Three Bean Salad

   This classic American Three Bean Salad is lighter than many of the recipes out there, but it’s the best one I’ve had.  Filling and tangy, with plenty of protein, this salad travels well.  The fresh, raw crunch of the celery and shallot are a great contrast with the silky beans.  Three Bean Salads have supposedly been around since the 1800’s, and possibly became so popular because they needed little refrigeration, and hence were often brought to picnics and outings.  Serve with a slotted spoon so as to drain off most of the marinade.


Makes about 8 to 10 servings?

15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed,  reserve 3 Tablespoons of bean liquid
15 oz. can green beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz. can yellow wax beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium-to-large stalk celery, diced fine
1 large shallot  chopped fine,  or 1/3 of a medium white onion
1/3 Cup white vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
pinch cayenne  (a pinch = 1/16th teaspoon)

Take three Tablespoons of bean liquid from the can of kidney beans, and set aside.  In a large non-metal bowl and with a wooden spoon, gently mix the green beans, wax beans, celery and onion.  In a separate small bowl or glass, whisk together the bean liquid, vinegar, oil, sugar, and seasonings.  Add the rinsed-and-drained kidney beans and the vinegar dressing to the green-bean mixture.  Fold this salad gently with a wooden spoon to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two before serving.  Stir gently with wooden spoon before serving (we are trying not to mash the kidney beans).  Serve with a slotted spoon so as to drain most of the marinade off and back into the serving bowl.

Notes:  This would also be good in a salad-in-a-jar situation.  For more salad ideas, check out the Salad category on this site.

Zippys Chili Recipe Gone Vegan

IMG_1881    My parents called from Hawaii yesterday, and they had just been to Zippys for breakfast.  It reminded me that I used to like Zippys chili (it’s famous in Hawaii).  After looking at copycat recipes online, I made a vegan version, and it’s really good–a keeper.  Although I’ve made several vegan chilis before, this one is just a bit meatier and richer than the others, and it really does remind me of Zippys.  I could see serving this easy dish for the Superbowl, or any game day.  If you want a healthier vegan chili, try this Perfect Vegetable Chili with Quinoa.  I like to serve chili with these Fruited Cornbread Muffins, or Tostitos Original Restaurant Style chips, Tofutti Cream Cheese, fresh avocado, etc.  More photos below.


11 oz. package Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles  (or other ground beef substitute)
15 oz. can Kidney beans, with liquid from can
15 oz. can tomato sauce
10 oz. can Ro-Tel Mild Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies  (use 1/2 can, or more to taste)
2 teaspoons peanut oil (or grapeseed oil or olive oil)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Vegenaise Reduced Fat vegan mayo  (the secret ingredient)
1 Tablespoon Better Than Bouillon (No Beef, or Vegetarian,  or No Chicken flavor)
1 Tablespoon Sherry Cooking Wine, (or red wine, or vinegar)
2 teaspoons minced dried onions  (from the spices aisle)
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire, such as Wizard brand  (it’s delicious)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt  (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
pinch cinnamon  (a pinch equals 1/16th teaspoon)

Toppings of choice, such as vegan sour cream, avocado chunks and nacho chips.

Heat oil in small stock pot, and sauté onion and bell pepper.  Set beans aside for now, but add all other ingredients and simmer on medium heat for 5 or 10 minutes.  Add beans and bean liquid just before serving and stir them gently into the chili.  Serve with vegan sour cream, fresh avocado, nacho chips, etc.

Notes:  I avoid canola oil for purposes of flavor.  I prefer Eden Organic beans because they use kombu to “salt” their beans, but any kidney beans will do.  If you want it spicier, add the full can of Ro-Tel, or the Ro-Tel can simply be put out to dollop on bowls for those who like it hotter.  The mayonnaise might seem an odd addition to this recipe but it’s rumored to be the secret ingredient in Zippys Chili, and it does seem to add an unctuous richness.  I reduced the mayo by 75% here and the chili still tastes really good.  I deleted the MSG from the original recipes, but if you want to add it back in, use about 1/2 teaspoon.  I grew up eating a lot of Ajinomoto, and I didn’t miss it here.

