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Two-Bean Nachos

In less than two months, The Plant Protein Revolution will be here!  I can’t wait for this book to come out as a response  to that perennial question “Where do you get your protein?”

To give you a sneak peek, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from the book, Two-Bean Nachos. I love nachos because they are easy to make and fun to eat, not to mention delicious.  This recipe is all that and more — with 17 grams of protein per serving.  Make the cheesy sauce in advance and the nachos will come together in minutes.

BONUS! The book is available now for pre-order and if you pre-order before August 11, 2020, my publisher will send you additional bonus recipes that you can start using right away!

Just send your proof of purchase to the following e-mail address: plantproteinrev@quarto.com and they’ll send you the bonus recipes.

Now let’s dig into some nachos….

Two-Bean Nachos

  • 1 3/4 cups Easy Cheesy Sauce (recipe follows), kept warm
  • 1 (12-ounce [340 g]) bag whole-grain tortilla chips
  • 11/2 cups (355 g) cooked black beans, or 1 (15-ounce [425 g]) can, rinsed and drained
  • 11/2 cups (354 g) cooked dark red kidney beans, or 1 (15-ounce [425 g]) can, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) chopped red onion or scallions, white and green parts
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 1/4 cup (15 g) chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lime juice
  • Sea salt

Prepare the sauce and keep it warm. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Spread the tortilla chips in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until the chips are crisp and warm, about 5 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Sprinkle the black beans evenly over the chips, followed by the red kidney beans, tomato, onion, jalapeños, cilantro, if using, and the hemp seeds. In a small bowl, toss the avocado with the lime juice and season with salt. Top the nachos with the avocado, then drizzle the warmed cheesy sauce over the nachos and serve immediately.

This recipe is from The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook by Robin Robertson (c) 2020, The Harvard Common Press.

 

Easy Cheesy Sauce

Makes 1 3/4 cups (415 ml)

This creamy golden sauce is rich and full of flavorful protein-rich goodness. I use it to drizzle over nachos and as a topping for baked potatoes, roasted vegetables, and enchiladas.

  • 11/4 cups (38 g) raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then well-drained
  • 1/3 cup (21 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) jarred roasted red pepper, drained and blotted dry
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup (235 ml) plain unsweetened plant milk, plus more as needed

Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Process until the mixture is pureed and smooth, scraping down the sides, as needed. The sauce is now ready to use in recipes.  Use as is, or heat gently in a saucepan for a minute or two, stirring in a little more milk, if needed, for a thinner sauce.

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The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook

I’m very happy to announce that my new cookbook, The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook, launches in less than three months. And the timing couldn’t be better as more people than ever are moving away from eating animals.

If you’re new to a plant-based diet (or even if you’re not) chances are you’ll be asked the same question I’ve been asked since going vegan over thirty years ago: “Where do you get your protein?

The short answer, of course, is “From plants!”

A longer answer (along with 85 delicious protein-packed recipes) can be found in The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook.  The recipes in this book provide maximum plant-based protein, along with all the other nutrients that plant foods contain. The book also contains lots of helpful information and charts along with stunning photos by Jackie Sobon.

There are recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts, including:

  • Two Bean Nachos
  • Rainbow Salad with Lemon Chia Dressing
  • Bean and Beet Burgers
  • Plant-Powered Club Sandwiches
  • Tacos with Creamy Sriracha-Lime Slaw
  • Tofu Ramen Bowls
  • Super Shepherd’s Pie
  • Pasta and White Beans with Spinach-Walnut Pesto
  • Chickpea Piccata with Mushrooms
  • Indonesian Noodles with Tempeh
  • Super Frittata
  • Everything Avocado Toast with White Beans and Roasted Tomatoes
  • Blueberry Chia Pudding
  • Chocolate-Kissed Peanut Butter Pie

BONUS! The book is available now for pre-order and if you pre-order before August 11, 2020, my publisher will send you additional bonus recipes that you can start using right away! Just send your proof of purchase to the following e-mail address: plantproteinrev@quarto.com and they’ll send you the bonus recipes.

Soon, when someone asks how I get my protein, I can give them a copy of The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook and say, “I get my protein from plants. Don’t you?”

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Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese by Robin Robertson

Now that Quarantine Cooking has been a thing for nearly two months, there is a temptation to get into a cooking rut. Whenever my culinary mojo slows down, I page through one of my cookbooks for renewed inspiration.

