"Reinventing Indulgence" One meal at a time!

Archive for the ‘Beans’ Category

Dahl-icious: Indian Moong Bean Vegan Dahl



1st attempt using Goya green lentils


2nd attempt using “split pea” looking Indian lentils

“Vindaloo and extra spicy please”. Those were my words as we would call up to our neighbors who owned an Indian restaurant by our summer house. They spoiled us and made whatever we wanted.. to order! I was always a fan of the spices and dipping sauces. The rest was a delicious mystery to me. Now that I am vegan though, I have more interest in learning tips of the cuisine as I try to meet my daily and weekly goals for beans, peas and lentils. Now that I mention it.. that is exactly what I ended up experimenting with as I learned to prepare Dahl. Still I would like to know.. which is it? Beans, peas or lentils? 

Beyond excited, I had the pleasure of watching some authentic Dahl being prepared by my girlfriend’s Mom. I watched, I ate, and I of course then later preceded to cook and blog it myself via FaceTime. I’m not quite sure which of my three attempts worked. They were all different and all kinda Dahlicious! My girlfriend’s Mom made everything look so easy. Not with me, it’s more of an ordeal and experimentation.

First things first.. what lentil am I using? This was a fun topic because I think I kept getting it wrong although I certainly didn’t mind eating each creation. My mentor here is from Singapore although her heritage goes back to Punjab. I’d say the style of cooking therefore has many influences. First she told me it’s the small round green lentil. That was the first mission and perhaps mistake on 2014-04-14 20.47.03

my part although there is no such thing in the process of learning. I found what appeared to be spanish green lentils (Goya)- small and round not the flat kind. It looked similar to me and I really did a great job with the first attempt. I knew it wasn’t the lentil she used though. Next up, I found a package of light colored lentils labeled Indian dalh from a small Indian shop in Woodstock. These looked a bit similar to split peas and in the end, although this batch came our quite flavorful, it did taste like split peas and actually looked like rice. I forgot to smash it up- my bad! Now determined because my 2014-04-14 21.06.18girlfriend keeps saying I didn’t have the right lentil- I head over to Patel Brothers in Flushing, NY and bought up a whole bunch of goodies. Among them, were the biggest bag of Moong beans I could find and they had three different sizes. That’s the one! She kept saying Mung bean but it’s not the same as the Chinese Mung bean (but close enough). I was so limited in my bean thinking prior to this learning experience but now I am happy to see so many varieties. Now when people ask me what I eat, I can go on and on!2014-04-14 21.23.032014-04-14 21.29.03IMG_1122

2014-04-14 22.01.18

Homemade hot chili sauce


Moral of the story:
(1) get the bean right!
(2) indulge in the spices
(3) don’t forget the chilies
(4) chop finely
(5) smush!
(6) butter is not vegan!

Let’s do this:

By the way, I bought a roti maker. Well, it’s a cute pan to lightly warm up the roti also called chipati. I am a dipper so that’s the best part! I love my roti warmer! I am going to use it soon to make injera too, which is Ethiopian flatbread made from teff flour. That was my buy of the day. It’s the little things in life that make me happy. The roti was unbelievably delicious and it wasn’t even from scratch but I promise to learn that part on my next visit.


The lentil part
2 cups of lentils
(Moong beans)
8 cups of water (4:1 ratio); I use more like a 6:1 water ratio to bean so that when I combine the beans and sauce there is still a little liquid to allow for a longer sauté and blend of the flavors together
Sea salt and a few dashes of spices
Let boil and simmer for about 45 minutes
Start smushing up the beans as it’s 3/4 finished cooking

I’m Italian so I call it sauce although I’m sure there is another name for this. In a separate pan, sauté the following:
coconut oil
(I chop all these finely or use a food processor)
After 10 minutes or so, I add some water and 2 IMG_1126large tablespoons of tomato sauce. I tend to use even more sometimes.
Spices- sea salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, garam masala  & coriander as desired

Add the sauce part to the lentils when they are almost finished absorbing all of the water. Let that simmer together so that the flavors can blend. Here is where I add the vegan butter but it’s not totally necessary.