Jamaican Rice and Peas in A Rice Cooker

IMG_2742    In the Turks & Caicos last winter, we drove to a resort at the end of a long, unpaved, chalky road.  When we arrived, there were no other customers and no restaurant menu like we had seen online.  We were seated in an empty outdoor bar, and we asked them to bring us something vegan.  There was one local guy cooking in the kitchen and he was really just cooking a simple meal for the staff of Belongers, but we were welcome to have some.  The revelation of that meal was the Rice and Peas.  Wanting to try it in the rice cooker, I watched several youtube videos, and it turned out well.  In Jamaica, Pigeon Peas are called Gungo peas (pronounced goongo), but you can find them in the Latin section of many grocery stores, and it will say Gandules Verdes on the label (see below).  Pigeon Peas contain high levels of protein, and the important amino acids.  There’s much debate between countries and cooks as to whether one should use long-grain or medium-grain, or Jasmine rice.  One lady on youtube even uses parboiled rice, and some cooks use the entire can of beans, liquid and all (a practice I’ve adopted).  Some use creamed coconut and some use coconut milk.  Some mix in a bit of chopped Scotch Bonnet pepper, and some simply lay the uncut fiery pepper on top of the rice while it’s cooking, and many don’t use any spicy peppers at all.  The main elements are here below.  Peas also often refers to kidney beans, so if you cannot find the pigeon peas, you could substitute them, but I do love the flavor of the Gungo peas.  Please read the full recipe, including the notes at the bottom, before you begin.  When I say “cups” in the recipe, I’m referring to the measuring cup that came with your rice cooker (see notes).  Once you make this, you’ll see how easy it is.    p.s. See my little Thyme patch below, and think about planting some, as it’s a perennial in many climates.


Serves about 6

2 rice-cooker measuring cups of medium-grain white rice, or Jasmine rice, rinsed of starch  (I’ve also used un-rinsed white Jasmine rice)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 scallions/green onions, sliced using the white and pale-green parts only
1 can pigeon peas, drained, but save the can liquid
3 sprigs fresh thyme  (strip leaves and discard stems)
15 oz. can lite coconut milk
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Sticks

Add rice to rice cooker.  Heat olive oil in small skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and let it sizzle for a minute or two, taking care it doesn’t burn.  Add scallions, pigeon peas and thyme leaves, and sauté stirring for another 2 or 3 minutes.

To the rice in the cooker, add bean liquid, and enough lite coconut milk to bring your contents up to the appropriate mark on the rice cooker.  For example, I used 2 rice-cooker measuring cups of rice and added just enough liquid to bring the contents up to the #2 on the inside mark of the rice pot under the White Rice/Mixed Rice column (see photo)Now add skillet contents, salt, pepper and vegan butter, and stir contents.  Set rice cooker on the White Rice or Mixed Rice setting.  You may have a “Mixed Rice” option and that may be what you want (not sure, as every rice cooker is different).  In my old Zojirushi, I do use the Mixed Rice fill level mark.  When the rice is done cooking, open lid briefly just to stir contents with a rice paddle, and then close lid again.

Notes:  I’ve also used long-grain organic brown rice.  Every rice cooker comes with its own measuring cup, and they often do not equal a standard 8 oz. Cup measure.  For example, the cup in my 15-year-old Zojirushi NS-ZAC10 holds less than 8 ounces–it holds 3/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons of water, or only 14 Tablespoons of water (a standard Cup is 16 Tablespoons), and this is measuring level to the very top of the cup.  If I’m using brown rice in my old Zojirushi, even though I’m filling the liquid to the Mixed Rice level mark, I am then choosing “brown rice” on the electronic settings.  It’s important to add the skillet contents after adding your liquids, because the skillet contents will displace a lot of the liquid, and enough liquid is needed to properly cook rice, especially if you are using brown rice.
IMG_2727  I really like the flavor of these Goya pigeon peas.
IMG_2735   2 “cups” dry rice and enough liquid to reach “2” on the inside of the rice cooker pot, of my Zojirushi NS-ZAC10.  Note the “Mixed Rice” option under the white-rice heading.
IMG_2745  Fuzzy Logic.
IMG_2737  Here’s part of my thyme patch, peeking out from under Fall leaves and mums.  It often comes in handy, even late in the year here in Maryland.