Last night, Vegan Mac and Cheese was my muse.  Besides, what better comfort food is there than mac and cheese? I’ve been craving artichokes, so I decided on Bill’s Artichoke Mac and Chips.  It is named for our friend Bill who loves artichokes, mac uncheese, and our local Route 11 potato chips. I came up with this recipe that combines all three of his favorites for a special birthday dinner for him one year.

This time, to add more veggies, I also stirred in some steamed chopped spinach.  The finished dish was so good and reminded me of spinach-artichoke dip.  Here’s the recipe (minus the spinach, but if you’re using it, just add about 2 cups of well-drained chopped cooked spinach in Step #4 when combining all the ingredients.

Bill’s Artichoke Mac and Chips

This recipe is from Vegan Mac and Cheese by Robin Robertson (c) 2019, Harvard Common Press.

Sauce:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups (600 to 720 ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups (140 to 210 g) unsalted raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, well drained
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (172.5 to 230) vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (34 g) white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon (16 g) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

Pasta and Artichokes:

  • 16 ounces (454 g) cellentani, cavatappi, or other corkscrew pasta
  • 2 (12-ounce, or 340 g) jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained, quartered or coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (9 g) capers
  • 1 cup (56 g) crumbled potato chips
  1. To make the sauce: In a high-speed blender, combine all the sauce ingredients. Purée until completely smooth. Taste and add more salt, as needed. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly coat 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish with cooking oil spray. Set aside.
  3. To make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until tender. Drain well and return it to the pot.
  4. Add the artichokes, capers, and sauce to the pasta and gently stir to combine. Transfer the mac and cheese into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle the potato chip crumbs over the top, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until hot.

 

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Spaghetti LoMein

In our small town, the most vegan-friendly food available has been the local Chinese take-out restaurant.  Sadly, they closed down during this pandemic. To satisfy our cravings, I’ve included a few stir-fries in my menu rotation.  One of our favorites is Spaghetti Lo Mein.  (I make it with spaghetti because most traditional lo mein noodles contain egg and are therefore not vegan.)

This recipe is quite versatile.  Use fresh veggies if you’ve got them, but frozen veggies work quite well too. The last time I made them I used frozen bell pepper strips and substituted sliced zucchini for the mushrooms.  Use what you’ve got! Here’s the recipe from my quarantine-friendly cookbook, Cook the Pantry:

Spaghetti Lo-Mein

If you are using leftover cooked pasta, steam the broccoli for 3 to 5 minutes. If you don’t have fresh vegetables on hand for this recipe, substitute frozen stir-fry vegetables, cooked according to package directions. This recipe is from Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson © 2015, published by Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Annie Oliverio.

  •  8 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or other soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral-tasting oil such as grapeseed oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup reconstituted Soy Curls  or diced extra-firm tofu or seitan (optional)

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender.  About 3 to 5 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the broccoli. Drain the pasta and broccoli and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the tamari, hoisin, sesame oil, and sriracha, if using.  Add the water and sherry, if using. Mix well and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, carrot, scallions, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the Soy Curls, if using and stir to combine.  Stir in the reserved noodles and the sauce mixture, and gently toss to combine until heated through.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot.

Makes 4 servings

Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson

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Singapore Mei Fun

Quarantine cooking can be fun — as in mei fun!  Mei fun noodles are very thin Chinese rice noodles (also called rice vermicelli). It is a popular street food in Singapore. Basic mei fun can be somewhat bland, usually stir-fried with shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, and a few other ingredients, with additional condiments served on the side.

Singapore mei fun, on the other hand, is distinctive for its addition of curry powder. It usually features a number of vegetables, and some type of protein food — my version calls for tofu, but you can substitute seitan, tempeh, or soy curls.

If rice vermicelli noodles are unavailable, you can make this with angel hair pasta instead (cooked al dente before adding to the skillet). Also feel free to change up the vegetables used (zucchini instead of broccoli, or green peas instead of snow peas, for example). The seasoning can also be adjusted to your taste, add more red pepper flakes (or a drizzle of Sriracha) for more heat, or use more or less curry powder.

Here is the recipe for Singapore Mei Fun.  Since I.m limiting my trips to the supermarket, I was out of bell pepper, snow peas, broccoli, and cilantro, so I just used cabbage, carrots, and frozen green peas – and it was still super-delicious.  Use what you got!  This is what my quarantine version looked like last night:

This recipe is from my most beautiful cookbook, Vegan Without Borders.  If you don’t have this book, now is a great time to get it — it’s like taking a culinary tour around the world, right in your own home!

