Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Several days food and some Thanksgiving Ideas

I had to post the pics in HTML since blogger was acting up, so they are large and cut off. Sorry about that.

This hummus was so good. It is lower in fat than many other recipes.

I made some great refried beans I've been enjoying. I've had to cut most of my recipes in half so I don't end up with too many leftovers. I am stockpiling my freezer even with the half recipes.

boiling away, recipe to follow pics.

I use cilantro almost like a veggie. I love it. If you hate cilantro, you'll probably hate most of my recipes.

In the frying pan. Onions, serranos, spices and bean cooking liquid instead of oil.

Pureed and delicious. These will thicken up over night if they are a bit runny.

Fat Free Refried Beans

1/2 lb pintos, rinsed

2 quarts water

3 inch piece kombu

1/2 t black pepper

1 T onion powder

1 T or 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

bouillon cube

1/4 c bean liquid

1 large onion, or 1.5 cups, diced

1 t cumin seed

1/2 t ground coriander

1 t oregano

1-3 serrano chiles, depending on heat tolerance. Start with 1 and de-seed and de-stem it.

cooked pintos and their liquid

1 T soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

1 bunch cilantro

salt/pepper to taste

Cover and cook the first 6 ingredients over medium heat for several hours or until tender. Check every 20 mins or so and add more water if needed. When beans are tender, add the bouillon cube and bring back to a simmer then turn off heat.

In a large skillet, add around 1/4 bean cooking liquid, chopped onion, cumin seed (you can use powdered, but the seed is better), serrano chiles ,ground coriander and oregano. Cook over medium flame until the veggies are soft, then add the beans and heat through. Add the lime juice, soy sauce, salt/pepper to taste and cilantro and puree with a hand blender or in a food processor. The beans will thicken up after cooling, covered, overnight.

This nacho bake utilized some fo the refried beans, along with sauted mushrooms, onions, green peppers and spinach. I cut up 3 corn tortillas and made baked chips, then topped the bean/veggie mixture with tofu sour scream and salsa, then ran it under the broiler. I added some mango/habanero salsa to the top. Delicious.

Post from a year ago... This was a roasted acorn squash stuffed with Lightlife Gimme Lean Sausage, bulgur, veggies and topped with a cranberry chutney. I don't have a recipe written, but I'm sure you can improvise something delicious.

I do have a recipe for this. It is a roasted butternut squash topped with a lentil/brown rice mixture topped with almonds, cilantro and an orange tahini sauce.

Lentil Stuffed Squash:
2 butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed, sprayed with cooking spray, seasoned with salt/pepper and roasted in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Stuffing (makes enough for this dish and you will have tons of leftovers to freeze or make another dish)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

heat oil over med-lo heat, add the onions and slowly caramelize them until they are golden brown. This will take up to 30 minutes.


1 cup lentils

1 cup brown rice

5 cloves garlic

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried sage

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 carrot diced

6 cups veggie stock or water

salt/pepper to taste

1 large bunch swiss chard or 10oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)

1/4 cup golden rasins

4 tbsp chile-garlic sauce (optional)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar


Bring everthing but the greens, chile garlic sauce, vinegar and salt/pepper to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cover. Cook until the lentils/rice are done. Stir in the swiss chard and rasins and cook for several minutes. Finally, stir in the vinegar and chile sauce and add salt/pepper to taste.

Take around a cup and fill the hollowed out part of the butternut squash then top with almonds, orange-tahini sauce and cilantro or parsely.

Orange Tahini Sauce:

juice of 2 oranges

zest of 1 orange

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup yogurt or soy yogurt or silken tofu

1 shallot

2 cloves garlic

4 tbsp orange juice concentrate

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp turmeric

3 tbsp tahini

salt/pepper to taste

Blend all of the above in a food processor or blender.


  1. Cilantro and I are old pals - I put him in my salads as almost 1/3 of the mixture. Your beans look great!

  2. Mmm, I love me some nachos!

    I need to make some fancy roasted squash like that soon!

  3. I love cilantro too! Your stuffed squashes look amazing. Perfect for Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoy the holiday!

  4. Those beans sound fantastic--I cannot wait to make them! I may even just "mash" the beans with my potato masher rather than blending them...yummmm...I may have to have a Mexican inspired Thanksgiving feast tomorrow!


  5. Even with just Marty and me we still wind up with a lot of leftovers. I recently made some chickpea burgers (Marty was a little sad because when I said burgers he thought I was making your All American burgers) and we've eaten them now for 4 meals!

    If I wasn't doing my pantry challenge I would absolutely make your lentil stuffed squash for t-day.

  6. wow, the hummus and refried beans look/sound incredible!! yum!! actually, I haven't had much experience with cilantro - I know it's a "love or hate" type of ingredient, but I'm willing to try it out and judge for myself ;0)

    oh and I'll be baking and stuffing an acorn squash for my Thanksgiving feast!! your version sounds terrific!! I just may have to change my stuffing, to make it just like yours, haha.

  7. Awesome stuff! I'm not a fan of cilantro so I'll usually sub parsley or leave it out all together. I keep trying it though. Maybe it'll grow on me.

  8. The food looks delicious (as always)! I just bought my Xmas plane ticket to go home to NH and I told my mom that we have to make a trip up Concord to eat at Cafe Indigo. I think about it everytime I visit your blog :-)

  9. I love cilantro, so I guess I'll love your recipes. (Omniman doesn't really like it, though. How can you NOT like cilantro?)

    I haven't made homemade refried beans in ages...I really should try yours.

    Happy Thankgiving weekend, Mel! XO

  10. I love cilantro- it's a shame that delicious herbs like cilantro, parsley, etc. are used only as garnish, since they have such great nutrition! Needless to say, I love your recipes...

  11. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love refried beans and hate paying the price for a can of them. Last time I tried them on my own they were dry and flavorless. You made me so happy right now. Oh by the way I hated cilantro when I was an omni and a vegetarian, but when I went totally vegan magic happened and I love it!

  12. I love that you use cilantro like a veggie. I thought I was weird for using it like lettuce in my salad. The refried beans, and then the nachos, look really great.

  13. i absolutely love cilantro. im sorry that you are felling so lonely.

  14. Wow - all of your food looks great! Especially those refried beans. Mmmm...

    And by the way, I'm a complete cilantro addict, too. :)