

 

Green Chili-“Cream Cheese” Topping

8 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

1 can chopped green chilies, drained

Zest of 1 small lime

In a small bowl, heat cream cheese for about a minute in the microwave or until very soft and stir-able.  Add green chilies, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

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White Bean, Caramelized Sagey Onions, Fresh Fig and Pepper Relish TartYield: 8 servings

I am so ashamed that my last post was on August 26–good grief!  But, alas, as you may know,  I am a high school art teacher, and the beginning of school is almost all-consuming (pun intended!).

The first day of our pre-service week was Monday, August 25, so I’m actually surprised I was even able to make one post that week.  Last week was the first week of school with the kids back, so it was very packed.

The pre-service week is never my favorite–and this year’s was particularly stressful with a lot of major policy changes and a lot of resulting contention–but I love it when the students return.

Today’s recipe is a delicious and beautiful one I made for  one of my contributions to this year’s iteration of our annual Julia Child Birthday Bash on August 15.  It was a big hit.  I noticed figs still available at the Farmer’s Market this morning, so I hope you can still get them where you live and create your own hit!

 

1 press-in tart crust (recipe follows)

1-15.5 ounce can cannelini or other white beans, rinsed and drained

Optional: 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/4 cup water + 2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, slivered

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons fresh whole sage leaves (if leaves are large, slice into 1/4-inch slivers)

Fresh figs, halved (the number depends on the size; mine were tiny and I used about 13 small figs about the size of large grapes)

1/4 cup prepared red pepper relish (I used Braswell’s brand)

Optional garnish: sprig of fresh sage leaves

 

While crust bakes, puree in a food processor beans, optional nutritional yeast, and water.  Set aside.  Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high, add onion, sea salt and pepper to taste, garlic, and sugar, and saute, stirring frequently for about 5 to 7 minutes or until caramelized.  Saute a few minutes longer if a deeper color and flavor is desired.   Stir in sage leaves during the last minute or two.   Spread bean puree evenly on bottom of crust, evenly distribute caramelized onion over the top, arrange figs in a pleasing design, nestling them into the onions, and then dot teaspoons of the relish between the figs.  Return to oven and bake about 15 minutes to heat through.  Remove from oven to a wire rack.  Cool just enough to remove sides of pan without burning yourself if serving warm.  Or cool completely, remove sides, and serve at room temperature.  Garnish with fresh sage leaves if desired.

 

Press-In Tart Crust:

Ever since I found this recipe at www.steptalk.org, it has been my go-to crust for everything!  It is so easy, never-fail, requires no rolling, and is quite flavorful.

1 1/2 cups flour (unbleached all-purpose, white whole wheat, or whole wheat)

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

2  tablespoons unsweetened soymilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center, and pour in oil and soymilk.  Whisk together just until combined.  Transfer dough to an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, and press evenly onto bottom and around edges.  I like to break the dough into pieces and distribute it around the bottom of the tart pan so that maintaining an even crust is much easier.   Use a drinking glass to assest with the pressing if desired.  Bake 10-12 minutes and remove to a wire rack.

White Bean, Caramelized Sagey Onions, Fresh Fig and Pepper Relish Tart--detail

 

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Close-upYield: 6-8 servings (depending on other side dishes)

 

I took this salad to a 4th of July celebration at our good friends’ Mary Beth and Ken Mays’ home where it was a huge hit along with burgers (veggie and beef–I was the only vegan, though Mary Beth is a pescetarian and her cousin a vegetarian), red skinned new potato salad with artichoke hearts and both green and ripe olives in a light vinaigrette dressing, and a beautiful fruit salad for dessert.

Since we decided to go fairly traditional with our menu, I felt a slaw was in order.  But I also felt a little more protein would be nice, not to mention more color and texture contrast.  When all was said and done, this was one addicting salad!

 

1-12 ounce package prepared (but not dressed) broccoli slaw

5 ounces mixed or single greens like kale, Swiss chard, etc., finely chopped (I use a food processor for this task)

1 orange or red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1-15.5 ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and well-drained

5 stalks celery hearts, diced

1/2 cup roughly chopped smoked almonds

Pinch sea salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Lime Aioli Dressing (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, toss together all salad ingredients.  Drizzle dressing over the top and toss well to combine.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Refrigerate for at least a half hour to allow flavors to marry.  Serve cold.

 

Lime Aoili Dressing:

Juice and zest of 1 small to medium lime

1 teaspoon stone ground mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon Liquid Aminos

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch turbinado sugar (or your favorite granualted sugar)

Pinch sea salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

Place lime juice and mustard in a medium bowl.  Slowly whisk in olive oil.  Add all remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth and completely combined.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.Bean and Broccoli Slaw

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