Friday, May 15, 2015

Gigande Beans like Whole Foods

When my daughter got married last year, Whole Foods catered her reception. After the newly marrieds left for their honeymoon, we were left with the cleanup. Because so much food was left, I didn't want to throw it away, so we packed it all up, taking some to the home of the newlyweds to enjoy upon their return, and the rest we brought home. One of the items were these really large seasoned beans. I liked them so much, I ate a spoonful every day until they were gone, as a snack.

I tried asking about them at the Whole Foods closest to me, but no one seemed to know anything about them, despite the fact they are pictured on their catering brochure. Any time I visited a different Whole Foods, I would look for them on their salad bar. I finally did find them, oddly enough, at one of the smaller stores. And that was when I got a better idea on how to make them.

Seasoned Gigande Beans

One pound of gigande beans (they may be labeled large limas or Peruvian beans)
3 or more cloves garlic, chopped
About a tablespoon each of mint, thyme, and parsley
One lemon, squeezed
Olive oil

Soak, then cook the gigande beans until done. Once drained and cool, stir in the remaining ingredients. Serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring Vegetable Pie

This is another vegetable pie, minus the potatoes. This one is topped with bread crumbs, instead. It comes out firmer, as a result of using a vegan egg substitute.

Spring Vegetable Pie

1 c. cauliflower, chopped
1/2 c. green peas
1 carrot, cut in chunks
3 scallions, chopped
Vegan egg substitute, to equal 4 eggs
1 T. parsley
2 T. vegan milk
1/4 t. thyme
1/2 c. bread crumbs

Saute the cauliflower and carrots in oil until softened. Add the scallions and cook slightly. Add the peas and parsley and remove the pan from the heat. Make the vegan egg substitute, and to that mixture add the milk and thyme. Add the egg mixture to the vegetable mixture and mix well.

In a casserole dish, sprinkle some of the bread crumbs, just enough to cover the bottom. On top of this, pour in the vegetable mixture. Top with the remaining bread crumbs. Use more if you need to. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before cutting.

Serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gardener's Pie

Really more a version of Shepherd's Pie, but with more vegetables.

Gardener's Pie

About 9 potatoes, quartered
1 package sliced mushrooms
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. thyme
1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1 c. water
1 T. flour
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into half coins
1 c. green peas
1/2 c. vegan milk

In a Dutch oven, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 20 minutes.  In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, carrots, onion, green pepper, and garlic until softened. Add the basil, thyme, salt, and pepper.

In a separate bowl, mix the water with the flour, and stir into a smooth paste. Add this mixture to the vegetables and stir until thickened. Add the zucchini and peas.

Drain potatoes and mash. Add the milk and mash some more.

Place vegetable mixture into a baking dish, and top with the mashed potatoes. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

Serve. Enjoy!

The picture isn't pretty, but the taste is delicious!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nicoise Salad with Spring Vegetables

Nicoise salads always sound so posh. But really, they are just a salad with a little extra. More like a cold side dish than a salad. But pretty tasty!

Nicoise Salad with Spring Vegetables

12 small red potatoes, quartered
2 c. green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 container vegan plain yogurt
1 T. basil
1 onion, sliced
1 can vegan tuna
Black olives
Romaine lettuce

Boil the potatoes about 10 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Add the green beans and cook about 5 minutes more. In a food processor, add the yogurt and basil and whir to blend. Set aside.

In a large bowl, place the romaine leaves on the bottom. Add the potatoes and green beans, the onion, tuna, and black olives. Dollop the yogurt mixture on top.

Before serving, mix it all together, to make sure the salad is coated with the yogurt dressing.

Serve. Enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Texas Hash

I love those easy dinners I can pretty much just throw together, and that use leftovers. I always seem to make more rice than we need for a given meal. So finding ways to use it make me happy. I really, really, really don't like having to throw food away because it sat in the fridge forgotten, and takes on an alien life form all of its own.

Texas Hash

2 large onions, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
1 package vegan ground beef
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 c. cooked rice
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. chili powder
1/2 c. breadcrumbs

Saute the onion and green pepper in oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients, except bread crumbs. Stir to mix well. Pour mixture into greased baking dish, and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve. Enjoy!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Marinated Spring Vegetables

I picked up some beautiful asparagus the other day, for a really reasonable price. The stalks were all thin, not the usual thick. I couldn't wait to use them.

Marinated Spring Vegetables

1# thin asparagus, tough bottoms removed and tender parts cut into 2 inch pieces

2 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
3/4 t. thyme

8 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 bulb fennel, stalks removed and bulb sliced
Feathery fennel fronds

Boil 2 c. of water and add the asparagus. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, and immediately rinse under cold water. Drain again. Refrigerate.

In another pot, bring the marinade ingredients to a boil. Add the carrots and cook about 5 minutes.

Pour marinade and carrots into a ziploc baggie and refrigerate.

About an hour before serving, add the asparagus and fennel to the marinade. Chop a few of the feathery fennel fronds and also add to the marinade. Leave at room temperature.

To serve, drain the marinade and place vegetables in a bowl.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Nut Loaf

I love to try new ways with meatloaf. It is amazing what you can use and make something that slices and tastes delicious.

Nut Loaf

4 onions, chopped
5 tomatoes, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
3 slices of whole wheat bread, toasted and crumbled
1/2 c. vegetable juice
1/2 c. hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 c. cashews, chopped

Saute the onions in oil until softened. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the nuts, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the nuts and spread the mixture in a loaf pan. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Serve alongside your favorite sides for meatloaf. Enjoy!
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