Tag Archives: beans

Easy Tex-Mex Brown Rice Salad

Planning your meals for the upcoming work week?  This dish is an easy and delicious make-ahead salad to take to school, work or any potluck gathering.

Easy Tex-Mex Brown Rice Salad

  • 3 cups cooked brown basmati rice
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil (omit for an oil-free dish)*
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 (14 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed (I use Eden beans)
  • good handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh organic corn kernels (frozen and thawed kernels work too)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • sea salt and tabasco sauce to taste

Place all of the above ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss to combine. Cover the salad and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Simple and so aromatic!

*More and more I am using less oil in my dishes and the outcome is just as delicious. If you are interested in reading more about olive oil and its use in recipes, I would like to direct you to a recent and excellent post by Paul at vegan food preparation.

Mango and Black Bean Salad

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Full of refreshing mango, this is a salad I normally make in the heart of the summer for picnics, potlucks and family gatherings at the lake.  When my husband recently came home from a work trip in Brazil with a big bag of mangoes, I immediately thought of this tangy and sweet salad.  I have been dreaming of the tropics.  Enough with this snow already!

This salad is awesome served on its own in a big bowl or on top of a bed of mixed greens or brown rice.  We have even enjoyed it as a topping for a veggie burger.  I tend to make it slightly different each time depending on the ingredients I have in the house.  Try, too, adding a cup of organic corn kernels, chopped avocados and a small handful of chopped parsley.

MANGO AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

  • 2 cups of cooked black beans*
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 mango, diced

Dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 small red chilli pepper, chopped finely (or use a good pinch of crushed red peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil OR 1/4 cup of garlic and chilli flax oil

Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  Top with dressing and toss lightly.

*If you own a crock pot, save the time and money by making slow cooker black beans.  Thanks to a recent post by dawdling darlings, I now keep a container of cooked black beans in my freezer for future recipes. These beans add protein plus fiber to any dish.  If choosing canned beans, I recommend Eden beans, as their cans are BPA-free.

mango

Vitamin D and a big bowl of stew

Where we live, if you wake up to a beautiful, mid-winter, sunny day, you grab your coat and hat and head outside!  We did just that on the weekend – for “a little vitamin D” as the saying goes. Sunshine can be rare these days, so we decided to celebrate this good weather with a little snowshoeing.

We got lots of exercise and fresh air, but the question is did we get our vitamin D?  You see, we live approximately 45 degrees north of the Equator.  This time of year the sun’s rays are not that strong.  However, when reflected off the snow, the sun’s ultra-violet rays double in strength.

Vitamin D is all the talk these days.  It is considered an important vitamin in the prevention of many acute illnesses and chronic diseases.  As the media continuously reports, most of us Canadians are deficient in this vitamin.

The best source of vitamin D is produced by our skin after sun exposure.  There are some food sources such as, fortified grains, fortified plant-based and animal-based milk, fish, and cod liver oil.  However, all these food sources have a minimal amount of vitamin D compared to what our bodies can make from the sun.

A plant-based diet is not the cause of a vitamin D deficiency.  A vitamin D deficiency is a sign of sunlight deficiency.

According to Dr. Matt Lederman, a lecturer in the Plant-Based Nutrition Program at Cornell, vitamin D is made by our bodies when 50% to 75% of our skin is exposed to UVB light.  That is, the sunlight we experience around noon hour.  If you have the skin type which easily burns and rarely tans, like myself, then only 15 minutes in the sun is required. The darker your skin type, the longer your skin should be exposed to sunlight.

Lederman also suggests that the day’s UV index must be 3 or higher for your body to make vitamin D.  If you check out this chart from Environment Canada for today, only a few cities in Canada, and these cities were in southern Ontario, ever got to a UV index of 3.

If getting vitamin D from the sun is unlikely due to your geographic location,  your inability to get outside in the sunlight, or your concern with unprotected sun exposure,  then supplementation may be required.

When taking vitamin D supplements, be cautious as to avoid toxicity.  I believe that supplements should be treated like medicine and taken under the care of a health care provider.  If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels, get some blood work done.

Vitamin D supplements are generally derived from sheep’s wool or fish oil.  Vitashine does make an organic, non GMO plant-based vitamin D supplement made from lichens.

sweetpotatostew

After a good few hours in the snow, we went home to a big bowl of Sweet Potato Lentil Stew.  It is hearty and absolutely perfect as a meal on a cold winter’s day.

This recipe comes from Dreena Burton’s cookbook, eat, drink and be vegan. You will find the exact recipe here.  I made the oil-free version and added an extra garlic. 🙂

Ally’s Vegan Chilli

“The snow is snowing and the wind is blowing but I can weather the storm!  What do I care how much it may storm? For I’ve got my love to keep me warm.”

Actually, my love happened to be away with work.  Somewhere very warm I may add.   At home, the girls and I worked feverishly throughout the day keeping the snow from piling on our walkway and driveway.  I think we shoveled snow at least 4 times yesterday before a very kind neighbour came along with his handy, dandy snow blower.

But, we had chilli to keep us warm.  It was a real treat to sit down to a bowl of Ally’s Chilli at the end of a hardworking afternoon!  Ally’s chilli is the perfect blend of spices to keep you toasty.

chilli_edited-2

This recipe comes from one of my favourite bloggers.  Ally is “an Aussie mamma” who writes passionately about vegan parenting and animal rights.  Her blog’s name is Made of Stars and it is truly brilliant!

I am thrilled that Ally shared her and her mom’s chilli recipe with me.  This recipe is simple (a perfect dish for a busy weekday) and it is 100% kid-approved – my 2 girls gave it a 2 thumbs up in between heaping spoonfuls!  Ally said that this chilli has become a staple in her house.  It will now be a staple in our house, too!

We ate a bowl of this alone for dinner.  (Well, my 9-year-old daughter actually ate 2 big bowls!) There was no need for anything else at our dinner table.

Ally’s Vegan Chilli

  • onion, chopped
  • filtered water (3 tbsp. approx.) for sauteing
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini squash, chopped (optional – I just had one staring at me from the fridge)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • VitoBio Organic diced tomatoes* (796 mL/28 fl.oz)
  • Eden Foods no salt added kidney beans* (398 mL/14 fl. oz), rinsed
  • Eden Foods no salt added black beans* (398 mL/14 fl.oz), rinsed
  • frozen corn (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (optional – I added this in to free up a jar in my pantry)
  • dash of dried chilli flakes (I added this to my bowl only, not to the pot)

Saute the onion in some water.  ( That’s right! This works just fine! No need to saute in oil and add extra fat to our diets!).  When onions have softened, add garlic and chopped zucchini.  Continue to saute for about 3 minutes then add the spices.

Add the can of tomatoes and salt and pepper. If you prefer, you can use an immersion blender and blend the tomatoes for a smoother consistency.  You can see from my photo that we like chunky tomatoes in our chilli so we did not puree them.   Add the beans.  Bring the pot up to boiling, then add quinoa, if you so desire.  Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for about 10 minutes.

*When it was time to make this dish, I turned to my well stocked pantry.  Yesterday, was not the day to sit around and wait for beans to soften in a pot.  So,  I used Eden Foods no salt added kidney beans and Eden Foods no salt added black beans.  Eden Foods do not line their cans with BPA.  They are actually the only canned bean that is BPA free.   I also used VitaBio Organic diced tomatoes (also contains no BPA or GMOs).  Having these foods in my pantry, makes following a healthy diet easier.