Category Archives: Beans/Legumes

HEALTHY FUDGESICLES

Fudsicle carobsicle collage

Or “carobsicles” if you make them like I did.  I have been using a lot more carob lately because I really enjoy the flavor.

These popsicles were inspired by a “Cocoa-Bean Ice Cream” recipe I saw on Dr. Fuhrman’s website.  The “bean” in the title is just that…beans.

You know I like packing as much nutrition into a recipe as I can and adding beans to the mix actually adds creaminess to the frozen treat in addition to fiber.  I promise you will not even taste a hint of the beans…the carob OR cocoa takes care of that.

I chose to make popsicles vs. ice cream which resulted in 7 popsicles vs. the 4 servings the recipe originally made.

This recipe is made with WHOLE FOODS and is a wonderful way to end your day.

INGREDIENTS

2 ripe bananas, frozen
1/2 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup cooked aduki beans, rinsed and drained (the original recipe called for black beans)
1/4 cup toasted carob powder (the original recipe called for 3 Tbs. cocoa powder)
4 dates, pitted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (alcohol free)
1 cup soy, hemp, or almond milk

Blend all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender until very smooth.  Pour into popsicle molds, freeze, and enjoy.

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For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Ice Cream, Recipes, Sorbet, Vegan, Vegetarian

SAN-J GLUTEN FREE ASIAN DRESSINGS

San J Dressing Collage

San-J is a favorite brand in this gluten-free Asian household.  Their Thai Peanut Sauce has been a staple in our fridge for years as has their Szechuan Sauce & Terriyaki Sauce.

That being said, I was excited to try their new salad dressings (which they sent to me free of charge).  The flavors are good basic Asian flavors:

While admittedly HIGH in sodium, I am a fan of these dressings.  I used them on seaweed salad and to lightly marinade some cucumbers (they tasted best after only marinading 30 minutes…when left overnight they became too salty).  I did however cut the dressing with a bit of rice wine vinegar because I like a more “vinegar-y” dressing and I also added some red pepper flakes to the cucumbers.

Using the dressings on a regular salad produced a great result.  My favorite 2 dressings were the Tamari Peanut and Tamari Ginger since they had more flavor than the Tamari Sesame.

Some more good news…San-J has Reduced Sodium Tamari now…yay!!!  HOPEFULLY they will come out with Reduced Sodium Travel Packs soon (I keep the travel packs in my car for when I go out to Asian restaurants).

San-J graciously shared a recipe for one of their favorite ways to use the Tamari Peanut Dressing…

TAMARI PEANUT PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI

Created by: Amie Valpone

INGREDIENTS - Serves 4.

12 oz. whole grain spaghetti
1 Tbsp. olive oil (eliminate if water sauteing)
1 large zucchini, diced
1 (15 oz.) can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 Tbsp. San-J Tamari Peanut Salad Dressing Sub out for either ginger or sesame dressing and add 1Tbs. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
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PREPARATION

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Then, drain and return to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (eliminate if water sauteing). Add the zucchini; cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add white beans, garlic, sea salt, pepper and crushed red pepper; cook for another 4 minutes. Remove from heat; add bean mixture to the spaghetti along with San-J Tamari Peanut Salad Dressing and mix well to combine.

Serve warm and top with sesame seeds.

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Recipe courtesy of San-J. www.san-j.com

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Product Reviews, Recipes, Salad, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

ALL-PURPOSE CURRY SAUCE- Slow Cooker

All Purpose Curry Sauce base (18)

Sur La Table recently had a big sale (still going on) on the Cuisinart Multi-Cooker and I couldn’t resist.  With holiday gift cards in hand I marched right in and upgraded my slow cooker.  Man, I am glad I did.  It is SO nice to be able to brown onions in the slow cooker and then just pour in the rest of the ingredients.  This slow cooker is going to get some major use in my household.

