Saturday, June 02, 2007

Two bean dishes and a bit of decadence

The first of the bean dishes I have to share is quite awesome. Diann's three bean salad really struck a chord with me when I read it this morning, so I made it for lunch about two hours later!

I made it like she said, except that I used cilantro in place of the parsley and flax oil in place of the olive oil. What an easy, light, nutritious meal, and so refreshing on a day when it is hot enough to fry tofu on the sidewalk!

The second bean dish... not so much. Black bean cakes, of course, can be really good. These did not work out that way. I guess I should explain that I was in someone else's kitchen, and they didn't really understand the mechanics of making bean patties without eggs in them. So when the mixture was not cohesive enough, I wanted to add more oats to thicken it up--but she insisted that I add more flax eggs instead!

The result? Flax-y cakes, with a hint of black beans in there somewhere. They were also rather bland, and I couldn't find anything good to add to them for a little more zing. I don't mean to fault her--it was just a frustrating experience for both of us. Oh well. The sides for this meal, though, were delicious--cabbage and fresh salad greens, both grown organically on their neighbor's farm! And a juicy, summery tomato...

Now for the bit of decadence. I was studying my brains out for my exam on Wednesday and I had developed a short fuse, so Bob (what a sweetie) asked me if I wanted him to make me anything special. My immediate response--ice cream sammich!

A big scoop of So Delicious vanilla ice cream landed between two of Dreena's Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies, which Bob made with whole spelt flour. Total comfort food--this may not have done my thighs any good, but it sure lifted my spirits.

Tomorrow is Bob's birthday, so I have some projects lined up. I can't wait to share! Until then, peace...


maybepigscanfly said...

Too bad about the bean cakes. It's always frustrating when cooking with someone else and you can't seem to agree. But the organically grown cabbage and tomato, YUM! How sweet of Bob to make you a special treat.

Happy Birthday to Bob- tell us all about it.


b36Kitchen said...

my mouth dropped right open when i saw those chocolate chip cookies. i need chocolate chip cookies right now. unfortunatley it's 11 at night and i don't have the ingredients. they look so good.


Douglas said...

oh man that cookie looks so damn good!!!!!!

please please please make one appear now for me laura???

a big Vegan congrats on your masters!!!!! i mean it, thats a big one!!!!

Jackie said...

I love three bean salad and use celery and celery salt in mine.

I often upset people as I will not allow them in my kitchen when I am cooking and I won't help cook in theirs. Always land up burning myself or making a mess of the meal.

I really must buy black beans as I have never tasted them.

Yum what a lovely snack the ice cream with cookies must have been :)

Midwest Vegan said...

It's so sad when a good recipe goes bad (lol) but the bean burgers still look good. Love the cookie sandwich, makes me want one now.

Great job on cooking for 14 under budget. Way to go! Everything you and Bob made sounds great -- I'm sure your group thoroughly enjoyed the food.

Vivacious Vegan said...

You and I both were drooling over that 3 bean salad. I'm going to make it as soon as I get some fresh green beans. Your ice cream sammich looks so scrumptious. I just want to eat it outside on a porch swing barefoot. Mmmmmm!

I'm glad to hear everything worked out so well for you on your vacation. It is really difficult to guage how much food people are going to eat. I've tried it a few times and have never really succeeded. Great learning experience though.

Courtney said...

Sorry to hear about the bean cakes--they look great in the photo, at least!

Happy Birthday to Bob!


Candi said...

I just saw that bean salad recipe and want to make it too! Looks great!

Too bad the bean cakes didn't work out, but they sure look great!

You deserved that dessert!! The ice cream sandwiches look great. I like the idea of spelt flour too.

I hope Bob has a great birthday!!!

aTxVegn said...

Hi, Laura! I'm glad you enjoyed the bean salad. And sorry about the bean patties. They would have been perfect if done in your kitchen.

I've been thinking about ice cream sandwiches and yours look so good! I can never decide which cookie I want most with the ice cream - can't go wrong with chocolate chip!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

The 3 bean salad looks so good! That's what I really want, though I wouldn't turn down Bob's sammich! That really is a sweet thing to do. Happy birthday to him, and I can't wait to see how you celebrate!

bazu said...

Must. Have. Ice. Cream. Sandwich.
Wow! I hope Bob's birthday and your exam both go well!

david santos said...

Hello, Laura!
I love cream and Sandwich.
Thanks for you work and have a good week.

Brooke said...

Well, the black bean cakes look good to me, enough so that I think I will make some tomorrow...minus the extra flax eggs. :-)

springsandwells said...

