Kidney Bean and Avocado Wraps

This delicious and healthy recipe is from “Big Vegan,” another one of my cookbooks that I really need to explore more. I like that the recipes use very basic and healthy ingredients that really shine in the finished dish.

For this particular recipe, kidney beans are mashed and combined with cumin, garlic and a pinch of cinnamon. They are then cooked with a bit of soy sauce (I used Bragg’s) and green salsa, and then spread on a tortilla with fresh avocado and hot sauce. The recipe calls for Romaine lettuce as an accompaniment, but I added kale to give it more nutritional value. (Tip: Give your kale a massage to break down some of the fibers to make it more tender.)

Since I was planning on this being our lunch option for a few days, I made the bean mixture ahead of time. You can just give the wrap a quick warm-up in the microwave or it’s just fine cold.

Kale and White Bean Pizza with Roasted Garlic

When I’m stressed out, I like to cook/bake. And on Sunday I was a cooking fiend. I made cinnamon rolls, sesame tofu wraps for our lunches this week and this Kale and White Bean Pizza from “Big Vegan.” The wrap I’ll post later. (Also, I still plan on making the vodka sauce recipe I mentioned last week. I just didn’t have vodka on hand to make it at the time.) I’ve barely scratched the surface of the book “Big Vegan” and this pizza and the wrap remind me that I really need to use the book more often.

For the crust, I actually used the pizza dough recipe from “Vegan with a Vengeance,” but next time I’d like to use the whole wheat crust recipe featured in “Big Vegan.”

Now, this isn’t the cheesy, gooey-type of pizza you typically think of, but it’s crave-worthy on its own. The flavors come from white beans — in this case, cannellini beans — that are mashed with roasted garlic cloves, thyme, tomato paste and olive oil. The bean mixture is spread over the pizza dough. Kale that has been blanched is layered on top and takes on a slightly crunchy texture after it’s been baked.

Have any of you made recipes from “Big Vegan”? If so, do you have any to recommend? The book truly lives up to its name and with so many recipes, it’s kind of overwhelming.

Vegan Weekly Roundup

How are you all coping with the heat? It’s been triple-digit hot here in Louisville, so I see lots of salads and cold soups in our future. (As well as frozen daiquiris and margaritas.) Here are a few items I came across this past week that might interest you. Have a great weekend!

I want to make these Kale Avocado Wraps with Spicy Miso- Dipped Tempeh for lunch this week.

Homemade Tangy Macadamia Sour Cream (there’s a video too).

I want to veganize this No Bake Blueberry Cream Pie.

One person’s account of going vegan for 30 days.

Being vegan and a marathoner.

And a little music from the band Television to get your weekend started:

Beans, Greens, Cornbread and … Avocado?

Yep, this weird combination of food was our dinner last night. Well, I guess only the avocado is weird. After being sick for nearly two weeks (!), I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things. For that reason, I’ve been keeping our dinners pretty simple. This particular meal is really easy and cheap to throw together.

I mixed cans of pinto and kidney beans into a pan, added a bit of liquid smoke, a bit of vegetable bouillon for the flavor and saltiness, and freshly cracked black pepper. For the greens, I just cooked down kale in olive oil and added salt and pepper.

For serving, I drizzled a little olive oil and hot sauce onto the beans and added sliced white onion. I also drizzled a little apple cider vinegar on the greens. For this particular dinner, I had an avocado that needed to be used so I sliced it on the side because why not? I’m a sucker for avocado on anything or even by itself.

Stir-fry: Part Deux

I promise we do eat more than stir-fry, but I thought I do another post to hopefully give you more ideas for your own. It’s such a great way to use up extra veggies you have on hand. For the dish you see above, I fried cubes of tofu in my wok, then I added carrots, edamame, a green pepper and some kale that needed to be used. A couple of vegetable gyozas from Trader Joe’s rounded out the meal.

Classic Broccoli Quiche


I just realized that my food has been taking on the shape of pie lately. Weird. Anyway, this delicious dish is one of the lunch items I have included in my latest meal plan, which is in “beta” right now. The recipe comes from “Vegan Brunch.” It’s one that I’ve been wanting to make for a while, but was inspired to do so after reading a post on Luminous Vegans’ site. I opted to make my own pie crust, but I wouldn’t blame you one bit for buying a store-bought crust. The final result is so, so good and really does taste very similar to its egg-based counterpart. I served mine with a kale and apple salad with a lemon and olive oil dressing.

Want to know a trick for tenderizing raw kale? Give it a massage. First remove the woody stem, then tear the leaves apart with your hands. Submerge the kale in water to give it a rinse. Finally, massage the kale by giving handfuls of it a squeeze. Dark spots will appear on the leaves, which means the fibrous veins are breaking down and the leaves are becoming more tender. Cool, huh?

