Lazy Vegan Recipe: Three Bean Burritos

Wifie made these last night,  and I just had to write about them. 

She started with a three bean version of my black beans with salsa: instead of using the cans of black beans, she used one can of black beans, one can of white beans, and one can of chickpeas.

We used this yummy mix to make burritos. This was my burrito setup, from bottom to top: 

  1. A flour tortilla
  2. Parboiled rice
  3. Three bean and salsa mix
  4. Vegan mayo 
  5. Sriracha
  6. More salsa (cold, for flavor and contrast) 
  7. Freshly diced raw purple onion

We used mild salsa,  so the sriracha was the only hot ingredient.

The hardest part wasn’t getting the burrito to close.  The hardest part was stopping art only three burritos. 🙂

Advertisements

Meat-Free Monday Recipe: Black Beans and Salsa, the Universal Building Blocks

Here’s what you  do: 

  1. Rinse three cans of black beans.
  2. Place in a nonstick skillet 
  3. Add three cups salsa or private
  4. Cook  on medium heat  (a low, slow bubble) 15 minutes or until thickened

So, why should you do this?

It gives you the core entree for several simple yet tasty meals, with minimal effort.

Black beans and rice 

Black bean burritos (with or without rice, veggies, or guac)

Cheeseless quesadillas (grilled and pressed in a skillet, but with no cheese. These beans are moist enough to hold it all together)

And when you’re tired of beans and salsa, you can turn the leftovers into black bean burgers.

What’s not to love?

Recipe: Ma Hubbard’s Quick & Simple Garlicky Artichokes & Cauliflower

artichoke-1305212431K3N

My wife wasn’t feeling good Sunday afternoon, so I decided to make supper. I went to the refrigerator, then to the freezer, and then to the pantry. I was starting to feel a little like old mother Hubbard.

We hadn’t made our big, out of town grocery run in a couple of weeks, so the ingredients I’d instinctively reach for weren’t there. But the cubbard wasn’t bare. I found (among other things) frozen cauliflower, a jar of grilled & marinated artichoke hearts, some quinoa, and our usual seasonings. So I fired up the stove top and went for it.

This time, it actually turned out well. So, now, I present, “Ma Hubbard’s Quick & Simple Garlicky Artichokes & Cauliflower.”

You’ll need:

  • Artichoke Hearts (I used Terra Verde Grilled & Marinated, maybe 1/5th of a jar)
  • Cauliflower (I used frozen, a one-pound bag)
  • Garlic (I used bottled minced garlic, about 2 tablespoons)
  • Tomato sauce (I used a small can we had in our pantry, about 5 ounces)

Optional Ingredients:

  • Oregano to taste
  • Basil to taste
  • Sugar/Splenda/Stevia to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook your cauliflower until it is not quite done. I prefer to steam it in a microwave-safe steaming dish.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet (or spray a regular skillet with non-stick spray) and add artichoke hearts, cauliflower, tomato sauce, and garlic.
  3. At this point, add any optional ingredients
  4. Stir everything together on medium heat until the artichoke hearts are broken up and everything is coated in the garlic and tomato sauce.
  5. Simmer on low heat until the tomato sauce has thickened down and is no longer liquid. This shouldn’t take long.

This is a savory, garlicky dish that can be too pungent for some people’s tastes. My wife likes it better with basil and sweetener. Either way, it tastes good paired with quinoa. You could also pair it with couscous, pasta, or rice, or just eat it straight out of the pan.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Idiot-Proof and Bachelor-Proof Super-Speedy Black Bean Burgers

So I just made these, and they were GREAT. My wife even said they tasted like beef burgers. That’s high praise from a non-vegetarian.

And I didn’t take any pictures because I devoured them too quickly to think about getting a camera, or even my phone.

I know it’s cookout season, but these will NOT hold together on a charcoal grill. These aren’t designed for the cookout, but for the quickout.

You know: you need a meal quickly, or you’re going to order takeout.

Or, as in my case: it’s late, I’m hungry, and I want a burger now! And there are no vegan burgers for sale in Poplarville, Mississippi, especially at this time of night.

