Baked Beans & Pineapple Greens

Ever feel like eating greens, but don’t want black-eyed peas? That’s me. Do you crave BBQ? Yeah, me too. I LOVE BAKED BEANS. Let’s just get that way out into the front. I used anasazi beans to make these, and I just cheated by cooking them with packaged BBQ sauce and onion flakes. Hey, I’m busy sometimes. And it tasted great.

The pineapple greens are from Appetite for Reduction. I’m on the fence about them–they smelled like magical deliciousness. But they tasted a little on the bitter side–but it might be because I used the “mixed greens” bag from Trader Joe’s, not just collards. I’ll try it again, but yikes! The bitterness!

On the other side of the plate you see the awesome and easy Happy Herbivore cornbread. That is my go-to cornbread, I don’t think I’ll ever, ever make anything else. It’s magical.

 

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Oh, Smoothie

I don’t know that I have a lot of divine gifts, but the one I know I have is for smoothies. Apparently, ingesting many, many, many smoothies in my life granted me the ability to craft one myself with no recipe, or measuring. It was pure instinct, baby.

The smoothies I’ve been making lately follow the same pattern, so maybe that’ll be helpful: 2 T of vanilla hemp protein powder, 1 banana, about 1/2 cup mango chunks, 1/4 cup pineapple tidbits, 3 ice cubes, 1 tsp agave nectar, 2/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup orange juice. I’m obviously not sure if those measurements are completely correct.

But that’s the beauty of the smoothie! Just work at it until you get it right!

 

Mango Beans!

Oh, I really, really love mango. Mango smoothies, mango salsa, the old Chris Kattan character on SNL…you get it. I made these Mango BBQ Beans from Appetite for Reduction once before, and they didn’t turn out that great. This time, I decided to alter the recipe in two ways: 1. I added 1 TSP of sweet red chili sauce, and 2. I added a lot more veggie broth, and put rice in to cook with it. Of course, that little stunt doubled the cooking time, but it was so worth it. It took these beans from “meh” to a meal.

To round it out I served it with a little chopped pineapple we had leftover from another dish (is there ANYTHING better than fresh pineapple?) and some Jerk Asparagus, also from Appetite for Reduction. All around awesome meal, and I will totally be making this again in the future. Maybe I’ll even through the pineapple in with the beans next time! Whoa, slow down lady! You are living on the edge!

 

Courico Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

 

Have I written about these before? No! That seems impossible, since they are one of the most delicious foods on the face of the earth. This is the first dish I made my husband, lo those many months ago when I first became a vegan, that he actually thought was better than meat. Not just “as good as” or “would be good with” but “much better.”

It’s a dish from Vegan Brunch, but I always make it for dinner. Basically, you take seitan, do delicious things to it with stewed tomatoes and spices and chipotles. Then top it with pineapple salsa! Usually I make the salsa super chunky (like it is in the original recipe) but I discovered that it’ll stay on the taco better if it’s more chopped up.

This time I also made my own corn tortillas. Note to self: buy tortilla press. I didn’t realize that corn tortillas were so easy to make at home, but they totally are. My two-year-old actually helped me make them, not fake helped. They’re that easy! And I love that I can actually bring out my Viva Vegan occasionally, because I feel muy guilty that I haven’t made anything much from that book.

Courico Tacos are not just for brunch! Eat them all the time. ALL THE TIME.

 

Teriyaki Chickpeas

Upon opening the Happy Herbivore cookbook, this is the first recipe I saw. Was it fate that brought us together, magical food? Because this dish was truly…a delight. I’m channeling James Lipton with that. Well, channeling Will Ferrell’s impression of James Lipton.

Anywho, have you ever had Puka Dogs? They are, quite simply, the best hot dogs in the entire world. I happen to love Hawaii, and the crazy fusion that is Hawaiian food. And, to be honest, I sorta thought I’d never get to eat anything like that again. One, I don’t know what kind of secret magic Hawaiians put into that food. And two, I thought maybe it only tasted that good because I was in a tropical paradise.

Guess what? THIS TOTALLY TASTES LIKE HAWAIIAN FOOD! I have to stop using caps. My husband actually rated this dinner a “pop-pop!” on his vegan scale. I am, however, 99% sure he said that just so I’d mention him in my write up. But this dinner was unbelievable. I know I use hyperbole TONS but I can’t stress enough how completely easy and tasty this dinner was. Perfection? Possibly. And amazing for a warm summer night.

Finally, a use for my Thai Holy Basil!

And what a great use for it! Oh baby. My husband rated this dinner a “9.5” on the vegan scale. Which is impressive, since he usually isn’t that fond of green beans or tofu. I think the real standout here was the Pineapple Rice, which I didn’t even make with fancy rice at all. Just with plain old short grain brown rice. You’d think that wouldn’t work, but it gave the whole deal a lot of creaminess–almost like you’d doused it with coconut milk.

Also, pineapples. Is there anything they can’t do? I think I should belong to some sort of tropical fruit fan club. And the more I get to mix it into dinners, the better.

But what about that basil? You know, I didn’t notice the taste too much. I think it has sort of a basil and licorice taste to it, but my plant had gotten rather withered in the 100+ degree heat we’ve been experiencing lately. So maybe if you had a nice, robust thai basil plant, it would give off more characteristic flavors? Oh well. I will for sure be making this dish again!

Recipes from Appetite for Reduction.

Insanely Delicious Pineapple Veggie Burger

Behold! You are my delicious friend.

On a trip to Costco we purchased a delicious pineapple. I usually just buy canned pineapple (lame), but I couldn’t resist the giant display. And this one was PERFECT. We used half of it to make delicious tacos from Vegan Brunch, and the other half for these burgers. Delicious. Delicious. Delicious. There, have I said it enough times yet?

The buns are made from the Sweet Potato Biscuit recipe from Appetite for Reduction, and the burgery part is not homemade–but it is my favorite veggie burger on earth–The World’s Best Veggie Burger from Local Burger. So easy to make! So tasty! So good for you! Also, I haven’t ever tried to make a veggie burger yet, and I had one of these babies just relaxing in my freezer.

And the fries? Just oven-baked rosemary fries. Those don’t even need a recipe–just slice a yukon gold potato (I usually do one for each person, depending on the size of the potato) into fries, put in a bowl with 1 tsp olive oil, and pinches of salt, pepper, and dried rosemary. You could probably even use fresh if you have it! Bake at 450 degrees until browned. You may need to flip them once, but sometimes you really don’t even need to do that. Crap. That looks like I just wrote a recipe.

Pineapple Burgers (4 servings):

  • 4 veggie burgers
  • 4 slices (or 8 rings) of grilled or roasted pineapple
  • 1 recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits (yes, I am trying to force you to buy that awesome book) will make 4 buns
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • lettuce
  • onion slices

Just assemble everything burger-style. I would try to divide all the toppings into eight slices, that way everyone can have two slices on their burger. I didn’t even put any kind of dressing on here, but I suppose you could do some mayo and hawaiian-style sweet mustard. And it would be good with a pickle–especially a spicy pickle. Now I want a spicy pickle.