Thursday, September 5, 2013

Did Someone Say Beans?- MoFo Post Five

Post #5 for Vegan MoFo 2013.   

Happy Day 5 of Vegan MoFo 2013! I am a bean lover.  I'll proclaim it- I LOVE BEANS! That is why I have a copy of The Great Vegan Bean Book and cook from it weekly. The author, Kathy Hester, lives in Durham and was so kind to sign my copy. I feel lucky to get to see her weekly at a local vegan pop up restaurant. Her book has allowed me to carry out my bean habit even more. While this post is not about one of her recipes, I felt that the Queen of Vegan Beans needed to be mentioned. 

Back to the bean. John and I try to have several meals a week that consist of the glorious bean. Beans are low in fat, while being high in fiber and protein. The thought of a Latin theme had me dreaming of being able to write many posts that included beans! I have not planned out the whole month just yet, but rest assured that this is not the only post with a bean inspired recipe. 

If I had to pick a favorite bean, it would be the pinto bean. A close second is the chickpea, followed by the black bean and the cannellini bean. Refried beans turned me on to the pinto bean. It can be very hard to locate a Mexican restaurant that makes these beauties without lard, so oftentimes have to take matters into my own hands. I sometimes buy them from a can and other times I make them from a dry form of the bean. Appetite For Reduction has an awesome recipe that I enjoy making called Unrefried Beans. Lately, it has been a regular on our dinner dish. 

When prepping for this blog post, I decided to soak and cook up a pot of dry pinto beans. I took some short cuts from my regular go to recipe because I had a busy evening of work ahead. I started by placing about 8 ounces of dry pintos in a pot and covered them with water. I boiled them for about an hour after they soaked for 2 hours in warm water. I then mashed the beans with tomato sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper, and chili powder. Those beans became the protein and base of Mexican Lasagna.

You might of read the title of this recipe and thought to yourself "ok, now that is not authentic at all!" Now hold up there! I warned you that my posts would not be authentic Latin cuisine! :-) Authenticity aside, this was a delicious and filling dish. This recipe makes quite a bit and will serve us for lunch for several days. Serve this lasagna with salad or other cooked or raw veggies.  

Now I'm curious. What are your favorite beans?

Jalapenos from a friend

Mexican Lasagna
  • 20 corn tortillas
  • 1 recipe of refried beans (unfried in my version)
  • 10 jar of salsa, or homemade if you have access to good tomatoes
  • 3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped small
  • 4 cups of organic spinach
  • 1 package of vegan cheese- cheddar or pepperjack
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped (less if you prefer)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, prepare a casserole dish with olive oil spray. Line the bottom with 5 tortillas. You might have to break one in half to get it to cover the bottom. Layer on half of the beans, half of the spinach, 1/3 of the jalapenos, 1/3 of the salsa, and 1/3 of the vegan cheese. Repeat with 5 more tortillas, the remainder of the beans, remainder of the spinach, 1/3 of the salsa, 1/3 of the jalapenos, and 1/3 of the cheese. For the last layer, place 5 more tortillas to cover the top. Sprinkle with the remaining salsa, cheese, and jalapenos. 

Example of the first layer: tortillas, beans, spinach, cheese and jalapenos
Bake for 30-45minuted until the cheese is bubbly and the lasagna layers are cooked and warm. Remove from the oven, let sit about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.


Dawn said...

YUM! I'm thinking this would be good with layers of polenta as another option to the tortillas.

Wait...pop up restaurant?! How did I not know about this or the bean book? I've been living under a rock.

VeggieAmanda said...

Hi Dawn! Yes, polenta is a super option! :-) The pop up restaurant is run out of Ninth Street Bakery in Durham. Matt Props is the chef. Here is the link to both Facebook groups. and If you ever go, please look for me. I'd love to meet you! :-)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, this looks good.

Kathy's the greatest - we're so lucky to know her in person! I also cook out of her bean book all the time. I haven't been to Ninth Street in ages, but hopefully when I make out there again I'll run into you!

VeggieAmanda said...

Windy- I hope we do run into each other. If you see Kathy there, please ask her to point me out to you so we can meet. :-)

Julie said...

This looks like a really fun dish; thanks for sharing it!

Dawn said...

Thanks for the info. I'll look you up :)

Anonymous said...

Yum! I just bought the vegan bean book and can't wait to try out some recipes! I'm a huge bean lover. We do a similar type of casserole and it's so delicious. I've only ever used whole beans though; I'll have to try them un-refried!

Kylie - FotV said...

Yes, yes, yes! I must make this!! I too love beans.

I think my favorite has to be black, second close is chickpea.

Erin said...

This looks super yummy!
I need to find a good recipe for restaurant-style refried beans.

Unknown said...

I love this!! What a perfect meal to make- and great for lunches with leftovers.
My favorite beans are fava beans- but since they are a pain to prepare i don't make them often at home. Second place are the funny gigante white beans from spain, perfect with garlic and tomato sauce.

Mandee said...

Your Mexi lasagne looks delicious!

I love beans, too! They're always so filling. I think my faves are black & chickpeas!

And re. coconut cheese, I forgot to link to it, it was a homemade cheese, so I've included the link in my post now!