These, like every recipe I’m likely to post, are super-easy. There’s nothing raw, dangerous, or delicate in this recipe. If you smell smoke, flip the burgers or take them off the skillet.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 can black beans
  • ½ cup old fashioned oatmeal (quick oats will probably work, too*)
  • Teriyaki sauce (you can use soy if you prefer)
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning (or your favorite seasonings)
  • [Use the low-sodium beans, teriyaki, and seasonings when you can, for the sake of both health and flavor].

Directions:

  1. Rinse the black beans thoroughly
  2. Smoosh together the black beans and the oatmeal. Smooshing is like kneading, but less bread-y.
  3. Spray a pan with non-stick coating, or coat a skillet with olive oil (a thin layer), and set it to medium heat
  4. As you smoosh the beans and oatmeal together, add teriyaki until the consistency seems “right.” It should be moderately juicy, neither wet nor dry. Err on the side of using too little teriyaki.
  5. Smoosh in some Montreal Steak Seasoning, to taste. Err on the side of using too little.
  6. Form into three large patties, between ½ and 1 inch thick
  7. Sprinkle seasoning onto the outside of the patties. Again, just use a little.
  8. Put the patties into the skillet, which should be nice and hot by now
  9. Cook them for 2-5 minutes (it will take less time if you use olive oil) until the bottom side is dark and a little crispy. Then flip them and cook until the other side is dark and a little crispy. The second side won’t take as long as the bottom took. You can eyeball this. You’re really just getting them warm and adding a little texture.
  10. Put the patties on your favorite buns and dress with your favorite condiments (or use whatever bread-like substance and toppings you have on hand). I like mayo (Vegannaise or Just Mayo are preferable), mustard, ketchup, and bread & butter pickles, on a traditional white hamburger bun. Nope, it’s not the healthiest, but it’s tasty. And it’s a whole lot healthier than eating a full pound of hamburgers.

The whole process takes about 15-20 minutes, from opening the can of beans to pulling the burgers off the skillet and onto buns.

It’s a low-skill process. Go easy on the teriyaki and seasonings, so it doesn’t get too salty. If you smell smoke, flip the burgers. There’s nothing raw, dangerous, or delicate in this recipe.

You can use a full cup of oatmeal, if you like, to stretch the burgers and make a larger batch. The burgers will actually hold together a little better this way, too.

Nutritional Information:

In the entire batch: Calories 480 Fat 5 Protein 32 Sugar 7** Fiber 28.

A pound of hamburger meat: Calories 810 Fat 26 Protein 40 Sugar 0 Fiber 0

So, 40% fewer calories and 80% less fat than unseasoned 80% ground chuck. And you get to eat more, since the bean burgers don’t cook down as much. If you use olive oil, you’ll add some fat and calories, but they’re at least the healthy kind.

Here’s the nutritional breakdown of the components:

  • Oatmeal 150 Fat 3 Protein 5 Sugar 1 Fiber 4
  • Beans 385 Fat 2 Protein 24 Sugar 0 Fiber 24
  • Teriyaki 45 Fat 0 Protein 3 Sugar 6 Fiber 0 (for 3 tablespoons, which is way more than you’ll actually use).
  • Seasonings 0 Fat 0 Protein 0 Sugar 0 Fiber 0
  • Olive Oil adds 120 calories and 14 fat per tablespoon absorbed by the burgers.

Notes:

*If you use Apple Cinnamon or Maple Syrup flavored instant oats, you’re braver than I am. Let me know how that turns out, will ya?

**If you’re worried about sugar, use soy sauce instead of teriyaki, and you’re down to 1 gram sugar (and 465 calories) in the whole batch.

 

The Necessity of Struggling

For so long before this storm, things were going so well I had only petty complaints. That nagging doubt at the back of my mind, that it shouldn’t be this way, that calm waters are stagnant waters? Easily ignored.

That comfortable, easy place I’d been living in for so long?  A trap. It’s not the Peace of Christ, but the anesthetized-entertained comfort of sitting in front of the television set with a big bowl of ice cream.

It doesn’t make me profoundly grateful. It makes me weak.

The struggle of exercise – walking, lifting weights, swimming, climbing, running, wrestling itself – makes us stronger. So does the struggle of our spirit – studying things that challenge our preconceived notions and existing interpretations, practicing empathy to understand why others differ, letting our hearts break with those who are suffering profoundly, getting our lives dirty, looking ridiculous, walking as Jesus did, among those who are “other” and beyond the pale of respectable society.