Oh, that ice cream sandwich has really got my number just now. I made some cookies today, and I wish I had some ice cream to put between them!

Happy Birthday to Bob!!

Johanna3 said...

Too bad the bean cakes didn't work out.

yum!!! that ice crean sanwich will be great in this very hot weather.

laura jesser said...

Teresa, yes... cooking with someone else, for me, is always one of two extremes--lots of fun, or a headache. But it's okay. Local, organic veggies make everything better!

Jenna, I shouldn't keep ingredients like that on hand--I've made too many guilty treats like that at 11:00 at night. So you're doing something right!

Douglas, if only I could make one appear for you, I would be glad to! :) Thanks so much fo your wishes!

Jackie, black beans are my favorite legume... if you can get them, I highly recommend them. They're full of antioxidants besides being delicious! I have a problem in other people's kitchens sometimes, because I like to take charge of cooking projects even when it's not my place to do so. But usually I don't have this much trouble. I don't think either of us was in a great mood to begin with, so it was probably a bad idea to try to collaborate at all.

Midwest vegan, thanks! The group mostly did enjoy the food... There was one girl there who doesn't like black beans. What??? Other than that, though, it went well!

Crystal, you're definitely speaking my language--barefoot, porch swings, ice cream sandwiches... great summer memories!

Courtney, LOL - thanks! As long as they *look* pretty, I can live with it!

Candi, I think that bean salad caught a lot of eyes! As far as spelt flour goes, I can't see why I should ever make cookies without it again! Their texture is just perfect... It's so great to hear from you!!!

Diann, that bean salad made my day - thank you! Ha ha - I don't know if the bean patties would have been "perfect" in my kitchen, but I tend to keep more spices and such on hand than most people I know so at least maybe they would not have been bland. Chocolate chip is my default for treats like this, but I'm sure it would have been excellent with almost anything!

Vicki, I'm sure Bob would love to make you a sammich too! :) But the salad was totally refreshing and delicious, and like you, when I think about which one I'd rather have right now, I've gotta go for the beans!

Bazu, thanks! I know one went well, and I hope the other did too... LOL - You sound like you need an ice cream sandwich! I'm wishing one your way!

David, thanks for stopping in and leaving your kind wishes! And I'm glad to hear that you love ice cream too - it's good for you! :)

Brooke, good call! I hope yours turn out better!

Amey, I wish you had ice cream too - so refreshing! But cookies by themselves are nothing to complain about, eh? :)

Johanna, I bet your weather is quite a bit warmer than mine, so you may need several of these to cool down!

Sarah ( said...

Those cookies look great! I just made my first attempt at vegan chocolate chip cookies, and they weren't quite so lovely. They tasted good, but were waaaaaay too greasy (it was a recipe from a much-beloved vegan cookbook which I will not malign in public) and crumbled something awful. So, could you share which cookbook these came from? I'll rush right out and get it!

BTW, love your blog. I found it a few weeks ago and have been enjoying visiting. I too am a Xtn and a long-time vegetarian/new vegan, so it's cool to see someone else in the Church taking a similar position to mine on how compassion for animals and the earth actually is totally compatile w/Xty (despite the mainstream views in the Church about crazy hippy vegetarian types like us!).

Keep it up!

laura jesser said...

Sarah, I'm so glad that you found my blog! To answer your question, these cookies are from Vive Le Vegan by Dreena Burton... I highly recommend any and all of the cookie recipes in her books. Her cookies offer the option to use spelt flour instead of wheat flour, and I prefer them that way, if you're feeling up to trying that out--these cookies I made with spelt, and I have never had a better chocolate chip cookie in my life! It's always refreshing for me to meet someone else in the church who thinks about animals and the environment the way I do--we seem to be a rare bunch, unfortunately. Like you said, kindness to animals and to creation makes total sense when you line it up with the Bible! If our purpose is to become more like Christ, then we should really consider what he thinks about these issues. And somehow I can't imagine my savior chowing down on a factory-farmed hamburger, supporting an industry that is so rapidly killing our planet!

Sarah said...

Hi Laura,
Thanks for the cookbook rec. - I'm totally getting it now that I know she gives whole spelt options. That's pretty much the only kind of flour we keep on hand, so that's perfect!

You know, it gives me real hope to "meet" someone else with these shared perspectives, and I'm glad I "found" you!

Kati said...

Oh my goodness...that ice cream sandwich looks heavenly! I really have to try Dreena's choc chip cookie recipe one of these days - I read so much about it. That three bean salad also looks quite good - perfect for summer!