Daily Vegan Lunch for 7 November, 2013: Taco Casserole

I made this for my How Do We Get A Vegan Restaurant in Naperville informal potluck. It was a big hit.

vegan taco casserole



1 bag of corn chips (I also used some regular corn tortillas briefly fried in oil)
1 large tomato, chopped or 1.5 cups
1.5 cups black olives, sliced
1.5 cups onion

Bean stew

Cashew-oat nacho cheez


About 2 cups black, kidney, pinto, or chili beans from a can, not drained
1.5 cups vegetable broth or V8
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons taco seasoning


3/4 cups cashew pieces
1/4 cup raw onion
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 a lemon’s juice
1 cup oats
2 cups water
1 roasted red bell pepper
2 teaspoons taco seasoning


Prepare the nacho cheez: combine all nacho cheez ingredients in a high speed blender OR if you don’t have a high speed blender, use cashew butter instead of cashew pieces and pre-cook oats in water in microwave for 2 minutes, then combine and blend in normal blender.

For the bean stew, combine beans and onions in a small pan with taco seasoning. Fry until onions are translucent and taco seasoning is fragrant. Mix broth with 1/4 cup flour. Pour over bean mixture and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Grease a casserole dish or dishes by wiping with olive oil. Layer chips, nacho cheese, bean stew, onions, olives, and tomatoes in one large casserole dish or two small ones, I used my big 13 x 9 casserole. How many layers depends on how thin you spread each one. I ended up with 3 layers of chips, 2 layers of beans, and 2 layers of nacho cheez. It’s not an exact science.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Pour 1.5 cups of veggie broth or V8 into the casserole and bake for 20 more minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 23 October, 2013: Spicy Chipotle Black Bean Burgers

vegan spicy black bean burgers

1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
3 cups black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
1/4 cup water
2 chipotle peppers from a can
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Salt to taste


Fry onion and garlic in oil on medium heat until onion is translucent, set aside.

In a food processor, combine black beans, onion/garlic mixture, flaxseed meal, water, chipotles, chili powder, cumin, and breadcrumbs. Pulse until just combined.

Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir if necessary to make sure all the ingredients are completely mixed. Season with salt to taste.

Heat a pan to medium-low heat and spray with oil or use 1 additional teaspoon of oil to coat pan. Fry burgers until browned on both sides.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 2 October, 2013: Black Bean Chipotle Chili

vegan chipotle chili


1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon flour
1.5 cups salsa
4 cups cooked black or red beans (I used a mix of red kidney beans and black beans)
2 cups onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic

1 – 3 chipotle peppers from a can, minced, depending on how much heat you want
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fennel
2 cloves


In a pan on medium high heat, fry the onion in 1 teaspoon of oil until translucent. Set aside. In the bottom of a large soup pot on medium-high heat, mix the oil with the flour, creating a paste. Stir, watching carefully. When oil and flour browns to a peanut butter color, douse with salsa. Add beans, garlic, brown sugar, and all spices. Heat through, about 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 18 September, 2013: Tomato Black Bean Corn Soup

vegan tomato black bean corn soup


2 teaspoons oil
1.5 cups onion
5 cups fresh tomatoes, pureed in blender or 3 cups tomato sauce plus 2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cooked black beans (I soaked dried beans and cooked them in the crockpot)
1.5 cups corn kernels

1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Salt to taste

1 clove garlic, minced


Puree tomatoes in a food processor or blender until liquified. Alternately, mix 3 cups tomato sauce with 1 cup vegetable broth and set aside.

In a large soup pot, fry onion in oil on medium-high heat until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and thyme, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes/tomato sauce & veg broth, beans, and corn. Stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Salt to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 17 September, 2013: Black Bean Guacamole Pita Pizza

black bean vegan guacamole pizza


1 pita round

1 tablespoon onion, chopped

3/4 cup black beans, mashed with a fork
1 teaspoon taco seasoning (generic blend of cumin, chili powder, and onion powder)


1/2 cup refried black beans mixed with 1/4 cup salsa

1/2 recipe of homemade guacamole (about 1/2 avocado’s worth or 3/4 cup)

3/4 cup corn kernels (I used organic frozen ones defrosted in the microwave)

Homemade blender salsa, for serving


Mash taco seasoning into black beans until they are a paste.  Mix in onions.  Spread the black bean paste on the pita round.  Top with corn.

