Tag Archives: Rice and beans

Tunisian Chickpeas

I tried this recipe for Tunisian chickpeas last night from Olive Trees and Honey but overall it was only OK. It used way too much cumin for my taste and a lot of garlic. I am going to share the basic idea because I thought it was interesting and with some work could be a great weeknight meal

First, you sauté a lot of garlic in olive oil and then add pieces of bread. The idea is to brown the bread and infuse it with the fried garlic and then throw it in the food processor and later add it to thicken the sauce. I think this is a brilliant idea and that was the most amazing part of the dish, everything was infused with garlic bread flavor! I need to start doing this in soups.

Actually first you are supposed to cook 2 cups of chickpeas but instead I used two cans and maybe that was my problem–not enough chickpeas– because then it called for 2 TBS of cumin, some sweet paprika, 2 small dried red chiles, and 20 peppercorns after autéing 2 onions in the same pan you used for the garlic. Then after cooking that a few minutes you add the chickpeas, a cup of water, and a bunch of kale (or chard or spinach).

When I make this again I am going to back off the cumin and add black olives and mushrooms. Mmm olives.

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Gracias Madre inspired Frijoles Refritos (vegan refried beans)

Over the summer I went to San Fransisco and had the best refried beans of my life at an all vegan Mexican restaurant called Gracias Madre. It was confusing to my sense of Texas pride to be bettered by California (of all places). It was even more confusing to discover I had developed Texas pride but I guess if you live here long enough it seeps in.

The whole meal there was fantastic but the beans were magical, they were so creamy and nuanced. I couldn’t figure out how they made them. I tried several different recipes but they always ended up either a little pasty or not as nearly flavorful. I researched a little further and found these instructions from a Mexican restaurant that suggested roasting the garlic, not using olive oil, and a really long simmering time and those all seemed like great tips. For some reason, a lot of recipes, including this one, just have you simmer the beans and then mash them but my experience is that better flavor is created through frying them after the beans are done. I also decided to add some nut milk because I thought that might be the difference with the Gracias Madre beans. I don’t know if this is what they do at all, but we were swooning over these beans in the same way we were at Gracias Madre so I am naming them after that! I think you could easily do the first step in the crock pot, I’ll have to try it and let ya’ll know

Gracias Madre inspired Frijoles Refritos

 

2 cups of dried pinto (or black) beans
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (not olive oil)
1 whole roasted garlic bulb
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
1 Tsp Epazote
1 can of RoTel
1 onion, chopped
almond or hemp milk

 

 

Sort the beans and pick out any rocks and give them a rinse with cold water. Put them in a pot with 8 cups of water, the bay leaf, and the epazote and bring to a simmer. Simmer for the next two hours stirring and adding more hot water as needed so that the water level stays above the beans. Make sure the beans don’t get stuck on the bottom by keeping the temp really low and stirring.
Meanwhile roast the garlic
Once the beans are soft add the oil, salt, rotel, and garlic. Simmer as before for another hour at least. The longer they cook the better they will taste and you can’t over cook them because they are just going to get mashed up anyway.
Here we left the beans in the fridge over night because something came up but you could proceed with cooking them now or wait until the next day to finish for a quick dinner.
Strain out any excess water from the beans. Some water is fine but if you still have a couple inches over the beans you might want to pour it out or else it will take longer to cook off. Brown an onion in a large cast iron skillet and then add the bean mixture. After some of the water has evaporated mash the beans with a potato masher. Add some almond milk and stir adding more until you reach your desired consistency. Cook over low heat, stirring, for at least 5 minutes adding more milk if necessary and then enjoy with every Mexican dish you make!

 

 

 

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.

Mushroom Beans, Garlic Rice, and Experimental Broccoli

When I went to school in Olympia I learned to hate the word experimental. To me it became synonymous with really bad performance art usually involving movement, multiple projectors, and sometimes primal screaming. So when Mr. Smurf asked me last night “what’s for dinner” and I started to tell him about how it was experimental broccoli a loud klaxon should have sounded in my brain instantaneously.  

It all started with best of intentions. I have this book called New American Table that I love to look through and one recipe that I  was really interested in was tea poached bok choy. Over at What Does a Vegan Eat Anyway they are always smoking something with tea and it just looks fantastic and fun so I thought I could do it too.

First, I started the Garlic Rice, by sautéing six cloves of garlic in a little olive oil, then adding a cup of rice after a few minutes, sautéing until a little brown then adding a cup of water and some salt covered and let steam.

