Tag Archives: black beans

and the winner is…..

Lucky umber 24 Kayci, who loves spicy chili with cornbread. Send me your address and Tasty Bite will send you a vegan pack of goodies.

Since my MoFo theme is rice and beans I am going to repost my favorite recipe of all time, gallo pinto! 

I became obsessed with gallo pinto when I went to Costa Rica a few years ago. It is one of my favorite dishes to make at home on the weekend because no matter how broke you are or how many people you have coming over you can always whip up black beans and rice, especially if you have a bunch of Lizano in the fridge (in austin you can get it at Tears of Joy) and fried plantains on the side. Make the rice and beans the night before you plan to have the gallo pinto because it will only work with day old rice. You can keep the rice and beans in the fridge for a week so that you can easily have gallo pinto whenever you want.

Gallo Pinto

Ingredients:
1 cup rice, (any will work, I used basmati)
1 tsp Vegeta or half of a vegetable broth cube
1 cup black beans
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 dried ancho chilie peppers, seeds removed (any other pepper can be subbed, some will be more spicy, anchos aren’t spicy, you can also use jalapeños or bell peppers just add them when you add the garlic instead)
1 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves or garlic, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped and packed
1 lime

The Beans:
Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. If you live somewhere that is really hot (e.g. Texas in the summer) you should do this in the fridge.
When the beans are done soaking change the water (add about 7 cups), add a couple bay leaves, and bring to a simmer for around 90 minutes. You will need to check the doneness of the beans at around 1 hour because the timing will vary depending on how dry your beans are. You can also do this step in the crock pot. Whatever you do, make sure that you save some of the cooking water with the beans because you will need it later.

The Rice:
Dissolve the broth cube or 1 teaspoon of Vegeta in 2 cups of water. Add 1 cup of rice, bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat to almost off for 35-60 minutes depending on what kind of rice you are using. It works best to refrigerate the rice overnight because then it drys better.

Gallo Pinto:
Toast the cumin, coriander, and dried peppers until fragrant and then grind in either a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. (Conversely, if you are short on time or don’t have the seeds you could also toast the powders and when you put in the garlic). Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and the spice mixture and sauté another minute. Add a little more oil if you can’t see any and turn the heat up. Add the rice and stir fry for about a minute breaking up any chunks but don’t smoosh the rice. Once all the rice has changed color add the beans starting with just one cup until you have a pleasing ratio of rice to beans. Also add some of the bean cooking water with the beans. Gently mix and once everything is heated through adjust the spices, add the cilantro, and turn off the heat. To make the mold, press the Gallo Pinto into a small bowl, invert a plate on it, and then flip both over and lift up the bowl. Serve with the lime, salsa (preferably lizano), tofu scramble, and fried plantains.

Have a Happy Weekend, if I can get this guy out of bed we are supposed to go camping, but if you watch the video you will see that Dinger is sometime hard to rouse.

Black Bean Soup with Masa Dumplings (Frijoles Negros con Chochoyotes)

I saw this recipe on Saveur and thought it sounded really interesting, especially since I already had the ingredients on hand. I have never seen masa dumpling before, all you have to do is roll up the dough and toss it in the soup for the last ten minutes.  I love black bean soup and I also like to put greens in everything that I cook so I was really excited to make it. Overall, I changed some aspects but I still wish I would have done more, it wasn’t the best soup ever. It took what seemed like a lifetime for my beans to cook so by the time I was making the soup I was so hungry.  I think next time I would add a can of diced tomatoes and some agave nectar because it needed a little sweetness. Also my peppers weren’t very hot and I think a couple poblanos would have added a lot to the taste. I also think the dumpling should have had more salt and perhaps been made with the soaking water from the peppers. It was really healthy and made quite a bit so I hope to try it again. Here is how I made it last night.

Simmer until beans are almost done

2 cups dried black beans
4 cups of water
1 tsp epazote
2 bay leaves

Knead for 5 minutes and then let sit for an hour

1 1⁄3 cups white masa harina
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1 cup of water

Soak

2 dried chipotle chiles
1 dried ancho chile

once soft remove seeds and stems and Process with

1 white onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

Saute the chile and onion mix for five minutes & add it to the beans.

Add

1 bunch swiss chard
1 tsp adobo sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp of green salsa

Roll bits of masa dough into balls and toss into soup. Cover them all with soup and cook for 10 more minutes. Salt to taste & enjoy

Black Bean & Plantain Empanadas

The word empanada comes from the Spanish empanar which means to wrap or coat in bread. Sometimes, I wish I was wrapped in bread. It sounds very warm and comforting. I made these empandas for a couple of guys who really liked them, in fact one of them said I have a gift. The other gave me chocolate so it was a pretty good deal. The empandas were inspired both by a trip to Costa Rica where everything involves black beans and plantains and one of my favorite cookbooks “A World of Dumplings“.  One of my many dreams is to open a food trailer and call it “Sumpling in my Dumpling” where it would be all dumplings all the time. I think this picture kind of looks like the empanada is an oyster at the bottom of a swimming pool. It didn’t taste like that at all, the crust was perfect and flakey and the filling was really tasty with pockets of sweet plantain. They went really good with the green salsa I had.

