Tag Archives: black bean

Vegan Spaghetti Dinner with Black Bean Pasta Sauce

22 Sep

With an oversized apron tied ‘round my waist and a wooden spoon in hand, I was always an eager young cook. This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is “first cooking memories,” and I have quite a few of those! I remember rolling, cutting and decorating sugar cookies for Christmas with Oma (and trying to sneak some of the raw dough while she wasn’t looking). I remember stirring the contents of various pots of food on the stove at Grandma’s house during holiday & birthday dinners. I remember rolling out the dough and prepping the fillings with dad for apple and pumpkin pies leading up to Thanksgiving. And I remember how much I loved spaghetti for dinner, and helping mom prepare it.

Vegan Spaghetti Dinner with Black Bean Pasta Sauce | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Those daily memories are often the most basic, yet enjoyable to think back on. Oma had made kid-sized aprons for my sister and I to don while helping our parents cook. Which is good – I can only imagine we created somewhat of a mess in the process! My love of cooking and food began with all of that. My family respected my help in the kitchen, and the older I got, the more responsibility was given to me. Where I first was allowed to stir the sauce, I progressed to browning the meat for the sauce (yes, I used to eat meat). Instead of just putting the pot of water on the stove to boil, I actually cooked the noodles all the way through. We switched from store-bought garlic bread, to garlicking (is that a word? It is now) a fresh loaf of bread.

When my sis and I were finally old enough, and knowledgeable enough, to cook on our own, our parents tasked us with making dinner once a week for a whole summer! We had to plan the meal, add the ingredients to the grocery list (after first checking the pantry & freezer for anything we already had), go shopping with them (an activity I still love to this day), prep the ingredients, and cook the entire meal. Sure, we frequently asked questions regarding technique, timing, and what something in the recipe might mean, but we did it all on our own, at a relatively young age. This was fantastic prep for meals when we were alone, and certainly for college survival.

Thanks to my parents and grandparents for those early cooking experiences! Because of that, I now find great joy in the entire cooking process, from recipe creation to meal devouring. And with that, here’s a healthy, vegan take on that spaghetti dinner I used to help prepare. Mashed and seasoned black beans replace ground beef, and a homemade sauce elevates the flavor of jarred varieties. It’s a great weeknight dinner that you can even get your kids to help with 🙂

Vegan Spaghetti Dinner with Black Bean Pasta Sauce | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Vegan Spaghetti Dinner

Serves 4

  • 8 oz whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 C water

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat oil over medium-high in a large skillet. Cook the onion 5-7 minutes, until translucent and fragrant. Add the black beans and cook another 3-4 minutes to heat through. Use a flat wooden spoon or fork to mash the black beans and onions together. You’re looking for consistency similar to cooked ground beef. Stir in the seasonings, cooking through another 2-3 minutes.

Now stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, garlic and water. Mom always taught me to add a spoonful of sugar to tomato-based sauces, to cut the acidic properties of tomatoes and bring out their taste.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 7 minutes. Cook through another 5 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it into the skillet with your sauce, and toss to coat. Taste and add more salt or pepper as desired.

Serve and enjoy hot! This pairs well with a leafy green salad and bottle of red wine (or juice for the kids).

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Creamy Black Bean and Carrot Ribbon Salad

21 Jul

Food prep has never been my strong suit. I’m great at planning out food for the day ahead, or bigger weekend events. But a whole week’s worth of meals? Nah, I’ll figure it out later.

But this week it’s going to climb up to 97 degrees here, and without A/C at home, food prep has become invaluable. The last thing I want to do is turn on the oven or even a burner on the stove, and generate added heat in our house.

And that heat is where I drew inspiration for this month’s Recipe Redux theme: get your fruits and veggies in shape! We’ve been challenged to present a recipe featuring a creative way to serve produce. I’ve recently been loving carrot ribbons or shaved carrot. They’re a great way to get in that kerotene-rich vegetable in a super crunchy and fun way. I’ve put them in wraps and sandwiches, and now, beneath a creamy black bean salad!

Creamy Black Bean & Carrot Ribbon Salad | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This salad is the perfect hot-weather meal! It’s cold and creamy and doesn’t require any heat at all. Chop, mix, shave and serve and you have a complete meal that’s packed with protein and fiber, without the need to bring anything to boil or bake at 375 for an hour. I’ll save those recipes for when it cools off 🙂

Even better: make this ahead of time to let the flavors deepen and meld together. Simply shave your carrots when you want to eat this salad, and you’re ready to go! Make a big batch of it and repurpose throughout the week. You could totally add an egg or avocado slices or just pair with more veggies! We enjoyed this while at an outdoor musical festival in one of the local neighborhoods: Chill on the Hill.

Creamy Black Bean & Carrot Ribbon Salad | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

How do you manage meals during hot weather? I’d love to know your tricks & tips!

Creamy Black Bean & Carrot Ribbon Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 stalks celery, diced1 large jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 3-4 large whole carrots, peeled

In a large bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add in the black beans, celery, jalapeno, and chives. Stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat – either the same day or within 5 days.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave your peeled carrots to create long, thin ribbons. You could also use a spiralizer.

Cut the carrot ribbons in half so they’re not too long. Layer in the bottom of your bowls and top with the prepared, chilled salad.

As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

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Black Bean Pesto Pasta

2 Jun

This week seems to have me dashing between post-work activities. Whether that’s from the mall to yoga class, or from a run, to the shower, to orchestra rehearsal, I haven’t gotten much time at home!

But that’s no excuse for not cooking. Yep, you heard me: being “busy” does not automatically translate into “picking up something for dinner.” There is almost always time to whip up a healthy meal, and this recipe is a perfect example of that!

Black Bean Pesto Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

OK, it’s really more of a suggested pairing than a proper recipe. But, there is heat involved and mixing. So that counts, right? Regardless its classification, this pasta is DELISH. Black beans provide a ton of fiber and protein, whole wheat pasta is a nice load of carbs for when you’re running around, and the pesto adds the perfect flavor. I keep a jar of my favorite brand in the fridge for a quick flavor boost.

Black Bean Pesto Pasta
Serves 4

  • 8 oz shell pasta – whole wheat or gluten free, as desired
  • 1 15 oz can (or 1-1/2 C cooked from dry) black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 3 tbsp prepared vegan pesto sauce

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions.

Drain the cooked pasta and return to the warm pot. Mix in the black beans and pesto sauce.

Serve pasta garnished with fresh chives or chiffonade basil.

Black Bean Pesto Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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