SLOW COOKER MEXICAN RICE AND BEANS

With this recipe, we used a 3 quart slow cooker.  Each slow cooker seems to have it's own unique heat.  In determining the cook time, I would recommend using a 3 quart slow cooker.  This lovely side dish was cooked in 2 hrs. and 15 minutes.  It makes a nice lunch with a salad, or a lovely side dish to any Mexican flavoured main dishes.  Adding sliced avocados, salsa, plain yogurt are nice accompaniments.

2 tblsp. Avocado oil

3/4 cup long grain basmati rice, well rinsed

1 small shallot, diced

1/4 of a green pepper, diced

2/3 cup diced tomato

14 oz can of black beans rinsed well

1-2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tblsp. warm water

Plug in the slow cooker, and preheat on low.  Heat up a saute pan on low medium heat with the Avocado oil.  Add the vegetables and saute 5 minutes.  Add in the seasonings and rice, and saute for another 3 minutes.  Transfer the rice vegetables to a slow cooker, add in the black beans and pour in the water.  Stir gently lid on and cook on low for 2 hrs. 15 minutes.

 

 

 

This was a healthy, mighty flavorful vegan/vegetarian stew.  There are a lot of options you could use with this recipe in terms of vegetables: carrots, broccoli, peas, red pepper, cauliflower, spinach to name a few.  I used what I had on hand so by all means adjust this recipe to suit your own needs/tastes.

While we made this Vegan/Vegetarian it could easily be made with chicken stock and cut up chicken breasts - again lots of flavor.  Plus the added tumeric with the ginger gives a good immune boost especially when in the depths of freezing winter.  There is nothing better than a good curry during winter.  Any way you make it, a hearty, healthy lunch or dinner.

2 Tblsp. Avocado oil

1 small onion, diced

2 minced garlic cloves

1 tsp. finely minced ginger

1/4 cup diced green pepper

1 stalk of celery, sliced on diagonal, and add minced leaves

3 small swiss chard leaves and stalk, finely sliced in ribbons

2-3 roma tomatoes, diced

3/4 lb. diced potatoes, we used red fingerling - any potato that holds up well steamed/simmered

1 cup vegetable stock, divided

1/2 tsp. tumeric, 3 tsp. Madras curry powder, salt to taste

big handfull of finely chopped fresh cilantro, and fresh basil

400 ml can full fat organic coconut milk - guar gum, sugar free (we use this brand)

398 ml. can organic chick peas, drained and rinsed well

1 Tblsp. potato starch

Heat up a large pan/braiser with the Avocado oil on low medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger, green pepper and celery to the pan.  Saute until fragrant and the onions are translucent - about 4 minutes.  Then add the swiss chard, tomatoes, tumeric, and Madras curry powder, salt and continue to saute until the swiss chard starts to welt.  Pour in 3/4 cup vegetable stock, potatoes and stir to combine.  Turn down to low and lid on keep on a low simmer stirring occasionally for the next 15-18 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.

Next add in the fresh cilantro and basil, and drained chick peas mixing well.  To the remainder 1/4 cup of stock add 1 Tblsp. potato starch stirring to incorporate.  Add to the curry dish stirring well, then pour in the coconut milk, again stirring well until it begins to thicken.

Keep on a low simmer for 5-10 minutes stirring throughout, and serve hot over cooked rice.

 

 

 

Before I get into this recipe I must show you my newest kitchen addition:

A Cast Iron Enameled 3.5 quart Brasier.  I am in serious luv with this baby.  It is great for Danish Frikadiller, seafood dishes, Chinese Food, Curry bowls etc. etc.

Recently we discovered combining rice and quinoa is a winning combination - textures, flavors, as well as a great protein.  I like to make a fairly big batch of this combination to have for a couple of days, whether in a stir fry dish, or mixed in with Greek or Garden chopped salad for lunch it all comes together packed with flavor.

To make the Rice Quinoa is a simple ratio:  1 part Quinoa, 1 part Basmati Rice, to 2 parts liquid.  Bring to a good simmer, stir, turn down to minimum lid on and cook for 18 minutes.  Here I used 1/2 cup Quinoa, 1/2 cup Basmati rice, well rinsed.  Add 2 cups water and serve in a salad or make into a stir fry.

