Posts tagged ‘black beans’

July 20, 2014

Fajita Bowls with Cauliflower Rice {Vegan}

vegan fajita cauli rice bowl

Because of my constant need to be independent and divergent in some way I almost always choose vegetable fajitas on a standard Mexican restaurant menu. Unless I’m at a fancy taco place. Then I just eat the fancy tacos and shut the hell up.

Anyway, those veggie fajitas usually come with a pan of sizzling spiced bell peppers and onions – plus an entire plate’s worth of add-ons like guac, salsa, iceberg lettuce and a stack of warm tortillas. I’m given lots of freedom to put together my own combinations or just dig in to a pile of vegetables with tons of guacamole. Writing my own rules. Just the way I like it.

And if I find myself at Chipotle…I opt for a burrito bowl and customize the crap out of it.

Here we find ourselves somewhere in the middle with some cauliflower rice thrown in for all those fake rice enthusiasts out there. I love regular rice and especially chewy, nutty brown rice, but sometimes I find myself with a whole head of cauliflower for the fourth week in a row and I’ve gotta mix it up. Plus it’s super light and fluffy and paleo-friendly.

Let’s make cauliflower rice fajita bowls!

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July 1, 2014

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili {Vegan} with slow cooker option

vegan chili

A smokey, hearty chili that lends itself to all kinds of vegetables. Feel free to replace the sweet potato with butternut squash, or add green pepper or zucchini. I like to top it with a grilled corn and cilantro salad or just slices of fresh avocado.

Having a good vegan chili in my arsenal is super important when I’m looking for something warm, bold and comforting. This recipe is a mix of a few recipes I’ve made over the years and what I default to when I have it in my mind to make chili. I like to pack it with at least two types of beans and a combination of vegetables, although I always favor something like sweet potato.

This can also be made in a slow cooker. See below for instructions.

April 16, 2012

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Caramelized Onion Enchiladas

First thing’s first! I need to clear something up for the sake of American/Australian food relations: pumpkin and winter squash are the same thing.

It’s called butternut squash in America, but butternut pumpkin in Australia. I often cook with Japanese pumpkin (like in this dish) which is also known as kabocha squash.

TomATE-o, tomAH-to.

Since I live in Australia now, I call it pumpkin. And sometimes I say ‘herb’ with a hard ‘H’. Assimilating – check me out!

I like to roast a small pumpkin or half a large pumpkin at the beginning of the week and keep it in the fridge to throw into salads, soups and curries throughout the week. It’s best to tackle this whole vegetable in one go (you need a little muscle to hack into these things, so it’s best to chop it all up at once.) Once roasted and ready to go, throwing together meals in pinch is much easier.

Pumpkin is my superstar vegetable. With its rich texture and sweet flavor, it’s filling but relatively low in calories, loaded with fiber and vitamins, and something special happens when you mix it with melted cheese. The pumpkin kind of enhances the flavor of the cheese. Like, cheesy pumpkin tastes more cheesy that other cheese-coated vegetables. Does that make sense?

That’s why it’s easy to trick children into eating vegetables by mixing mashed butternut pumpkin in with mac and cheese. (p.s. I’m going to be such a stealth/good mom.)

These enchiladas are the cheese-covered culmination of a few easy steps. You can prepare most of the elements ahead of time (the sauce, the pumpkin and the caramelized onion) or use what you happen to have in the fridge. If you have sweet potato, go ahead and use that in the place of the pumpkin. Or replace the black beans with lentils or white beans.

I like to make my own enchilada sauce – it’s easy and I usually have the ingredients on-hand. But you can replace it with a salsa that you like or a pre-made enchilada sauce. Go nuts.

Enchilada Sauce
adapted from Emeril Lagasse

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute.
Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Roasted Squash or Pumpkin
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cups squash or pumpkin (I used Japanese pumpkin), cut into 1 inch/2.5 cm chunks
– salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 220 C/425 F.
Coat pumpkin in olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until soft and slightly golden.

More hints for roasting pumpkin:
You can roast in larger chunks if it’s too much of a hassle to cut, roasting time will just be longer.
I always roast with the skin on. Once the skin is cooked it’s soft and easy to remove, but not at all unpleasant to eat. I usually just eat it.

Caramelized Onion
– 1 large red onion, cut into thin half-moon shapes
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 2 tablespoons water
– salt

Heat olive oil in a large pan over a medium high heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
Add a tablespoon or two of water and cover the pan. Lower the heat to medium low and continue to cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if the pan is dry.
Cook until onions are deeply brown/purple (if using red onion) and jammy. Set aside or store in the fridge for up to 3 days (or freeze for up to two months.)