On an oven proof pan or cookie sheet, broil the pita round with the black beans and corn on it for 5 – 7 minutes.

Take out of oven and spread with guacamole.  Serve with salsa.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 20 August, 2013: Carrot & Black Bean Burrito

vegan carrot and black bean burrito

For one burrito


1.5 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained if from a can
1 teaspoon taco seasoning (generic blend of cumin, onion, and chili powder)

1/2 carrot, shredded or julienned
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vegan sour cream (optional)
1/2 an onion
1 teaspoon oil

1 large tortilla


Sprinkle taco seasoning over beans. Fork smash the black beans in a bowl and stir until the taco seasoning is evenly distributed. In a separate small bowl, put carrot shreds in water and microwave them for 1 minute and drain. Alternately, you can leave them raw.

In a small pan, cook onions in oil on medium-high heat until they begin to go translucent.

Microwave tortilla for 20 seconds to soften it. Put smashed beans, drained carrot, vegan sour cream, and onion in the middle of the tortilla, wrap & eat.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 17 August, 2013: Plantains and Black Beans

fried plantains and salsa black beans


Plantains a.k.a. plantanos, where have you been all my life??? Plantains are used very commonly in Cuban and South American cuisine. I always used to pass these by in the grocery store because they look like overlarge freaky overripe bananas. This time I didn’t pass them by, in fact, I asked a nice woman who was feeling the yellow & black plantains how to go about picking good ones. She says to look for ones that are firm and with no soft spots. Once she showed me, I picked out 3 medium sized ones, took them home, peeled and sliced, and pan fried them. ZOMG plantains are delicious!! They taste like a less sweet banana crossed with a sweet potato. They were divine with a side of black beans mixed with homemade blender salsa. So simple yet so delicious. THANK YOU nice woman at the grocery store!

Moral of the story… don’t knock it until you try it!


3 plantains/plantanos
1 – 3 teaspoons oil

1.5 cups cooked black beans
1/2 cup homemade blender salsa


Peel the plantains by cutting off the end and peeling as you would a banana, discard skins. Chop plantains into oblong slices. Heat 1 – 3 teaspoons of oil in a pan to medium-high heat. Wait until oil spreads easily and then drop plantain pieces into pan. Fry them until brown and then flip, about 1 – 2 minutes per side.

Mix 1 part salsa to 3 parts cooked black beans in a bowl. Heat in microwave until warm and stir.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 31 July: Gluten Free Black Bean Tomato Soup

vegan gluten free black bean soup


2 teaspoons oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (about 15 ounces)

1 tablespoon taco seasoning or to taste
1 cup spaghetti sauce or prepared salsa

1 veggie bouillon cube or 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon
2 cups water
1/4 cup gram flour (chickpea flour)


In a saucepan, sauté chopped onions, zucchini, and red bell pepper in oil until onions are slightly translucent on medium-high heat. Red pepper should still retain its color and most of its firmness, about 4 minutes. Add black beans and toss them around with vegetables. Stir 1/4 cup gram flour into 2 cups water, set aside. Add taco seasoning and spaghetti sauce or salsa to the pan. Douse with chickpea flour water. Turn heat down to medium and stir until thickened, about 3 more minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 8 March, 2013: Black Bean Spinach Stew

black bean stew and quinoa


4 cups black beans, drained (rinse them if you’re using canned. I used dry beans soaked overnight and cooked in water the crockpot on High for 4 hours)
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, or marinara sauce
4 cups organic spinach
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon taco seasoning (generic blend of cumin, onion flakes, and chili powder)
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, fry spices and garlic in the oil on medium-high until fragrant, about one minute. Add the beans and tomatoes, stir until well mixed. Simmer until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Add salt to taste. Stir in spinach and cilantro, if using. Keep stirring until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with a whole grain such as quinoa or brown rice.