Bountiful Beans

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili with Tomatillos

Sweet Potato Chili from Leslie Cerier

This sweet and spicy stew is a fun and unusual take on chili. And if you happen to have leftovers, it tastes even better a day or two later. Kelp may seem like an unusual ingredient here, but it has several benefits: it makes the beans more digestible, and it also contains flavor-enhancing compounds and loads of minerals and vitamins. Copyright © 2010 Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook* by Leslie Cerier (New Harbinger, Inc). All rights reserved. Used by permission of the publisher and author.

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Curried Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk

Curried Lentil Soup from Leslie Cerier

For centuries, spices have been used to create delicious and nourishing meals. Aromatic herbs and spices, also known as carminatives, improve digestion and make zesty, globally inspired dishes. The key to making beans easier to digest is to cook them from scratch, adding sea vegetables like dulse along with carminative herbs and spices. Adapting this main course soup to the seasons is easy: You can use fresh tomatoes, summer squash, spinach, and eggplant in the summer; canned tomatoes, carrots, yams, or butternut squash in the fall and winter. Recipe excerpted with permission from Going Wild in the Kitchen,* by Leslie Cerier, © 2005, Square One Publishers, Inc. Photos by Tracey Eller.

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Pinto Bean, Green Olive, & Sweet Potato Turnovers

Pinto Bean, Green Olive, & Sweet Potato Turnovers

I think I could eat one of these turnovers every day for lunch and be quite happy. They have everything I love: beans, olives, sweet potato, smoky cumin and crust. Especially crust. I like to make a big batch and put half in the freezer. Serve with salsa and/or cashew sour cream if you’d like. If you’re not into making your own dough, use vegan puff pastry. Or go super simple and stuff whole wheat tortillas with the warm filling. Recipe and photo contributed by Annie Oliverio of An Unrefined Vegan. Annie is the author of the forthcoming Crave Eat Heal: Plant-based, Whole-food Recipes to Satisfy Every Craving  * (April, 2015).

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Classic Veggie Chili with Lots of Variations

Classic veggie chili and cornbread

This chili recipe isn’t revolutionary, but a plant-based repertoire wouldn’t be complete without it. For a classic combo, serve with Corn Kernel Cornbread and a colorful salad, combining mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, olives, and pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→

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Black Bean and Zucchini Tortilla Casserole

Black bean and zucchini tortilla casserole chilaquiles recipe

Chilaquiles is a classic Southwestern casserole that layers soft corn tortillas with beans and cheese (vegan in this case). Adding zucchini and chiles adds to the lively flavors. This makes for a nice change-of-pace holiday main dish, but this is also easy enough to make for weeknight meals. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. more→

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Cold Avocado and Green Pea Soup

Cold Avocado and pea soup

Cold soups are one of my favorite ways to feel refreshed in the summer heat. What makes any cold soup even better for me is if it needs no cooking at all, like this one featuring ripe avocados and fresh peas. And it adds gorgeous burst of green to the table, as well. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin.

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French Lentil Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

French Lentil Salad by Sharon Palmer from Plant-Powered for Life

Beans aren’t the only member of the legume family worth celebrating. Lentils, packed with fiber and protein, are just as nutritious. Plus they cook up—no soaking required—in only 15 to 20 minutes. A French ami shared her mother’s traditional recipe for lentil salad with me years ago. This simple salad, seasoned with a French vinaigrette, is classic dish in France. It makes a wonderful, protein-rich highlight of any meal. Because the flavors continue to meld, it’s also great the next day. Recipe from Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes, © 2014 Sharon Palmer. Reprinted with permission from The Experiment.

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Vegan Niçoise-Style Salad

Vegan Salad Niçoise

Salade niçoise is a beautifully composed salad of French origin that looks fancy but is incredibly easy to make. The traditional version is often made with tuna, but here the fish is replaced with baked tofu, which makes a great stand-in. And the array of ingredients—white beans or chickpeas, slender green beans, tomatoes, and olives—makes it a splendid main dish salad for a summer meal, either on busy weeknights or festive occasions. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.   more→

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