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Black Bean Noodles for Halloween


If you’re looking for a fun dish to make on Halloween, look for these black bean noodles.  They’re made with just black beans and water — no additives — and they’re vegan, gluten-free, high in protein, and low in carbs. I buy them on Amazon, but I”ve heard they are also available at Costco.

My favorite way to use these noodles is in Asian dishes like a noodle salad or stir-fry.  I even featured them in my book Cook the Pantry in a recipe called Manchurian Black Bean Noodles.  (I generally don’t use these noodles in Italian recipes because I’m a purist when it comes to Italian food, and the taste and texture is different from Italian pasta.)

So I made the Manchurian Noodles for dinner last night with the addition of some diced carrots for Halloween — but I forgot to take a photo!  Coincidentally, my FB friend Birgit also made the Manchurian Noodle recipe from my book last night — but SHE remembered to take a picture.  So, with her permission, I’m sharing her photo of the dish — her’s doesn’t have the carrots in it, but I highly recommend adding some cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash if you make this for Halloween.

manchurian black bean noodles

Here’s the recipe:

Manchurian Black Bean Noodles
Serve with a green salad or make it a one-dish meal and top it with a cooked orange veggie for Halloween!
Note: If you don’t have black bean linguine, you can use any noodles you may have on hand. This recipe is from Cook the Pantry by Robin Robertson © 2015, published by Vegan Heritage Press.

1 (8-ounce) package black bean linguine (or other pasta)
1 tablespoon safflower oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped scallion, optional
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional

Cook the pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and
ginger, and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Stir in the soy sauce, sambal oelek, ketchup,
vinegar, sugar, onion powder, and cayenne. Add the black beans and water and bring just
to a boil, stirring to mix well. Partially mash the beans while stirring to make a thicker
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and transfer to a large serving bowl or individual shallow
bowls. Top with the sauce and garnish with scallions and cilantro, if using. Serve hot.




Spaghetti Lo Mein + Giveaway Winner

Spaghetti Lo Mein3 LoRes

Today I’d like to share my recipe for Spaghetti Lo Mein from Cook the Pantry.  It’s one of my go-to weeknight dinners and can be ready in the time it takes to get Chinese takeout.  Only this version isn’t loaded with oil and msg!  Another thing I like about this recipe is its versatility.  You can make it with any noodles you like such as rice noodles or other gluten-free noodles; you can change up the veggies too, using cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, or another favorite in place of the broccoli.  You can also include some stir-fried tofu, seitan, or tempeh instead of the optional Soy Curls. And of course, you can adjust the heat and other seasonings to suit your own taste.

Before we get to the recipe, it’s time to announce the winner of Proteinaholic, the great new book by Dr. Garth Davis and Howard Jacobson.  The Random Number Generator has chosen: Birgit Davis.  Congratulations, Birgit!  Email me with your address and a copy of Proteinaholic will be sent out to you.

Now, here’s that recipe for Spaghetti Lo Mein from Cook the Pantry.  If you already have Cook the Pantry, I hope you’ll do me a favor and post a review of the book on Amazon to help spread the word.  And if you don’t have Cook the Pantry yet, check it out — it’s only $12.76 on Amazon and is loaded with easy recipes using on hand ingredients that get you in and out of the kitchen in 20 minutes or less!

Spaghetti Lo-Mein
Makes 4 servings
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
2 cups small 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 safflower 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 (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 safflower 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 cook for a few minutes, tossing gently to combine until heated through. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot.


Cook the Pantry











Now for something completely different…. a giveaway and guest post from Garth Davis, MD, and Howard Jacobson, PhD, the authors of the fascinating and well researched new book: Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat is Killing Us and What To Do About It.   After you read the informative Q&A, leave a comment to be entered to win your own copy of Proteinaholic!

Here’s the Q&A:

Q: If you decide to become a vegetarian or vegan, do you need to combine grains and beans at every meal to make sure you get enough protein?
A: Protein is so abundant, it’s impossible to be protein deficient if you’re getting enough calories. Our requirements are quite low, since we’re very efficient at using and recycling amino acids. The only way you could be protein deficient is to survive on sugar. Even enriched, bleached white wheat flour contains 11% protein!

