Bountiful Beans

Garlicky Black Bean and Summer Squash Soft Tacos

Black bean and squash tacos

The black bean base of these soft tacos has a wonderfully garlicky and smoky flavor. Yellow squash, chili peppers, and dried tomatoes add even more flavor and color. These are  easy to make and even easier to serve, as everyone assembles their own tacos at the table. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

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Chana Masala (Curried Chickpeas)

Chana masala - curried chickpeas

This simplified version of a popular Indian dish, chana masala, is a delightful way to showcase tasty chickpeas. The traditional version doesn’t usually contain green beans, but they do add color and texture to the dish. If you prefer, you can substitute a few ounces of fresh spinach or other leafy greens for the green beans. In addition to hot cooked grains, serve with fresh flatbread and a simple salad of tomatoes and cucumbers in a generous dollop of coconut yogurt. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→

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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 and spinach soup

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

Smoky Lentil Chili recipe

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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