Vegan Aioli

I was looking for something creamy to use as a spread and a sauce. I also wanted to incorporate extra protein and potassium.

I've learned that kidney beans have a lot of potassium, but I didn't have any kidney beans. I did have great northern beans. They don't have quite as much, but they do still boast a fair amount. White beans in general are a pretty good source of it.

This is a spicy puree that's got a creamy texture and a lot of flavor. You can use it as a dip, a spread, a sauce. It can add richness and flavor to almost anything.

It's simple to make. You just puree all the ingredients in your food process and then let it rest for a few hours in the fridge. When you're not cooking with heat resting in the fridge is pretty important. It helps the flavors coalesce. So when tasting (tasting as you go is a must) you need to keep in mind that everything will gain some intensity during that resting period.

1 can Great Northern Beans
1/2 block silken …

Meidterranean Couscous (Vegetarian/Vegan)

I got turned onto Near East products because they're often on sale and they are mostly vegan. Not all are, but a lot. I also love that they have a curry flavor. I guess I could buy my own curry powder or curry spices, but it's so much easier just to use their pre-made box. Their mediterranian curry couscous is one of my favorites and as far as I can tell it's both vegetarian and vegan.

Best of all it's easy and fast to make. Maybe 10 minutes from start to dinner plate. Of course the trick to eating pre-fab foods such as this is to add some vegetables and beans. Just couscous isn't going to fill you up.

But it's still very simple and quick.

The other day I made my couscous with broccoli and chick peas. Super easy.

1 box Near East Meditteranian Curry Couscous
5 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced in half or quarters depending on size
1/4 cup frozen broccoli
1/2 cup canned rinsed chick peas (garbanzo beans)
1 tsp olive oil

To a small pot add the water indicated on the couscous package, olive oil, couscous spice packet and your garlic clove slices.

To quickly remove garlic from its shell you can use a big knife on its flat side to smash it or you can just pinch and twist the garlic between your fingers. Pinch hard and you'll easily and quickly have fresh cloves of garlic. I do this often, when I'm feeling lazy and don't want to have to clean up the cutting board. It's especially useful in cases like this where the garlic won't be chopped small. Just slice is a few times on your dinner plate instead of having to clean something else.

Cover. Set to high heat and bring to a boil.

Just before water is about to come to a boil add broccoli and chick peas. This will slow down the boiling process. Leave on high and let come to a boil again.

This time when water is at full boil, turn off heat, stir in couscous, cover and let sit 5 minutes.

When you uncover your couscous after the 5 minutes have elapsed it will be soft and moist. Sitr and fluff with a spoon or fork.

I really love garlic, so I find the addition of all that extra garlic to be perfect. Your tastebuds make want less. But try it this way first. The garlic melllows during the cooking. Turns bright yellow and really mingles into the flavors of the overall dish thanks to the addition of a little fat.

Also try this dish with fake ground sausage from lightlife. That's how I ate some of my leftovers. Really good stuff. A very good combination. Read about it in my other post.