Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cooking More For Less: 1lb. Kidney Beans

Hi All! In the spirit of cooking more for less, I'm tackling one pound of kidney beans this week.  I'll add on more recipes as I use up the beans.

Last week I did one pound of lentils and I've cooked it all and have blogged nothing since I waited till I finished up the last cup of beans to even begin blogging it all. It took 6 days to use all of the lentils. Six days! Now those six recipes that I want to type up in one sitting seem to be this colossus of a task to take it from my journal and type it to this screen. But, I promise, I will work on it as soon as I type up my new favorite thing. Boston Bean Dip.  Makes me want to go to Boston.

Just Wikipedia'd Boston.  Feels like I just went there and back.  Harvard is located outside of Boston across the Charles River in Cambridge (did not know that) and that's about all I gleaned from the wiki, or actually, that's all I was looking for.

I cooked the beans according to the crockpot method I had blogged about before.  One pound of beans in the ceramic crockpot filled to the top with water.  Let it sit overnight.  In the morning, drain the beans and rinse them with fresh water in a colandar.  Place the beans back in the ceramic crockpot.  Fill with water to about 2 inches from the top.  Lid.  Place in the electric part of the crockpot.  Plug in.  Set it to low until you get home for work or around 5 pm ish.  I left the house at 7 am and did not return until 5 pm that evening and they were perfectly done.  Drain in a colander, rinse with fresh water. Cool and toss the beans into a big tupperware container or divide and funnel into quart sized Mason Jars, lid and refrigerate.

The first thing I did with my kidney beans is to make my new favorite dip.

Boston Bean Dip
2 cups prepared kidney beans
1 small onion, diced small or minced
1/2 c. vegenaise
1/2 c. sweet pickle relish, I used sweet pickles that I canned this summer and diced them up
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
1 dash soy sauce
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 tsp. Bangarang where to buy Bangarang? Right here.

Mix up all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Serve with crackers or stuffed in pita pockets for lunch.  So delicious.  I actually just ate a serving, or two, with a fork.  So delicious. Leftovers? Tuck the dip into a Mason Jar, lid and refrigerate.

Red Bean Habadilla
I just have to laugh because you can't make a vegan quesadilla because queso is cheese. . . so I will name it "haba"dilla because haba means bean in Spanish.  "I'm clever. Oh, the cleverness of me." I thank you, J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan.  

I have been out of all sorts of ingredients lately, including salsa, but I managed to wing it and here's what I did.

Red Bean Habadilla
1/2 c. Vegenaise
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. yellow onions, diced
1/2 c. green bell peppers, diced
1/2 c. tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. pickled jalapeno slices, mince those up
1/2 c. fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. Bangarang!
2 cups of prepared small red kidney beans
2 cups of prepared white rice
1 Tbsp. coconut oil, earth balance butter or veggie oil
4-6 large burritos

In a big bowl combine all of the ingredients all the way down to the white rice.  Taste and season with more Bang! if you like.  Toss it all together.

In a big skillet, heat a tsp. of the oil on medium low heat.  Place a tortilla on top.  Spread a cup of more of the beans and rice mix on one half of the tortilla. Place a lid over it to heat the bean mix.  In about five minutes or less, remove the tortilla from heat and plate.  Fold the bean free side over the filling and cut into 4 pie shaped slices.  Top with chopped avocado with a sprinkle of Bangarang.

Red Bean Burgers
2 tsp. coconut oil, or other oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 c. carrots, peeled and chopped
1 c. mushrooms, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced

4 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. mustard
6 tsp. cumin
3 tsp. Bangarang!

3 cups prepared small red kidney beans
1-1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or just regular bread crumbs

In a big skillet, saute all of the veggies in the oil over medium heat until onion is translucent.  Add the ketch, must, cumin, and Bang.  Heat a couple minutes so it cooks thoroughly and kinda reduces a little bit in liquid and heats the spices up a bit.

Haul out your food processor.  Process the veggies until chunky-ish.  Add the beans and 1 cup Panko.  Pulse until combined.  Toss the mix back into that big bowl.  Get your hands in it.  See if it will take a nice firm shape to make a burger.  If it does great.  Make 6 to 8 burgers.  If not, add some more Panko until it stiffs up a bit.  Stir again.  Shape into snowballs. Flatten into burgers and round.  I placed them on waxed paper and put them in the freezer so when it was time I could pull a couple out and bake and package the rest for another time.

