Mexican style Navy beans with Mushrooms

Last night I finally to used the dry Navy beans that were at the back of the pantry for the last 10 months. They are a small white bean that were popular in the US in the early c.20th and are great for making baked beans. They go great with rice for a ‘fat-free high quality protein’. They are rich in cholesterol-lowing dietary fiber, which helps to stop your blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after you eat. Therefore they are great for people with insulin resistance or hypoglycaemia. They are also an excellent source of folate, manganese, protein, vitamin B1, minerals phosphorus, copper, and iron.

In Australia I don’t think you can buy Navy beans in the can and its always better to cook them from dry, to cut down the possible bpa and excess sodium intake. Usually when I have some spare time at home I like to cook the beans that I have pre soaked and then just put them in the fridge for when I need them.

As I had some left over Mujadara from a couple of nights ago, I just added some more steamed rice and then reheated it in the pan with a bit of olive oil. As I said after I made the Mujadara, I think it needs more rice then the recipe suggests. Last night I also served it with guacamole, which went really well, with the heat from the sauce.

Mexican style Navy beans with Mushrooms (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1.5 cups navy beans (soaked over night)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 onion, diced

2 tablespoons ground cumin

3/4 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon curry powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons diced coriander stems

200g mushrooms, sliced

1 tin diced tomato

1.5 cups vegetable stock

2 pinches of raw sugar

2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Take a large sauce pin,  fill it with 5 cups of water and add navy beans. Bring to the boil, then simmer for up to 30-40 mins or till beans are tender.

2. In a large pan heat  on medium olive oil and then add garlic and onion, cook till brown. (add water if it sticks)

3. Add cumin, cayenne, curry powder, garlic powder, paprika, tomato paste,  coriander stems and mushrooms Cook for 3-4 mins, till fragrant and the mushrooms have browned.

4. Then add diced tomato,vegetable stock, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to the boil then put on a simmer.

5. Add beans and cook for 30 mins or until the beans are tender. Adjust seasoning and serve.

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Curried Millet Cakes with Red Pepper Coriander Sauce & Mujadara

I finally received my copy Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook this week, but tonight was the first night I have had a chance to cook from it. If you have been living in a cave and haven’t heard of the documentary Forks Over Knives I really recommend that you check it out. I saw it last year and I was blown away. Its like the bible, once you have seen the light you just want to share it with everyone you know. I try to make everyone who will listen to me watch it. It has also had a great impact on lots of celebrities as well. I guess the great thing about this documentary is that the two main cast members are actually scientists, who were both brought up on dairy farms and have spent their lives researching health, food and cancers. To get the info straight from the people who are in the industry and know first hand the effects that food have on our bodies is amazing.

One of my inspirations to pursue a vegan lifestyle came from the knowledge I got from this film. However, since I watched it I was curious how I could make the kind of foods that they speak about. One of the hardest things for me to cut down on is my oil. I love extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil and avocado oil. Many nutritionist say we need these good oils, but that is one thing that is a big different in what these guys preach. So tonight I tried to cook for the first time without oil. Instead of oil to brown my onions I used water. I thought they would be really watery, but actually they still browned and became sweet. So really it was not a big problem. Maybe the taste would of been a bit different, but it wasn’t noticeable. Any reason to cut down my fat intake at dinner, so I can indulge for dessert sounds good to me.

Roasting capsicums on the stove

The millet cakes and sauce were not what I expected and look very different to the picture in the book. It was only my second time cooking with millet before. The last time I tried to make

After roasting capsicums

macrobiotic ‘mash potato’, using cauliflower instead of potato. It wasn’t bad for me, but wasn’t a hit with Marco. I think the millet cakes really need the sauce. Alone sauce is bland and the millet cakes are extreme, but together they really fit. Today was also the first time I’ve ever roasted my own capsicums on the gas stove. I know it not complicated, but cooking with fire has always freaked me out. It is also a lot quicker then roasting them for 40 mins. I think it only took me 10-15 mins to do them. It is really simple. Just place the capsicum on the flame and rotate them so all the skin becomes black, then peal the skin off once they have cooked down. My boyfriend’s Serbian mother, who has prepared many a paprika’s in her time, gave me some tips. She said its better to place the capsicums in a covered pot, so that the blacken skin will peel away easier. For the Mujadara, I used the rest of my French Lentils, even though the recipe called for green lentils. I also used some curry powder and a lot of extra salt as I found it a bit bland. I think its a great base recipe the could be improved with some more herbs and spices. I think it also needs more rice, as the recipe only called for 3/4 cup of rice. I found that there wasn’t enough rice to lentils, so next time I will add more. Mujadara is a popular recipe in the Middle East and different cultures use different ingredients to flavour it. Such as cumin, coriander or mint,  fried onions, melted butter, and served hot or cold, often with yogurt.

Curried Millet Cakes (gf, nf)

Ingredients: 3 cups vegetable stock, 1 cup millet, 1 yellow onion diced, 4 cloves garlic diced, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 2 tbsp white miso dissolved in 1/4 cup water (i forgot the water), 2 tbsp tomato puree (I used paste), 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, salt to taste.

1.Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2. Bring vegetable stock to boil, then add the millet. Cook for 20 mins, so that it millet is tender.

3. Sauté onion in a large pan for 7-8 mins, adding water so it doesn’t stick.

4. Add garlic, curry powder, pepper flakes, and cook for 1 min.

5. Take off heat then add miso, tomato paste and nutritional yeast. Then mix in the millet.

6. Take 2 baking trays with baking paper and place millet mixture in the form of a pattie (about 12). Then bake in the oven for 15 mins

Red Pepper Coriander Sauce (gf, nf)

Ingredients- packet of extra firm silken tofu, 2 large roasted capsicums, 3 cloves garlic chopped, 1/4 cup coriander, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, 1 lime juiced and zested.

1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. (I used a bar mix, so I had to add a bit of water and it still wasn’t as runny).

2. Heat in a small pot before added to the millet cakes.

Mujadara (Lentils with Rice and Caramelized Onions) (gf, sf, nf)

Ingredients- 1 1/2 green lentils (I used French Lentils), 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground all spice, 3/4 brown basmati rice (I used white organic medium grain- but basmati would be better), 3 large yellow onions diced, salt and pepper, I added: 4 cloves of garlic diced, 1 tbsp curry powder.

1. Bring to the boil the lentils with 5 cups of water and then cook on a simmer for 30 mins.

2. Add cinnamon and all spice and continue to cook for 15-20 mins more.

3. Cook rice on the stove or in a rice cooker.

3. In a large fry pan, saute onions and garlic for 10mins on a high heat. Adding water so it doesn’t stick. Add curry powder, then cook for a further 10 mins on a medium heat.

4. Once onions are brown, add lentils and rice, salt and pepper.