Vegan Black and White Bean Mushroom Chili Recipe

This recipe is a variant of one I found during the great cookbook checkout phase of January 2010.  I reserved and checked out every single allergy or gluten free cookbook I could get my hands on at the library and searched for things that would be “safe” for us to eat.  Some I’m sure were great for someone but they were devoid of recipes that met my criteria.  Others had one gem, like “Gluten Free Sugar Free Cooking” by Susan O’Brien (amazon affiliate link).  On page 131 there is a recipe for bean and mushroom chili and I have had good luck adapting it into a good option to serve with rice or potatoes (the usual suspects in our household).

The first time I made this I worried it wouldn’t be thick enough so I added arrowroot powder (bad idea for lots of reasons, it is not a thickener I can make work for me without being gross texture wise, now I use potato flour to thicken but not for this recipe).  If you just trust the recipe a little bit you’ll see it has a nice thick consistency after you cook it long enough.  It stops being soupy and becomes more like a thick sauce.

Supplies

Large frying pan or saute pan (I use a 3 quart saute pan from all-clad, amazon affiliate link)

Knife, cutting board

Measuring spoons

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chile powder (sometimes I have chili, sometimes I have chile powder, I use them interchangeably though they are different)

1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds (I had never used them before this recipe but they’re worth seeking out)

1 large onion, minced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

12 ounces of mushrooms, sliced (I use an egg slicer sometimes to do this, E loves to help and you can see in the photos I posted earlier that you can just do it over the pan as you cook, amazon affiliate link)

1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 ounce can of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 6 ounce can of tomato paste

1/2 cup water

3 cups vegetable broth

Fresh cilantro (to garnish, optional)

Directions

Heat your pan on medium and add your oil, it should shimmer before you add your spices.  This is different than my usual strategy for recipes, I normally fry my onions and then add spices but you want to add your mustard seeds, chile powder, cumin, and cardamom and when the mustard seeds start to make a popping sound you’ll add your onions.  Stir to coat them a little bit and then after a minute or two add your garlic and let that fry for a minute.  Now you’ll add your chopped mushrooms.  I like to give them two or three minutes to cook before adding the 1/2 cup of water but you may need to deglaze your pan at this point so if things look like they’re sticking, go ahead and add some of the water.  If you haven’t added the water you can add it after the mushrooms cook a little bit.  Now cover the pan and let everything cook while you prepare your other ingredients.  Check on the mushrooms periodically, you want to cook them for about 10 minutes.

Now add your beans, tomato paste, veggie broth, and tomato paste.  Stir everything and keep heating it on medium until it has  some simmering/bubbling going on and now reduce it to low and put the pan lid on slightly off kilter to allow some steam to escape.  Stir and check on it periodically but it should cook together and meld after at least 30 minutes.  It is different every time I make it.

This obviously needs salt but the beans still carry some saltiness and you can salt it when all is said and done.  You can use a mix of white and brown mushrooms or all white or all brown.  Both have been good with this but I think the brown mushrooms are more flavorful while the white mushrooms can be too chewy if not sliced thinly enough.  It is a pretty flexible recipe.

See more photos here, I used my rice recipe from here without the lima bean mixture and the fresh salsa?  I have pictures ready but have to type the recipe up soon!

(I shared this post at Allergy Friendly Friday 6/3/11 at CybelePascal.com)

Ketchup Recipe

This recipe is adapted from a great one you can find on Instructables, we can’t find a safe brand in stores because we need it not just wheat free but corn and grape free as well.  This is also the easiest we’ve found and is great on bean burgers.  My mother in law (mixing in the photo above) always makes it right before she leaves town so I’ll have a bunch ready for easy meals like skillet potatoes and sunshine burgers (I’ll have to write about these later, they use sunflower seeds and E loves them though my husband isn’t a fan).

Supplies

Large Saucepan

Whisk

Containers for storing finished ketchup.

Ingredients

5 cups of water

24 ounces (4 six ounce cans) of tomato paste

1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

8 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 teaspoons molasses

2 teaspoons agave nectar

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in your large saucepan and bring to a simmer, then you want to simmer on low for about an hour and a half and then continue afterwards until you reach the desired thickness.  The one pictured was a batch that yielded about 6 cups.

