everything here is eatable

Mostly-vegan low-fat whole foods recipes

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yelloweye Pea Cassoulet

All I wanted yesterday was comfort food...not for any reason in particular, things are pretty okay right now, but I just wanted rich, warm goodness....and a basic cassoulet is what kept coming to mind. Plus, we had these bags of yelloweye peas hanging around which were just begging to be cooked up. Yelloweye peas, also called butterscotch calypso beans, are off-white beans with a brown/yellow eye. I included a picture of them from the Cook's Thesaurus (because I'm too lazy to go to the kitchen and take a picture of the ones I have...). They say you can use Great Northern beans as a substitute but, if there is any way for you to get them, I wouldn't sub them out. They cook up incredibly soft and creamy and they have a great flavor....very smooth and nutty. I've only ever seen them for sale at one store (the Market Basket in Burlington, MA) but from the info I found, they are probably more readily available the farther south you go. But anyway, they are are awesome and work well in place of the usual white beans used in cassoulets.

Yelloweye Pea Cassoulet

1 cup dry yelloweye peas or white beans, soaked for at least 5 hours
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped into 1/4" pieces
2-3 small turnips, peeled and cubed into 1/4" cubes (can use potatoes)
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
pinch of ground sage
pinch of paprika
pinch of nutmeg
1-2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper (I used black, white would be better)
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt/braggs to taste

Place beans, veggies except the peas and seasonings except vinegar, nooch and salt in a stock pot. Add water just enough to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer until beans are very soft and beginning to form a bit of a "gravy," adding more water only if necessary. You want there to only be a little bit of stock, like a very thick stew. You can do all of the above in a pressure cooker...it took about 20 minutes with a quick release.

Add the peas, nooch and vinegar, taste for seasoning and add salt or braggs if necessary (I ended up adding about 1 tsp braggs). If the stock seems thin, smash some of the beans against the side of the pot and then let the whole thing simmer for a bit to thicken it up.

Serve over steamed veggies (we had it over steamed red cabbage) or rice or whatever you want. I used to eat cassoulets over a thick slice of hearty bread. Serves 4.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Creamy Adzuki Bean Soup

For some reason, we can't seem to find adzuki beans here in Syracuse. I haven't really searched, but no where we normally shop has them. So when we were in Boston a few weeks ago, we hit up Whole Foods and bought a big bag of bulk adzukis, on top of lots of other things (Wildwood unsweetened plain soy yogurt!). They are such a lovely bean, so red and little and cute, and they cook up with such a wonderful nourishing flavor. When I want something Asian-y, I rarely think of beans in a minimally processed form and usually go for tempeh or tofu, but adzukis lend themselves to asian spices quite well. This soup is really easy to make, especially with a pressure cooker or starting with canned beans and is the perfect soup for a cold winter night...very rich without being too heavy and with a slightly spicy (or more so if you prefer) flavor that warms you up nicely. It may not be a pretty soup (hence my hiding the picture of the actual soup down at the bottom of the post) but it makes up for it.

Creamy Adzuki Bean Soup

1 1/4 c dry adzuki beans (pre-soak if not using a pressure cooker) or 2 cans canned (if you can't get adzuki beans, small red beans could probably be used here)
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp grated ginger
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp chinese 5-spice powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce/tamari (I used Braggs)
2 tsp-1 tbsp white miso paste
3 cups frozen/6 cups fresh mustard greens or other strong-flavored greens
1 cup frozen peas

Pressure cooker directions: In a 4-6 quart pressure cooker, combine the beans, onion, garlic, carrot, ginger, and spices, minus the soy sauce and miso. Add 5-6 cups water, enough to cover the ingredients with about an inch or so of water. Bring to pressure over high heat then reduce heat until the pressure guage is rocking gently. Let cook for about 20 minutes then release the pressure using a quick release method (I run the pot under cold water until the pressure releases).

Non-pressure cooker: Combine the pre-soaked beans, onion, garlic, carrot, ginger and spices minus the soy sauce and miso in a stock pot with 4-6 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the beans are tender then proceed as written below.

Add the soy sauce and the miso and stir until the miso has dissolved, then, using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Or blend in batches in a blender or food processor. Return to the stove and turn the burner to low. Add the greens and peas. Continue to cook until the veggies are cooked/thawed, but do not bring back to a boil (boiling kills all the miso goodies). Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serves 4, or, if you live here, two.

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