Q: Isn’t protein the most important nutrient? Shouldn’t we err on the side of getting too much rather than not enough?
A: The real danger in our society is excess protein, which occurs commonly in those eating animal products on a regular basis. Animal protein toxicity contributes to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, just to name a few common chronic conditions.
The “protein scare” is a marketing tactic with no basis in science. If you’re worried about whether you’re getting enough protein, take 15 seconds and check out the Proteinaholic protein requirements calculator, which is based on research done by the US government and the World Health Organization.
Q: Why do doctors, personal trainers, and bloggers all tell me to eat lots of protein? If they all agree, how can they be wrong?
A: Doctors learn almost nothing about nutrition in medical school. Your doctor probably knows less about nutrition than you do.
The modern history of protein intake recommendations has been one of continual inflation. The US Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) takes the average protein requirement and adds enough extra to cover over 97% of the population, so there’s a 47% that if you follow the RDA, you’re getting too much protein. Add to that the fact that most medical and fitness professionals disregard the science-based RDA in favor of unvalidated calculations that are much higher. Then they overadjust for activity, incorrectly assuming that getting exercise hugely ramps up your protein requirements. Turns out it doesn’t. Bodybuilders need only 5% more protein than sedentary folks. Endurance athletes need 67% more, but since most Americans eat double or triple the RDA, we’re all eating far more protein than even the most dedicated ultramarathoner requires.
Finally, they misuse the formula, mistakenly basing their calculations on weight rather than lean muscle mass. Think about it: if you weigh 150 pounds, you need a certain amount of protein. If you gain 150 pounds of fat, you now weigh 300 pounds, but you don’t need more protein. That’s why science-based protein calculators (like the one at Proteinaholic.com/calculator) use lean body mass (all your weight minus your fat) to figure out how much protein you need.
Q: If animal protein leads to weight gain, how come people lose weight on low carb diets like Atkins or Paleo?
A: The rapid initial weight loss from a low carb diet is mostly water loss. When we deprive our body of its preferred fuel, carbohydrates, it grabs the next best thing: glycogen from the liver. This glycogen is stored in water, so when we burn it, we dispose of the water as well. Once we use up this reserve tank, the weight loss slows depending on calories in and calories out – in other words, fundamental thermodynamics. And people tend to eat less on low carb diets because of the lack of variety, and the nausea that accompanies the consumption of that much animal protein. Also, in my bariatric medicine clinic, pretty much 100% of my patients coming in for last-resort weight loss surgery have tried Atkins or another low-carb variation, often multiple times.  They all say the diet worked, in that they lost weight at first, but they were just too weak and undisciplined to stick with it. The truth is, you can’t stick with an Atkins diet long term any more than you could handle a low-oxygen diet. After a while, you would be gasping for air no matter how much willpower you brought to bear. And when you deprive your body of the fuel it needs, it will eventually hijack your brain to convince you to eat those “evil carbs.” Adherence failure is built into low carb diets. It’s not you.
Q: If I want to lose weight, shouldn’t I be avoiding foods like potatoes, rice, corn, and fruit?
A: Whole grains, starches, and fresh fruit are actually the dieter’s best friends. These foods provide the bulk of calories in every lean population ever studied. The only societies with obesity problems are those that add large amounts of animal products and highly processed and artificial foods to their diets. According to the National Weight Control Registry, which has tracked over 10,000 people who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off for years, the diet most closely correlated with success is a “low-energy, low-fat diet.”  And in multiple studies, vegans weigh less than ovo-lacto-vegetarians, who weigh less than those who include fish. Meat eaters are the heaviest. In fact, a plant powered diet rich in starches and fruit proves more effective than extremely calorically restrictive diets, which backfire by telling our bodies to slow down our metabolism in response to a famine situation.  So ignore what your paleo friends have been parroting. Eat from earth’s bounty, not too much, and get active. The pounds will start falling off.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment below to win a copy of Proteinaholic.  The Giveaway closes on Sunday 10/25 at midnight.  A winner will be announced on Monday, 10/26.



It’s “Cook the Pantry” Day!

Cook the Pantry

Today’s the day!  My new book, Cook the Pantry is now available!  This book is filled with easy recipes using on-hand pantry ingredients that can be ready in 20 minutes or less.  And with gorgeous recipe photos by Annie Oliverio, what’s not to love??  If you want satisfying delicious meals but don’t want to spend all day (or more than 20 minutes!) in the kitchen — then this is the book for you.  It ‘s an ideal choice for anyone you know who is new to plant-based cooking because it takes out all the guesswork.

In honor of the book coming out today, I want to share one of the recipes: Everyone’s Favorite Black Bean Chili.  It’s perfect for this chilly fall weather — I make it nearly every week during the fall and winter months.  Even though the recipe can be on the table within 20 minutes, I often just toss all the ingredients in a slow cooker right after lunch and let it heat up slowly during the afternoon.  That cuts the active prep time down to about 3 minutes — just long enough to dump everything in the cooker and turn it on.  When it’s time for dinner, you just have to dish it up!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and all the others in Cook the Pantry.

Favorite Chili8 LoRes
Everyone’s Favorite Black Bean Chili
Makes 4 servings

This is my go-to chili recipe. If I have cooked lentils on hand, I use them instead of the Soy Curls. You can also add some dark red kidney beans, if you like, to change things up a bit. If using Soy Curls, place them in a heatproof bowl with enough hot water to cover and set aside for 10 minutes to reconstitute. (Recipe from Cook the Pantry © 2015 by Robin Robertson. Photo by Annie Oliverio. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press LLC.)

1 cup reconstituted crumbled Soy Curls or texturized soy protein granules (optional)
2 (15.5-ounce) cans black beans, drained
1 (24-ounce) jar chunky tomato salsa (hot or mild)
1/4 cup bottled barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
Water, as needed

Combine the ingredients (including the reconstituted Soy Curls, if using) in a saucepan, reserving 1/2 cup of the corn. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through and the flavors are well blended. Add as much water as needed to create a sauce and prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently, until heated through and long enough to cook off any raw taste from the chili powder, about 15 minutes. Garnish with the remaining corn kernels.