The theme at Cybele Pascal’s Allergy Friendly Friday for 4/29/11 is celebration!  I think homemade ketchup fits in with parties and picnics, right?  Click through for some great recipes!

Marinara Sauce Recipe

This one is simple but very handy and cost effective (under $5 for ingredients)!  I originally started making Deborah Madison’s version for a pizza sauce in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (amazon affiliate link, it is on page 507) but it has changed a lot, especially with the six pound Costco sized can of crushed tomatoes ($2.69 each).  You can make the equivalent of about 7 jars of store-bought marinara (they’re usually a pound a jar) for a fraction of the cost.  I make a batch put it into freezer ziploc bags, get as much air out as possible, then lay them flat until frozen.  Laying them flat helps with defrosting later on.

My mother in law and I call this one of our “fast food” options because you can take out some sauce, some white rice pasta (tinkyada is our favorite, amazon affiliate link) or quinoa and frozen veggies and you have yourself a dinner you can make with a baby on your hip.

Sometimes I put in mushrooms or red peppers, there are many options, but this is the cheapest and easiest.  If I have fresh herbs I use those, if I am out of fresh garlic I use granulated garlic, so it is flexible.  Here are the photos.

Supplies

5 quart saucepan with lid or splatter screen

Cutting board, knife

Ingredients

6 pound 10 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

6 ounce can of tomato paste

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 a head of garlic (about 12 cloves) crushed

4 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of sugar

3 tablespoons of dried basil

3 tablespoons of dried parsley

1/2 tablespoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons salt (and to taste)

Directions

Heat your pan on medium, add oil and heat until shimmering.  Add your diced onion and fry until translucent.  Then add your sugar, garlic, and spices.  Fry another minute or two and then add the crushed tomatoes slowly (they will splatter coming out of the can).  Add the whole can of tomato paste.  You’ll see a picture below with additional basil and parsley, I started with two tablespoons of each and it wasn’t enough so I added more.  Adjust your spices and seasonings to taste after they’ve had a chance to cook together a little.  Get the sauce to simmer and then reduce to low, put the lid on a little off kilter so that your sauce doesn’t splatter but air can get out.  Cook it for an hour to meld and  reduce the liquid, then taste and adjust your spices as you like.

Once it has cooled, put a quart ziploc bag inside a measuring cup (I use a 2 cup pyrex, amazon affiliate link) on a kitchen scale (amazon affiliate link to the one I use) and set it to zero.  Then you can measure one or two pounds of sauce per bag.  I actually do 2 pound bags because rice pasta soaks sauce up really fast and you need more of it for a meal.  Mark the bag with the date so you make sure to rotate batches in and out of the freezer.  You can also mark if they have extra ingredients, this one is good for wheat free pizza but I make versions with veggies inside for other dinners.

You can also add oregano but I find dried oregano makes my food taste dusty (anyone else find this?) so I use it sparingly or not at all.  It is quite nice fresh but even brand new dried oregano is not my thing.

Vegetable and Bean Soup Recipe

(Shared on the 4/8/11 Allergy Friendly Friday page at Cybele Pascal’s blog, check it out for great ideas and recipes!)

Grandma is holding R as I type, let me see if I can get this into the computer (usually I use my iPod Touch but for heavy typing it is annoying to use). . .

Here is a link to the photos I posted yesterday, I picked my favorite “in progress” shot and placed it above, I really like the shower of water drops on the drained beans.  The final picture is the soup straight from the pot yesterday.  E was a good helper but she is sick so she wasn’t as content as usual to be cooking.  R needed attention as I was finishing prep but that is how it goes.  You could do a lot of chopping the night before if your kids are better at being patient then, just put the potatoes in water to soak in the fridge after chopping so they don’t get brown.  I’ve read that you should cook right after chopping (something about cell walls in veggies) but I am not sure the nutrient level goes down much, if at all.