Black Bean & Plantain Empanadas

Dough
4 Cups All-Purpose Four
2 Cup Cornmeal (I used blue but any will work)
1 Cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine the dry ingredients. Add the shortening and rub it into the mixture with your fingers. Add water one tablespoon at a time until a dough forms. I used about 1/2 of a cup. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Filling
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped,
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
14 oz of diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked black beans
1 plantain, chopped

Toast the seeds and then grind up. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno and seeds to a hot oiled skillet and saute until onions are starting to brown (5 minutes). Add the tomatoes, syrup, 1/2 cup of water and salt and then blend the mixture. I used an immersion blender but you could also use a potato masher because a little texture is nice. Add the beans and the plantains and cook until plantains are soft, about five minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the dough into 20 pieces and form into 20 balls. Roll each out into a flat disk. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of filling into the center of the disk and fold in half, seal the edges and then press edges down with a fork to complete. Do this 19 more times. Oil a baking sheet and place the empandas on leaving a space in between. You can brush them with a little oil if you like. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Enjoy with salsa or guacamole.

It was raining in Austin over the weekend which means that the dogs were overcome with sleepiness. I wonder if there is a Spanish word for being wrapped in beagles?

Vegan Panuchos for Cinco de Mayo

I have learned a lot about traditional Mexican ingredients from Diana Kennedy’s book From My Mexican Kitchen. Although at times it can be very tedious and she often suffers from a xenocentric point of view I love  the exhaustive information about traditional ingredients and styles in Mexican cooking. The book explains many techniques and although there aren’t a lot of recipes there are several great sections including one on antojitos (Mexican Tapas). I have been obsessed with the panucho method and pictures since I saw it; the idea is that you make some stewed beans and then stuff them in the middle of a tortilla, fry them up, and then top them with whatever you like.

Ms Kennedy recommended topping them with marinated onions which I also tried for the first time and loved! I couldn’t find any of her suggested ingredients so I marinated the onions in lime juice and a little orange juice for a couple hours. They were so good and added a lot of sweetness to the dish, I will make them in the future as a taco topping.

For the Yucatán style beans I cooked black beans in a crockpot with some salt and bay leaves. When they were done I sauteed a 1/4 cup of chopped onion, a Tablespoon of epazote, and a whole habanero. Then I took 3.5 cups of Black Beans and their broth, blended them, and then added them to spices and cooked until the texture of a paste was achieved, about 15 minutes.

Then it was onward to the the tortillas! I had fresh masa so all I had to do was roll pieces into a ball and then cook them on the stove over medium heat. You flip them once, just after the bottom starts to change color, again for the top side, and then flip it once more and if you are lucky it puffs up.

Then you very carefully make a slit in the side of the tortillas and open it up like a pocket.

You then stuff some of the bean paste inside.

Then you flatten the tortilla back together and pan fry it!Then I covered them with vegan chorizo and the marinated onions.I also made some pico de gallo with the first tomatoes of the season. Hooray for the return of the tomato!

Dinger got really worn out from watching me cookWillow remained steadfast at her post waiting for food to fall

Then I at too many panuchos because they were really awesome.

mmm panuchos

Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Rice and Beans)

This is it folks! The definitive version of Gallo Pinto. It took a long time to get here and I have a lot of people to thank, Dan for eating Gallo Pinto all the time, the Ticos for endlessly varying their national dish so that I could try 1000 different recipes, Dinger and Willow for eating the leftovers when we couldn’t face another day of rice and beans…

Gallo Pinto is a terrific recipe to perfect, it works best with leftover rice and/or beans, you can increase the amount to feed 20 without really doing anything different, it is a very hearty breakfast, it is probably the cheapest thing you could ever make, you can make a version with stuff that you have right now in your pantry, and it tastes like Costa Rica! It does take a little planning if you don’t have beans on hand. What works great is to make a big batch of beans & rice for dinner (maybe bean burgers, black bean soup, or burritos) and then when you get out of bed the next day you are 15 minutes from having breakfast on the table. I will write out the recipe assuming that you are just making the rice and beans so that you have them so you can make Gallo Pinto for breakfast for four people.

Ingredients:
1 cup rice, (any will work, I use basmati)
1 tsp Vegeta or half of a vegetable broth cube
1 cup black beans
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 dried ancho chilie peppers, seeds removed (any other pepper can be subbed, some will be more spicy, anchos aren’t spicy, you can also use jalapeños or bell peppers just add them when you add the garlic instead)
1 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves or garlic, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped and packed
1 lime

The Beans:
Soak the beans for at least 8 hours. If you live somewhere that is really hot (e.g. Texas in the summer) you should do this in the fridge.
When the beans are done soaking change the water (add about 7 cups), add a couple bay leaves, and bring to a simmer for around 90 minutes. You will need to check the doneness of the beans at around 1 hour because the timing will vary depending on how dry your beans are. You can also do this step in the crock pot. Whatever you do, make sure that you save some of the cooking water with the beans because you will need it later.

