Mexican Refried Beans

Source: More-with-Less Cookbook
Date tried:July 4, 2017
Yield: 5-6 servings
Time needed: 3 hours

Prior preparation needed
Soak dried beans overnight

This requires time not work. This recipe is quite plain, suitable for an everyday side dish. Easy to add flavour by adding spices and additional sautéed vegetables such as mushrooms, garlic or chopped bell or chili pepper.

Mexican Refried Beans

Mexican Refried Beans
1 lb. dried pinto, pink, or kidney beans
6 cups water
2 onions, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup hot bacon drippings, margarine or lard
salt to taste

Place soaked beans and onions in 6 cups water and bring to a boil.
Turn heat down, cover and simmer slowly until beans are tender (about 3 hours).
Drain, and mash beans with a potato masher.
Add bacon drippings and mix well while continuing to cook.
Cook until beans are thickened and fat is absorbed.

Variations:
Use soy or garbanzo beans instead of pinto or kidney beans.

Keep half of onion out of simmering stage.
When beans are cooked, use bacon drippings to sauté uncooked onions.
Mash 1/4 cup of beans at a time into pan, letting it fry a short time before pushing to the side and adding more.
Simmer 10 minutes to finish.

Refried bean casserole:
Add chili powder, cumin and tomato paste to mashed beans.
Place in a greased casserole, sprinkle with cheese, and keep hot in oven until ready to serve.

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Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Made: September 27, 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Time to make: 25 to 35 minutes

Prior preparation needed
Cook garbanzo beans

This is a wonderful and elegant dish!  The ingredient list is very long and it takes some fancy footwork to put it together, but it is definitely worth the effort.  As is often the case with a skillet dish, most of the work takes place before you start heating the pan.  I soon found the simplest thing to do was to prepare several sub-sections of the recipe, put each in a container, then use each container as needed.  So by the time I began heating the oil this is what I had on my counter:

Beans: whether you cook your own or open a can, drain and set aside
Vegetables: put chopped and sliced onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms all in a bowl
Seasoning: a small bowl held the dillweed, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, mustard, salt, pepper, mashed garlic and horseradish
Stock and white wine: mixed together in a large mug
Milk & egg beaten together
Tomato sauce: with dry milk, brown sugar, dry mustard and vinegar
Finally, in separate containers, measured amounts of water and couscous

Sweet & Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights
Oil for sautéing
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
½ lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 medium carrots, sliced
1-2 tsp. dillweed
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp. parsley
1-2 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 cups seasoned stock
½ to 1 cup white wine
2-3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup dry milk
¼ cup brown sugar
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
¼ cup vinegar
5 cups cooked couscous

Heat oil in a large skillet, wok or Dutch oven.
Add onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots.  Sauté until onion is translucent.
Add dillweed, bay leaf, parsley, horseradish, garlic, salt and pepper and ½ of the dry mustard.
Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is a good time to begin heating water in bottom of a double boiler.

After the vegetables and seasonings have been cooking for 10 minutes, add the seasoned stock and white wine. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

Heat the milk egg mixture in the top of the double boiler.  As it cooks, add the dry milk, brown sugar, tomato sauce, vinegar and the remaining half of the dry mustard, whisking in each addition. Continue stirring frequently as sauce thickens.

Bring measured water to a boil.
When hot, add couscous, cover and let sit 5 minutes.

Finally, add garbanzo beans to the simmering vegetables.
This bean-vegetable mix should have the consistency of a thick soup. If necessary, thicken with cornstarch.

To serve: place some couscous on each plate.
Top with bean-vegetable mixture.
Pour sauce over all.
Enjoy the compliments.

White Chili

Source: Simply in Season
Date tried:May 24, 2017
Yield: 4 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes max.

Prior preparation
Both beans and chicken need to be cooked in advance.
Great way to use leftovers of these ingredients. Plan previous weeks menus with this in mind.

The name comes from substitutions made to a standard chili recipe:
-white navy beans replace red kidney beans
-chicken replaces ground beef
-white sauce replaces tomato sauce

I enjoyed this dish very much.

White Chili

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Sweet & Pungent Vegetable Curry

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: April 2, 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes

Prior preparation needed
Soak and cook beans

This is a thick, sweet curry sauce to serve over rice, bulgur or whatever you please.  I chose to use adzuki beans today.

Soybeans or lima beans would have made a better picture and also allowed the curry flavour to stand out more.  But it is a very good dish whatever the colour of the beans.

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Middle East Tacos

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: May 16, 2015
Yield: 10 tacos
Time needed: 45 minutes including 30 minutes resting time

The filling here is essentially a homemade hummus and once that has sat long enough for the flavours to blend, the meal is a cinch to put together. In fact, it’s a perfect occasion for letting folks make their own at the table. I used taco shells, but you can also use pita breads cut in half to hold the filling, or simply spread on crackers and serve beside the salad fixings.

Middle East Tacos

Middle East Tacos

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Boiled Egg in Lentil Sauce

Source: The Recipe of Love
Date tried: July 6, 2014
Yield: 6 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes

Prior Preparation Needed
Hardboil eggs
Prepare Berbere Mixture

A surprisingly quick dish to make and suitable for lunch. It cries out for injera.  If you don’t have any on hand, serve with a soft bread that will absorb the sauce, as it is quite spicy. The picture shows potato bread.

Boiled Egg in Lentil Sauce

Boiled Egg in Lentil Sauce

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Hot Tamale Pie

Source: May All Be Fed: Diet for a New World
Date tried: June 19, 2014
Yield: 1 8” square pie
Time needed: 1 hour (using cooked beans)

This is one of my favorite recipes from this cookbook.  Used canned beans or cook them ahead of time.  Once the vegetables are chopped up, the process is fast and simple.  Within 15 minutes you have the pie in the oven.

In spite of the name, I find this only mildly spicy.  But tastes vary.  Feel free to increase the quantities of chili powder and/or cayenne to taste.

One change I made in the process was to put only 2 of the 3 cups of water on to boil when beginning the cornmeal crust. I mixed the cup of cornmeal with the remaining cup of cold water.  Then I added the lemon juice and mustard to this mix.  When the water boiled I had a single cup of combined ingredients to add to it.

I find with cornmeal, flour or any fine grain, such as cream of wheat, it is much easier to make a paste with cold water first, then add it to the boiling water, stirring quickly.  Much less chance of lumps forming in the porridge or gravy. For some reason, many cookbooks do not incorporate this procedure in their recipe instructions.

This recipe keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just reheat in the oven for 30 minutes.  (Actually it’s good cold, too.)

 

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