When you go to your local wine purveyor to ask about a wine that will pair with Red Bean Stew, you really are setting up for a challenge. And, luckily in my case, our local wine and cheese shop, Tutto Bene, has a very knowledgeable owner, Wendi Wilkins, who hit this recommendation out of the park.
This wine, Seven Sinners (2015), is created from a 100% Syrah from Central Valley of California around Lodi. Deep red, and velvety in color, the wine is tastes big and jammy to me with some nice spiciness. My palate may still be under construction, but I know what I like, and I like this wine. A lot! And who knew? It was perfect with the Red Bean Stew I adapted from the New York Times’ Martha Rose Shulman for Meatless Monday. Head over to Tutto Bene before Wendi runs out. Because, as Wendi tells it, you will be sad when you run out.
Red Bean Stew
Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times
We tend to eat mainly plant-based in our house and off and on I’ve eaten strictly vegetarian meals for much of the last 30 years. Mondays are generally Meatless Mondays around here, no matter what, so tonight I gave this hearty red bean stew a try. Don’t let the preparation of the beans intimidate you. Once you’ve prepared dry beans from scratch, you’ll have a difficult time going back to canned beans with (as Sara Moulton would say), their lovely gelatinous material. Just plan ahead and it will all be fine.
- 1 pound (2 1/4 cups) red beans, washed, picked over & soaked for 6 hours or overnight in 2 quarts of water
- 2 TBPS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium or large onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large green pepper, cut into small dice
- 2 TBSP sweet Hungarian paprika
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp oregano
- Pinch cayenne (I substituted 2 TBSP-you read that right-Sriracha Sauce)
- 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Freshly ground black papper
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup drained yogurt (I used Greek yougurt – 0% fat)
- Drain the beans through a strainer set over a bowl, Place the beans in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Measure the soaking water in the bowl and add enough water to measure about 2 quarts (this is less than NYT recipe called for). Add to the pot with the beans, turn the heat to medium high and bring to a gentle boil. Skim off any foam and/or bean skins.
- [This is my adaptation]. Drain the cooked beans (I let them simmer for about 30 minutes), reserving the cooking liquid. Wipe out the pan or dutch oven and continue with step 3.
- Heat 1 TBSP of the oil over medium heat and add the onions, carrots, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant (about 8-10 min). Add 2 of the garlic cloves and continue to cook for another minute or so. Season with salt, add another TBSP oil and add the paprika. Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes until the vegetables are well coated with paprika. Add a ladleful of the bean cooking water to deglaze the pan then stir in the beans and add the rest of the bean water (should be about 2 quarts of liquid). Add tomato paste and bay leaf, reduce heat and simmer for an hour with the cover on.
- Add oregano, remaining garlic, sriracha (or cayenne if you really don’t want this to be spicy), vinegar and sugar. Simmer for another hour. Beans should be thoroughly cooked at this point (i.e., not crunchy!). If you want the broth a bit thicker, take about a cup of the beans out of the pan and mash or blend them. Return this to the pan.
- Just before serving, stir in the parsley. Serve with large dollop of the drained yogurt.
It’s Meatless Monday! We both love stuffed peppers, but I’m not a huge fan of the ground meat and tomato sauce stuffing. This recipe uses quinoa along with chopped veggies seasoned with cumin and cinnamon. In place of stuffing full peppers, I split them in half – still delish! Visit Whole Foods website for the original recipe.
- 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 7 bell peppers (1 cored, seeded & chopped; tops removed and reserved if you are filling the peppers upright, just core and seed the remaining 6)
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 pound baby spinach
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinse & cook according the package directions ahead of time)
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews (if desired)
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until transparent, 8-10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes more.
- Add carrots and chopped peppers, cook until just softened, then add parsley and spinach (in batches if needed). Let spinach wilt then stir in cinnamon, cumin, and cooked quinoa. Toss gently to combine. Add salt, pepper, and cashews (if using) and cook 1-2 minutes more. Set aside to let filling cool to just warm.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 inch baking pan and set aside.
- Divide quinoa mixture evenly among remaining 6 bell peppers (or 12 halves), gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Top each pepper with its reserved top then arrange them upright in prepared pan.
- Cover snugly with foil and bake until peppers are tender and juicy and filling is hot throughout, about 1 hours. Transfer to plates, and serve.
This recipe comes to us courtesy of Meatless Monday. Since everyone seems to have a lot of zucchini these days, this seemed like a delicious way to make use of them. Serves 4 – and it was just a delicious warmed up the next day for lunch.
Zucchini & Feta Cheese Bake
- 3 zucchini, diced
Zucchini mix, ready for the eggs.
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 7 oz. feta cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup yogurt (I used Greek yogurt, non fat)
- 2 eggs
- a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- Preheat oven to 390 degrees F.
- Sweat the garlic, zucchini and celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
- Add the peas and parsley and seas with salt*. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Grease a casserole dish and transfer the zucchini mixture in. Mix in the feta cheese.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Remove. Add the yogurt and eggs (mix these in advance).
- Bake another 10 minutes of so (I found this step needed at least 20 minutes to firm up the eggs).
From Vegetarian Times, Downloaded from the web at www.vegetariantimes.com on August 14, 2015.
For the record, I’m not a big fan of putting potato chips on any dish. Chips seem to be able to stand on their own without the guise of “healthy” vegetarian cooking making them seem more enticing. However, I did prep this recipe as stated and it was pretty good. If I were to do it again, I think I might try panko bread crumbs in place of the potato chips. The yogurt/cheese sauce added a nice creaminess to the sauteed veggies and chickpeas. So, if you have a bumper crop of zucchini, this is one delicious way to deal with it.
Crunchy Stuffed Zucchini – serves 4
- 4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 3 tomatoes, chopped (about 1 cup) use fresh – try Romas
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 4 oz plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup crushed potato chips
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scoop out seeds and flesh from zucchini to create 1/4-in-thick shell. Chop flesh and set aside. Place zucchini shells in baking dish coated with cooking spray (I used coconut oil spray).
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, chickpeas, tomatoes, thyme, and chopped zucchini. Saute 5 minutes or until tender.
- Fill each zucchini shell with 1/2 cup chickpea mixture. Stir together cheese, yogurt and paprika in small bowl. Spoon 2 TBSP atop stuffing in each zucchini, then sprinkle each with 1 TBSP crushed potato chips (see my note about bread crumbs). Bake 20 minutes or until stuffed zucchini are heated through and crispy on top.