We were meant to struggle. We were never meant to coast. There is no cruise control in the Christian life.

But that’s what we do so often.

  • We know what we believe – or at least what our denominations believe – and we never question it.
  • We accept our interpretation of the Bible as being as infallible as the Bible itself.
  • We accept our respectable social circle as right, superior, almost sacred.
  • We let our socially acceptable sins slide. It’s not really gossip, I mean, not if you spread it out out love…
  • We accept our privileged American lifestyle as our birthright.
  • We accept our nation’s sins and crimes, no matter how many suffer and die for our “security” or to produce the consumer goods we crave.
  • We unconsciously assume that a “Just War” and an “American War” are one and the same.
  • Or perhaps we blindly take the political left’s side. There’s no reason to pick on conservatives. Spiritual laziness is apolitical.

I’ve been guilty of all of these in the past. And my spirit, like my physical health, has paid the price.

I’m making a commitment here to struggle every day. It won’t be hard to find things to push back against.

  • my distractedness
  • my physical laziness
  • my tendency to let Katherine do too much of the housework
  • my uncharitable thoughts, especially about those in authority
  • my tendency to eat too much of the wrong foods
  • my tendency to make everything about me and what I want/feel/think/believe
  • my privilege as a white, male, middle-class, heterosexual cisgender American
  • and so on

Ultimately, this struggle isn’t about the little details or the individual sins. It fundamentally affects what kind of person I am.

Ephesians 6:12 (NASB) says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

If we don’t struggle, if we just coast in our well-fed first-world lives, what use are we?

Second Sin: Worshiping My Own Efforts (Repenting in Sackcloth and Ashes, Part 2)

Lazarus and the Rich Man by Bonifacio de Pitati, c. 1504s

Lazarus and the Rich Man by Bonifacio de Pitati, c. 1504s

Lord, I come before you now to repent of the sins I have participated in, specifically the corporate sins of American Evangelicalism. Forgive us, for we have desecrated your name in the eyes of the world. Forgive us, for we have made a mockery of your salvation.

Those outside our faith say we are immoral, and, Lord forgive us, they are often right.

I come before you again to repent of my sins. Today, I repent of worshiping the works of my own hands. Not idols of gold and silver, but my own efforts, my own achievements.

I repent of every stereotypical word I’ve said about the poor, of complaining about people who aren’t disabled, but who don’t work, live on welfare, etc., etc.

Like almost everyone else who says those things, I was raised in a very solid family, went to decent schools, and was instilled with a work ethic and a sense of hope from a young age.

I was not raised in a tenement, with extended family shoved into a small house or apartment, with “father figures” coming and going.

I was not raised by people with no job skills, no understanding of how credit or money worked, and no understanding of the basic etiquette and work ethic required to succeed in any job.

I was not raised in a crime zone, where murders, drug raids, and beatings were a regular part of life.

I was not schooled in a failing, de facto segregated school with a culture that lionized teen pregnancy and demonized academic achievement.

The American dream worked for me, and I thought, cruelly and stupidly, that it worked for everyone else who wasn’t lazy or crooked.

I repent that I ever said or even thought to complain about my taxes going to these “leeches.”

I repent of every time I offered up private charity as an option, and then failed to give sacrificially to actually help the poor.  As a symbol of my penitence, I’m giving $500 of my personal spending money to World Vision (and trying to raise some additional money by matching donations).

I repent of tithing to churches that put 95% of their offerings toward administrative expenses, new high-tech buildings, or worse,  investments, so they can trust their savings accounts instead of trusting God to provide.

I doubly repent of tithing to those churches and then thinking I’d done enough.

I repent of ever thinking I was worth more than any life on this planet.

I repent of ever thinking I own any of my accomplishments. Had I been born in Biafra or Cambodia in 1975, would I be here now? Had I been born in Ethiopia or Somalia in 1975, would I be here now? Had I been born to a fourteen year old single mother, whose own mother had not yet turned thirty, just down the road from where I was born in Mississippi, would I be here now?

God forbid I ever boast. God forbid any of us ever boast.