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.

Sweet & Pungent Vegetable Curry
2 cups cooked soybeans, kidney beans, lima beans or a mixture with cooking liquid.
2-3 Tbsp. oil
4 carrots, cut diagonally
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 Tbsp. hot curry powder (or more if you like)
¼ cup flour
¾ cup raisins
¾ cup cashews
3 Tbsp. mango chutney
3½ cups mixed cooked brown rice and bulgur wheat

Heat oil and sauté carrots, onions and zucchini until onions are translucent,
Add curry powder and flour.  Mix well and sauté 1 minute.
Add beans along with their cooking liquid.
Simmer until carrots are tender but not soft.
Add raisins, cashews and mango chutney.
Add more liquid if necessary, but sauce should be thick.
Simmer until raisins are soft.
Serve over the cooked grains.

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

Middle Eastern Tacos
3 cups well-cooked garbanzo beans, aka chick peas (1 cup uncooked) with reserved bean cooking liquid
1/2 cup ground toasted sesame seeds or 1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
10 pitas or wheat tortillas
Garnishes: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, chopped onion
1 1/2 cups yogurt or grated cheese

Purée together the beans, sesame seeds, garlic, lemon juice, coriander, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper, adding bean cooking liquid (or water) if necessary to make blending easy.
Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare your garnishes.

If using pita, cut each in half, fill pockets half-full of bean mixture. If you like, heat them in the oven, then add garnishes.

If using tortillas, fry the tortillas until soft but not crisp.

Let everyone add garnishes as they please.
Top with a scoop of yogurt or grated cheese.

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


Boiled Egg in Lentil Sauce
6 boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 cup red lentils, washed and soaked for 15 minutes.
1 large red onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. berbere mixture (or hot chili paste)
2 cups water
3 Tbsp. red wine
4 Tbsp. garlic & ginger mix
1 tsp. allspice
sea salt to taste

Set lentils on to soak.
On medium heat, brown the onion in a large frypan or wok.
Add olive oil and stir 2-3 minutes
Add 2 Tbsp. water.
Add the berbere mix and stir constantly 5-10 minutes.
Add the 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Drain the lentils and add.  Reduce heat and cook 5 minutes.
Add wine and the garlic-ginger mix. Reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
Add allspice and salt to taste.
Poke eggs with a fork and add to sauce.
Let simmer for 10 minutes, then serve.

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.)


Hot Tamale Pie
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper (red, yellow or green), seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 16-oz can unsweetened tomato sauce
1 16-oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed
1 ear corn kernels cut off cob or 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
3 cups water
1 cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.
Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic.
Cook until softened (6-8 minutes)
Remove from heat.
Stir in the tomato sauce, beans, corn, chili powder, salt, cumin and cayenne.
Pour into an 8” by 8” baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350oF

Boil the water (or use process outlined above).
Add cornmeal, lemon juice, mustard and salt and stir until mixed.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then immediately reduce heat to low.
Simmer, stirring often until thickened (3-5 minutes)

Spread the cornmeal mixture over the bean mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Soybean Granola

Source: More-with-Less Cookbook
Date tried: September 25, 2016
Yield: 2 quarts
Time needed: 30 minutes or less.

This is an easy recipe to prepare. Despite the relatively low oven heat, it takes only 15 minutes in the oven. But like most granolas, it still bears close watching. Stir about every 5 minutes to avoid uneven browning.

You might like to try cooking and roasting your own soybeans. It is not hard to do, but it is time-consuming. I used a soybean snack purchased at the Indian supermarket.

Soybean Granola

Soybean Granola

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Calico Baked Beans for a Crowd

Source: More-with-Less Cookbook
Date tried: September 24, 2016
Yield: 10-12 servings
Time needed: 2 hours (+ prior preparation of any dried beans used)

This is a beautiful and tasty baked bean dish. No wonder it is recommended for a crowd! But don’t wait for that excuse to try it. I cut the quantities by four and had enough for two single servings.Most of these beans can be purchased in a can, and I found green limas in the frozen food section.

If you do start with dried beans, several varieties can be soaked and cooked together. Reserve the cooking liquid when draining. (Also the liquid from canned beans.) One cup dried beans normally yields 2 1/2 cups cooked.

Calico Baked Beans single serving

Calico Baked Beans single serving

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Peasant Soup

Source: Ecological Cooking
Date tried: March 1, 2014
Yield: 8 servings
Time needed: 90 minutes

Prior preparation needed:
Soak beans overnight or bring to boil, let cook a few minutes, cover and let stand one hour before proceeding with recipe.

This soup brings back memories of my childhood, especially those days when Daddy decided Mum deserved a day off and chose to make supper for us.  We always looked forward to Daddy’s suppers.  He was no great chef; he didn’t try anything fancy, never followed a recipe or even did a special shopping, so far as I can recall.  Just looked in the cupboard and fridge and started putting things together in a stew pot.  More often than not it was some sort of macaroni stew.

Peasant Soup

Peasant Soup

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