Tag Archives: beans

Pesto White Bean Bowl

I’ve only recently acquired Jae Steele’s two cookbooks, Get It Ripe and Ripe From Around Here. Really, I shouldn’t even call them cookbooks; they’re more like holistic vegan lifestyle books, replete with nutritional information, tips for digestion and detoxification, the ins and outs of the organic and local food movements, and even recipes for make-at-home natural cleaning products! Sometimes it bothers me when the first half of a cookbook is wasted on something other than recipes, but with Jae’s books, I don’t mind. Everything she has to say is genuinely interesting, and I’m better off having read it.

I’m a pretty big fan of bowl-type meals (Anyone remember the Love Bowl?!), consisting of grains, veggies, protein, and a tasty sauce; so I was immediately drawn to the Pesto White Bean Bowl in her first book, Get It Ripe.

Fresh baby bok choy is laid atop a bed of fluffy quinoa, then topped with white beans (I used a mixture of navy and cannellini beans) combined with delicious pesto. Finally, the whole bowl is drizzled with olive oil.  I used Jae’s Cilantro Pesto from the same book; but really, you could use whatever pesto’s sitting in your fridge. For the olive oil, I used some fancy Basil Olive Oil I just bought from Outrageous Olive Oils, here in Scottsdale, AZ. Since I made cilantro pesto, I had to find a way to get some basil in there somehow!

As I knew it would be, this bowl was a slam dunk. My dad and I both loved it. Fresh, simple, and wholesome food at its finest. Given that the one other recipe I’ve made from Get It RipePerfect Peanut Sauce – was, in fact, perfect, I’d say Jae Steele is two for two. I’ll be getting more ripe very soon. :)


Bean and Corn Tortilla Lasagna

There’s been some Mexi-love going down in my house lately, first in the form of the Bean and Corn Tortilla Lasagna with Avocado from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

This is another recipe I’ve wanted to make as long as I can remember, so I’m glad I finally got around to it. Alternating layers of spicy beans and tomatoes, avocado, corn tortillas, and Daiya cheese make this dish a veritable fiesta!

Cooked avocado is different, but I’m always pleasantly surprised by how good it is.

My dad commented on how light and fresh it was, especially considering that lasagna is usually pretty heavy. I think that lightness is attributable not only to the fact that this lasagna is vegan and loaded with veggies, but to the lime (squeezed on between layers and on top) and cilantro.

More lime please!

We still had a lot of Daiya hanging around the next day, so nachos it was! These were even better than my Teese-y nachos from over the summer! Actually, MUCH better.

The great thing about living in Arizona is that you can eat al fresco in the middle of the winter:

TJ’s Reduced Guilt Tortilla Chips, Refried Black Beans (I made my own using the recipe in Yellow Rose Recipes!), Cheddar and Italian Daiya “cheese,” guacamole (also made from scratch, but just off the top of my head), and lotsa salsa. My dad and I devoured this lunch.

On an entirely different note, I’m running my 2nd half marathon tomorrow morning: the P.F. Chang’s Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2.

I got 2:10:47 in my first half last September, so I’m going for under 2:00 this time. Wish me luck! I’m gonna get started on my carbo-loading dinner from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook!

The Love Bowl Is a Little Old Place Where…

…We can eat together!

For dinner two nights ago, I constructed the Love Bowl from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan! I say constructed because there were so many flippin’ elements to this dish! It was layer upon layer upon layer…of delicious whole food goodness that was totally and completely worth it.

Baked tofu, black beans, and garlic sauteed kale, served over a fluffy bed of yellow and red quinoa, drenched in a gingery peanut sauce, and topped with chopped scallions and toasted black sesame seeds. Does life get any better?

The recipe called for brown rice, but I was feeling quinoa that day. You can also opt to use marinated tempeh or mushroom gravy in place of the baked tofu or peanut sauce, but I’m glad I went the way I did. This love bowl was so easy, healthy, and fun to eat–I, well, loved it. Another thing I like about this kind of dish is that it’s super versatile. You could make it any time without a recipe at all. Just choose your grain, vegetable, legume, prepped tofu/tempeh (or even sweet potatoes or squash!), and your special sauce, and your good to go. makes convenient leftovers too. Here’s a post from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs that I found that speaks to this concept, along with some great recipes!

Also, I don’t know if any of you remember this post, but, post-birthday, I own a lot of those things thanks to my generous parentals! E.g. the peanut butter stirrer, which I used to make the peanut sauce for the love bowl.

It’s a great tool! Just screw it on, and you’re good to crank. And, as if it could get any better, When you’re done and you pull the metal crank out of the lid, a little suction cup where the hole is sucks off all the PB so you don’t have to clean the crank!

And here’s a cool new ingredient (for me, at least) that I used in the sauce: pickled ginger with shiso leaves. ¡Qué Exótico!

I’m gonna give you guys the recipe for this sauce because I think I changed it enough (by lessening the PB and adding soy yogurt) that I can justify it. Here’s a slightly less fattening, less overly salty version (not that you need to worry about that with a dish this healthy…):

Gingery Peanut Sauce

3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup plain soy yogurt (I used Silk)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup tamari
1 (2.1-ounce) package Eden Pickled Ginger with Shiso, with liquid, leaves removed

Combine all ingredients in food processor, and drench your bowl of love with said mixture until fully saturated. :)

Makes about 3 cups.