I saw some split red lentils at Trader Joe’s the other day and I was inspired to make a red lentil based slow cooker curry sauce.  I love that this “sauce” is packed with protein and fiber.

This recipe makes A LOT of sauce, so get ready to freeze some for later.  I have also enjoyed the sauce as a soup…simply add broth and thin it out.  Good stuff!

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INGREDIENTSmakes an ENTIRE crockpot full…more than enough to freeze for later

1 onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, diced (I do a rough chop since I like carrot chunks)
1 bag Trader Joe’s trimmed leeks 
2 Tbs. curry seasoning (I used Spice Hunter)
two 6 inch stalks of lemon grass, cut into four 3 inch pieces and smashed
OR
1-2 Tbs Gourmet Garden lemon grass paste (I used 2 Tbs…LOVE lemongrass!)
2 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped (Dorat makes an incredible ready to use product)
1-2 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like your food)
2-3 cans (depending on how “saucy” you like it) light coconut milk (approx 14 ounces each)
1 bag Trader Joe’s split red lentils (about 2 1/2 cups)
32 ounce container vegetable broth
2 cups water
cilantro, chopped (as a garnish)
parsley, chopped (as a garnish)
Serve with Sriracha for those who like extra spice (ME!!!)
 
Curry Sauce Process Collage

Water sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and leeks for 5-7 minutes.  Add the curry seasoning, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.  Stir together to combine the flavors and cook for 1-2 minutes while continuing to stir (If the mixture is getting too dry, add a tiny bit of water).

Add the light coconut milk and stir to combine.  Add the split red lentils, broth and water.

Set your slow cooker on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10.

Serve on top of roasted squash, steamed veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, summer squash) potatoes, brown rice, etc.  Would be fantastic over brown basmati rice.  Have each person salt their own food upon serving…that way the food will taste salted, but will not be LOADED with sodium.

*Remember to remove the lemongrass stalks before serving

All Purpose Curry Sauce base (24)

For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Crock Pot, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

SKINNY BITCH CHILI

I originally blogged about this Skinny Bitch chili recipe HERE and thought I would re-post the recipe since it is an awesome FAST and EASY one to make for the Super Bowl.

This chili tastes great over polenta, brown rice, with a side of cornbread or on its own.

DEB’S CHILI – Yields 6 servings

2 Tbs grapeseed oil (I omitted this)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 (4-ounce) can green chilis, diced
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, diced
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup salsa
2/3 cup vegan cheddar cheese, shredded (I omitted this)
1/4 cup vegan sour cream (I omitted this)

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft, about 5 minutes (I water sautéed mine). Stir in the chilis, taco seasoning, tomatoes, kidney beans, and black beans. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes (after water sautéing the onions I threw all of the ingredients in the slow cooker around lunchtime and kept it on low until dinner).

Serve with salsa, cheese, and sour cream.

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Gluten Free, Holiday, Main Dish, Quick, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

UNFRIED TOFU & EZ Tofu Press Giveaway

Fried Tofu

I have been making this well-loved tofu dish for years, however due to my hypothyroid issues (click HERE for more details) I have avoided soy for a while now.  If it weren’t for my thyroid issues, I would include tofu, tempeh, and edamame in my diet…I don’t think there is any harm (actually there are benefits) to including unprocessed soy items in your diet rotation.  Having said that, I would avoid the processed soy foods that are über plentiful in the market today.

The creator of the EZ Tofu Press ($26.99) recently contacted me and offered to send me a free sample of his product to test and review.  I own the TofuXpress which retails for $39.95 now, but I paid nearly $50 for it when I purchased it…ouch!!!

I was curious to see how the two tofu presses compared.  While I like the fact that the TofuXpress I already own and use is a completely self-contained unit, it takes a hours for the tofu to drain completely which is a drag and means that you absolutely have to plan ahead.  The new EZ Tofu Press seriously drained completely within 7 minutes!  I put the tofu in the press, prepared the rest of the ingredients for my meal, and the tofu was ready to go.  Major bonus.

