April 2004

Vol. 3     No. 4  

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This is one of those recipes that you can put together in 5 minutes, yet it always is a favorite with everyone.  Even kids like it-and vegetable haters too, although you may want to use a bit less hot sauce for those people.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings: 2-4

3  15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1  ¾ cups vegetable broth
1 cup fresh salsa
¼ teaspoon ground oregano
¼ teaspoon chili powder (or more to taste)
1/8 teaspoon smoked chipotle chili powder (optional)
several dashes hot sauce (optional)

Reserve 1 cup of the beans in a separate bowl, place the remaining beans, the vegetable broth and the salsa in a blender jar.  Process until fairly smooth, then pour into a saucepan.  Mash the reserved beans slightly with a fork or bean/potato masher.  Add to the saucepan with the remaining ingredients.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to blend flavors.  Adjust seasoning to taste before serving.

Hints:  This is great to make ahead of time and then heat just before serving.  Make a double batch so you can enjoy a quick bowl of soup when you are hungry.


This is an excellent, firm loaf to serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.  The leftovers also make a great sandwich filling.

Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 to 60 minutes
Servings:  6-8

30 ounces water-packed firm tofu (reduced fat)
1  2/3 cups quick oats
¾ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
½ cup ketchup or barbecue sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the tofu well and mash finely, using a bean/potato masher and your fingers.  Place in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients.  Mix well, again using your fingers.  Turn the mixture into either a square baking pan or a loaf pan.  (If you don’t have a non-stick pan you will need to lightly oil the pan first.) Bake the square pan for 45 minutes or the loaf pan for 60 minutes, until the top and edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Loosen sides and invert over a platter to remove from baking pan.

Hints:  The quick cooking oats work best in this recipe.  To make bread crumbs, process 1 slice of bread in a food processor.  (Do this when you have extra older bread and store the crumbs in a sealed bag in the freezer.)  Serve with a sauce or gravy to pour over the loaf-or serve plain with a barbecue sauce on the side.  Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce is available in most natural food stores.  Low sodium soy sauce is also available in most supermarkets for those of you who are trying to reduce your salt intake.


My family always enjoys Mexican food, but sometimes we want something other than burritos or enchiladas.  This has the familiar flavors, but adds some variety to our Mexican dinners.

Preparation Time:  45 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Servings:  8

8 bell peppers
1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ cup water

4 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, chopped

cups frozen corn kernels
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 cups cooked couscous
several dashes of Tabasco sauce

15 ounce cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

Wash peppers, cut in half lengthwise and clean out seeds and membranes. Steam over boiling water for about 5 minutes.  (See hints below.) Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the onion, garlic and water in a large saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Add green chilies, chili powder and cumin.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add tomato and corn, cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.  Add beans and cilantro.  Mix well and remove from heat.  Stir in cooked couscous.  Season to taste with Tabasco sauce.

Puree the stewed tomatoes in a blender.  Distribute evenly over the bottom of 1 large or 2 smaller baking dishes.  Stuff the pepper halves with the couscous mixture.  Place in the baking dish.  Cover with parchment paper, then cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Serve with Spicy Mexican Sauce to ladle over the top.  (See recipe below.) 

Hints:  This made be made with many different kinds of peppers.  Try red, yellow or orange for variety.  The peppers are best if they are roasted or steamed before filling.  Make this with poblano peppers for a more authentic Mexican flavor.  To steam the peppers, clean and remove seeds, then steam over boiling water for about 5-8 minutes.  To roast peppers, place on a baking sheet under a preheated broiler until skin is blackened on all sides (turn occasionally as necessary).  Place the charred peppers in a paper bag and let stand for about 5 minutes.  Remove from bag and peel off the skin.  Then cut in half and remove the seeds.


Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  makes about 4 cups

1/3 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1  28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1  4 ounce can chopped green chilies
3 tablespoons chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Place the vegetable broth, onion, and garlic in a saucepan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, chilies, chili powder and cumin.  Mix well, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Add 1 cup of water and the soy sauce.  Mix the cornstarch in the remaining ½ cup of water.  Add to the sauce, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens.   


This is great picnic food.  It keeps well in a cooler and almost everyone loves it!

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  4-6

2 ½ cups cooked brown rice
1  15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1  cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 medium tomato, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
½ cup fresh salsa
¼ cup tofu sour cream (see August 2002 newsletter) 

Combine rice, beans, corn, tomatoes and green onions in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine salsa and tofu sour cream.  Pour over rice mixture and toss well.  Serve at once, or chill before serving. 

Hints:  This may also be made with a tofu mayonnaise instead of the sour cream.  There is a recipe for tofu mayonnaise in the Quick & Easy Cookbook, page 253.  Try making this with kidney or pinto beans instead of the black beans.

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