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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beans and Peanut Butter Sauce


Monday afternoon, a few hours before I was scheduled to go over to my cousins for the Pesah Seder (the traditional/ritual meal of Passover evening) I decided I needed one more "dish" to bring with me (since I am a vegan on a very strict diet, I generally bring my own food wherever I go). I decided to make something with beans, but what should I do with the beans? (unlike most Ashkenazic Jews (Jews whose families originated in Northern and Eastern Europe), I am permitted to eat beans, rice, corn, peanuts, etc. (called "kitniyot") on Pesah).

I looked around and saw a jar of peanut butter and decided to make a peanut butter sauce.

I started with 2 tablespoons (1/8 cup) each of pinto, black, garbanzo, adzuki and kidney beans. I soaked them (well, the first time I did the "quick soak" -- boil them up and then turn off the flame and let them sit for at least an hour), then added 1/4 cup wild rice and 2 tablespoons black lentils. I added my favorite spices-- a teaspoon of each -- turmeric, paprika, coriander, cumin -- and a squeeze of spicy brown mustard and cooked it for 45 minutes (and a bit more until all the water was absorbed). While the beans were cooking, I sauteed a red onion (I sliced it into thin strips) and some frozen shiitake mushrooms. Then I added 1/4 cup of natural (no added sugar or fat, etc) peanut butter, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond "milk", a bit of stevia (for sweetness) and 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar and stirred it together until it's all blended.

When the beans were ready, I added the sauce and mixed well.

I think the peanut butter sauce added a certain je ne sais quoi to the bean dish. I actually shared it with some friends and they both liked it, too.

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