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).

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!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux posts only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

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” doss 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

Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Enchiladas

17 May

Did you know it’s National Vegetarian Week? Twitter told me so! I’ve been vegetarian for more than two years now, so this requires nothing different for my eating habits, but I realize that it could be a daunting challenge for many Americans. Add to that the fact I’m in Wisconsin, where I swear every meal has to contain a meat product of some kind, and it’s easy to see why going vegetarian would be a difficult task for the masses.

NVW-Banner-V1

In the time since I’ve stopped eating meat, I’ve learned that it’s all about changing your frame of mind when it comes to menu planning, cooking, and even ordering out at restaurants. Many view vegetarianism as a diet of exclusion: one must exclude meat from their meals, leaving behind the boring side dishes to make up the bulk of your eats. While technically true, vegetarianism is so much more – it highlights the wonderful vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds and dairy products that are abundant in every culture. It forces cooking creativity to impart flavor and interesting texture combinations. And it brings out the natural tastes of all ingredients within.

Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Enchiladas | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Whether you are willing to make one day per week vegetarian (i.e. Meatless Monday), go vegetarian for this week in May, or say “no thank you” to meat for good, I guarantee you’ll love this enchilada dish!

It’s packed with smoky flavor from the roasted poblanos, protein and fiber from the black beans, and good carbs from the tortillas and veggies overall. Homemade sauce rounds out this meal (because it really is super easy and you shouldn’t need to buy a can of sauce with tons of additives), and a bit of shredded cheese gives it the salty, creamy kick that goes oh so well on Mexican dishes. Oh, and it’ll be ready in 30 minutes, start to finish! Make this vegetarian, gluten-free dish for a quick weeknight meal and please the whole family, regardless your daily diet preferences. Make it vegan by choosing a dairy-free cheese, or skip it entirely.

Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Enchiladas

Serves 4

  • 3 large poblano peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 12 6″ corn tortillas
  • 3 oz shredded cheese (I used Queso Quesadilla)

Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce or hot pepper paste
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Begin by roasting the poblano peppers. If you have a gas stove, turn on one of your burners and, using a metal pair of tongs, roast the whole peppers until the skins blacken almost completely. If your stove is electric, use the broiler in your oven instead. Lay the whole peppers on a sheet pan and broil until the skins blacken.

Transfer the blackened peppers to a paper lunch bag and fold over the top. Let the peppers steam themselves for a few minutes. This will make it much easier to scrape off the skins.

Use a sharp knife to scrape off all the black bits. Cut open the peppers and scrape out the seeds; discard. Chop up the peppers.

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high. Saute the diced onion with the black beans and chopped poblano. Cook 5-7 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

While the vegetables cook, make the sauce. Dump all ingredients into your blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

To assemble:

Pour 1/4 of the enchilada sauce into a 9×13″ glass baking dish. Spread evenly over the bottom. Spoon about two tablespoons of the pepper and bean filling into a tortilla and roll up. Place seam-side down in the dish. Repeat with the rest of the 11 tortillas, placing each rolled enchilada next to the previous one, so they’re packed in well. Pour the rest of sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and cover the dish with foil.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve hot. Top with plain Greek yogurt, salsa, avocado, or cilantro.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Black Bean Pasta

11 May

It’s taper week for me! Yep, my half marathon is THIS SATURDAY and I’m super excited about it. Training has gone really well, my pace has drastically improved, and I FEEL good about it, both mentally and physically.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Black Bean Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Had to snap a pic on my last long training run. 12 miles felt GOOD.

My taper week has been slightly derailed by poor weather — it was raining and gusty all day yesterday, so instead of my planned 2 mile pace run, I practiced yoga in my bedroom, followed by some much-needed foam rolling. I’m aiming to make up the miles tonight, and then plan to take it pretty easy on Thursday and Friday. I foresee a nice walk in my future and LOTS more foam rolling!

Part of taper week means an increase in the amount of calories I eat from carbs. And that means more pasta 🙂 This recipe is easy, but I’ve made it so many times for dinner recently, that I had to share it with you.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Black Bean Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Fresh cherry tomatoes are combined with black beans to roast in flavorful basil-infused olive oil, while pasta boils away on the stovetop. It’s a perfect combination of carbs, fiber, protein and fat, whether you’re tapering or just craving pasta!

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Black Bean Pasta

Serves 2

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 1 C black beans
  • 1 tbsp basil-infused olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz short pasta
  • Optional: shredded cheese to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a small sheet pan with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray.

In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, black beans, olive oil and salt and pepper to coat evenly. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast at 400 for 20 minutes.

While the tomatoes roast, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, to al dente. Drain the cooked pasta and divide into two bowls.

Spoon the roasted tomatoes and black beans over the cooked pasta. Shred cheese on top, if desired. Enjoy hot.

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