Bake the burgers in a 450 degree oven, line a baking sheet with foil and oil it, place burger on the oiled pan and bake for 15 minutes if fresh, for 30 minutes or so if they are frozen.

And that, my dears, is what I did with one pound of small red kidney beans.
~ Jen

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cooking More for Less: Lasagna and Mini Breakfast Casseroles

I am on a quest to make vegan dishes for very busy people - things you can put together in 15 - 30 minutes, ingredients that are inexpensive, that are delicious, and have so much food that you can eat half then and save the other half for another meal.

You know, I always think I should throw a little personal flair in here instead of going straight to the recipes, but I know you are too busy to read the anecdotes any way.

Hmm.  Maybe I should give you a few highlights like a Yahoo News real.

Woke up at 5:30. Read a bunch on Elton John's new home.  He and I have the same taste in decor. We both love white and black with splashes of bright colors, faux animal print rugs (I have a green cheetah, a zebra and a leopard print rug in my home) and happy art.  His bedroom and mine are dissimilar.  I had to research who the artist Mapplethorpe is.  If you want to see nude photography, by all means, look him up too.  I sort of knew what I was getting into when I researched the art in Elton's bedroom.  

I wrote a bit in my diary about Elton John, a few recipes I want to try, especially peanut butter cookies, but it seems to be an awful lot of wasted resources to go into a batch of cookies. That much peanut butter?That much Earth Balance butter? That much sugar? And, ended up saying, maybe not today. As the martini embalmed Mother-In-Law from Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation would say, "I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was. *burp*." (or was it a hiccup?)

I fixed mini breakfast casseroles.  Which were so Bangarang! That Chris ate one standing up, and then two sitting down.  He kept asking me if there were eggs in them.  Of course not. We don't have any eggs Dilbert (our pet name that gets tossed back and forth along with Muffin).  Froze the remaining for a quick breakfast this week or whenever.

Lost my keys to my car.  They are still lost.

Picked up my phone from Verizon when I finally remembered around 10 am that we have two cars. Took the Wonky Jeep (it is truly the wonkiest Jeep there ever was) to the Verizon store in Massaponax.  Parked a block away from the store.  It is just too wonky to be seen in public, much less a family of three getting out of it.  When it is running it sounds a lot like a steam engine.  I can't imagine something being louder. I'm not kidding either.  I have to almost literally get on the hood and give it a good crank like the 20's or whenever they used to do that, when I try to start it.  It never starts the first turn of the key.

Got most of the store talking about their favorite character on the Ninja Turtles.  I was sort of miffed because no one cared enough to ask me who my favorite Ninja Turtle is.  Then I began to think about it and I don't know what I would have told them other than "it's complicated."  I love Mikey's free spirit and his love of food.  I love Donny for his intellect and compassion.  I love them both for their weapons because both are used for protection and fending off the advancing enemy rather than a few samurai swords which can kill you with one cut.  So Mikey and Donny are both reflections of my personality but if I was to marry one it would be Leo.  He's the pack leader and has two samarai swords and would be able to protect our mutant family.   And, yes, this is what I was thinking as I was driving the wonky jeep back down the road to Caroline County.  Then I thought, thank God they didn't ask me who my favorite Ninja Turtle is.

Made the kids a pizza from scratch. Those lucky ducks.

Checked all of my pages and wanted to go into deep meditation mode over what to make for dinner this evening but I promised myself -  No more new food until you blog, Jennifer Brooks Lane.  All three names so you know I mean business.  So here I am. Blogging like I would be writing to myself in my journal.

