Tuesday, April 26, 2011

As Fast as Food Needs to Get

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Okay, I cheated just a little. I used (organic, BPA-free) canned beans. And I used some vegetable bouillon paste from a jar (also organic, made with only vegetables). But with these two minor shortcuts (and a spice or two), I quickly whipped together a one-dish meal that anyone can easily duplicate--once again proving that fast doesn't have to be a compromise in health or pleasure.

Try it: Just heat a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in a large pot (using a large one makes it easier to stir wildly without sloshing ingredients out and onto the stove). Add a red onion and a couple stalks of celery, diced fairly small (size matters, but not that much). As they begin to soften, add a couple of diced zucchini and keep stirring. When the juices have been absorbed, and just before anything starts to really brown, add the juice from two 25-ounce cans of organic black beans, a tablespoon of unsalted organic vegetable bouillon paste (or 2 bouillon cubes), and about a half-teaspoon of smoked serrano chile (or smoked paprika). If you like spicy food, you could also add a spoonful of chipotle chile purée (page 40 in my book, Speed Vegan, or see the video here) for extra heat and flavor.

Once the mixture starts bubbling, cut the kernels off about four or five ears of corn (I like white corn the best, but all I had was yellow--oh well) and add them to the pot. Cook about five minutes or so, stirring from time to time. Then add the beans and reheat. Taste and add salt, if you think it's warranted (the juice from the canned beans will be fairly salty,  so don't add salt before tasting!).

To serve, ladle into bowls, place a generous amount of diced avocado in the center, squeeze half a lime over the top, and garnish liberally with coarsely chopped cilantro. This high-fiber dish gives you a decent serving of vegetables. The beans and corn combined make a complete protein, the avocado brings more fiber plus healthy fats, and the chile will kick your endorphins into overdrive. Unless any of the ingredients themselves don't agree with you (and if so, then I would say just leave them out or substitute with something comparable), I'm confident you'll really enjoy this. I know I did.

If this took you any more than twenty minutes or so, then all you need is a little practice!


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