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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fiesta Bean Salad By Gnewvegan

It has been a while since I posted. This summer has been a busy one. So before I post my recipe I am going to write about a few things. One of my past posts was about the plants I have in my mini garden. Here is a picture of one of my first tomatoes this year in a pot. I planted the tomato last year but the pot I used was too small and I only got about two tomatoes. So far I grew three and two more are growing right now. It is great to be able to pick a tomato fresh from the vine and the other herbs I planted. I had made a sandwich with the tomato one day with fresh basil, onion and hummus. On 2/16/08 , in my post titled, "Broccoli Sprouts and my Saturday Morning" I wrote about another sandwich with hummus..

Next I am writing about a delicious vegan chocolate cake that I made for my nan's birthday. Unbelievably moist and rich.. I have found the special occasion chocolate cake and It is all because of Nava Atlas. I posted on another post about her new book "Vegan Express". This is one of the recipes in her book and I highly recommend this book. Thank you Nava for a chocolate cake that even non-vegans could love.. I can not wait to make it again. Here is a picture of the cake before it was eaten up. I had some fresh strawberries on hand so I decided to add that to the cake. Yum Yum and thanks again Nava.

Next is my recipe for the Fiesta Bean salad. I had two potluck events to go and came up with this salad to bring. I learned about using the juice from marinated artichokes from a recipe by Nava Atlas. This recipe is best made the night before so the flavors can blend together. But you can make it the day of and have it sit at least one hour or more in the refrigerator. I hope you enjoy it if you make it.

Fiesta Bean Salad

Serves 10 or more
(Yields 11 cups)

1 pound (16 oz) Red baby potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed (leave skin on)
1 15.5 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5 oz can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 of a one pound bag of frozen cut green beans, thawed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed, halved
4 oz red onion, peeled, sliced and cut into about 1/2 inch slices
4 oz jarred roasted red peppers, finely chopped
1 (6) oz jar (saving juice) marinated artichoke hearts, coursely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon adobo all purpose seasoning (the one with pepper)
2 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1- Put potatoes in a 3 to 4 quart sauce pot and fill with water to cover potatoes completely. Pot will be at least half way full. Cover and bring to a boil. When boils, uncover and simmer on a low - medium flame for 20 minutes. (set timer)

2- Put the drained beans (not green beans) in a big bowl or big pot.

3- Add to the beans the tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic and artichokes.

4- When there is 7 minutes of cook time left to the potatoes add the green beans and stir the vegetables in the pot to mix together. Continue cooking until the twenty minutes is up.

5- To the jar of artichoke juice add the vinegars and seasonings. Close lid and shake well. Refrigerate until ready for use.

6- When the potatoes are done (should be fork tender) pour them into a collander to drain. Rinse under cool water until cool to touch. Cut the potaoes into bite size pieces. Usually cutting each potato into 4 pieces will do. If it seems to big you can cut adjust accordingly.

7- Put the potatoes and green beans with the other ingredients. Pour the dressing over the mixture and mix well but lightly. (You do not want to mix too harsh or else you could smash the beans. Mix like you are folding batter)If you have mixed in a pot transfer to a serving bowl.

8- It is best to keep this covered in the refrigerator over night but if not at least keep it in for one hour or more for flavors to blend. Mix lightly again and serve.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Carob Powder or Cocoa Powder

I had wondered why some vegan recipes call for carob powder and not cocoa powder. I thought is cocoa powder not vegan and if so why? I looked at some web sites to find this answer. From the information I read here is what it appears to be. Carob powder is used as a substitute for cocoa if someone has a chocolate allergy or needs less caffeine. The carob is caffeine free. Here is an excerpt on what carob powder is:

"Carob powder is made from the toasted, then ground, pods of the Carob tree. Carob is used as a substitute for chocolate although totally different substance."

another source on carob powder is :

Here is an excerpt on cocoa powder:
"Cocoa Powder: A product of the cacao bean. The cacao beans are removed from large pods that grow on the trunk of the tree then they are fermented and dried. The beans are sent to chocolate factories where they are roasted, the outer hulls removed, and the inner nibs ground to produce chocolate liquor. Most of the cocoa butter is extracted from the chocolate liquor, leaving a dry paste, which is further dried and processed to become unsweetened cocoa powder. The cocoa is called Dutch-processed if it is treated with alkali to produce a dark, mellow-flavored powder. (VEGAN!)"

Another source on cocoa and being vegan or not:

The above source mentions how certain products like breakfast chocolate drinks may contain some milk product in them but that pure cocoa powder is vegan and does not contain any milk or animal product in it. I hope that this information helps for anyone who may have thought of this question also. I will just look on the back of the products as I have been doing and utilize this information.. It seems from reading the information on line that carob powder does not taste the same as cocoa powder. So, being that I have no allergy to chocolate and have no problem with caffeine, I would rather the cocoa powder. As far as hot chocolate I think the packets in the store have milk in them so I could just make it from a non dairy source of cocoa powder or hot cocoa mix. You could find these products in the health or organic store. Unfortunately, because of the way foods can be processed you will see on the back of some products may contain traces of milk, nuts, etc. The products may be processed on the same equipment as products with milk, eggs, nuts, etc. I learned from an online resource that the manufacturing of products on sole equipment for just vegans would be difficult because there are not enough vegans for a company to invest money in that purpose. So, hence we see the statement I mentioned on the back of products. It will be a personal decision whether you choose to have the product or not.

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