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Vegan Bowls Giveaway Winner

Vegan Bowls by Zsu Dever

Time to announce the winner of the giveaway to win a copy of Vegan Bowls by Zsu Dever.  The winner, chosen at random is: Laura, from Laura Runs a Latte.  Congratulations, Laura!  Email me with your mailing address and a copy of Vegan Bowls will be on its way to you.

Judging by the response to the giveaway, there are a lot of fellow bowl-food lovers out there. I think you’d all love Zsu’s book — it’s filled with loads of fabulous recipes for all kinds of delicious bowl combos made with a variety of grains, vegetables, and plant proteins.  Vegan Bowls is available now on Amazon for only $12.76, so there’s no better time to buy it — you’ll love having recipes for these “cozy one-bowl meals” to get you through the fall and winter months!

Reminder: My new book, Cook the Pantry, goes on sale next week.  It’s available for preorder now and is perfect for those days when you want to whip up a quick and easy meal in less than 20 minutes using ingredients that are probably already on hand.  Check it out!

Cook the Pantry



Thai Panang Curry Bowl + Giveaway

Thai Panang Curry BowlAs a longtime bowl food fanatic, I’m super-excited about participating in the blog tour for Zsu Dever’s new book, Vegan Bowls: Perfect Flavor Harmony in Cozy One-Bowl MealsVegan Bowls is a book whose time has come — and Zsu Dever, with her restaurant background and gift for combining flavors, is just the person to bring it to you!

If you love the comfort and simplicity of enjoying dinner (and breakfast or lunch!) in a bowl, then this book is definitely for you. In addition to featuring some wonderful classic bowl-food recipes such as hearty soup, salad, and chili bowls, Zsu’s creativity really shines in some of the unexpected and delightful bowl combos such as Philly Cheesesteak Bowl, Reuben Mac and Cheese Bowl, and an ingenious Holiday Bowl, just in time for the upcoming season.

One of the things I like most about the recipes is they are versatile and most can be made in less than 45 minutes — that’s a COMPLETE meal, including protein, veggies, and grains, noodles or potatoes, all harmonized with a delicious sauce and garnish.  In Vegan Bowls, Zsu also provides a template showing how easy it is to build your own bowl using your favorite ingredients. Best of all, the versatility allows for use of on-hand or leftover ingredients.  For example, if you already have cooked rice or beans on hand, dinner can be on the table in just minutes.

As an example, in the the recipe for the Thai Panang Curry Bowl (provided below), the recipe calls for quinoa as a quick and delicious change from the usual rice.  However, if you prefer rice, or happen to have some on hand, then you can use rice instead.  Likewise, the recipe calls for 5 cups of chopped veggies — when I made it I cut back on the veggies just a bit and included some diced baked tofu that I had on hand for an even heartier dish.  I also left out the kaffir lime leaves (since I can’t find them where I live) and opted for a squeeze of lime juice instead.  The resulting meal was better than the panang curry I usually get at the Thai restaurant an hour away.  With Vegan Bowls, the best bowl food doesn’t have to come from a restaurant — it can come out of your own kitchen!

Before you head to the kitchen to make this recipe for Thai Panang Curry Bowl, take a minute and enter my Giveaway to win a copy of Vegan Bowls.  To enter, just leave a comment at the end of this post describing your favorite meal in a bowl.  That’s it! You can enter more than once if you go to Facebook and Like my page: Robin Robertson’s Global Vegan Kitchen then leave another comment telling me you Liked my Facebook page!

This giveaway ends Sunday night, October 4th at midnight.  A winner will be announced on Monday, October 5th.  Enter now!

Thai Panang Curry Bowl
This is such a simple recipe that it almost feels like cheating. In addition to being quick, this curry is super flexible; use any variety of vegetables that you please. (Recipe from Vegan Bowls, copyright © 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup green peas, thawed if frozen

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk, divided
1 to 2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons peanut butter
3 (2-lobed) kaffir lime leaves
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
5 cups coarsely chopped vegetables (carrot, winter squash, summer squash, green beans)
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup Thai basil or Genoese basil

SOY-FREE OPTION: Substitute coconut aminos and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt for the tamari.

QUINOA: Heat the quinoa, broth, garlic and salt in a small saucepan. Cover, bring to boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and add peas before serving.

CURRY: Heat 1/4 cup coconut milk in a large pot over medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook until the milk reduces a bit, about 1 minute. Add another 1/4 cup of the milk and the peanut butter and cook for another minute. Add the remaining milk, the lime leaves, tamari, and 1/4 cup of water. Add the tough vegetables (carrot, winter squash) and cook for 4 minutes. Add the soft vegetables (summer squash, green beans) and simmer over medium until the vegetables are tender. Add the bell pepper and cook until crisp tender, about 1 minute. Add more water if the curry is too dry. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, divide the curry and quinoa among 4 bowls. Garnish with the basil.

Vegan Bowls by Zsu Dever