Adobo Black Beans

IMG_8578In my house, there is nothing better than rice and beans. To top that, there is nothing better than really flavorful rice and beans. Cue the adobo seasoning: sea salt, garlic, onion, black pepper, oregano, bay,and turmeric. I love this stuff and my kitchen smells great every time I open that spice mix.

A great way to have have coconut milk on hand for cooking is to buy these eco friendly resealable containers of culinary coconut milk by So Delicious. Use as much or as little as you want and save the rest in the container for up to a week.

Makes 2 heaping bowls

1 cup cooked black beans *
1 cup cooked brown rice *
1/2 onion
1/2 cup diced red, orange and yellow peppers
1 carrot
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon adobo seasoning
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 scallion, for garnish

* Cook the black beans and rice right before or way before and store.

Dice the onion, peppers and carrot. Press the garlic. Slice the scallion.

Sauté the onion in a big nonstick pan until just softening. Add the garlic, peppers and carrots. Spring with adobo seasoning. Toss to coat the vegetables. Add the coconut milk and deglaze the pan. When the vegetables are soft, add the black beans and heat through.

Serve over rice topped with scallions. Enjoy!

Corn & Cabbage Slaw with Honee Lime Dressing

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I love this slaw. It screams SUMMER and RAINBOWS!

Red cabbage.
Orange carrots.
Yellow corn.
Green cilantro.

When you find the first corns on the cob of the season, shuck those babies and make this dish. I like corn raw but you can cook it on the grill or boil it. No matter how you slice it (ha!) you will end up with a crunchy, flavorful, oil free pile of goodness.

Note: some people hate cilantro. I totally get it. One way to mitigate the cilantro-ness is to add chopped scallions or red onions. Also marinating the slaw for an extra 30 minutes mellows it out. But if that is just too much to bear, use parsley instead.

Best served day of.

Makes enough for 2 to 3 plates

2 ears of corn
1/4 of a head of purple cabbage
2 carrots
1/2 red pepper
Cilantro, a few sprigs

Cut the kernels of corn from the cob. Shred the cabbage. Grate the carrots on a box grater or in the food processor using the shred blade. Dice the pepper and mince the cilantro.

Toss together.

Honee Lime Dressing
2 limes
1 heaping tablespoons stoneground mustard
1 tablespoon Bee Free Honee
Salt, a pinch

Whisk together the dressing ingredients.

Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to coat. Marinate for an hour or so. Enjoy!

Book Report: Home for Dinner + Broccoli & Toasted Sesame Seeds over Noodles

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Recently, I attended a lecture at my son’s school by Dr. Anne K. Fishel the author of “Home For Dinner.” Her message is simple: coming together for dinner and mixing food, fun and conversation leads to happier families and healthier kids. While this book is far from vegan in terms of food, the overarching message is right in line with my parenting philosophy. And one really important thing that Dr. Fishel says? It doesn’t have to be dinner. It could be breakfast or lunch. It is really about spending time together, cooking together, and having real conversation which encourages talking and listening.

But then there is the pushback. And Dr. Fishel has the comebacks.

Is the family dinner is an outdated concept?

Well, if we are going to raise connected, grateful, grounded kids, we need a forum within which to discuss the news and issues of the day, issues at school, friends, family values, random trivia, and general life and fun stuff. We need to laugh together, to tell stories and to make sure that everyone has a voice and feel that they are heard.

But I can’t make dinner on a weeknight.

Dr. Fishel has lots of suggestions including prepping ahead and making food decisions as a family. Here is what I always tell people. “I didn’t know how to cook when I first started. I have strategies to help make it easy like prepping ahead, freezing stuff, making plans and shopping lists, and keeping my pantry stocked. I have recruited my son as my sous chef and I make my husband and son go food shopping with me. Food is a daily endeavor and it is important that we are all on board with what is going on in the kitchen.”

Dr. Fishel also believes in extending the family dinner concept into the community and is the founder of The Family Dinner Project. Check it out. There are dinner games like the “ABC’s of Gratitude”, “20 Things I Love About”, and more. They are all designed to make the table a fun place to be which is the best strategy for getting kids to dinner and keeping them there. Games sharpen the mind, tangle the tongue and strengthen the bonds of the whole family.

At the talk I attended, Dr. Fishel gave out a little postcard with some info about the book and a recipe for Sesame Noodles which inspired me to make a completely different version that is simple and vegan. It comes together in the time it takes to boil the noodles. I made my family guess the ingredients which is another fun conversation to have at the table.

Recipe Notes: I use King Soba brand of organic noodles because (a) they cook super fast and (2) they come three in a package, each wrapped with a cute little paper tie to denote each serving. Brilliant for individual serving sizes and they come three in a pack which is perfect for my family of three! I particularly like the organic millet and brown rice noodles. Broccoli can be subbed for any other quick cooking green vegetable like snap peas, snow peas or frozen green peas.

IMG_8307Peanut Sauce
3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter (room temp is easier to work with, but not tragic if it is cold)
3 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Water, as much as necessary

Soba style noodles, 1 package = 3 servings
1 bunch broccoli
3 heaping tablespoons sesame seeds

Bring a pot of water to a boil.

Pour the sesame seeds onto a skillet in a single layer over a medium flame. Watch these as you prep and cook everything else and turn off the flame when they start to turn brown.

Break up the broccoli and place it in a steamer over a high flame. Turn off the flame when they turn bright green.

When the water is boiling, add the noodles. Watch them, they will be done very shortly.

Whisk the peanut sauce ingredients together.

Drain the noodles and place back in the pot. Add the peanut sauce and toss. The heat of the noodles will melt any remaining chunks of pb. Add the broccoli and sesame seeds, saving a few for a sprinkle over the top. Toss to coat.

Drop into a bowl and sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds on top. Enjoy!

Instant Ice Cream #2: Banana-Peanut Butter-Cacao Nib

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!

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First I got flowers. Then we worked on my Mother’s Day present.

IMG_8055Then we had a combo Mother’s Day and birthday party for my Dad. We went crazy with a big salad bar, meatballs and spaghetti, and Fran Costigan’s The No Oil Added Chocolate Torte to Live For from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts.

I didn’t have time to make ice cream shmice cream, so I whipped up a quick version of my instant ice cream with a little extra fun packed inside, namely peanut butter and cacao nibs. Holy instant ice cream and a great topper for that decadent and delicious cake.

makes about 2 cups

2 cups frozen bananas
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
1 heaping tablespoon cacao nibs

Process together until smooth. Enjoy!

Orange (Carrot) Hummus

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I have been doing a lot of meringue experimentation. Therefore, I have a lot of cooked beans! Today I wanted to do a twist on my basic hummus so I steamed some carrots and voila, orange hummus, as I like to call it. Flavored with cumin, it is a really nice variation.

* I have also made this recipe with cannellini beans but the texture is a bit smoother. Just as good!

2 medium sized carrots
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup hot bean water (or the carrot steaming water)
1 clove of garlic
The juice of 1/2 lemon
1 heaping tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon cumin
Pinch of salt
Paprika, for garnish

Cut the carrots into pieces and steam until just soft. Let cool for a few minutes.

Place all ingredients into the Vitamix or processor. Process until smooth.

Enjoy!