Last night I tried Lois’ African Black Eyed Beans. 1I did not mean to do two of Lois’ recipes in a row, but that’s what I had in the storecupboard 🙂 Barbara was just back from Tauranga and I had them ready with rice, Barbara did not know it was a competition recipe but said the beans were delicious without prompting 🙂 I adapted the recipe for Repentant Carnivores (rather than Vegans) by cutting the fat, especially the bad fat in the coconut cream, halving this works fine and still tastes deliciously different.
1½ cups black-eyed beans. Start these cooking for 30 – 45 minutes.
Make the sauce with:
2 chopped onions Sautéd in a little oil until they’re softish.
1 small can tomato paste (or chopped tomatoes but then you will need to “reduce” 2That is boil to remove some of the water. the sauce a bit).
½ can coconut cream
2 tsp paprika 3I used smoked, it adds a nice depth to the warmth – as I also used less chili.
½ tsp (or more or less) chili powder
½ tsp cumin
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Stir together till combined, if necessary reduce to thicken, but if you keep the beans warm in the sauce before serving it will thicken up a bit then.
When the beans are cooked, drain and mix the sauce into them.
Serve with rice. This is would serves 4 as a main meal. 4Lois or Alison reckoned 4-6 but the 6 would all need small appetites or to eat desert as well 😉
Lois gave credit to Alison Holst, the beans taste interesting and different as most Westerners are not used to the coconut and bean combination, which worked very well. Once again the recipe risks looking plain, I think (in the Capsicum season at least) some thin Jullienne strips of green Capsicum might lift it… I am sure this dish, especially if it was enhanced by some appropriate (or better still inappropriate) story about the African origin of the recipe, would go down a treat with most children – though definitely reduce the chili (like I did) in that case.
Like the previous two entries I’ve tested this is likely to stay on my regular list, so far it is going to be hard to choose who gets the prize 😉
After a fortnight of a cold that left me with no enthusiasm for recipe testing 🙂 I have again begun to trial the Great Vegan Recipe Competition entries.
Yesterday I tried Lois’ Mushroom and Barley Mix, and brought the “left overs” in a box for lunch. The recipe is extremely easy, and seems forgiving – I left it simmering with no stirring for an hour and it was still fine!
1 tsp Harissa (or in Lois’ original chilli – I like less chilli and more spices that most Kiwis)
Sauté onion, carrot, garlic and spices. Add barley, mushrooms, soy sauce and stock. (I’d now keep half the mushrooms to add later with the chickpeas – if you are using soaked, dried but uncooked chickpeas add them now.)
Leave to simmer happily for about 3/4 hour, until the barley is soft but chewy. Check occasionally to ensure there’s sufficient liquid. I found with precooked chick peas that 3 cups was plenty, but if cooking the chick peas then I expect the extra cup is needed. Add the sundried tomatoes (or other veges like Lois’ capsicum [too expensive at this time of year]) for colour before serving.
This is savoury, convenient one pot, and one serving. It works well to warm up next day for lunch. I would also add some chopped fresh herbs at the end to add more colour as garnish and to add a little zing to the flavours which are otherwise savoury but almost bland. (It was the same reasoning, as well as what was in the fridge, that led me to use sundried tomatoes.)
This recipe is NOT Vegan, except Vegans can easily adapt it by removing the sausage and adding a little more oil and salt.This is simpler than the public as imagined by a politician, and tastier than even you could imagine (just use plenty of good oil and real ground or flaky salt added just before eating)
Green lentils 1/2 cup per person (boiled gently till just soft)
Splash or three of nice olive oil
Several grinds of sea salt
a little thinly sliced sausage (Chorizo is good, but I prefer the thin ones that taste a bit like salami)
Serve with mashed potatoes.
For myself I often leave the sausage out, but it used to help tame the family carnivores 😉 and does add a nice contrast.
I have not started on trying out the competition recipes, there was too much food around that needed using up this week. I won’t be over the weekend as I’ll be in Tauranga and want easy meals (see below), but plan to next week. This means there is still time to ask your friends for their best Vegan maincourse or lunch (i.e. substantial but portable) recipes…
Beans with Preserved Lemons
So as to have a couple of quick easy meals for the weekend, and a tasty meal last night I did a big pot of those young greenish (but dried) beans in the slow cooker yesterday. The ones that are like Flageolet Beans, but not from the Harricot but perhaps Fava… [BTW the slow cooker is great for beans, but NOT the red ones, as they need a good fast boil for some of their cooking time to remove poisons 🙁 ]
Some chopped onions and garlic (less than the onions 😉 but plenty I used six cloves)
In the pot and more than cover with vege stock (my second batch of Nathan’s free stock worked fine with just the stalk ends of celery and other peelings and wastage including onion and garlic skins) the exact quantity is difficult as different beans soak up different quantities. (BTW in the slow cooker all day there is no need to pre-soak the beans.) The ideal is if you can look in on them at lunch time to maybe add more stock.
Near the end of cooking add some preserved lemons and limes. In NZ now is the time to set up a shelf of jars, as limes are as cheap as they get, and they do make the lemons taste even better 🙂 The preserving somehow mellows the flavour and they go brilliantly with the beans adding interest to the dish. The Velveteen Rabbi called them “sunshine in a jar” – I can’t beat that 😉
Season and if need be thicken the sauce with a little maize meal/cornflour.
In my first post I classed eggs and diary products (in particular cheese) with meat as things Repentant Carnivores might try to cut back on. Since then Heather has emailed some interesting calculations. She was curious whether using less dairy would in fact use less land. This was an issue that came up in the discussion on the Tear Fund Facebook page too, so I’ll copy Heather’s figures here:
[u]sing my ‘food footprint’ spreadsheet I already had and plugging in data for g of protein/kg of the food I found you get the following numbers of kg of protein per Ha of land:
Nuts (as peanuts) 480
Pulses (dry, uncooked) 125
Cheese, milk powder 274
Eggs, free range(12 = 636g) 42
Goat infinite! (as in NZ goat meat tends not to be farmed as such – it’s feral goat or goat that is brought on to increase the productivity of the land for other uses by them eating up the gorse)
Chicken (free range) 37
Pork (free range) 22
Sheep meat 14
Based on that, it looks like eggs should be thought of in the same light as meat, but that dairy products use no more land than pulses or nuts. And that goat should be eaten in abundance 🙂
On the other hand, to get the same g of fat butter takes 21 times the amount of land as canola oil (although if you’re consuming other dairy products obviously a bit of fat goes along with it).
There’s lots to discuss here 😉 Is the goat meat my butcher sells feral goat, or imported meat with huge cost in fuel etc? Should sheep meat be thought of as “worst”, remembering that sheep (in NZ at least) usually use land that is not good for other “crops”? But if these figures are correct (can anybody verify or challenge them?) it looks as if Milk, Cheese and Yoghurt could come off the RC list, which would be very good news for cheese-lovers 🙂