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This recipe originated with my friend Valerie, but has been tweaked by me.

We try to eat meatless at least once a week.  Partly for ease of recipe/cooking, partly for keeping our grocery budget modest, and partly for the health benefit that legumes provide.  This week it might be twice – it depends on what I come up with for tonight’s “brinner” (breakfast dinner) that we’ll scarf down before heading out the door to lead ReKindle.

Regardless, there are only so many times that my family will happily scarf down black beans and rice – or pintos and rice.  I started working lentils in, but I have to figure out a way to “de-gas” them like I do beans.  (Maybe a simple soak would work… I’ve  gotta research that one.)  Enter Valerie’s recipe – it was heavy in Black beansphoto © 2009 Lisa Risager | more info (via: Wylio)
onions (which we cannot digest), but my tweaking has removed the stuff we can’t eat and replaced some of the ingredients with things in my food storage.

The recipe is very unique in that I never expected orange juice in a black bean dish.  It’s delightful and adds a unique flavour that I’ve yet to find anywhere else in vegetarian/Mexican cooking.  We used Trader Joe’s organic blue corn tortilla chips, but if you wanted to use actual tostadas, that would also work beautifully.  We found the chips (crushed) were perfect for kid-friendly eating and less messy for us, too.

Remember to soak your beans and discard the soak-water – or if you use canned beans, to rinse them very well.  I really like the softened texture of soaked and cooked black beans vs. ones that come from a can, but to each her own, right?  This meal is chocker-block full of legume protein, great flavour, and fibre, so you’ll be full quickly and stay full for a long time.  :)

Black Bean Tostadas
  • Crushed blue corn chips (or whole tostadas – your choice)
  • ½ lb of black beans, soaked and cooked to your desired texture (equiv. 2 cans of pre-prepared black beans)
  • 3 T. coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. cumin powder (or to taste)
  • 1½ t. ground coriander seeds (check the ethnic aisle in the Indian section for these seeds)
  • hot sauce to taste (green pepper sauce is awesome here!)
  • 1 T. sea salt (I like Real Salt)
  • 1 can of seasoned tomatoes
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • toppings – lettuce, shredded cheese (always good!), diced fresh tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Prepare your beans, whatever that looks like.  For me, it’s soaking, pressure-cooking, and draining black beans.  In a large stock pot, heat the coconut oil and toss in your garlic over medium heat, being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add spices (cumin, coriander seeds, hot sauce, salt) and combine well.  Add in canned tomatoes and prepared black beans. Mashing the black beans a bit with a potato masher or the back of a spoon adds a great texture to the final product.  Stir in orange juice, simmering on low and stirring to prevent burning in your pan.  Remove from heat & cover.

Prepare your sides for this dish.  I placed a handful of blue corn chips in each bowl, crushing them with my hands, and then topped that with the black beans, the cheese/lettuce/etc., and served it up with a dollop of sour cream.  If you’d like, you can add avocados to the sides and include that – I have texture issues with avocados, so I leave them out.  Serve with a good wheat beer (if you imbibe) – it’s absolutely delish!


In honour of my new home (Phoenix), I decided to put up a Mexican recipe this week.  Huevos rancheros, according to Wikipedia, is a dish different than the one I’m going to share.  But I think it’s okay, because other research indicates that this dish has morphed in to different creations all over the US, Mexico, and even in to Central America.  And besides, who’s gonna call the Food-Name Cops on me?  😉  The name of the dish literally means “Ranch Eggs,” and historically was served at a mid-morning breakfast for those who worked early in the day and needed to refuel before lunch.

This dish is delicious, uses some of my food storage & pressure cooker (although you could just as easily use canned beans), and is one of our rotation-meals in our once-a-week-vegetarian meal plan.  I’m not opposed to vegetarian cooking by any stretch, but I have to watch the carb/sugar content of the meals and focus on protein.  It’s a good stretch for my cooking skills to cook like this, but it’s also a good budget-boosting meal, because beans, eggs, and salsa are cheap.

Huevos Rancheros, Sue-Style

½ lb of cooked black beans (or 2 cans, drained & rinsed)
2 c. salsa
6 fresh eggs
cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, flour tortillas for serving

If you’re cooking your beans from food storage, soak them overnight, discarding the soak-water and rinsing well.  Cook on high pressure (8 min.) in pressure cooker, or to appropriate softness using another method of your choosing.  If using canned beans, rinse well.  Place cooked beans in a large skillet, stirring in 2 cups of salsa.  Heat gently (medium-low heat) until salsa bubbles.  Make “wells” in the bean and salsa mixture to accomodate fresh eggs; crack the egg(s) and put one per “well.”  Season eggs with salt & pepper and place a lid on the skillet.  Continue to cook and poach the eggs for 5-6 minutes, depending on how soft you like your eggs.

Remove pan from heat and serve piping hot – place a scoop of beans and one egg in a flour tortilla, sprinkle with cheese & hot sauce, add a dollop of sour cream (if desired), and enjoy!

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