RICE QUINOA LENTIL CURRY BOWL RECIPE:

3 cups cooked rice quinoa blend

14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 cup baby spinach

3 mushrooms, roughly chopped

1/2 cup canned, rinsed green lentils

3 Tblsp. all natural Avocado oil

1 small shallot, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 rounded tsp. Madras Curry Powder

1 Tblsp. minced ginger

salt to taste

Yogurt - optional

Minced cilantro - optional

Heat up a good sized pan/braiser with Avocado oil on low heat.  Add in the diced shallot and garlic sauteing until fragrant.  Then add in the mushrooms and saute until lightly golden about 3 minutes or so.  To this add the spinach, ginger and tomatoes with juice.  Season with salt, then add in the curry powder.  Mix well and let simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Next add in the Quinoa Rice blend and lentils, stirring to combine.  Heat through stirring for 5 more minutes.  Adjust seasonings, and serve with cilantro and a dollop of yogurt.

Yes - an all Vegan Potato Salad that was surprisingly delicious!  We had tried this at a local deli and I thought I would give it a try at home, never believing potato salad could taste this good with Vegan mayonnaise.  Simple to make and with a creamy texture just like the potato salad with eggs.

1.5 lb. summer new potatoes

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

1/4 cup diced celery

3 Tblsp. finely diced red pepper

1 small finely diced sweet gherkin pickle

Dressing:

1/2 - 2/3 cup Vegan Mayonnaise (based on taste)

2 tsp. Dijon Mustard

1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. paprika

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Drain and allow to cool.  Once cooled, take off any extra peel, and cut into chunks.  Add to a bowl with the green onions, gherkin pickle, celery, and red pepper - season with salt and pepper.

Mix up the dressing and add to the potato mixture, gently stirring to combine.  Check for seasonings and adjust if necessary.  A great summer side dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a quick and easy marinated beet salad - cooking was the only lengthy process.  Rather than steaming up beets for a side dish,  I thought I would make this simple marinade and turn it into a salad.  This is also delicious on top of a garden salad.

In this dish I used 3 medium sized beets - but you could certainly increase all the amounts here to have the next day or to serve a crowd.  This is best made early in the day and refrigerated 4-6 hours so the flavors develop.

3 medium sized beets, red stocks trimmed off, then wash well leaving the skin on and the beets whole

2 sliced "rounds" of red onion, rinse well in cold water, then slice to 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 Tblsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tblsp. reserved beet water

salt to taste.

Add the clean beets to a pot and cover well with water.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium, lid cracked slightly.  Cook 45 min. or longer until tender.  Reserve 2 Tblsp. of the beet water and place into a bowl.  Once the beets have cooled, take off the peels, and cut into even sized chunks.

Rinse the red onion well under cold water, then slice into 1 1/2 inch slices.  Add the beets and onions to a bowl.

In the bowl with the beet water, add the EVOO, Apple Cider vinegar and salt whisking well.  Pour over the beets and red onion mixing well.

Refrigerate 4-6 hours before serving as a side dish or on top of a garden salad.  After this post a new VEGAN POTATO SALAD THAT IS YUMMY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was a simple easy meal to make.  In this recipe I used canned lentils (which also freeze very nicely) and some extra vegetables in the fridge that needed using up.  An easy Vegetarian week nite meal.

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 of a large onion, diced

2 minced garlic cloves

1 medium carrot, diced

1/2 cup diced rutabaga

large handful of fresh spinach, chopped

1/3 cup diced celery

2/3 cup chopped fresh green and yellow beans

1  can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes

good splash of Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried tarragon

1 bay leaf

salt and fresh cracked pepper - to taste

3/4 cup cooked lentils

Heat up a large saute pan on medium/low heat with the EVOO.  Add in the onion and garlic sauteing to sweat out.  Add the fresh vegetables and spices, saute about 8 minutes.  Then pour in the tomatoes with juice, and balsamic vinegar.  Turn to a low simmer and cook about 25 minutes.  Add in the lentils and continue to cook until reduced further - about 10 minutes.