And the show must go on. Now my mind goes to the movie Moulin Rouge.  I love Moulin Rouge. I want to get Chris and my ring engraved "come what may" like the lovers secret song. Le sigh. It should go without saying that I love anything Baz Luhrmann has directed.  Romeo and Juliet and I am super duper excited for the Great Gatsby.  Didn't like so much the book.  Well, I can't say that honestly.  I didn't like how my husband said so condescendingly to me while I was reading it about 10 years ago, "Didn't you read that in high school?"  No.  I didn't.  I went to a public high school, smarty pants.  I had to read these things on my own with no one pressing me for a grade.   You see, sometimes in marriage, even if they bend to condescend you just have to say to yourself, Come What May, and then call them a Dilbert. Or maybe throw in a "Whatever" if you don't have any snappy repartee on hand.

Took about 15 minutes to put this together for dinner.
Going on. Best foot forward. ;)

Spinach Lasagna
1 box lasagna noodles, can be whole wheat, gluten free, just whatever you have
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 block of extra firm tofu, cut into 8 pieces and pressed on paper towels to absorb water
2 Tbsp. Vegenaise
1 tsp. Bangarang
2 (26 oz. or thereabouts) jars of pasta sauce, marinara
Lasagna was so good. I had two servings.
3 or 4 handfuls of fresh spinach

Heat oven to 350 if you are making it as soon as it is foiled.  Otherwise just pop it into the fridge for later.

In a skillet, saute onions and garlic in oil until translucent, or about 5 minutes.  Lug out your food processor or hand masher thingy.  Mash or process the tofu until smooth.  Add sauteed veggies and process some more.  Add Bangarang and Vegenaise and process.  This is your filling.

Pop open the top of both jars.  Spoon out a half a cup of sauce into a big casserole dish.  Top with 4 lasagna noodles. Spread 1/3 of the tofu filling on the dry noodles. Spread a cup of pasta sauce over. Lay 1/3 of the fresh spinach over the sauce. Spread a cup of pasta sauce over the spinach.  Lay four noodles on top. Do the whole process again. Then again. Then as the last dry lasagna noodle is layed. Pour over 1 to 2 cups of pasta sauce.  Cover the casserole top with foil so it is nice and secure.

Pop the covered lasagna casserole dish into the piping hot oven.  Bake for an hour and 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve nice and warm.  You will probably have half left over for tomorrow or to freeze.  If you are going to freeze it, cut it into portions. Cover with wax paper and the foil and put in the freezer for a few hours to set.  Package in bags or airtight containers and label.

Mini Breakfast Casseroles as soon as they came out of the oven.
I did half Buffalo with the Hot Sauce and half without. 
Mini Breakfast Casseroles
1 block of firm tofu, sliced in 8 pieces, and pressed between towels to absorb the excess water, then mashed
1 lb. of potatoes, peeled, big cubed and boiled
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance butter or oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Vegenaise
1 tsp. Bangarang
1/2 tsp. turmeric, it makes the tofu yellow, like eggs
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp. Frank's Hot Sauce (optional)

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Or, if you aren't going to cook them right now, just hold off on turning on the oven.

In a big stock pot, fill with hot water about halfway up and add 1/2 tsp. salt.  Set that to high on your stovetop and get it to a boil.  Add the cubed potatoes.  Boil about 10 minutes or until you can pierce them all the way through with a fork. Drain the potatoes into a colander. Let rest for a few minutes.

While they potatoes are boiling in the pot, grab your skillet and heat the EB butter or oil to medium heat, and saute the garlic and onion till translucent about 5 minutes or so.  Turn off burner.

With your well pressed tofu, place it in a big bowl and mash it with a hand masher thingy or a fork, just so it is nice and crumbly, you can even use your hands and break it up. Add the vegenaise, turmeric and bangarang. Mix it up.  Should be nice and yellow.  Toss in the sauteed veggies and stir it up.

Throw in your boiled potatoes into the bowl of tofu mash, get that hand masher thingy out and mash em up for a minute. Really just to break them up into smaller clumps of potato. Stir in parsley and Hot Sauce.

When it is all good and well incorporated, grab your muffin pan.  Line with baking cups.  Dig your hand into the tofu mash and form a small snowball (you should be able to cup both hands around the ball with no mash poking out the sides all wonky-like).  Place a snowball of tofu mash into each muffin cup.  Should make 12 small snowballs. Press them gently into the muffin cups with the heal of your hand so they look like they fit perfectly.