Then, once that got steaming, I started the Mushroom Beans. I tossed a carton of precut mushrooms in my skillet seared them, added a little water, a can of white beans and about a teaspoon of mushroom soy sauce (healthy boy is my favorite) and let that sauté for a few minutes while the mushrooms cooked.

So far this is the world’s easiest beans and rice meal besides completely plain beans and rice and  I should have just gone simple with the broccoli like braising it with a little ginger or garlic like usual. But damnit, it is veganMoFo so I need to step out of my comfort zone. Especially when there are people like Vegan in Brighton making things they don’t even think they like! And making them look beautiful!

Instead I made a sauté of 3 cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of sliced ginger, two sliced shallots and cooked them for about three minutes. Then I added two crowns of broccoli, cooked that for a minute, then added 2 cups of water, 2 orange spice tea bags, some salt and some agave.

It wasn’t as bad as the play I saw where people were crawling around on their bellies yelling “monster” until they all “died”. Really, it wasn’t bad at all. My main problem was that I cooked it for a little two long so the tea tasted bitter and the broccoli was overcooked. I think the technique would work a lot better with quicker cooking bok choy ….like…um.. in the original recipe.

The rice and beans though were an easy easy easy winner. I will eat it again next time I am tired/poor/alone/busy/hungry.

Drunken Beans and Seitan Chorizo

I think Mr. Smurf started working on dinner around noon yesterday. Actually, no, it was the night before when I reminded him to soak the beans. The only drawback, really, to working with beans is the soaking. You always have to be prepared. Once he and I traveled across the country selling burritos along the way and we had beans soaking in the back of the station wagon at all times. It was just so cost-effective to make the burritos from dried beans that we had to do it and we didn’t have time to cook them all day without soaking over night. That often led us to some backwoods campground filling up our giant stockpot to start soaking beans at 2am. It was, honestly, the best time ever. We traveled from Illinois to California up through Washington, across the middle, all the way down to Charleston South Carolina, then up through Maine and came back through Canada where we had a big pot of beans with us as we crossed the border. Sometimes Mr. Smurf would take a nap the next day while the beans were cooking. 

Now we have things like running water and built-in stoves so making beans is considerably easier but it still takes awhile. Sometimes, I start them before work in the crockpot without soaking first but in some ways that is even harder for me because I have to get up two, or even three minutes earlier. In the winter (which it finally is here in Texas as of yesterday) I prefer to soak them the night before and then just cook them on the stove in a big pot over low heat.

After he started the beans at noon he made the seitan chorizo sausages so when I got home after work the house smelled amazing, like the best restaurant in the world. Sadly, it wasn’t until hours later that dinner was finally ready but it was so worth the wait. The recipe yielded a giant pot of beans that will last us the rest of the week. And the beans were delicious. They would have been just perfect with some pico de gallo on top but I didn’t have any. As it was, they were only fantastic. I loved the chorizo especially. The texture of it cooked in the beans was exactly what you would expect from the spicy Mexican sausage.

If you haven’t checked out Viva Vegan yet, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Even if you aren’t even close to vegan you will find so many recipes that are just so well thought out and explained from all over Latin America that you will discover all sort of new techniques and ideas. And if you like vegan meat the recipes in Viva Vegan are the best I ever tried. If you have the book and haven’t made arepas yet do yourself a favor and learn to make them, I have made breakfast arepas, barbecued arepas, and Venezuelan arepas because they are so easy to do. And if you are curious about what all is in the book check out Kitteh’s blog because she has made so many of the recipes and she does it all without gluten and soy! 

Riso Rosso and Roman Beans

Last night I made the best beans from a can…ever. Maybe not ever but certainly in the last few weeks. The funny part is  (and by funny I mean disappointing but not that sad) that I was more excited to make the Riso Rosso, from Olive Trees and Honey, than the beans which were quickly thrown together. The Italian “red rice” was basically made by boiling beets and then making rice and adding some of the beet cooing water in to turn the rice red and adding the beets at the very end. What would have been better, I think, would have been to caramelize the beets and onions and then make the rice in that pot because it was pretty but boring. Next time!

The beans on the other hand were fabulous. I decided to use Roman beans to keep up the Italian theme. Since the rice recipe wasn’t using any garlic it seemed like a good idea to use a whole lot in the beans and then I added some spices and cooked them in a little brothy sauce They were fantastic, the garlic wasn’t totally overwhelming even though there was a lot of it because I cooked it for a while and the spices were perfect. I have to remember to make them again because they were so simple.

Roman Beans

1 can roman beans (or white beans) drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup of vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of tarragon

saute the onion until it changes color in olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over very low heat for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook at a slow simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Enjoy with the garlic sauce on top.