Vegan Dal Makhani

IMG_2613    Dal Makhani is my favorite dal.   Translated from the Hindi, it supposedly means Buttery Lentils.  A Punjabi dish from the North of India, it was so heart-cloggingly rich and time-consuming that it was usually made only for special occasions.  With this relatively-quick, vegan Dal Makhani, we can have it whenever we want.  There are many online recipes for this traditional dish, all remarkably similar.  All I did was substitute in vegan butter, and coconut milk creamer.  I used products from Whole Foods, and substituted a jalapeno pepper for the traditional Indian chili peppers.  Nutritional values are below.  Despite being lower in fat, this still tastes rich.  This balance of heat is for our Western palates, but if you can find the real Indian chili peppers, feel free to set it on fire.


Makes six generous one-cup servings  (about 6.5 Cups total)

3/4 Cup whole black lentils  (urad dal)  (soaked overnight)
1/2 Cup kidney beans  (rajmah)  (I use canned kidney beans)
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced and chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 Tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds  (not ground)
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds and pith removed,  do not chop
(protect your hands with gloves when handling the chili pepper)
1 cinnamon stick,  3-4 inches long
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
15 oz. can plain tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 Cup water
3/4 Cup So Delicious Creamer  (original plain flavor)
2 Tablespoons freshly-chopped coriander/cilantro leaves for garnish

Sort through lentils, rinse in a very-fine sieve, and soak in water overnight.  Drain and keep aside.  Put 3 Cups water in an uncovered saucepan and simmer lentils for about 25 minutes until soft and a bit overcooked.  Drain.

Mash garlic and ginger together into a paste.  In a small stock pot, heat butter and add cumin seeds.  When seeds crackle, add chili pepper, cinnamon stick, ginger/garlic paste and onions, and sauté over medium heat until onions turn brown.  Add cayenne, turmeric and tomato puree, and cook over medium heat until oil begins to separate from the tomato gravy (10 minutes or so).  Add the cooked legumes, garam masala, salt and the 3/4 Cup water, and simmer 10-15 minutes.  Add half the cream and stir to blend.  Just before serving, swirl the remaining cream onto the top of the dal, so streaks of cream are visible.  Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, and serve hot, with naan or parathas, etc.  I served mine with Trader Joe’s vegan Uttapams this time.

Notes:    To save money, hit the bulk spices at your local health food store.  This freezes well.  If using dried kidney beans instead, soak and cook them with the lentils.  I like the Punjabi style garam masala from Penzey’s, but you can find Garam Masala in most grocery stores now.  Garam masala often has cloves and cardamom in it, and saves trying to fish cloves and pods out of the stew when it’s done.  Whole Foods has whole black lentils, the Organic 365 brand.  I will sometimes also add chopped garden tomatoes too.  I never increase the amount of cayenne, even if I don’t add the hot chili pepper.

Nutritional Values per 8-ounce serving:  Calories 199.  Fat 5.  Saturated Fat 1.  Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5.  Monounsaturated Fat 1.  Trans Fat 0.  Cholesterol 0.  Sodium 226 (depending upon tomato sauce).  Carbs 28.  Fiber 7.  Sugar 7.  Protein 8.

