Meatless Monday – I can’t believe it!

With all my posts lauding the ubiquitous Caribbean and Central American dish of rice and beans, I can’t believe I have not posted a recipe of it. It is one of the iconic dishes of Jamaica where it is known as rice and peas.

This recipe is super simple and straightforward. Prepare 1 cup of dried beans (red beans are ideal) by soaking them and sprouting if you have time.  Cook them with a vegetable bouillon cube. Set aside. In a pan heat some coconut oil and add 1 small shallot chopped, some black pepper, salt, dried thyme and chilli flakes. Cook a few minutes then add 1 clove of minced garlic. Stir then add ½ cup coconut milk, 1/3 cup of water; bring to a boil. Add  ½ cup of sprouted brown rice (or just regular rice if that’s all you have). Turn heat to medium-low and cook until done, according to package directions. Mix with cooked beans and eat as a meal accompanied by a plate full of vegetables.

And that’s all she wrote.


My Funny Valentine

A funny thing happened on the way to the chocolate mousse…I made chocolate truffle.

When I chose to mix Italian aquafaba meringue with melted dark chocolate I ended up with a thick rather than airy mixture. The intended mousse become the ideal consistency for a truffle. I should have taken more time and peeked at some recipes on the net to remind myself that aquafaba chocolate mousse should not be made with a heated sugar syrup.

As usual I found a use for the would-be mousse. I mixed it with coconut caramel, rolled it into little balls then coated them with icing sugar. (Now are there any left to take a picture of…?) Some of the truffle mix became the focal point of my heart-shaped mini pie,  a very fashionably late entry to the Valentine’s Day party.

So in keeping with the theme of “I have a bunch of leftover ingredients, now what?’ I cobbled together the following sugar weekend treat.

There are three layers to my edible heart: the pie ‘crust’ is made of leftover vegan sugar cookie dough; the chocolate layer is my aquafaba chocolate truffle; and in between is the leftover low-sugar raspberry jam I used in my Remembrance Day poppy cookies.

For those of you not wishing to accidentally make an aquafaba chocolate truffle mix, here is the recipe I used (more or less). Whether it turns out the same or not, you can always find a use for melted chocolate mixed with sugar.

Drain the liquid from a small can (355mL) of chickpeas into a mixing bowl. This is the aquafaba. Add a pinch of xanthan gum/cream of tartar then, using a motorized whisk attachement, whip into a voluminous, white, stiff-peaked frenzy. During the whipping process, heat 1/3 cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup water over medium heat. When the mixture gets to 248°F (use a candy thermometer to check), remove from heat, then pour slowly down the side of the bowl containing the aquafaba. While pouring make sure the whipping is happening at low speed. Once done, turn speed to high and continue whisking until sugar syrup is fully incorporated and mixture turns glossy. Add a splash of vanilla extract then mix until combined. Meanwhile, melt some dark chocolate pieces over a double boiler. When just melted, add the aquafaba meringue in two stages using a heat-proof spatula to fold it together. The mixture should set almost immediately. Use as desired and store any remainder in a covered container at room temperature.

Now what to do with the rest of the truffle mixture…

Meatless Monday – A recipe repost

Following on the heels of last week’s West African dish, this week’s offering is a recipe found in some of the same countries as Jollof rice. Groundnut soup or stew is made with peanut (groundnut) paste or peanut butter. Once again it traditionally contains some meat product but is easily veganized. The following is a repost for my version of groundnut soup.