Simple Black Bean Spread

Eating “bread” (aka sandwiches) for lunch everyday is standard in Holland. A common sandwich usually involves buttering your bread plus one ‘topping’. So: cheese + butter; jam + butter; “syrup” + butter; peanut butter + butter. No peanut butter AND jelly, no meat AND cheese. Adding more than one veggie to your sandwich? No no no no. Apparently it’s some kind of lunchtime sacrilege. I digress. Generally, if going vegan in Holland, you have to get creative with what you put on your sandwiches. Enter- the (very easy) black bean spread:

Ingredients (makes enough for sandwiches for the week for two people):

  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 onion, chopped into chunks
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender/food processor… and blend/process away! The end result should be pretty creamy but still have a few chunks here in there
  2. Spread on bread alone, or add some salsa to spice things up even more!

Eet smakelijk!

Simple Pumpkin Chickpea Curry

This is an autumn take on a similar recipe “Coconut Chickpea Curry“. This makes enough for 2-3 adults for dinner two nights in a row. We made new rice each night, which was a great way to keep your leftovers feeling fresh! Turmeric (used in this recipe) is also an anti-inflammatory- always a nice to have an added benefit to a delicious meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 bag of frozen chopped pumpkin (or one pumpkin seeded, skinned and chopped)
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 bag/box frozen green peas
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Saute chopped onions in oil until translucent in a big pot. Add pumpkin and saute for an additional couple of minutes.
  2. Add in coconut milk, turmeric, and salt to onion/pumpkin mix. Stir in chickpeas and green peas. The pot should be full of goodies and just enough liquid mixture to cover everything.
  3. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn heat down to low, and let curry simmer for 1/2-1 hour (depending on how much time you have), stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve warm over a bed of rice!

Leftovers turned into Delicious Four Layer Dip

Ingredients:

  • Leftover rice and beans from Easy Fancy Rice & Beans (or you can make double, and use half for this recipe!)
  • Jar of salsa or 1 cup of homemade salsa
  • 1 onion, finely chopped

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (or 400°F).
  2. In a baking dish, smush down a layer of the tomato rice. Then layer on a thin layer of salsa. Layer the re-fried black beans. Layer on the remainder of the salsa. Top off with a layer of the chopped onions.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until onions start to crisp. Serve while hot either in a bowl for dinner or as dip for your favorite chips!

Bulgur with Wilted Spinach

This was a real winner at home. The flavors were fantastic together!

Ingredients (this makes enough for four adults):

  • 400g dry bulgur (About 1 3/4 cups)
  • 800ml veggie stock (About 3 1/2 cups)
  • Bunch of wild spinach (or whatever fresh spinach you can get your hands on)
  • 6 tomatoes, sliced and de-seeded
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (or 1 1/2 cup if you’re in an olive-mood)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Preparation:

  1. First prepare the bulgur: Place the bulgur in with the veggie stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to lowest setting for about 7 minutes. Stir. Then take it off the heat completely and let sit until veggie stock has been absorbed.
  2. While the bulgur is still warm and the veggie stock has been absorbed/cooked off, start folding in the spinach. Do this a bit at a time until it all fits in the pot and is wilted.
  3. Move bulgur+spinach into a big bowl. Add in kalamata olives, tomatoes, onion and olive oil. Toss well. Serve warm (on the first day)! And serve cold as leftovers!

Fantastic Falafel

We made this on Tuesday, it was supremely delicious and good enough for two meals for two grown adults! (Though I’m sure my mother still doesn’t consider me a grown adult.)

Ingredients (makes 20 falafel patties):

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • handful of fresh de-stemmed cilantro (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
  • handful of fresh de-stemmed parsley (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach (1/2-3/4 cup)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Breadcrumbs (1/4-1/2 cup)
  • Breadcrumbs (1/4 cup) and flax seeds (1/4 cup) for rolling the patties in

Assembly:

  1. Set 1/2 cup of chickpeas aside. Combine the rest of the chickpeas, cilantro, parsley, spinach, garlic powder, onion, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Blend all ingredients– we used an emulsion blender in the bowl! (Can also use a blender or food processor.) Don’t overdo the blending!
  3. Add in the whole chickpeas that were set aside (adds some texture!). Add in the breadcrumbs slowly and mix until the chickpea-dough is dry enough to form patties.
  4. Create small patties, about two inches in diameter. Roll the patties in breadcrumb and flax-seed mixture. (You can omit flax seeds if you don’t have them on hand.) Refrigerate or freeze the patties you don’t plan on eating right away.
  5. Heat a greased skillet to medium-high heat. Let the falafel patties bake on each side for approximately 5 minutes of the pre-heated skillet, or until browned. (Alternatively, bake in oven pre-heated to 200°C (or 400°F), 10 minutes on each side).

Serving suggestions:

  • We served this with sliced avocado, red onion, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber on pita. We also used a vegan-friendly sweet chilli sauce. A fantastic combination of flavors!
  • You can also serve the falafel over a salad if you want to omit the pita and go a gluten-free route! Just as delicious!

 

 

Orzo Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 tomatoes, carefully gutted through the top of tomato with a small knife/spoon
  • 1 bag of spinach, or a couple of bunches of wild spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pesto (see recipe)
  • 250g of orzo or “risoni”
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (or 400°F). Grease a small oven pan with a bit of olive oil.
  2. Prepare orzo as directed on package.
  3. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. As the onion becomes translucent, add in spinach slowly until it all cooks down. Add in the prepared orzo and pesto. Toss until well mixed. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Put the tomatoes in the small baking dish, make sure they are steady enough not to topple over in the oven. Spoon the orzo mixture generously into each tomato.
  5. In the preheated oven, bake for 15 minutes- or until skin on tomatoes gets soft and starts to break (see photos).
  6. Let cool, and serve on a bed of the extra orzo!

Notes: You can add other veggies to the orzo (i.e. zucchini, mushrooms). You can also stuff extra tomatoes if you don’t want to serve on a bed of orzo.