So I like to use Bob’s Red Mill’s 13 Bean Soup Mix, I use Subscribe and save with free shipping to get it for $13.29 (you can always cancel the subscription right after or do a long schedule, I do 6 months, and when they’re about to re-ship they email you with a week of time so you can cancel/check for better prices), then divide the bag in half by weight so each portion of beans for 4 quarts of soup is $1.67.  Here’s an amazon affiliate link (disclosure: I get some percentage of the sale with that link).

My friend asked for this one after her daughter enjoyed it.  It makes me so happy when people enjoy what I make!  This is a variation on a soup my mom made for us as kids so I dedicate my first recipe post to her.  She also taught me to cook especially after I had my first baby.  Thank you muttie!

With that, on with the recipe!

Supplies

5 quart pot

Colander (Sieve)

Large Bowl

Knife, Peeler, Cutting Board

Ingredients

14.5 Ounces of Dried Beans (my mix has Navy, Black, Red, Pinto, Limas, Large Limas, Garbanzo, Great Northern, Kidney Beans, Black-eyed, Yellow Split, Green Split Peas, and Lentils.)

1/2 medium onion, diced

7 ounces celery (about 3 stalks), chopped

7 ounces peeled and chopped carrots (about 6 or 7)

2 pounds russet potatoes, chopped in 2 inch chunks (you can use other kinds but the soup might not get as thick)

6 ounce can of tomato paste

3 tablespoons dried parsley (I was out of fresh)

4 teaspoons granulated garlic (out of fresh, I usually use 4 cloves, minced)

1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil

2 teaspoons turmeric (no worries if you don’t have this, I love turmeric though!)

2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or regular is fine, if you like a more assertive smoky flavour, use more)

1 tablespoon salt (plus to taste)

1 tablespoon pepper

4 tablespoons olive or canola oil

4 cups vegetable broth

3 cups water

Directions

The night before, soak your beans in a big bowl covered with two inches or so of water.  The next day, put your pot on the stove and heat it on medium (I have an electric stove so I use the middle setting, it should be high enough to get your oil shimmering).  Chop your onions, add your oil to the pan and add onions once the oil shimmers when you tilt the pan.

While the onions fry (stirring occasionally), chop your celery, carrots, and potatoes.  You can also mince your garlic now.  After the onions are softening, add garlic and your spices (in the pictures I added the salt and pepper later with the potatoes but you can do what you like).  Stir to mix and let everything fry for a minute.

Now add your carrots and celery, mix and fry another minute or two.  I had to read Green Eggs and Ham to E at this point (she was on the counter watching) so I ended up cooking too long and needed to deglaze the pan.  This is where you pour a splash or water (I use the water in my tea kettle) into the pan and stir to get the nice fried bits off the bottom.  If you have a non-stick pot you won’t have to do this.

Add your potatoes and stir.  Drain and rinse your beans.  Add the whole can of tomato paste and stir.  Now add your beans, then 4 cups of broth (the whole box if you buy it in quarts, I had E help open it, it is a nice way to give a child ownership of a meal to let them help as much as they can).

I usually don’t measure the water I add, I fill the rest of the pot with water until it hits the rivets.  This time it was 3 cups.  If you add more veggies or have less for some reason, you’d end up adding differing amount of water.  Bring the soup to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low.  I reduced it to the “warm” setting (my settings are warm, low, 3, 4, and 5) and it took 2-3 hours at this setting for the beans to be cooked.  If you cook too long it is still really tasty but the beans come apart.  This makes me think it would be a great crock pot recipe but I haven’t tried that yet.

Serve with a dash of lemon juice and salt (my favorite style) or with tabasco sauce (my husband likes this, though it has vinegar of a type E can’t have we keep it in the house because she doesn’t eat it, it is one of the few “unsafe” things we keep).

This served 3 adults, 1 toddler, and 1 baby (he ate a mashed potato from the pot) for dinner (with some allergy free biscuits made by my mother in law, they are so good!) and provided a container for my husband’s lunch tomorrow.  It will also be lunch for the rest of us today.

As always, soup is better the second and third day.