Bountiful Beans

Quesadillas with Black Beans, Broccoli, and Portobellas

Vegan quesadillas with black bean, broccoli, and porobella

These generous quesadillas, filled with black beans, broccoli, and portobella mushrooms, make a substantial one-dish meal that’s easily completed with a simple salad on the side. Using a judicious sprinkling of vegan cheese make these extra yummy, but if you object to vegan cheese, skip it. Note, however, that there will be nothing “queso” about these quesadillas, which are essentially embellished grilled cheese sandwiches made with tortillas (and usually embellished with other ingredients).  more→

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Red Lentil Soup with Spinach or Arugula

Red lentil soup3

Here’s a simple soup of quick-cooking red lentils, embellished with tender greens. It’s a warming homemade soup you can have on the table in less than 45 minutes. Once you’ve done the onion-garlic sauté, there’s very little additional work to do! Serve with fresh pita, croutons, or crispy pita chips that you can crumble right into the soup. The recipe yields a flavorful but mild soup; see notes on seasonings following the recipe if you’d like to kick it up a few notches.

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Curried Chickpeas with Chutney-Flavored Grains

Curried chickpeas with chutney-flavored grains

Curry-flavored chickpeas perched atop a bed of chutney-flavored grains (you can use either quinoa, bulgur, or couscous), making for an appealing grain-and-legume combination. Serve with a simply prepared vegetable — hardy greens, broccoli, or cauliflower — and a simple salad. Look for chutney in the international foods aisle of supermarkets or natural foods stores. Adapted from Vegan Express.

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Avocado and Pinto Bean Salad

Avocado and pinto bean salad

Here’s an easy salad with a Southwestern flair. A tasty combo of avocado and pinto beans, this goes well with simple quesadillas and other tortilla specialties that don’t themselves contain beans. This also makes a great portable lunch along with stoneground tortilla chips and some seasonal fruit. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→

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VegKitchen’s Vegan Chili Recipe Round-Up

Classic Vegetarian Chili; photo by Lori Maffei

There has rarely been a comprehensive collection of vegetarian or vegan recipes, in print or online, that didn’t include at least one recipe for chili. Bean-based chills are warming, hearty, and inexpensive. They’re as welcome for everyday meals as they are for parties and potlucks. They freeze well and are also a great lunchbox option. Here’s a handful of chili varieties to choose from. more→

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Smoky Lentil and Sweet Potato Chili

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Lentil chili is deliciously offbeat, especially with the addition of sweet potato. Smoky spices, intended for grilling, are readily available in the spice section of supermarkets, and add a bold but not overly hot flavor to the stew. I like to serve this with fresh greens, steamed or sautéed and a simple slaw-style salad. Stone-ground tortilla chips and some salsa are also welcome! more→

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Vegan Beanballs (for serving on pasta with marinara sauce)

Vegan beanballs and spaghetti

Made of beans, oatmeal (or quinoa flakes) and walnuts, there’s nothing “fake meat” about these beanballs. They’re super easy to make, too — basically you just throw everything into the food processor. While they’re baking, cook up your favorite kind of pasta. Once it’s done, add the kind of marinara sauce you like best — homemade Classic Marinara Sauce, or or your favorite natural purchased brand. Serve with a colorful salad, and, if you’d like, roast some broccoli and/or cauliflower in the oven at the same time that the beanballs are baking. Tip: set aside some of the marinara to spoon over the beanballs, once you arrange them atop the pasta. more→

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Italian Pasta and Bean Soup

Pasta and bean soup1

Like Minestrone, Italian Pasta and Bean Soup is a classic, sometimes referred to as pasta e fagiole. It’s a meal in a bowl that you can complete easily with fresh garlic bread and a big salad. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. more→

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