Adjust ragout for any seasonings and serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

 

This recipe is similar to my Mung Bean Stew - with a few changes/additions.  It is said that mung beans are a legume that are heart healthy, they help to reduce cholesterol, are the least gas forming of all legumes, and they also assist in improving/balancing digestion.  It is my goal/hope for 2018 to eat this dish at least twice a week.  Eating vegetarian meals is an easy way for me to shed a few pounds - always a good thing, plus I love all lentils and curry so this should not get too boring. There is lots of flavor in this dish making it mighty tasty too.
If you soak the mung beans early in the morning or over nite (soak 8 hours) you are good to go.  In terms of preparation - it took about 40 minutes prep/saute time - then the rice was cooked separately, while the mung beans/vegetables took another 35-40 minutes to cook.  In my busy week, this should be something I can handle and with leftovers the next day that should reach my goal with a free day of cooking to make things easier.
2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tblsp. cumin powder
1/2 Tblsp. mustard seeds
1/2 Tblsp. coriander seeds
2 tsp. Madras curry powder - mine was not spicy hot
1/2 tsp. garahm masala
2/3 cups mung beans - soak 8 hours, and drain
1 large tomato, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tblsp. minced ginger - to taste
1 1/2 cups chopped orange yam
1 cup chopped carrots
salt to taste
3 cups water or vegetable stock
1 large bay leaf
3/4 cup frozen peas
huge handful of chopped cilantro
cook 1 1/4 cups Basmati rice in 2 1/2 cups water
Heat up a dutch oven on low medium heat with the EVOO.  Add the mustard and coriander seeds, sauteing until the mustard seeds start to pop.  Add in the cumin, curry powder, garaham masala and saute until fragrant.  Then add in the onions, garlic, ginger, tomato continuing to saute for another 5 min.
Pour in the water, adding in the mung beans, carrots, bay leaf and yams stirring well.  Season to taste with salt.  Bring to a simmer lid on for about 35 min., then while the rice is cooking, remove lid and keep on a simmer.  When rice is almost done add in the peas, and chopped cilantro to heat through and serve over the cooked rice.  A dollop of organic yogurt is a lovely addition.  This is a dish that will taste even better the next day.

I love lentils cooked any way - especially in soup.  The other day was a particularly busy day and on my way home from town I had one more stop to make at our local health food store.  Once in the door, something smelled heavenly (I was starving too as it was lunch time).
Our local health food store is owned by a lovely Iranian gentleman and his wife.  I asked him what smelled so good, and he pointed to a crock pot on the counter that was filled with Lentil Soup.  So then I asked him if it was gluten free.  He said all of his food is gluten free and this soup was also vegetarian and vegan.  Yayyyy gluten free soup!  He said that it was simple, good food.  Groceries in the bag, a take out bowl of soup in my other hand, time to go home.  Once the groceries were put away, I eagerly sat down to have the soup.  It was delicious!  Very simple flavors, in fact, I'm not even sure what kind of spices he used.
So today's recipe was inspired by this lovely gentleman's Lentil soup.  One thing is for sure:  I will definitely be going back to his store for more!
3/4 cup red lentils
3 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large shallots, chopped
3 large minced garlic cloves
2 Tblsp. finely chopped ginger
1 tsp. Curry Powder - I used my favorite - Cartwrites
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1  28 oz. can whole tomatoes (place a sieve over an 8 cup glass measuring cup. slice up the tomatoes, give the sieve a good stir a few times and drain all the liquid into the measuring cup. This gave me 2 1/2 cups tomato liquid, then add enough water to reach the 7 cup level)  For a thicker soup, add 1/2 cup less water.
3/4 cup diced celery including leaves
1 cup diced carrots - about 1/2 inch in size
3 medium leeks, chopped
Heat up a frying pan on low medium heat with the EVOO.  Add the chopped shallots, garlic, and ginger.  Saute for 5 minutes, then add in the curry powder and continue to saute 1 more minute.  Season with salt.
Transfer to a med/large crock pot and add all of the remaining ingredients stirring well.  Cook on high for 1 hour, then turn to low and cook for 8 more hours.

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