Put a drop of coconut oil or vegan butter on the pan and let the roti get warm and light toasted on both sides. Be careful – it gets hot!


3rd attempt “moong bean” and best so far!

Homemade hot chili sauce
My girlfriend’s Mom is also big on chilies and always keeps a jar of hot chili sauce in the refrigerator. I have incorporated this as well although I use different chilies each time based on what’s available. Today was medium green chilies- whoa hot! I filled my mini food processor with the chilies, garlic, olive oil, juice from 2 lemons and a pinch of sugar.

Lentils and beans are a hearty and healthy vegetarian/ vegan protein- enjoy! I have learned that there are many ways to prepare Dahl so have fun with it!

Triple Bean Spicy Vegan Chili

I knew I could make a fabulous vegan chili – I knew it and I finally did it! I don’t think I can ever order chili out again. Yes.. It’s just that good. I’m beginning to believe that one gets a bit of attitude after strolling along hoping to find vegan choices here and there. It’s almost as if all the retailer has to do is say the word vegan.. and we buy.. just because it’s vegan. Desperate for a hot soup and totally in the mood for chili, I seek and I ask.. finally finding a chili that’s vegetarian and hating to be a pain in the ass to inquire if it’s vegan. So I go for it! What’s the difference right? What could they possibly put in it at this point? Actually, God.. and the prep chef only know. After realizing on a flight to London, that there was milk in certain pop chips – it was all over for me. I despise milk. Lol. Sneaky culprit. Anyway, yes I ordered vegetarian chili in Woodstock the other day. I opened it up before I ran out hoping to grab a quick spoonful on my shopping spree when I realized it was topped with cheese and sour cream. Please could I have your tofu vegetarian chili veganized please pretty please. Why must I beg lol – it is a vegan friendly town! My mistake.. I know.. I should have asked! I left there and went straight to the health food store on a major “nothing stopping me” mission. I came home and made my own vicious triple bean spicy vegan chili far superior in heartiness and flavor than any chili I have ever had.. ever! Now there is no turning back. It destroys other chilis as far back as I can remember – vegan or not. I haven’t written in a while and I’m laughing at my own over confidence at the moment but I’m keeping it real. It’s good!  I’m open though if anyone wants to add to the recipe.



Ginger– just a little

Tomato sauce can (I used crushed)
Frozen non-GMO corn
Kidney beans large can
Black beans large can
Chick peas can
(Can crazy I know! Not my first choice but I’d rather eat beans from the can than not at all. They are high in nutrients & certainly, fiber. Feel free to soak dry beans overnight, drain and use them.)

Vegan burgers – I crushed them in but you can buy “crumbles” from a health store that carries meat alternative foods.

Chili powder

I know I have to be more exact with my measurements – sorry, I’m being a bit Italian at the moment.
Begin with a big soup pot, olive oil and a saute of the onions & garlic – always! Next I add the tomato sauce with about another 3/4 of that can in water. Use your judgement as you add the vegetables and beans. If you need to add water, do so and let it cook a little longer. Then came the beans and vegetable burgers. Next I added the other vegetables and then.. spice city! I may have even added hot sauce – I’m addicted! I let it cook for an hour or so.

Vegan day 299: Rice and beans

Rice and Beans

I am sure I have mentioned rice and beans before- who wouldn’t? It’s a staple dish across the world. 
I have to be honest though. I was trying to re-create a macro vegan brown rice tofu dish that I pay at least $6 for in the health food stores. Each and every time, I say: I CAN MAKE THIS MYSELF! lol However, I got carried away. I began making brown rice as usual doubling the water to rice ratio. Then I realized that I didn’t have any tofu in the house.. bad vegan I am lol. That’s when the bean idea came to mind and things began to get mushy. Mushy is ok, it’s just not what I intended.

I didn’t really mind much. I was getting my whole grains, some cooked veggies and my protein- beans!

Brown rice
Chopped veggies 
Red kidney beans

I was lazy today and I admit it. I used frozen veggies and canned beans. I also didn’t even wait for the rice to cook all the way when I added the beans. You can count this as a quick and easy meal if you like. 
The best part is that I had enough rice and beans for several days of meals and I barely even spent $6 for the whole thing. 

