Tag Archives: green beans

Cajun Blackened Tempeh

We found some easy prep red beans and rice and decided to make a Cajun meal (or our version of it) using that, some steamed green beans that we topped with BacUn from Pure Market Express and some spiced tempeh that we coated in our home-made rub and blackened under our broiler.
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper (feel free to grind the whole peppercorns with the mortar and pestle)
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt

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After mixing these spices in a bowl I rolled each piece of tempeh (I recommend marinating it in some veggie bouillon or your favorite marinade for 1-2 hours, some tempeh can be dry) in the mixture. I placed the tempeh in a dish and covered it lightly with a paper towel. I then microwaved the tempeh for 2 minutes total for 30 seconds at a time, turning it over between sessions.

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Then I put it on tin foil and placed it near our broiler on each side for 2-3 minutes or until it started to toast.

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The result… happy Brent and happy Christie.

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Lighter Green Thai Curry

Brent and I eat too much delicious food apparently and are trying to figure out more ways to enjoy our favorite foods without packing on the pounds. I decided to make some Thai green curry.

To start, Brent chopped this mountain of vegetables. We put just about everything that we had into this bad boy including

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

1 lb. of green beans

2 portabella caps, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 onion, sliced

5 scallions, chopped

4 Thai peppers, sliced

a small knob of ginger

1 tin of bamboo shoots, drained

1 13.5 oz. can of light coconut milk

1.5 cups of almond, soy or coconut milk

1 handful of Thai basil (optional)

1 tbsp green curry paste

juice and zest from a lime (save half for wedges to garnish the dish)

1 drop of lemongrass extract or 1 stalk of lemongrass, pounded to release fragrance

olive oil

1 tsp coconut or turbinado sugar (more if you like it sweet)

salt to taste

Check curry pastes carefully. Many contain shrimp paste which is bad for anyone with an allergy and not suitable for vegans. I started by putting the Thai peppers, lemongrass or extract (remove the lemongrass before serving), onion and ginger into the pan with some olive oil.

I sauteed them until the onion started to brown. Then I added the coconut milk, lime zest, sugar and curry paste. I didn’t get as much zestyness as I wanted from the lime so I added some additional lemon zest (2 pinches) when I was adjusting the sweetness and seasonings.

Then we added the broccoli, green beans, and mushrooms and allowed them to steam lightly for 3-4 minutes while mixing them into the sauce. If you’re interested in adding some protein, a 2.5 cups of chickpeas or some pressed cubed tofu would make an excellent addition. I added the scallions, bamboo shoots and bell pepper about 5 minutes later. I squeezed the lime over it and mixed in the Thai basil. and stirred it until I could smell the basil.

We served it over quinoa with white wine. German style white wines compliment this kind of dish well, particularly riesling or gewurztraminer. It was definitely a spicy green curry but much lighter than I’m used to. I mostly tasted vegetables and peppery coconut which isn’t a bad thing. I’d love to hear how you lighten up your favorite dshes.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Double Cherry, Almond and Long Bean Salad!

Melissa brought us some GORGEOUS long beans from her Dad’s garden. Green beans are easier to find in your supermarket but long beans have a subtly sweeter flavor. Here she is below, breaking off the ends and snapping them into bite sized pieces.

We used the following:

3-4 cups of long beans, ends trimmed and cut

1 carton of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/4 cup of dried cherries (dried cranberries work too!)

15-20 toasted salted almonds, crushed

Melissa blanched the beans by steaming them.

I tossed together the fruits and veggies and dressed it with 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar that I whisked together with a tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

This salad disappeared fast: sweet fruits and veggies, savory nutty almonds and tart dressing. The textures were contrasting and very welcome and this is a light filling salad that’s beautiful to boot! We hope you get to try it.

This is Melissa, Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Kare Kare

Kare Kare is a Filipino dish that is usually made up of oxtail and vegetables in a peanut butter sauce. It’s also one of my favorite things to eat, like, ever. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present: Easy Vegan Kare Kare.

1 cup soy curls
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a big eggplant, cut into about 2 inch chunks (approx. 2 cups)
1 cup sitaw (Chinese long beans), cut into about 2 inch pieces — regular green beans are fine, too
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp achiote powder (optional)
olive oil
salt

First, take your one cup of soy curls and rehydrate them. While that’s happening, prepare your veggies. Any type of eggplant will do. You can put in as much veggies as you would like and even drop the soy curls altogether if you’d like. Eggplant and sitaw are the usual veggies we use; we also use bok choy most of the time. The sitaw came from the freezer… I can’t wait to show you guys the fresh ones once they start to pop up in my Dad’s garden.

When the soy curls are ready, drain the water. In a medium pot, heat up the olive oil and brown the garlic and onions. When it stats to get fragrant (and before the garlic starts to burn), toss in the soy curls and saute them with the onions and garlic. Once they’ve dried out a little, it will be time to add your veggies.