White Beans with Rosemary and Garlic

This is an Alice Waters recipe.  It’s sad that she promotes the killing and eating of other  beings, but she does know how to cook vegetables and legumes.  Since going vegan, I’ve come to appreciate beans much more than I ever did before.  Now that my system is used to real fiber, they don’t bother my tummy at all, and are one of the best proteins for humans.  OK, my photo does not show white beans for a reason.  I’ve made this dish twice now, but I’ve actually cooked four pots of beans in order to do so.  What happened was I couldn’t find a bag of organic beans, so I resorted to the bulk section of my health food store.  I’m a bit suspicious of bulk foods sometimes, in regards to the lack of expiration dates.  After trying to cook those bulk white beans two different times, I concluded that they were old or something.  They just came out mushy and shaggy and tasteless.  So, I had some heirloom Vallarta beans and made those, and then I also made some Yellow Indian Woman beans, and both of those came out great.  Making this perfectly-flavored bean dish was like a master class in cooking beans, for me.  Maybe you are used to cooking beans and if so, you’ll still appreciate the beautiful simplicity of the flavors in this easy dish.  I soaked the beans overnight and threw them on the stove as soon as I walked into the kitchen in the morning.  By the time I fed Ipo, put on makeup, had tea, read the paper and juiced, the beans were set to cool.  This way, they were ready for a quick saute with garlic and rosemary before supper.  The final sprinkle of fine sea salt is a must, in my opinion.  I also like RealSalt which I can now find in the grocery store.  In conclusion, yes, this dish would be prettier with white beans, to show off the flecks of green rosemary, but either way, they taste great.  Oddly enough, the combination of the rosemary, garlic and sea salt give these beans a meaty flavor that’s hard to explain.  And my experience with trying to find bagged (dated) organic beans has taught me that I should plan to grow them in the garden next year.
White Beans with Rosemary and Garlic 

This recipe is from The Art of Simple Food  by Alice Waters

Makes 3 Cups beans

1 Cup dried white beans (cannellini, navy, great northern, white runner, etc.)
fine sea salt, to taste  (I think I used less than ½ teaspoon)
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed, or crushed and chopped fine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Soak the beans overnight in four cups water, this is essential.
Drain beans and transfer to a pot with a heavy bottom.  Choose a wider pot if you have a choice, but a heavy bottom on the pot is the first priority.  Alice says the wider pot keeps the layer of beans from being too deep, and that otherwise, the beans are hard to stir and the ones on the bottom get crushed. Add fresh water to cover by three inches.
Do NOT add salt at this time, or the beans will be tough!
Bring to boil.
Lower heat and skim off any foam.
Simmer gently for 1 to 2 hours, until beans are tender.  Start testing after one hour.
Add more water if necessary during the cooking.  The water level should always be an inch or two above the beans.  If the water level gets too low, the beans become crowded and will tend to fall apart when stirred.  Or they might burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.
Start testing after one hour.
To test for doneness, beans should be tender, but not falling apart, although it is better to overcook them than to undercook them.  You don’t want them to be the least bit al dente, or crunchy.  The best way to test them is to bite one.
When they are fully cooked, let the beans cool in their liquid before you drain them.  If they’re drained right away, the skins will crack and they’ll look shaggy.
Once beans are cool, drain them.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet (I like cast iron for this), warm the olive oil.
Add the garlic and rosemary leaves to the oil, and cook just until the garlic is soft, less than 5 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and add the beans to the skillet.
Sprinkle beans with the fine sea salt and stir gently to coat beans.
Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
Let this dish sit for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to marry.
Serve warm or at room temperature for best flavor.

Notes:  Alice suggests that the leaves of either sage, or winter or summer savory are delicious substitutes for the rosemary, but after tasting the rosemary, I’ll be loath to try anything else.  If you do not have a rosemary plant growing near your kitchen, I would urge you to plant one.  They will grow in harsh conditions and are so rewarding, becoming venerable with the years.  I know there are many cultivars of rosemary, at least over 50, and some are very hardy and will withstand very cold winters.  Some are upright and some are prostrate.  Do a little looking online and you will find one that’s right for your area.

Excellent Bean Dip

This recipe was given to my friend Dave when he was working at Hilo Hospital, back in the 1990’s.  We laugh because it’s uber healthy, but then we go and eat it with Doritos, Fritos and the like.   At least you’re getting some major nutrition and fiber with your junk food!  It’s good, and it would be perfect for the big game, so I’m also putting it under the vegan football food category on this site.  It makes a ton and it freezes beautifully.  See second photo below, dated in October 2011, and I like this chunky texture better, it’s all about how much you puree, and pulse which ingredients.