You can do two things at this point.  Pop the whole muffin tray into the freezer so you can take them out for breakfast and heat them up in the oven or microwave. Oven 375* for 30 minutes or thereabouts. Microwave, I don't know. I don't have one, but start at three minutes and add a minute more if they aren't piping hot.


Pop them into the oven for 10 minutes.  I broiled them for two minutes after to get a little crisp on top. Serve warm.


Now, I can meditate on dinner or thereabouts. ;)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cooking More for Less: 1 lb. of dry Chickpeas Makes ALL of this

On Monday night, I conducted an experiment.  I wanted to see if you could soak your beans in a crockpot overnight. Drain them in. Place them back in the crockpot. Fill with water again and turn the crockpot on High and lid while you took the kids to school, worked, picked them up again, got home and the beans would be done with no fuss.  Well, it worked!!!  No waiting for the beans to cook any longer!!!  I'm so doing this for now on.

Step 1.  Before you go to bed, put your chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in the crockpot.  Fill the pot with water and place on the counter. No need to get the electrical part out until tomorrow morning.  

Step 2.  When you wake up. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse.  

Step 3. Place beans back in the crockpot.  Fill to an inch or two from the top with water.

Step 4. Place the ceramic pot into the electrical part of it.  Place the lid on top.  Plug in.  Set to High.

Step 5. When you get home, test the beans to see if they are done.  If there are skins floating at the top, they usually are.

Step 6. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse.  Let cool for a bit.

It was so easy. 

From this 1 lb. bag of chickpeas, it makes 7 cups of prepared beans!!!  Seven!! That is fourteen servings, or you could say, fourteen meals!!

I made three dishes with these 7 cups of beans in a half hour. Seriously. A half hour.  Dinner: Curried Chick P and Potato Patties.  Lunch: Chick P Salad. Snack: Bean Dip

I started with the Bean Dip, so we can start there too.

Bean Dip
1 clove garlic
Juice of one lemon, (I like to zest it first so I can toss that it in later)
1/4 cup. olive oil
2 tsp. Bangarang
2 sprigs fresh parsley (optional)
1 - 2 tsp. Cumin, ground (optional)
3 cup prepared chickpeas
1/4-1/2 cup water

In a food processor, process the garlic, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and spices.  Add chickpeas and process.  If chunky, add 1/4 cup water until it is smooth.  Add a little more if needed.

Put into a bowl or tupperware container.  Leave the processor on the machine because we will be using it again. Top of the bean dip with a little more Bangarang!, the lemon zest if you like and more parsely, you can also chop up some tomato.  Serve with veggies or pita chips as a snack.  You can put it on sandwiches for lunch the next day too.

Curried Chick and Potato Patties
2 cups prepared chickpeas
1 lb. of potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cubed
1 T. Coconut oil, or whatever ya got
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup marina sauce or Ragu
1 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. Bangarang!
2 Tbsp. water

Veggie Oil for Frying

Get out a big stock pot.  Fill it halfway with water and add 1 tsp sea salt.  Set High to boil.  Scrubm rinse and peel potatoes. Cut into a large dice.  Place the potatoes in the boiling water.  Boil for about 10 minutes or until a fork goes in cleanly. Pour potatoes into a colander. Let cool a bit.

While you are boiling the potatoes, get out a skillet, heat the oil to medium heat and saute the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes.  Add marina sauce and stir for a few minutes.  Toss in spices.  Cook a few more minutes.  Toss in a few Tbsp. water.  Remove from heat.  

In that same food processor, process the chickpeas until chunky.  Place them in a big bowl. Throw the boiled potatoes on top and mash those two together with a potato masher or a fork.  Add the sauteed veggies.  Stir it up. 

In that same large skillet, heat up 1/4 cup veggie oil on Medium heat.  Shape potato mash into small snowballs. My rule is to only have what I can cup together with both hands, with no mash poking out.  Flatten into a patty.  Get three or four of them made and place them in the hot oil.  Cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden on each side. 

Place on a dish line with paper towels.  I cooked six patties for a family of four and shaped and froze the rest on a baking sheet.  Which reminds me I need to put those that are in the freezer in a baggie or container to be cooked next week. . .   All together it made 12 patties!!!!!!!!!!!  

