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NOLA Red Beans and Rice (without the rice)


My high school friend, Maggie, commented a while back on her facebook that her boyfriend’s Red Beans & Rice was so good she couldn’t stop eating it. I begged her for the recipe and she gave it quite willingly…but it was loaded with bacon and sausage. Apparently it is an old New Orleans family recipe, but as you all know we just don’t do the meat thing here. So I made some modifications…and found at the last minute I was missing some ingredients, so I made more modifications. Here’s my version of the recipe, which has filled my kitchen with the most scrumptious bacony smells I’ve experienced since I went vegetarian. Also, we’re not eating much rice right now, so I skipped that part. But you can totally top this Red Bean goodness on some freshly cooked long-grain rice and it’ll be delicious. It’s packed with protein, has no sugar, and is bursting with flavor!


2 pounds red kidney beans, dry

2 quarts vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 large onion, chopped

4 celery stalks

(1-2 green bell peppers – we didn’t have these so I omitted them completely)

(2 jalapenos – we didn’t have these either so I substituted 4 dried aji chilis. The dish is really spicy, which I love)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 packages (12 oz) smokey tempeh “fakin bacon”, broken up with hands

2 tsp salt, to taste

1.5 lbs seitan (we used Isa’s recipe from Post Punk Kitchen), cut or ripped into small chunks

1 tbsp garlic, crushed

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp dried sage

1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


1. Wash beans, soak overnight or for 9 hours. Drain, then add to 2 quarts “chicken” broth. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 30 minutes.

2. Add onion, celery, green pepper, jalapeno pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the salt and smash up some of the beans.

3. Heat oil in frying pan. Add seitan, saute about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Add this to the beans. Deglaze the pan, add to beans. Add the tempeh, bay leaves, sage, pepper and parsley to the beans, mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes or so, then serve with long grain white rice.

Seitan street tacos


We’re trying to follow a starchy carb-free, sugar-free diet right now. It’s been brutal, especially while maintaining our vegan standards. But I think that restrictions make me more creative, which brought me to seitan street tacos. Takes maybe 10 minutes to prepare, and about 2 minutes to comsume. No sugar, no bready floury crap that our bodies don’t need, All Yum.

1/2 pound of seitan, cut into thin strips (We use Isa’s Homemade Seitan recipe from Post Punk Kitchen – it’s amazing)
1 onion, sliced into crescents
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
2 avocados
Juice from one lemon
2 tbsp salsa
1 can black beans
1 handful rainbow chard
1 tub of salsa
Corn tortillas (make sure these don’t have wheat in them, many do!)

1. Saute onion in olive oil until browned. Add seitan strips and salt & pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Saute until browned. Set aside.

2. Peel and mash the insides of the avocados. Mix in the lemon juice and 2 tbsp salsa. Set aside. This is your guacamole.

3. Heat black beans until warm, set aside.

4. Slice chard into ribbons, set aside.

5. Heat tortillas, about 6 at a time, in a microwave for 45 seconds, set aside.

6. Assemble as desired (I layered from tortilla to top: black beans, guacamole, seitan and onion mixture, chard), top with salsa and chow down.

Quick Salad: Heirloom tomato & avocado

Oh man. My mother-in-law made this for me after we got back from 4 days of camping in Yosemite. I was filthy and itchy from millions of mosquito bites. The summer evening was idyllic – 75 degrees, a slight cool breeze, sunset, heaven. And then she brings out this salad and I almost died, it was so good. I’ve added balsamic vinegar because I love the snap of the vinegar with the richness of the avocado. A perfect summer salad, and it’s ready in minutes.


2 heirloom tomatoes, very fresh

2 avocados, ripe

1-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp olive oil (or enough to coat the tomatoes and avocados)

salt and pepper to taste

juice from one lemon

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar


Dice the tomatoes and avocados. Put them in a bowl, add basil, olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Done!