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Beans, Beans, Beans! Recipes, Recipes, Recipes!

April 30, 2013

This past Saturday, I taught a class on the various ways to use various beans!  The class was taught through The Wild Ramp, which is a lovely local foods store in my town.  They’re hoping to make the classes a regular thing, so keep your fingers crossed for me!  For this class, I was given adzuki, pinto, and black beans since those are available for sale in their store.  Challenge accepted!  I decided to completely develop my own recipes, and thanks to a little brainstorming help from the PPK, I came up with these gems.



Adzuki beans are used in Asian cuisine, mostly.  I thought about making a soup with them, but really wanted to do a soup with the black beans…so I decided to make an Asian style dip instead!  This dip is made slightly sweet from the sweet potato and the addition of miso and ginger give it a distinctly different flavor from most dips I’ve had.  My cousin described the flavor as ‘challenging’.  It grew on me.  This huge batch has been in my fridge almost a week now, and I like it more every time I try it, so I recommend letting it sit overnight for optimum flavor potential!  The ladies in the class loved it, and it was a nice ice breaker munchie food for them to snack on while I made the rest of the dishes.

Asian Style Adzuki Bean Dip, makes 3-4 cups

2 cups cooked adzuki beans

1 large sweet potato, cooked (I just baked mine while I was cooking the beans, you know I don’t expect you to have a pre-cooked sweet potato in your fridge.)

4 scallions, chopped

4 Tbsp miso (I used red, feel free to use a milder one if you prefer)

1/2 cup tahini

juice from 1 lime

2 Tbsp Sriracha

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds or toasted sesame seed oil

1 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup water

Toss all those things in a large food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally.  Taste for salt and add another Tbsp of soy sauce if you like.  My miso was strong and salty, so I only needed one Tbsp of soy sauce.  Tastes great with all manner of chips and crackers, but would also be lovely as a spread in a wrap with lots of fresh veggies.



I got the idea for this casserole from a PPKer, who said it was a traditional Southern thing.  I’d never had it or even heard of it, but it sounded pretty awesome, so I threw it together using the pinto beans.  I didn’t want to risk eeking out any potential veggie haters, but this would be great with whatever veg you have in the fridge thrown in.  I really think a zucchini would be wonderful.  The ladies loved this one as well!  They kept saying, ‘My husband would eat this!’  Which is good, I guess?  Haha, I suppose it means it’s good for picky eaters.  The cornbread is a halved version of the skillet cornbread in Veganomicon, except I think mine has a touch more oil.

Southern Style Pinto Bean and Cornbread Casserole, serves 4

Bean Mixture:

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced small

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced

3 cups cooked pinto beans

2 Tbsp tomato paste

zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ancho chile powder

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp hot paprika (optional, but I like it spicy)

1/2 tsp brown sugar

3/4 tsp salt

Cornbread Mixture:

1 cup plain, unsweetened soymilk

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/8 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 Tbsp oil

optional garnishes: sliced avocado, minced fresh cilantro, hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease an 8×8 inch glass casserole dish.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the olive oil.  Sauté onion and jalapeño for about 5 minutes, until onion is soft and translucent.  Add garlic and sauté for another minute.  Stir in beans and turn heat to low.  Add tomato paste, zest and juice of the lime, cumin, coriander, chile powder, oregano, hot paprika, sugar and salt.  Cook together for a minute or so and then transfer to the prepared baking dish, spreading into an even layer.