I served them over a bed of spinach and made this dip for its dressing.  I made the dip and saved half for the Curried Dinner and the other half went into the chickpea salad for tomorrow's lunch.

1 cup vegenaise
1 wedge of lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
1/4 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. Bangarang!
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Stir all of that up in a bowl. Divide the dressing in half.  Place one half in a large bowl, the other half in a small dressing or dip dish.

Chick P Salad
2 cups prepared chickpeas, mashed
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup of red or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 of the Dressing mix from above

In that same food processor or with a fork, process or mash the beans until they are chunky.  Spoon out beans into the big bowl that the dressing is in.  Chop up celery and onion. Toss into the big bowl.  Stir it up until everything is combined. Taste.  Delicious.  Needs fresh pepper or more Bangarang! go for it.

Put it in a few 8 oz. Mason Jars with a lid.  One will be your lunch tomorrow and one for the hubs or whoever.  

Pack a few slices of bread, or pita in a plastic bag or wrap.  In another container, place the veggies that will be tucked in to the sammich or pita.  Or just pack the salad greens in a tupperware container so you can toss the Chick P salad on top at lunch.


All of this with one LB. of Chickpeas.  Just AWESOME.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cooking More for Less: Bean Burritos and Taco Salads

I have been challenged by a friend to make vegan recipes for families that are pulled in 18 different directions. These friends have to juggle work, child care, school, extra-curricular activities, family obligations, doctor's appointments, church and all of the other stuff that makes up or takes up life.  Well, sure.  I can do that!  But, I do have a few tips for you before we get started.

It all boils down to how I got into this business in the first place.  I didn't have time to make my vegan food every day so I had to mass produce and freeze.  Hence the frozen food line.  These are all of the foods that I make and freeze in dinner size or individual packaging so you can heat it up at home or take it on the go for a low cost lunch.  The mark up in some restaurants is the same as buying a diamond. Mark ups are huge because they have to be. And, unless it is a dinner date with your best pal or your wife, don't buy into lunch out with colleagues.  Pack your lunch. Period. .

Another tip, don't worry about getting all of the ingredients or having the exact amount of everything, substitute wherever you like. Switch out the veggies to what you have on hand or in the freezer. If you don't have garlic, use garlic powder. If you don't have coconut oil, use vegetable oil.  Don't make this hard on yourself.  It's just food.  And, it will be delicious.  And guess what else? It will be cheap!  Think of all the other people on the earth who eat beans and rice as staples. They do it because it is healthy for you and it is inexpensive.  And one more little thing, if your kids need a little help with adjusting to vegan food make my mock-Chik-fil-A sauce that I call The Best Sauce, with the meal and everything will go down easier.  Heck, it may all go down easier for you too!

So in the spirit of making it easy for my friends, let's get cooking.

Bean and Rice Burritos / Bean and Rice Taco Salads
bean and rice burritos for tomorrow's lunch
Refried Beans
1 1/2 cups dry pinto beans (or two cans of vegan refried beans)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. cumin, ground
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. Bangarang! signature seasoning

Cooking dry beans method:  Wash your pinto beans in a colander making sure there are no little stones in there.  Seriously found two rocks in my pinto beans as I washed them this morning. So just give it a good check.  Then, toss the pintos in a big stock pot that you have a lid for.  Cover the beans in water and then add about three to four inches more water over the beans.  Bring the water to a boil over high heat.  Boil the pintos for 5 minutes.  Cut the heat off and put a lid over it.  Let it rest for 30-60 minutes.  Drain the beans in a colander.  Place the beans back in the pot and cover with the same amount of fresh water.  Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium so the water is agitated but not boiling over.  Continue cooking until they are the right texture.  I try them at 30 minutes, and if the skins are cracking that means they are usually done.  Try a bite of a bean first to make sure they aren't underdone by having too much texture.  These are going to be mashed, so you want them nice and soft.  Once they are cooked completely, drain the beans into a colander again.

While that is cooking you can start your veggies.

In a skillet, heat the coconut oil (or any vegan oil you have on hand) to medium, add chopped onion and garlic.  Saute until they are translucent, then add the cumin, coriander and Bangarang!  Get that nice and hot. Remove from heat.