Finally, a bonus pic of one of a simple, but favorite, dish at Pita Jungle (our family’s collective favorite restaurant in Tempe): the Macro Platter: Mixed beans, brown rice, fresh steamed vegetables, (spicy) tofu and a whole-wheat pita.

Never gets old.

Europe Part II: Greece Grub!

First day in Athens! At Diavlos. See, you really can find vegan food wherever you go.

On a serious note, I have to say how happy I was to find some whole grains after all the white bread and pasta in Italy. However, I’m also dying to make fun of this menu! “Vegetarian Propositions?” HAHAHA. Like, “we propose that you order this?…” Also, “Non alterated soya.” Just really funny.

Soya Kembap, with tomato-mushroom sauce & brown rice. The sauce was deliciously spiked with cinnamon!

Healthy Food Vegetarian Fast Food in Athens–not the best name, but their food was ridiculously yummy, and we went there for my 21st birthday dinner, so I’ll give them a break. ;)

Lemony-Dill Brown Rice. I loved this!

Another delicious rice dish.

Beans! No description necessary, except, what a pretty color!

They’re big on soya chunks in Athens, I guess! These were better than the ones at Diavlos though.

And perhaps the best part: Vegan Carrot-Sesame-Raisin Cake. This was perfect–just hippy enough and not too sweet, but good enough for dessert. We bought a couple of these to go too!

But if you thought the restaurant’s food looked amazing, they have the most amazing vegan-friendly health food store EVER! Imagine every single wall of a store looking just like this one. Full of goodies such as kamut breadsticks, vegan halva sweetened with grape juice and raisins, chocolate quinoa muesli, and oh so much more. I may or may not have boughten a small village’s worth of carob products: Carob Syrup Waffles, Carob Tahini, and Carob Hazlenut Spread!

These are powdered non-dairy milks for traveling. If they weren’t all like 17 euro, I would have bought one. Just look at the variety–almond, soy, hazlenut, chestnut, quinoa, walnut, sesame…

Beautiful Raspberry Salad from 1800 in Santorini (It looks like a flower!) This slow food restaurant is legendary on the island, and it’s easy to see why. They were really great about my being vegan.

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Nuts at 1800. They even checked that the pasta was egg-free for me! Also, this dish has inspired me to top pasta with mixed roasted nuts more often!

Yes, if you ever go to Greece you will indeed find yourself faced with many a cucumber-tomato salad, which admittedly, can get a little dull. But if you’re lucky enough to find one with some extra pizazz, like this cucumber-tomato salad laced with fresh mint, you really have no right to complain. I’d like to make this at home. It’s summer on a plate.

Here’s an automatically-vegan-no-matter-where-you-order-it dish Greece is famous for: fava beans! Pureed into a dip and topped with caramelized onions! It tastes kind of like lentils…

Just a fruit and tropical muesli bowl topped with almond milk, nothing special. The special part is the view in the background–what we saw from the patio of our Santorini hotel room!

Finally, this is a meal that I made with fresh ingredients in the kitchen of our hotel room in Santorini. Homemade pasta we bought in Tuscany with tomatoes, spinach, garlic, bell peppers, gigantes (beans), and fresh herbs! My family loved it, but I thought I could have done better. Still…it was pretty and, more importantly, cheap! :)

If you’re still unconvinced that vegans can eat just as freaking well as omnis abroad, then go play in traffic.

I’m just kidding, but seriously.

Mexican Tofu Omelet!

I finally got around to making Vegan Brunch‘s Tofu Omelet this morning! It’s funny because Bianca just posted about how I encouraged her to make the Tomato-Rosemary Scones, and I knew I had to make Tofu Omelets ASAP after seeing her post on them. She went a more traditional route with a spinach, mushroom, and mozzarella Teese filling, but I decided to flaunt my Southwestern AZ pride by filling mine with the Rancheros Sauce and Beans (from the Polenta Rancheros recipe), and topping them with Fried Plantains and Trader Joe’s Spicy, Smoky Peach Salsa.

The Rancheros Beans recipe is very forgiving (as I’ve found most of Isa’s recipes to be–it’s definitely the mark of a good cookbook!). Instead of 2 cans of black beans, I used 1 can of pinto beans and one can of vegetarian refried beans. Plus, I subbed a half can of fire-roasted tomatoes combined with a whole pureed tomato and some garlic chipotle salsa in order to “make” a 15 oz can of tomato, sauce. Haha, so ghetto.

And, I’m not gonna lie, I was definitely worried that the omelets wouldn’t stay together. The directions are so detailed, and there seems like so many places you can go wrong (and I used Mori-Nu silken tofu when she explicitly tells you not to do so). But, miraculously, they somehow came out perfectly. I ended up with fluffy yet firm, lightly browned, beautiful vegan omelets. And, Bianca’s right–Isa IS a genius for unleashing the eggy powers of black salt (kala namak)! It really works! As good as this omelet was, I can’t wait to make one with more standard, less intensely-flavored filling/toppings so that the “egginess” can shine through even more!

Messy, half-eaten money shot. ¡Arriba!

Love you, Isa.