Oven-Baked Two-Bean Chili
Makes 4 servings
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 medium sweet onions, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 heaping tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses, plus more as needed
1/3 cup organic catsup, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put all of the chili ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a medium casserole dish. Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the chili from the oven and stir it. If the chili seems dry, add more molasses or catsup to achieve the desired consistency. Cover and bake for 10 to 20 minutes more, or until bubbling and browned around the edges. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve the chili in deep bowls, topped with scallions. Dust with chili powder (if using).
Jazzy Potato Skins
Makes 3 to 6 servings
3 very large russet potatoes, scrubbed, baked, and cooled
1 teaspoon regular or smoked paprika
2 cups diced cremini mushroom caps
1 cup (about 1 medium) diced sweet red pepper
1 cup lightly packed, finely chopped baby spinach
1/3 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 cup vegan cheddar-style cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lined a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the pulp, using a teaspoon or grapefruit spoon, leaving about 1/4 inch of the potato skin intact. (Reserve the pulp for another use.) Arrange the skins on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the skins with 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
To make the filling, put the mushrooms, sweet pepper, spinach, onion, seasoning, tamari, olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika in a medium bowl and stir until evenly coated. Add a bit more olive oil if the mixture seems dry.
Spoon one-sixth of the filling into each skin. Tent with foil and bake 35 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Remove the foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes. Add the vegan cheese (if using) and bake 10 minutes or until the vegan cheese is melted and the edges of the potatoes are crisp and golden. Put the potatoes on a large platter and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
To serve as an entrée, serve two to three skins per person. To serve as an appetizer course, serve one skin per person, cutting each skin into 3 to 4 slices right before serving.
NOTE: The russet potatoes may be baked up to 24 to 36 hours in advance of preparing this recipe. After they have cooled, wrap them tightly in foil and store them in the refrigerator until use.
Sweet and Salty Almonds
Makes 10 to 12 servings
4 cups raw almonds
3 tablespoons maple sugar
3 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari, plus more as needed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the almonds in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes or until the almonds are slightly golden. Check the almonds every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent burning. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with the maple sugar and toss to coat. Then sprinkle with the tamari and stir together until the almonds are evenly coated. Taste and add 1 more teaspoon of tamari if a saltier snack is desired. Let the almonds cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; the almonds will keep for about four days.
Mom’s Turtle Cookie Squares
Makes 16 to 20 cookies
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup pecan halves
2/3 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make the crust, put 1/2 cup margarine, 1 cup brown sugar, and flour in a high-performance blender or food processor, and process until particles are fine, forming a loose dough. Pour into a nonstick, ungreased 8 x 12, rimmed baking pan. Press the dough into an even layer, using your hands. Arrange the pecan halves evenly over the unbaked crust.
To make the filling, put 2/3 cup margarine and 1/2 cup brown sugar into a small sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to bubble. Pour the hot filling over the pecans and crust. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until the pecans are slightly golden.
Put the pan on a wire rack and immediately pour the chocolate chips over the crust. As the chips melt, spread the chocolate evenly over the top of the hot crust. (If the chocolate chips do not melt completely, put the pan back in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt.) Cool for 30 minutes and cut into 16 to 20 cookie squares. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the cookies will keep for four days.