Singapore Mei Fun

  • 8 ounces rice vermicelli (mei fun noodles)
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, divided
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons good-quality Madras curry powder (I used 2 tablespoons  S&B curry powder blended with water)
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin matchstick strips (or shredded cabbage)
  • 1 carrot, coarsely shredded
  • 2 ounces snow peas, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (or frozen green pea)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets, lightly steamed (or steamed green beans cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Soak the rice noodles according to the package directions until softened. Drain well and set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and stir-fry until nicely browned, adding 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and a sprinkling of curry powder while cooking. Remove from the skillet and set aside on a plate.

Reheat the skillet with the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and snow peas, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes to soften. Stir in the remaining curry powder and stir-fry 10 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, along with the sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes, stirring to mix well. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add the drained rice noodles and return to a boil, stirring to coat the noodles in the sauce. Add the steamed broccoli and reserved tofu, and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed by the noodles. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot sprinkled with cilantro. Serves 4

Recipe is from Vegan Without Borders (c) 2014 by Robin Robertson

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Quarantine Quesadillas and Stay-At-Home Menu Plan

I hope you’re prepared for cooking during quarantine.  I know I am.  But I owe my preparedness in the path of hurricanes for many years.  Hurricane preparedness was so much a part of our lives, that we actually wrote a book about it!  And now, that the same kind of preparedness is helpful during these strange days of self-isolation.

Even though we’re allowed to venture out for groceries, I prefer to keep my interactions with the outside world to a minimum.  That’s why we made one trip to the store last week and shopped for enough food to last a month. The canned and dried beans and pasta was the easy part. I also stocked the freezer with an extra supply of frozen spinach, collards, broccoli, and other green veggies because I knew the fresh, more delicate produce would be the first things we needed to use up. I then loaded up the fridge with plant milk, tofu, and lots of fresh produce.

I planned menus that used the most delicate product first, so now, over a week since shopping, we’re nearly out of fresh greens — I have enough lettuce for about three more salads. But we still have a lot of other hardy veggies like cabbage, carrots, celery, winter squash, and of course, white and sweet potatoes.  I bought a lot of fruit that I’m keeping refrigerated to last longer, pulling out only what we’ll use in a day each morning.

Here is a list of what I plan to cook in the weeks ahead using what I have on hand:

Stay-at-home Menu Plan

  • Chili Mac & salad
  • Tacos
  • Pizza & salad
  • Hakka noodle stir-fry
  • Lentil soup
  • Stuffed kabocha squash
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Ramen bowls
  • Vegetable fried rice
  • Tofu tetrazzini with green beans
  • Saag with tofu and basmati rice
  • Enchiladas
  • Pasta Fagiole
  • Tofu scramble
  • 15-bean soup
  • Seitan Pot Roast with Cabbage, Carrots & Potatoes
  • Artichoke Mac UnCheese
  • Three bean pasta salad
  • Veggie Dogs w/sauerkraut
  • Chickpea salad wraps
  • Singapore mei fun
  • Hoppin’ John

If you have a copy of my book Cook the Pantry or Vegan Unplugged, you’ll find lots of useful tips and recipes using pantry ingredients.  I’ll be sharing some of those recipes in the weeks ahead.  For now, I’ll leave you with the recipe from Cook the Pantry for Spinach and White Bean Quesadillas or as they are now known, Quarantine Quesadillas.  Stay safe!

Spinach and White Bean Quesadillas aka “Quarantine Quesadillas”

Frozen spinach and canned white beans combine with garlic and spices to make a delectable filling for these hearty quesadillas.  No cheese needed.  Serve with your favorite salsa.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or 2 tablespoons water to water-saute)
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Large flour tortillas

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the beans, lemon juice, coriander, and cumin.  Cook, stirring, until the spinach is cooked and the flavors are blended, about 5 minutes.  Mash the beans well while cooking. Set aside.

Place a large tortillas on a flat work surface. Spread a thin layer of the spinach mixture evenly over half of the tortilla. Fold the remaining half of the tortilla over the half with the filling and press gently to enclose and spread the filling close to the edges.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the quesadilla in the hot skillet.  Flatten with a spatula and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the quesadillas and cook until the other side is golden brown.  Cut into wedges. Repeat with more tortillas and filling as desired. Serve hot with salsa.

This recipe is from Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson © 2015, published by Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Annie Oliverio.

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