2 cans 15 oz kidney beans (drained)
1 cans 15 oz black beans  (drained)
1 cans 15 oz garbanzo beans (drained)
2 cans 2.25 oz. ripe (black) olives (drained).  Chop one can, and put  other in blender.
1 can 14.5 oz can flavored tomatoes.  I used Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes, but any flavor would do.
Juice of one whole lemon (fresh)
1 large purple onion, diced fine (I use the Pickled Red Onions on this site)
1 to 2 green bell peppers, diced
4 oz. Catalina dressing
Optional:  several Tablespoons of black olive tapenade (I like Trader Joe’s brand for it’s great price and good taste)
Drain all beans and rinse well in colander.
Then put beans in bowl with cold water to cover, for one hour.
Drain beans in colander.
Take a tablespoon or two of your chopped vegetables and put them aside, to use as a garnish for your final presentation.
Have your Catalina dressing ready and waiting on the side.  You will need to put a little of this dressing into each blender batch, so add it accordingly, a little at a time.  This dressing is the liquid that will keep your blender moving.
Puree about half of all ingredients in batches, pulsing and stirring.  You want half of this dip to be fully pureed, and half of it to be chunkier.
Put this puree into a very large bowl and set aside.
Now put the other half of all ingredients into the blender and pulse so that it’s finely chopped, but not pureed.
Add this finely chopped half to the pureed half in the large bowl and mix.
Let chill in refrigerator for an hour or so.
Serve  with Fritos, or Tostitos, or, if you have to, something healthier.
This makes a LOT so you can serve a crowd, or freeze in small containers to take out when you like.
Notes:  You will need to finesse the blender or Vitamix because of the sheer volume.  This means putting it into your blender in small batches, with some of the liquid and pulsing, and stirring sometimes.  Get out your biggest bowl.  This would also be great to take to work functions, or put out for teens, etc.  You can also add a couple of tablespoons of black olive tapenade (I like Trader Joe’s brand for the cheap price).

Spiced and Roasted Chick Peas

I first saw this recipe being made by Toni Fiore on itunes, back in 2010.  Toni’s short videos on itunes are totally worth watching, and are listed under Delicious TV VegEZOh, she’s also got youtube videos and phone apps.  I did check, and this particular video is no longer on itunes, but there’s a new one, also for roasted chick peas, using garlic and sage.  I’ll have to try that sometime, but I doubt it could be better than this flavor profile of exotic spices.  I could not find this recipe online either, but a year ago or so, I did type it into a Word document.  I’m not sure if I amended the recipe, but I probably did.  Either way, it’s close enough and so good.  The cinnamon and brown sugar somehow work with the savory spices.  Again, there is a little kick to these, and Lars complains about it, but then he keeps eating them, ha ha.  Cayenne is powerfully healthy; increasing blood flow to all parts of the body, and restoring circulation health and balance.  So, if you’re a wussy when it comes to hot peppers, try to build up your tolerance.  I crave hot-pepper-spiced foods in the depths of winter, or if I have a cold.  Upon eating it, you breathe easier, have more energy and feel warmer.  This is why our nose runs and we perspire after eating cayenne.  Just because it’s summer, don’t let that stop you from making this dish, because hot spices also cool the body in hot weather, but that’s another story.  Toni (yes, I’m pretending I’m on a first-name basis with Ms. Fiore) says she likes to serve these with cocktails, but I think they’re good any time.  This recipe is quick and simple and something different.
Spiced and Roasted Chick Peas

Serves approximately 6,  as an appetizer

2  15-oz. cans of chick peas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon curry
1/8 teaspoon garam masala  (I just bought some, did not mix my own)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, not until just before serving.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Line glass baking dish with parchment paper.
Toss chick peas with oil and spices (but not salt), in a bowl.
Bake approx. 40 minutes, stirring once.
Bake until chick peas turn brown, and a few of the beans will puff up, and a very few of them will wrinkle and turn almost black.  Most will be crispy.
Remove from oven and toss in a glass bowl with the sea salt.
Serve hot or warm from the oven.
Store any leftovers in fridge.

Note:  If you add the salt earlier, the beans will not crisp up, as they should.  In my electric oven, I think I baked mine approximately 45 minutes.  I tend to use a small baking dish, so that the chick peas are not in a single layer, because I think it helps the flavors meld and bubble, instead of simply soaking into the parchment paper.  Once you make this, you can tell if you want to increase any spice quantities to your liking next time.  One time I mixed up the spices and oil and then realized I only had one can of chick peas.  I made the dish anyway with what I had mixed up, and it still came out great.

