Nothing like a good hearty bean loaf to fill the stomach

Can you believe it, we have already completed our third community meal of the semester. I hope everybody has already put some solid study time in, because midterms will be here in no time…

Last service we had three tasty samplings for you, first a baked eggplant and red pepper dip that had a lovely smoky flavor to it.

Eggplant and red pepper dip

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded
  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.

Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

A bean loaf with couscous was our main entree. Now this loaf was originally a vegeburger recipe, so use it either way. It is a great way to use up left overs. This recipe could just as easily been made with any bean or lentil handy and whatever veges were in the fridge. You take two cups of your protein (beans, nuts or lentils), two cups vegetables, 1 cup of a carbohydrate (bread crumbs, oatmeal rice) couple of tablespoons of oil and ½ cup of nearly any herb (parsley, coriander, basil), salt and pepper of course, finally, it helps to add a few eggs to hold it together, but these can be omitted if you want. The hardest part of these recipes is getting the consistency correct. It should be firm but moist, not crumbly or soupy. To get the consistency right you can try blending half the ingredients, adding water if too dry or more bread crumbs if it is too wet. Be open to experimentation. Ok, see everybody next week.

K

Bean Loaf

2 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or black beans or lentils, or a mix (already cooked)
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots
1 cup toasted (whole-grain) bread crumbs, or oatmeal

½ cup crushed walnuts
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)

mix all the ingredients together, mash or puree 1/3 of the mix, then bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Or form burgers and fry.

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