EZ Tofu Press Collage

The EZ Tofu Press was also easy to clean…all I needed to do was rinse it off.  Make sure you go to the bottom of the post and learn how you can enter to win your very own EZ Tofu Press.

The traditional way to prepare this tofu dish is to fry it in a bit of oil.  I thought I would try “frying” the tofu in a dry pan (I used my ceramic pan) and I was happy with the results.

The sauce I always served this dish with is Black Bean Garlic Sauce, which is NOT gluten-free.  If you would like to serve the tofu with a gluten-free sauce, SAN J has some really tasty ones (their Szechuan sauce rocks).  Keep in mind that you want the sauce to be a bit overflavored, oversalty, etc. since you are serving it with absolutely plain tofu.

INGREDIENTS

block of tofu, pressed
1 Tbs. black bean garlic sauce (or sauce of your choosing)
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely minced
chilies, finely minced (optional)
green onions, minced
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Slice the tofu into 1/4″ thick slices.  Now slice the slices into thirds (See image above).

If using black bean garlic sauce, mix the sauce, the ginger, chilies if using, and 1-2 Tbs. water (depending on your personal taste) to a bowl and mix to incorporate.

Heat your pan on HI.  Place the tofu slices in the pan and dry-fry them for 2-3 minutes per side until browned.  If you insist on using oil, use it sparingly.

UNFRIED TOFU Collage

Serve immediately topped with a drizzle of sauce and garnished with the minced green onions.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

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GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY *** GIVEAWAY

We have a winner…

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Jessica

I emailed my best friend!!

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Thank you to all who entered!

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans/Legumes, Giveaways, Main Dish, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

SEMI HOME MADE TOMATO SOUP

I know we are all in the market for fast dinners.  When I was little I would get so excited when my parents would announce that dinner was going to be grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  My parents probably thought they were making a cop-out dinner, but I seriously loved it.  Those dinners cemented the relationship between tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches in my mind.

The other day my son announced that he wanted a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner.  We were short on time and in all honestly I hadn’t given dinner much thought that day, so I went along with the plan.  When trying to figure out how to round-out the quick meal, tomato soup popped to mind, however we didn’t have any on hand.

I have tried so many tomato soups through the years and most of them are too sweet in my opinion OR they have cream / milk in them.

Well…necessity is the mother of invention, so I popped into my pantry and came-out with a jar of pasta sauce, a can of navy beans, and some broth.  In the time it took for the Daiya grilled cheese sandwiches to brown, semi-home made tomato soup was on the table as well.

Here’s what I did…

  1. Get out your Vitamix 
  2. Rinse and drain one can of navy or other no salt added white beans
  3. Pour the beans into the Vitamix
  4. Fill the bean can with pasta sauce
  5. Pour the pasta sauce into the Vitamix
  6. Fill the can with broth
  7. Pour the broth into the can
  8. BLEND
  9. Add more broth if a thinner consistency is desired (I like it thick…my kids like it thin)

And there you have it…a fast, healthy, tasty tomato soup that courtesy of the beans is packed with fiber and protein.

NOTE – I am an affiliate for Vitamix which means that someday I may earn a tiny bit of money if a reader decides to purchase a Vitamix by clicking on the link to the right  :-)

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Kid Friendly, Quick Tips, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Here is a round-up of some of my favorite pumpkin recipes…my daughter began her day with the oatmeal.  Have a happy and safe Halloween!!!

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PUMPKIN PIE OATMEAL

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PUMPKIN PIE DESSERT HUMMUS

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PUMPKIN RICE PUDDING

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CREAMY PUMPKIN PIE ICE CREAM

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Filed under Appetizers, Beans/Legumes, Breakfast, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Gluten Free, Holiday, Holidays, Ice Cream, Kid Friendly, Pudding / Mousse, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

ONE GREEN PLANET – Chocolate Health Cookies

Check out my newest recipe on One Green Planet…Chocolate HEALTH Cookies.