If you have a food processor, put your sauteed veggies in the processor, and run it until they are smooth.  Add the pinto beans once they are done.  You can add up to 1 cup of water (I do half a cup and then see if I need to add more) so they are nice and smooth. Transfer the beans back into the stock pot and heat on Medium-Low heat for about 10 minutes or so.

1 cup dry rice (brown, white, jasmine, just whatever you have but cook each according to package directions)
1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp. cumin seed
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
sea salt

In a pot with a lid, cook the rice according to package directions.  Me, I used white rice because we have loads of it.  So, for 1 cup of dry white rice, I would add 2 cups water.  In they go into the pot.  Bring to a boil on Medium-High heat. Put the lid on it. Reduce the heat to low. Cook this way for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.

In the same skillet that you used earlier, add the oil, yellow onion and cumin seeds if you got them. Cook until the onion is translucent over Medium heat.  Add the corn. Heat until warm. When the rice is done, toss it in the skillet with the veggies and heat thoroughly.  Add 1/2 tsp. of sea salt and give it a stir.

Divide the refried beans into two bowls or leave one half in the pot, if serving soon.  One is for tonight's dinner, the other is for another dinner or lunches.

Divide the rice into two bowls.  Same thing.

One bowl of refried beans goes with one bowl of rice.

Making your burritos for tomorrow's meal or lunch.  Burritos can be frozen on a baking sheet so they are ideal for serving later.  The fresh beans and rice will be perfect for tonight's taco salad.

Bean and Rice Burritos
4 Grande Sized Burritos Tortillas
1 bowl of refried beans
1 bowl of rice

Get a large skillet, with no oil, to medium heat on the stove top.  Prepare your assembly line.  Right before you, you have a cutting board.  To your left a bowl of water.  To your right, you have your burritos, bowl of rice, bowl of beans.

Take one tortilla over to the medium hot skillet.  Place on one side for 6 seconds, flip to the other side for 4 seconds. Remove from the skillet and place on your cutting board.  Using 1 Tbsp. of water, just grab a sprinkle and moisten the whole tortilla on one side.  In the center, place 1/4 of the rice mix in a 3 inch by 4 or 5 inch strip.  Then add 1/4 of the refried beans over the strip.

Wrap it up.  Bring the short bits of the tortilla to the center over the beans and rice.  Fold the long bottom over the beans and roll the opposite flap over the beans.  Making it sealed rectangle.  Place seems side down on a wax line baking sheet.  Continue this method with the remaining three tortillas.  Place the cooking sheet in the freezer.  Freeze for an hour or more and then pop them into bags, containers or plastic wrap.  If using plastic wrap, I like to cover it with foil too, just to make sure it doesn't pop open during travel.  Label with a sharpee.

Pull them out of their containers and if eating from home, heat the oven to 375 degrees and bake on an oiled sheet for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.  Serve warm with the following dips.

Or if on the go, pop them into the microwave for 5 minutes turning halfway into the cooking time.  Serve with salsa or taco sauce or The Best Sauce which will be somewhere on this blog post.

Taco Salad
taco salad for dinner
Lettuce (whatever you have on hand, iceberg, romaine, spinach) just chop it into bite-sized pieces or julienne into small slivers.
1 bowl of rice
1 bowl of refried beans
Jazzed up Salsa (optional)
Corn chips or baked tortilla wedges (optional)
Guacamole (optional)
The Best Sauce

Heat up the beans and rice if they are cold.  You can put one back in the skillet and the other in the pot.  Heat on Low until ready to serve.

You can either make them buffet style or you can plate them and then set it on the table.  Choice is yours.  I like to put the lettuce down as a bed, then the rice, then the beans, top with some jazzy salsa, guacamole, then on the side, wedge some corn chips. Then serve,

Jazzy Salsa
2 cups prepared salsa
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, fresh chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
Stir it up and serve

1 avocado, mashed with a fork
juice of one wedge of lemon
1/4 -1/2 tsp. Bangarang!
Stir it up and serve.

The Best Sauce
1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/4 cup vegan Barbecue sauce
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
1/4 cup vegenaise
Stir it up and serve.