For my deluge of cauliflower recipes, I really appreciated Eileen’s comment about food trends. Basically, she said seeing an ingredient repeatedly can actually be quite boring. So in that vein, instead of reviewing the more popular vegan options, I thought I’d share a hidden gem: Meatless All Day.
At first, I was hesitant to review it because it is not a vegan-only cookbook. Instead, there is a mix of vegan and vegetarian options. Vegan options are clearly marked but in the rest of the cookbook, some recipes use eggs and cheese (and sometimes butter, but that is an easily solvable problem). However, the recipes are inventive and even if you are vegan, you can gain inspiration from different combinations of ingredients or the gorgeous photography. I am itching to try the Miso-Glazed Tofu which was inspired by Nobu’s Miso-Glazed Black Cod (which I loved in my pre-vegan days).
In truth, the real reason I wanted to touch bases with the publisher was because I desperately wanted to share this recipe. Because I know my beans recipes, and this was possibly one of my favourite bean dishes to date.
Black beans are simmered with a Farmhouse ale, cumin, tomatoes, a touch of coconut milk and lime juice and if you ask me, the best part was using the roasted hatch chiles. They are a fairly mild chile but add a lot of flavour which melded so well with the rest of this dish. The dish hit all the markers: sweet, salty, spicy and bitter perfectly.
For the beer haters in the audience (that’s me!), you cannot taste the bitter hoppiness (thank goodness!) but it adds a different dimension to the beans. If you are a beer hater and unsure what to make with the rest of your can of beer, may I suggest beer-soaked fries?
A side of roasted plantain chips would be great too. The original recipe was actually a Cuban Black Bean Stew with plantain chips, but I simmered away the stock until it became a caramelized thick coating instead. Delicious. And easier to transport as lunch leftovers, too. Do I know why it is considered Cuban? Not at all..
Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to share the recipe (with my modifications, of course) AND giveaway the cookbook to a reader ANYWHERE in the world! BOOYAH! To be entered in the random draw for the cookbook, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite meatless meal. The winner will be selected at random on March 15, 2014. Good luck!
PS. This is my submission to this month’s My Legume Love Affair.
Cuban Beer-Infused Black Beans
Adapted from Meatless All Day
1 tbsp coconut oil, or oil of choice
1 small onion, diced
1 medium finely chopped red bell pepper (~1 cup)
2 tbsp roasted hatch chiles (I used the canned ones from Trader Joe’s)
3 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup mild beer (the recipe recommended a lager but we used Shiner’s Farmhouse Ale)
3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 x 15 oz cans of black beans), rinsed and drained (I used Rancho Gordo’s Negro de Arbol beans)
3/4 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup water (or vegetable broth)
1 tsp nutritional yeast (if not using broth)
1/4 tsp no salt seasoning (ie, TJ’s 21-Spice Salute)
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp low-sodium tamari
salt, to taste
chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. In a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Once hot, add the onions and red bell pepper. Saute until softened, around 5 minutes. Add roasted chiles, garlic and cumin and saute until the garlic is fragrant, around 1-2 minutes more. Add tomato paste and cook until slightly browned. Deglaze with the beer and simmer for a minute. Stir in the beans, coconut milk, water/broth, nutritional yeast, no salt seasoning, lime juice and tamari. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened and the flavours meld, around 15 minutes. Season with additional salt, if desired. Top with cilantro.