One meal was just the rice, beans and fresh avocado. Another day is was an incredible rice and bean burrito with chard and hummus. 

Honestly, this was a delicious mistake!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Thursday, October 25th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 230: Triple veggie protein stew

Well.. I’m not sure if it’s a stew, a grain mix or a saute! In any case, it was delicious and full of vegetarian… I mean VEGAN lol.. protein! What’s the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan..? lol
THE WHOLE ENTIRE DAIRY INDUSTRY– farce, manipulation and torture.. that’s all! Unfortunately for the fish.. I would sooner be a non-dairy eating pescetarian. Actually, I was torn for many years so I won’t even go there. Anything anyone can do to eat better for themselves, the environment and the animals is the place to begin.. and strive for.
My friends like to torture me on facebook from time to time with their anti-vegan not-so funny jokes. It seems they keep gravitating to two in particular. The “where do you get your protein” debate… yawn yawn – and the “vegetarians are killing plants” joke.. again.. tiring, as plants do not have a central nervous system. My very short answer to both since I have probably addressed both issues in this blog or on my facebook page: (1) protein is over emphasized, the “requirements” are over exaggerated and the sources continuously overlook vegetarian and vegan choices. (2) when wildcrafting, one should never take the entire plant… just part of it. The next problem comes down to industry. Obviously big industry can ruin anything.. 
Today is about protein though.. not on purpose but I accidentally stumbled upon this creation since it was what I had in my refrigerator and my friends were in the mood for a warming nutritious meal.
  • Quinoa – check one of my previous blogs for links on how to make the perfect quinoa. It’s been so long since I made it that I even had to check!
  • Organic black soy beans– looks like red kidney beans right? Any beans will do!
  • Firm ORGANIC tofu- (pet peeve lol: it’s one thing to not have an option for organic in a local deli or small market but to go to a farm stand or place that sells many organic foods and NOT have that option is unacceptable lol) ONLY BUY ORGANIC TOFU (for reasons of GMO)
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Some water to create a small broth base
Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.
[Friday August 17th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 148: Portabella and red bean mini corn tortillas

The kids are still eating vegan with me although they are looking forward to the arrival of my non-vegan friends who will BBQ for them! They like the challenge of the daily blog and are doing pretty. Of course snacking on some vegan chocolate dipped in almond butter certainly helped hold them over! 

Making tacos is always a fun theme! We did however skip the whole cheese thing.. dairy and soy both for that matter. These were just simple corn tortillas set up with various toppings– a meal for some.. and a snack for others!

Some people throw these corn tortillas in a hot pan with a little oil.. we actually put ours in a toaster oven. The red kidney beans were sautéed with onions, tomatoes and olive oil. The portabella’s were sliced and sautéed with a sesame teriyaki sauce. We kept the avocado and hot sauce on the side! 

Portabella’s are not the most photogenic vegetable except for that time in Vegas. I seeked out vegetarian food that they made vegan for me last year while I was on my four month vegan record. It was truly amazing.. a vegan double decker looking burger type sandwich set in a gorgeous red pepper sauce. A friend of my duplicated it for me but I’ll have to have her teach me so I can include it here! 

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Sunday May 27th 2012 blog]

Vegan day 115: Seitan with black beans

Now that I have a huge tub of rubbery SEITAN- what am I suppose to do with it?
You know I had to immediately make something. I wanted to taste the seitan with some kind of sauce base. Black beans and tomato sauce came to mind so I began to season and cook some organic black beans.

Seitan with black beans
Black beans- one can organic
Italian spices
Tomato paste
Olive oil

I started by making an easy marinara sauce with olive oil, onions, garlic and tomato paste. I just added water and cooked it for a bit. Then I added the beans once they were drained and rinsed well. Next was the seitan and I let it all stew together for about 20 minutes. It was actually delicious!

Disclaimer: The information given here is for educational purposes only. You should not use this to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified health care provider.

[Tuesday April 24th 2012 blog]