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Caramelized Onion Enchiladas
(Makes 8 enchiladas)
– Olive oil or baking spray, for greasing
– 8 tortillas (I used small ones)
– 2 cups enchilada sauce, divided.
– 1 can (1 1/2 cups) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
– 2 cups roasted pumpkin
– 1/2 cup caramelized onions
– 2-3 tablespoons crumbled queso blanco or feta cheese
– 1/3 cup finely grated cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 190 C/375 F.
Grease a baking dish and cover the bottom with 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce.
Assemble the tortillas with pumpkin, black beans, onion and queso blanco/feta.
Roll  the tortillas and place in the baking dish seam side down.
Repeat 7 more times, packing the rolled tortillas tightly together in the baking dish.
Cover with the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with cheddar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and a little golden in spots.
Serve with corn salsa, fresh cilantro and a little dollop of sour cream.

February 6, 2012

Chili: Always a Good Time

Veggie-Packed Black Bean Chili

It’s been unseasonably rainy and cool in Sydney lately, save the beautiful weekend that just past. Since it’s expected to carry on like this for another month (I don’t think this has anything to do with Ground Hog’s Day, but I can’t be sure) – it’s best to just happily embrace it.

At least undesirable weather gives me an excuse to cook hearty meals that make staying inside a little more fun. And let’s face it: a big pot of chili is always a good time!

Don’t worry, I have a garnish that will make the meat lovers come around to this otherwise vegetarian chili. A generous sprinkling of crispy chorizo on top of this colorful chili will kick it into omnivore territory and add another layer of smokey flavor.

Good tortilla chips, avocado and a nice sharp cheddar are strongly encouraged as additional garnishes.

Veggie-Packed Black Bean Chili
(Serves 4-6)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 large (5 small) cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium sized red pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium sized green pepper, roughly chopped
2 cups squash or pumpkin, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon smokey paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce
3 cups of cooked black beans
1 cup of corn kernels (canned or frozen and thawed works)
1 can (1 1/2 cups) of diced tomatoes
1 cup water
Salt
1 chorizo sausage, finely diced and browned in a pan until crispy (optional)
In a large pot with a lid, heat olive oil over a medium high heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook for about 3-4 minutes until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add peppers (both red and green) and cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant, stirring often. Add squash and carrot, cook for another 2 minutes.
Add spices and stir to coat the onions, pepper, and pumpkin and cook for 1 minute. Pour black beans, corn, tomatoes, and water in the pot and stir to combine everything well and season with salt, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
Cook covered for 30 minutes, stirring gently every five minutes or so. Test the squash, if tender then you’re good to go, although this does benefit for sitting covered and warm for an hour or so and then re-heating when ready to eat.
For meat-lovers chorizo garnish: place diced chorizo in a dry pan heated over a medium-high heat. Let cook until the oils are released and the chorizo is deep golden brown. Scatter over individual bowlfuls along with any other garnishes desired.
Notes:

  • Butternut squash is particularly good for holding its shape. For tips on pealing and dicing your squash, here’s a Food52 video.
  • If I have leftover roasted squash on hand, I’ll use that instead – cut it into 1-inch chunks and add to the pot in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • If I can’t find chipotle peppers in Adobo (like when I’m in Australia) I use 2 tablespoons of smokey BBQ sauce.
January 12, 2012

Mexican Breakfast

Hopefully by now you are familiar with the amazing concept of the breakfast burrito.

Fluffy scrambled eggs, cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, maybe a little cheeky chorizo up in there – all wrapped up in a big burrito. Did I mention you get to eat this for breakfast?

In the spirit of this great dish, along with a commitment to a healthy start to the new year – I made my own Mexican-themed breakfast*.

A corn and black bean hash: herb-flecked, spice-laced and veggie-packed with a little crunch for good measure, topped with a perfectly poached egg. This is in no way a replacement for the glorious brekkie burrito, but as a lady I like to have options. Mexican breakfast options.

*Not limited to breakfast time. Breakfast for dinner is a popular option in my kitchen. As is breakfast for lunch. Go nuts!

Mexican Black Bean and Corn Hash
Makes 4 servings

- 1 15.5 oz/440 gram can of black beans, rinsed
– 2 ears of corn, husks removed
– 1 small red onion, diced
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
– 1 big handful of baby spinach
– 3/4 cup leftover roasted pumpkin or butternut squash, diced
– 1/2 teaspoon smokey paprika
– 1/2 teaspoon cumin
– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– Olive oil
– Salt & Pepper
– 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

For corn: In a large pot bring water, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of sugar to a boil. Add corn and boil covered for about 5 minutes. Remove corn and let cool. Once cooled, cut the kernels off the cob with a large, sharp chef’s knife. I did this in a large bowl, while holding the ears of corn upright (this helps prevent corn kernels from flying all over the place.) Set kernels aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes before adding the garlic and jalapenos. Cook an additional 2 minutes.

Add black beans, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper to the skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add a tablespoon or two of water if at any point the pan looks dry.

Stir in spinach until wilted. Add pumpkin, corn, salt and pepper (to taste) and stir well to combine.

Remove from heat and top with fresh cilantro.

Serve with an egg cooked in the style of your choosing. My favorite is poached. For advice on how to cook the perfect poached egg, see Elise at Simply Recipes – she’ll hook you up.

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