The Rice:
Dissolve the broth cube or 1 teaspoon of Vegeta in 2 cups of water. Add 1 cup of rice, bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat to almost off for 35-60 minutes depending on what kind of rice you are using. It works best to refrigerate the rice overnight because then it drys better.

Gallo Pinto:
Toast the cumin, coriander, and dried peppers until fragrant and then grind in either a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. (Conversely, if you are short on time or don’t have the seeds you could also toast the powders and when you put in the garlic). Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and the spice mixture and sauté another minute. Add a little more oil if you can’t see any and turn the heat up. Add the rice and stir fry for about a minute breaking up any chunks but don’t smoosh the rice. Once all the rice has changed color add the beans starting with just one cup until you have a pleasing ratio of rice to beans. Also add some of the bean cooking water with the beans. Gently mix and once everything is heated through adjust the spices, add the cilantro, and turn off the heat. To make the mold, press the Gallo Pinto into a small bowl, invert a plate on it, and then flip both over and lift up the bowl. Serve with the lime, salsa (preferably lizano), tofu scramble, and fried plantains.

VeganMoFo- Taco Town III

Sometimes I have a waking nightmare that I will be riding up to Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse and find a sign that says, “closed to put up condos”. In Austin this seems to be happening more all the time. Nothing was worse than going to the Cosmic Cafe for my birthday and seeing that it was closed. But thankfully Bouldin continues to go strong. It is one of my favorite coffee shops in Austin.

Bouldin is on South First, just down the street from me so I like to hang out under the oak trees and drink Mexican Mochas and watch the hippies and the scenesters do there thing.

On beautiful Sunday mornings it can get kind of busy but the people and staff are so laid back that you never feel like you are in a rush to get your food and get out. It is the kind of place to while away the morning.

It is also my favorite vegan food in Austin. I somehow didn’t even realize for the first few years that it was an all vegetarian menu. All of their entrees can be made vegan, and really they should be made vegan because Bouldin Creek has the best tofu scramble I have ever had in my life. It could make anyone go vegan. So often at restaurants the tofu has too many spices and is too liquidy, and the tofu has been crumbled into pieces that are just too tiny. At Bouldin Creek the ‘fu always comes out absolutely brilliant. You can sub it in any of the egg dishes, I love the Breakfast Sammich with tomatoes and spinach mixed in the tofu on a poppyseed bagel. My man Dan loves the Slacker’s Banquet which is rice & beans with vegan cornbread. They even have a soul food plate.

The tacos are out of this world. They are all named after people and each is delightful. Especially with a homemade potato hash cake on the side.

Here is what I had, on the left is the Ren, sauteed onions, garlic, jalapeno, and tofu scramble. In the middle is the glorious potato hash cake, which is crispy on the outside creamy in the middle and filled with rosemary goodness. The taco on the right is the Timmy and had homemade vegan chorizo, tomatoes, and red & black beans.

Bouldin’s chorizo is out of this world good. You can even order a side of it and on its own it is quite good which I can’t say for any other chorizo I have ever had.

Now I am so hungry, I hope I’m not driving everyone crazy with this taco tour, I will try to go back to cooking at home now that the weekend is over.

Vegan MoFo- Taco Town

Austin Texas is famous for a lot of reasons and it is a great city to live in. Not only is it beautiful and filled with lots of fun outdoor activities but it is also a really fun city, has the countries best movie theater, an awesome music scene, multiple great festivals, and a lot of friendly people. All of these are great reasons to enjoy living here but there is one aspect that I could never live without—the breakfast taco.

If you have only had a bad experience with these (maybe a McDonald’s burrito) I implore you to come to Austin and try them out for yourself. Nearly every place in town has the standard variety- the bacon egg and cheese- but you can often find vegan versions as well, like black bean and potato. The key to a great taco is in the tortilla and having a good salsa or fresh pico de gallo.

My favorite vegan versions in Austin are Mr. Natural, Bouldin Creek, and Polvos, they all have multiple options and plentiful combinations. However, when it comes to vegan breakfast tacos nothing beats Whole Foods. Whole Foods actually started as an Austin company so the store at corporate headquarters can blow your mind (an your wallet) they even have guided audio tours through the store! It is massive and their are numerous little islands throughout the store that you can dine at. There is a sushi stand, a raw vegan table, even a chocolate island with a chocolate fountain. But the thing that brings me to whole foods again and again is the breakfast tacos. They are only open from 7 to 11 and the line can get pretty long but the wait is worth it because for just two dollars you get your choice of flour, corn, wheat or spelt tortillas warmed up and filled with any combination of
tofu scamble
fried potatoes
black beans
roasted vegetables
cilantro rice
or vegan sausage
they you can top it all off with salsa, pico, jalapeños, and cilantro if you wish. They are only 2 bucks and always huge. You can make your own at home pretty easy but nothing beats the whole foods taco in my world. I love them and when I go out of town I crave them.