Toss the eggplant in first as they will take a bit longer than the beans to cook. Then, add about a cup of water to the pot. Cover and let the eggplants cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the beans and then cover it again for a few minutes.

Once the veggies are cooked, stir things up a bit. Then, make a well in the center of the pot and put in the peanut butter. The PB should melt completely and acts as both a flavor and thickening agent.

Taste the sauce and add some salt to taste. Add the achiote powder as the final step. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but this gives the kare kare its reddish color.

You can eat the kare kare on its own, but I prefer to have it with white rice. The soy curls are a good protein to use, particularly because it is reminiscent of tripe (I know… gross) which is also used a lot in kare kare. What’s the green stuff, you ask? Kare kare is nothing without some bagoong or salted shrimp paste. I was so super jazzed when I found this recipe for raw vegan bagoong on ASTIG Vegan. I couldn’t follow it exactly because I don’t have any dulse, so I improvised and crushed up about 4 sheets of salted seaweed snack instead. It’s wacky, but it actually worked really nicely as a bagoong substitute.

OMG, you guys. You have no idea how excited I am that this recipe worked. BTW – Happy Independence Day. Be safe! –Melissa

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Pakbet (AKA Bitter Melon MADNESS!)

I got the recommendation for pinakbet or pakbet from a Sri Lankan colleague who has a fondness for Filipino cuisine. It’s good she’s around or I would have been at a loss for what to do with this ridiculous looking veggie. For pakbet I took some crucial advice from Melissa and my colleague on the preparation. I sliced up the melon, discarded the seeds and salted it and waited for about 20 minutes. There was a lot of liquid that came out of the flesh so I figure it worked… right?

I also assembled the following:
1 eggplant cut into bite-sized pieces
salt
10 whole okra, trimmed
1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed
1 big toe sized piece of ginger, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
3 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tsp tamari
1 tbsp miso paste
olive oil
salt to taste
I browned the garlic and onion in olive oil. Then I added the tomatoes and cook until soft and then the remaining ingredients.

I cooked the bitter melon separately, sauteing lightly in olive oil with tamari because Brent is allergic to quinine and I don’t want to kill him even though the literature regarding the quinine content of bitter melon is sketchy.

I didn’t cook it long after adding the rest of the ingredients just because I like my veggies crisp and green. I’m weird like that. I added it to mine and found that the sweetness of the beans and onion along with the mellowing tomato and eggplant really complemented the bitterness of the bitter melon. Next time I’ll use white miso paste instead of red and omit the ginger, but otherwise Brent seemed happy with the bitter melon-less version and I’ll be doing this again… just don’t tell Brent.


This is Christie, singing off!

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Squash “ribs”, green beans, and cilantro lime quinoa!

People often cite being vegan as being too difficult as a reason for continuing to eat meat, dairy and eggs. I was ruminating on this idea, this afternoon as I was thinking of what I would prepare for dinner this evening. I picked a handful of ingredients: green beans, butternut squash and cilantro. These were left over from other things I’d prepared this past week.

I sliced up the squash, leaving the skin on, sprayed it lightly with olive oil and sprinkled it with sea salt. I put it into the oven on a tinfoil lined baking dish and set the timer for 30 minutes at 350F/175C. I also put the seeds from my squash onto another piece of tinfoil with a light sprinkling of garlic salt and checked every few minutes or so until they were crispy and delicious. You can do this with pumpkin seeds or the seeds from spaghetti squash as well. I snacked on these while I was tending the rest of the meal.

While that was happening I washed my green beans and snapped the ends off each one. I put them in a covered steamer and waited until they were BRIGHT green. This takes 8-12 minutes, because I like mine crispy and green. As soon as they got really bright green, I took the lid off the beans and took them off the heat.

While I was waiting for that to happen I put collected the following:

1/2 cup red quinoa (any sort of quinoa will do)

1 cup of water

1 cube of bouillon

1/2 onion, chopped

3-4 sun dried tomatoes, sliced into strips (optional)

1/4 cup of cilantro leaves

juice from 1/2 lime

I put the quinoa and water into a microwave safe bowl and microwaved it for a minute. I stirred it and added the bouillon cube and microwaved for another minute. I stirred it and added the sun dried tomato and microwaved for a minute. I stirred it and added the onion and microwaved it for a minute. I microwaved for another minute and then all of the liquid was absorbed and I stirred in the cilantro. I squeezed some lime over it before serving.

I placed the green beans on the plate and sprinkled some almond slivers over them (omit these if you’ve got a nut allergy and use the baked squash seeds instead). I ended up drizzling some balsamic vinegar on them too but that’s not in the picture. I was starting to check that the squash was tender with a fork at this point and as soon as it was ready, I put the squash on the plate with everything else and because I didn’t take off the skin, I ate them like they were ribs… except there was no hunks of fat or gristle to get in the way of my eating pleasure. As I ate, I thought about how I made something really healthful, beautiful, fragrant and tasty in 40 minutes. As far as I’m concerned, the best food nourishes your mind and your body.

This is Christie, signing off.

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