Spicy spicy beans...I love them spicy beans
The mainstay of any vegan diet should be legumes - we've got to live up to the "farty vego" tag somehow, eh? I find TexMex food one of the best ways to consume legumes - traditionally you can use red kidney beans in pretty much everything, and I've started to branch out to using other types of beans.
Most recently, I gave black eyed beans a bash. I was actually going to try and make a version of dumplings I get at yum cha, containing black eyed beans, ginger and hoi sin sauce, but decided to go with something easy and not-having-to-think-too-much.
So, this is my standard spicy beans recipe. You can use whatever types of beans you want, and mix and match the recipe to your heart's content. That's what cooking is all about, after all - looking at a recipe, or eating a food, and going..."Hmmm, if I do this and that and the other thing, I will have either something I'm going to love to eat, or an odd pile of mush...or both..."
Spicy (or not so spicy) Beans
2 400g cans beans, rinsed; or
1 400g can beans, rinsed, and 1 400g can refried beans; or
1 cup of dried beans, soaked overnight and cooked in slightly salted water until tender
2 400b cans tomatoes
However much garlic you like, minced (I like lots and lots)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 to 2 chillies, minced (obviously, this depends upon the heat of the chilli - big 'uns are generally milder than little 'uns, and be careful if you decide to go with habeneros, 'kay?)
1 to 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
1 to 2 teaspoons of ground chilli (for extra kick)
juice of 1 lemon
1 vegan stock cube
1/2 tablespoon of cocoa (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a frypan over a medium heat. Throw in the garlic, onion and chillies. Fry until the garlic and onion are translucent, but not coloured. Add the beans (if you're using the refried beans, you add them a little later), and stir to coat with the garlic/onion/chilli. Add the ground cumin, coriander and chilli, and stir vigourously - you're looking to "cook" the powder (so that the end result doesn't taste powdery), but you don't want to burn it. Also, try to coat the beans as much as possible. Pour in half of the lemon juice to deglaze the pan (liquid to lift up the spices and bring them all together and assist in stopping burning!).
Now, add the tomatoes and mix thoroughly. Keep the tins to one side, and half fill with water. If you're using the refried beans, now is the moment to add them to the mix and stir through completely. Crumble the stock cube into the sauce, and pour in the last of the lemon juice, and the water from the tomato tins.
Stir to mix, and keep on a medium heat. Keep cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated, and the spicy bean sauce is thick and making "volcano" noises (it's like exploding lava - it will spray all over your stove top). Remember to stir regularly, because this will stick - especially if you've added refried beans.
I actually use the bean mix as a base for lots of things - I love to add lots of veges, such as broccoli, mushrooms, green beans - and use in:
Burritos or Nachos, with guacamole, lots of lettuce and fresh tomato, olives, chopped pickled chillies...
Poured over potatoes for a really hearty winter meal...
Served with rice and salad...
I've even made a bake out of the beans, layering them with rice and Casheez Sauce, baking and serving with salad.
So, make the spicy bean base, experiment with the ingredients, and share and enjoy!!