Make the cornbread batter!  Combine soymilk and vinegar and let sit for about 5 minutes while you mix the dry ingredients.  In a medium bowl, sift together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add oil to the soymilk mixture, make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Some lumps are ok.  Spread this batter evenly over your beans, then pop it in the oven for 30-32 minutes, until the cornbread is nicely cracked and browned along the edges.  Serve with sliced avocado, cilantro, and hot sauce!  You could also make this in your cast iron skillet.  Just make the bean mixture in it, spread them evenly, then add the cornbread batter on top of that.  Bake as you would in the glass dish.  One pot meal!

smokyblackbeansoupI kind of figured you couldn’t teach a class that included black beans without including black bean soup.  I know it’s just sort of simple, but simple can be good!  Also, I’ve never found a black bean soup recipe that I really love, so I was happy to create my own, finally.  It’s smoky from the chipotle in adobo, and I really like the addition of diced tomatoes, which I don’t think is usual in black bean soup recipes.  Finally, I like mine creamy, not liquid-y.  Yip yip for customized soup!  I’m not sure the ladies loved this one, but to be fair I didn’t cook it long enough because we’d already been there almost 3 hours and people were getting squirmy.  If you let it cook down the full amount of time, the liquid reduces and it becomes the perfect amount of creamy when you purée it.  So don’t skimp on that step!

Smoky Black Bean Soup, serves 4

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced small

1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 small chipotles in adobo, seeded and minced (only use one if you don’t like spicy things, but maybe add 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika to make up for missed smoky flavor)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

15 oz diced fire roasted tomatoes

3 cups cooked black beans

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 bay leaf

3 cups vegetable broth

1 tsp salt (to taste, depending on the saltiness of your broth…the broth powder I use is low sodium)

3 thinly sliced scallions

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp distilled white vinegar

optional garnishes: diced avocado, minced fresh cilantro

Heat a large soup pot (mine is 5 quarts and it fit perfectly) over medium heat.  Sauté the onion, jalapeño, and carrots about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.  Add garlic and chipotles, stirring for another minute.  Stir in cumin and oregano, then add the diced tomatoes to deglaze the pan.  Stir in black beans and tomato paste, then add the broth, bay leaf, and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add scallions, lime juice, and vinegar, stir to combine, and turn off heat.  Using an immersion blender, purée about 3/4 of the soup, leaving some chunks of beans.  I like mine pretty creamy.  Use a regular blender if you must (just get an immersion blender, already!), but make sure you let the steam out so it doesn’t explode in your face.  Serve and garnish with avocado and cilantro if desired.  Ultimate in comfort.

It was pretty cool developing my own recipes.  I mean, I know I’ve done it before, but I forget that I can kind of be good at it.  Also, it was a huge help to have my cousin around to take notes as I cooked!  She was a lifesaver this past week.  Official notetaker, taste tester, advice giver, and dishwasher.  It is invaluable to have someone who is useful and helpful in the kitchen when you’re working on a project like this, so thanks, Caitlin!

As if this post wasn’t long enough, here’s what I made for my local Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale.

bakesalemuffinsBlueberry Lavender Muffins, adapted from Joy of Vegan Baking.

bakesalelemonbarsTerrible picture of Lemon Bars from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

bakesalecuppersGluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting from Gluten Free Vegan Comfort Food.

bakesalebrowniesDeluxe Cocoa Brownies, also from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

We made almost $700 for Little Victories!  Huzzah!

In PPK Cookbook Challenge news, we’re cooking from Chloe Coscarelli’s books.  Luckily, there are plenty of online recipes, so I’m able to participate, using Chloe’s Kitchen.  It’s going to be a yummy couple of weeks!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Shelly Keeney permalink
    April 30, 2013 12:07 pm

    Jessica, the class was wonderful. I am looking forward to the next one.

  2. May 3, 2013 1:10 pm

    The adzuki bean dip sounds amazing! And I love love love that you used sweet potato. I’m a huge fan of sweet potato as part of a dip (or just to stuff my face with in general), but I’ve never done anything asian-inspired. I’m going to have to try this today!

  3. May 7, 2013 11:51 am

    Sweet job on creating your own recipes and teaching a class, that sounds like fun! Your black bean soup sounds awesome, I pretty much love anything with chipotle in it. Congrats on the bake sale! Your items look super yummy, I’d really like to try one of those blueberry lavender muffins.

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