New Cookbook: Big Vegan

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written a post. Sorry for that. Things have been so busy at work. Not that I’m complaining, but this blog has definitely taken a back seat.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping up with vegan food. A few weeks ago, I picked up a new cookbook, “Big Vegan,” by Robin Asbell. It certainly lives up to its name. The book has so many different recipes, it’s overwhelming. What caught my eye were the various sandwich, wrap and salad recipes since I always seem to have trouble coming up with lunch ideas. So far, I’ve made the Fast Broccoli Kale Sandwiches with Tahini Sauce and the Summer Corn Soup with Edamame Garnish. Both were good, but they didn’t knock my socks off. Still, I’m excited about the possibilities.

On another note, we invited some friends over for dinner and movies to celebrate the beginning of the Halloween season, which is our absolute favorite time of the year. With the cooler temperatures finally moving in, I decided to make a big pot of chili and banana cream pies. I found the pie recipe in the June 2011 issue of VegNews magazine.

The pies were extremely easy to make, especially since I opted to buy store-bought pie crusts. (You can find vegan pie crust at Whole Foods. I picked up a pack of two for less than five bucks.) Now, the pies were certainly not the most attractive, but they were delicious. (The pie picture in VegNews is actually a stock photo, which was part of a big scandal with the magazine a few months ago.) And the MimicCreme whipped topping that I used, while also tasty, would not stiffen up, so I just spread it over the tops of the pies. Still, I highly recommend giving the recipe a try if you’re a big fan of banana cream pie.

And speaking of pie, I am super-excited about the new pie cookbook coming out this month from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, “Vegan Pie in the Sky.” If it’s anything like their other two dessert cookbooks, I’m going to need to step up my exercise routine to offset the extra calories.

Anyway, I hope everyone is well!

Update: I had the chance to make the tofu egg salad recipe in “Big Vegan” and it was delicious!! It’s a little more time consuming than my usual tofu egg salad recipe, but so worth it.

CSA Week 10

Sorry for the lack of posts. It’s been a busy, but boring, few weeks. I’ve been really lazy with my cooking lately, too, which has led to some not-so-healthy takeout meals. As you can see, I haven’t been keeping up with my CSA posts, but our bounties have been pretty good, with the addition of potatoes, onions and garlic. We’ve gotten a few cases of blueberries, which I love. I’d be happy getting blueberries every week.

This week’s pickup is one of the best so far. We got two heads of cabbage, turnips, golden beets, red potatoes, zucchini, squash, garlic and two kinds of kale. I can definitely make quite a few meals out of this pickup.

I hope everyone is doing well!

 

CSA Week 4

Lots of green this week, but also more variety. In addition to the usual pac choi, romaine lettuce, strawberries and green onions, we also got some beautiful kale, zucchini and fresh dill. I’m planning on making zucchini bread for breakfast using a recipe from a new cookbook that I just got (I’ll be writing about that soon) and I made a delicious strawberry cake last night using the strawberries (expect a post on that, too).

Hope everyone is well and enjoying the long weekend!

Satisfying Sleek

I love VegNews. Whenever I’m feeling a little blah about cooking, I like to look to past and current issues of the magazine for inspiration. Unlike Vegetarian Times, which I also love, VegNews is 100 percent vegan. It’s the perfect mix of recipes, articles, facts about veganism, and product reviews.

The most current issue arrived in my mailbox just a few days ago and it does not disappoint. The first recipe that I spotted was this Satisfying Sleek. It’s a Lebanese pilaf made from bulgar wheat, black-eyed peas, kale or swiss chard, and a baharat spice blend that consists of black pepper, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom. Unfortunately, I could not locate fenugreek at the grocery stores in my neighborhood. I’m sure I could find some at one of our Middle Eastern grocery stores, but I didn’t have the time to drive across town to get it. So, I just left it out.

Anyway, the pilaf is surprisingly flavorful despite its simple ingredients, and it smells incredible! Aromas from the spice mixture filled my kitchen. I doubled the original recipe so that we would have leftovers for dinner the next day. I also served it with a dollop of hummus and lavash bread that were leftover from our Roasted Red Pepper and Hummus Wraps.

Satisfying Sleek (adapted from VegNews)

Serves 2 + leftovers

Ingredients:

1 cup bulgar wheat
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
4 cups swiss chard or kale (I used kale)
6 scallions, chopped
4 tsp baharat spice blend (see below)
2 15 oz. cans of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Baharat Spice Blend:

1 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Directions:

Place bulgar into a large bowl, cover with the vegetable broth and set aside for 30 minutes.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until soft. Add the kale, scallions, black-eyed peas, spice blend, and bulgar mixture to the pot and bring what liquid is there to a boil (my bulgar had soaked up most of the broth, so I added a half cup of water to the pot). Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice and season with the salt and pepper.

Serve with hummus and lavash bread or pita.

Enjoy!