Perfect Vegetable Chili with Quinoa

This is a VegWeb recipe.  For anyone who isn’t familiar with VegWeb, it’s a free online resource of vegans and vegetarians who post and review recipes.   This Vegetable Chili with Quinoa also has a can of refried beans in it.  The original recipe is very good and very mild.  I had to bump up the heat a bit.  Here below is my twist on it.  You can throw in whatever you have on hand, and if you don’t have something, don’t worry about it.  This makes a ton, at least 10 servings, so you’ll be able to freeze a bunch or serve a lot of people.  I tried to cut the carrots very finely but they were still a bit too firm, so next time, I would put the carrots in a food processor, or grate them by hand.  I served it with fresh sliced avocados, fresh chopped cilantro, vegan sour cream and corn bread muffins.  It would also be good with corn chips when watching the football game  I can’t even IMAGINE the staggering amount of protein and vitamins in this!


Makes:  10-12 servings

1 Tablespoon oil and 1 Tablespoon Earth Balance vegan butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 to 3 carrots, grated by hand or in food processor
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 teaspoons cumin
2 Tablespoons chili powder
3 cloves garlic, pressed, or crushed and minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used tomato puree this time)
1 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz. can refried beans (make sure they’re vegan)
1 Cup quinoa
1 to 2 Cups vegetable broth (try one cup and then add if needed)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast (optional)
avocados (garnish)
fresh cilantro, chopped (garnish)
Tofutti Sour Cream (garnish)

Heat oil and Earth Balance in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat.
Saute onions, carrots and celery until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper and garlic, and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
Add tomatoes (or tomato puree) and cook one minute.
Stir in refried beans and stir well to fully incorporate.
Add drained and rinsed black beans.
Bring to a simmer, then stir in broth and quinoa (you may not wish to add all of the broth).
Cook over medium heat until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes.
Season with salt, pepper, cayenne (don’t add salt until now).
If desired, add turmeric and nutritional yeast.
Serve piping hot with Tofutti Sour Cream, fresh chopped cilantro and freshly sliced avocados.  Corn bread is also good with this.  This tastes even better the next day.

Note:  This is a mild chili, so you may wish to put a bottle of hot sriracha sauce or a little can of jalapenos on the table.  p.s.  If you want a healthier corn bread,  here’s a different corn bread.

Butter Bean Canapes

This quick appetizer recipe is adapted from the cookbook “More Fast Food My Way” by Jacques Pepin.  The good news is that a lot of mainstream recipes are already vegan,  and we don’t have to modify them!  The only changes I made were to reduce the oil, salt and pepper.  I also used my own pickled red onions, but regular red onions are just fine.  I sliced a mini baguette thinly, brushed it with olive oil and crisped it in the oven.  Jacques Pepin just slices an unheated baguette and lets it soak up the juices, which sounds good too.  When I first saw this recipe, I thought to myself, “What is a butter bean?”  After looking online, I’m guessing that butter beans are simply large lima beans in a creamy color.  You can buy them organic if your local health food store carries them.  If not, I’ve tried two different supermarket brands of butter beans.  Bush brand beans are not quite as pretty as Hanover brand. I like the Hanovers because they are more uniformly cream in color.  Bush brand tends to have some gray-looking beans, although I’m sure they are perfectly edible.  You can make this recipe a day or two ahead, and it can sit out on the table for hours very well, and just tastes better as it warms up to room temperature.  Technically, this is also a type of salad and can be used as such.  Anyway, you can see the original recipe and watch Jacques Pepin actually making this dish here.

Vegan Butter Bean Canapes

1 15 oz. can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1T Dijon mustard
2 T fresh lemon juice, or the juice of one small lemon
3 T onion, chopped fine (I like to use my pickled red onions)
2 T fresh parsley, chopped fine
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed through a press
2 T extra virgin olive oil
¼ t salt and ¼ t pepper

Put everything but the beans together in a non-metal bowl, stir well.
Add beans, and gently toss in the mixture.

Option One:  Mound bean mixture on thin, unheated baguette slices, and let the bread soak up the juices.

Option Two:  Slice a baguette thinly, approx. ¼” wide. Lay slices on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

Makes enough appetizers or side dish for 4-6 people.