Rosemary White Bean Soup

Rosemary White Bean Soup
Serves 6

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 4 stalks celery, diced small (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Great Northern beans or cannellini, drained and rinsed OR 3 cups cooked OR 1 cup dried white beans, soaked and cooked
  • 6 cups chicken-flavor or regular vegetable broth (or water + bouillon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 1/6 to 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, to taste
  • Chopped parsley, optional garnish

Heat oil in a large saucepan on high. When shimmering, sauté onions and celery until translucent. Add rosemary and garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add beans and broth, bring to a simmer, then simmer gently 15 to 20 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender, or allow soup to cool slightly and puree in a countertop blender then return soup to saucepan. Reheat if necessary before serving. Garnish bowls with chopped parsley if desired.

Chayote Soup

Chayote Soup
Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chayote, peeled, seeded and diced 1/2 inch
  • 1 onion, finely diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chili, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn kernels, liquid reserved
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or 4 cups water + 4 teaspoons bouillon)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable bouillon, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Thinly sliced avocado for garnish, optional

In a saucepan heat oil on medium and sauté chayote and onion until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, and cumin, and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. Place corn liquid in a 2-cup measure and add water to total 2 cups; add to saucepan. Add tomato paste and salt, bring to a boil, then simmer until chayote is tender, about 20 minutes. Add chickpeas and corn. Using an immersion blender or countertop blender, puree until as chunky or smooth as desired; return soup to saucepan. Add broth, bouillon, and cilantro, and simmer until heated through. Turn off heat and stir in lime juice. Garnish with avocado slices if desired, and serve hot.

Braised Green Beans

Braised Green Beans
Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • About 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill or tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

In a heavy saucepan heat oil on medium-low and cook garlic just until aromatic, 1 minute. Add green beans, salt, and water to just cover beans. Cover, bring to a slow simmer, and simmer until beans are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain beans and place in a serving bowl. Toss with lemon juice and dill. Taste and adjust salt, pepper and lemon juice if needed. Serve hot, chilled, or at room temperature.

Pastelillos (Empanadas)

Pastelillos (Empanadas)
A recipe by Maria Flores, veganized

FOR FILLING (Picadillo)
Makes 6 cups

Picadillo is also great as a filling for tacos or burritos, or Puerto Rican Sloppy Joes.

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sofrito (recaito)
  • 1 cup smooth tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 cups TVP (equivalent of 3 pounds ground meat)
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite peas and/or finely diced carrots (1 medium carrot)

If using fresh diced carrots, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan and sauté carrots 4 to 5 minutes until softened; transfer to a bowl and set aside. In same saucepan, whisk together water, recaito, tomato sauce, tomato paste, taco seasoning, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Mix in TVP, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer very gently, covered, 5 minutes. Add peas and/or carrots. Taste, adjust seasonings, and check consistency. If necessary, thicken by simmering, uncovered, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Cool to room temperature before stuffing pastelillos.

Makes 20 pastelillos; 1 serving = about 3 pastelillos

  • 20 discs (discos para empanadas), homemade or vegan frozen
  • 5 cups picadillo filling, chilled or at room temperature
  • Shredded vegan cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or jack), optional
  • High-heat oil (safflower, grapeseed, canola) for frying
  1. If using frozen discs, let sit in package at room temperature 1 hour to defrost (or in refrigerator in advance), then separate discs, leaving each with a paper separator if provided.
  2. Use paper separators, or waxed paper, to keep dough from sticking and help fold discs. On a flat work surface place a disc with paper underneath. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center and 1 teaspoon of cheese if using. Fold disc over into a semicircle, peel back paper, and crimp edges together with a fork. For a better seal, moisten edges with water.
  3. Fill a frying pan with oil to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Discard paper and fry pastelillos 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden and the pastry looks bubbly. Drain on paper towels. Transfer to a warm oven until all are done.
  4. May be refrigerated and reheated in the oven or toaster-oven.

Jalapeno Green Beans

Jalapeno Green Beans
Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded if desired, chopped
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed, halved if desired
  • 1 tomato, diced, or 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • Salt to taste
In a medium saucepan heat oil on medium-high until shimmering. Add onion and jalapeno and sauté until onion is tender, 5 minutes. Add green beans and a little water or reserved tomato liquid. Cover tightly and steam until beans are crisp-tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomato, cover and simmer until beans reach desired tenderness, at least 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.