Click HERE to get the recipe.

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, One Green Planet, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

LENTIL SALAD IN A BELL PEPPER BOWL

I couldn’t for the life of me come-up with an interesting name for this meal, but that doesn’t mean that this meal doesn’t rock…because it does.  This salad in a pepper bowl covers all the bases; protein, complex carbs, and vitamins galore not to mention the fact that you eat the bowl…no dishes!!!

A few weeks ago I was talking to my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher after school about food and recipes…an almost daily occurance between the two of us (my daughter knows to keep playing when we get on the subject of food, because we are GUARANTEED to be there for a long while) and she mentioned that the last time she was at Trader Joe’s they made a yummy salad by mixing together pre-cooked lentils and bruschetta.  Um, yum!

I think I might be single-handedly responsible for purchasing all of Trader Joe’s bruschetta.  While I can make my own, this product has saved me so much time and the flavor is amazing.  What is NOT amazing is the amount of olive oil they add to it.  Rest-assured, I have a solution for this problem.  When I buy the bruschetta I put it in the coldest part of my fridge for a day and all of the olive oil floats to the top and solidifies a bit making it quite easy to skim-off and throw in the trash can (better the trash can than my arteries!).

I have been eating this like crazy and it is now a staple in my fridge.  I took the liberty of adding some rice to the salad and really enjoy the results.

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INGREDIENTS

1 container Trader Joe’s Bruschetta (oil skimmed off)
1 box Melissa’s Steamed Lentils
1 bag Trader Joe’s Frozen Rice Medley* OR Frozen Organic Brown Rice

*Trader Joe’s Frozen Rice Medley contains barley which is not gluten free

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Cook the frozen rice by placing it in a glass bowl (NOT in the plastic as the directions suggest) and microwaving for 2-3 minutes.

Mix together the rice, lentils, and bruschetta (including all of the juice).

Cut the top off of a bell pepper and remove the seeds.  Spoon the lentil salad into the prepared bell pepper and enjoy!

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For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.

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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Gluten Free, Grains, Main Dish, Product Reviews, Quick, Quick Tips, Recipes, Salad, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

“UN” TUNA / CHICKEN SALAD

As many of you know, I am the only vegan in my household.  While the rest of my family eats less meat than they used to, they do eat meat.  Lately my son has been on a chicken salad sandwich kick.  When I was younger I made a mean tuna fish sandwich (mean to the tuna, right/?!?!) and I remember the flavors well.

This is my vegan version of tuna / chicken salad and I enjoy it so much that I have been eating it for lunch and snacking on it like crazy.  In an attempt to drastically reduce the amount of mayonnaise used, I made a sauce with some of the chickpeas and let me tell ya…you won’t even realize that there is only 2 Tbs. of Vegenaise in this entire creamy recipe.

INGREDIENTS
 
2  15 ounce cans chickpeas (Eden Organics Low Sodium BPA free)
1/3 cup dill pickle juice
2 Tbs. Vegenaise
½ cup onion, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
½ cup dill pickles, finely diced
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

Drain and rinse the chickpeas.

Place 1 cup of the chickpeas in the food processor with the pickle juice and Vegenaise.  Blend until very smooth (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times).  Pour the chickpea/pickle/mayo mixture into a bowl.

Place the remaining chickpeas in the food processor (no need to clean it) and pulse until it reaches the texture you desire; I prefer chunky.

Combine the chickpea/pickle/mayo mixture, texturized chickpeas, chopped onions, celery, and pickles in a bowl and fold together gently.

NOTE - The mixture will firm-up a bit once it has been refrigerated.

Serve over toasted bread, crackers, on top of salad, etc.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


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Filed under Beans/Legumes, Gluten Free, Quick, Recipes, Salad, sandwich, Vegan, Vegetarian