Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cuban Black Beans & Quinoa and Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

Traditionally this dish is made with rice, but when I'm looking for that extra boost of protein I often substitute quinoa for rice. This recipe came from my friend Maren's in-laws, and I've probably made it at least once a month since her wedding 2 years ago.

Cuban Black Beans and Quinoa (or Rice)
1 - Medium Onion
1 - Green Bell Pepper
3 Cloves - Garlic
1 Can - Black Beans
1 Cup - Quinoa
2/3 Can - Water (you can add more or less water, depending on how juicy you like things)

- Finely chop onion, pepper, and garlic (I use my Tupperware Quick Chef which is the most amazing thing ever: I just throw veggies in and crank away!).
- Sauté vegetables in a medium skillet using several glugs of olive oil 'til onions are translucent.
- Add beans (juice included), quinoa, and water: stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until quinoa is fully cooked.

Since Tuesday was my Vegan Day for this week, I served the black beans & quinoa with some roasted cauliflower and  then I made these a-mazing cupcakes that I found via Tales from a Racey Kitchen for dessert. Below is the recipe for the cupcakes, adapted slightly from the original--this makes 1 dozen delicious cupcakes.

Red Velvet Vegan Cupcakes
Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World via Tales from a Racey Kitchen
1 1/4 Cup - Flour
1 Cup - Sugar
2 Tablespoons - Cocoa Powder
1/2 Teaspoon - Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon - Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon - Salt

1 Cup - Silk Vanilla Soy Milk
1/3 Cup - Canola Oil
2 Tablespoons - Red Food Coloring
2 1/2 Teaspoons - Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon - Almond Extract

- Sift together dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
- Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, but be sure not to over stir!
- Grease a muffin tin (or use cupcake liners) and fill each one 2/3 full of batter.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow them to cool completely before icing, but I won't judge you if you sample a plain one :)

For the icing I vegan-ized my grandmother's famous red velvet cake icing, and it actually turned out really well!

Nana's Red Velvet Cake Icing, Vegan-ized*
5 Tablespoons - Flour
1 Cup - Silk Vanilla Soy Milk
1 Cup - Sugar
1 Cup - Vegetable Shortening
1 Teaspoon - Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon - Lemon Juice (optional)

- In a double boiler cook the flour and milk (adding milk gradually), stirring constantly 'til mixture thickens.
- Set flour & milk mixture and side and let it cool.
- Beat Sugar, shortening, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl until sugar fully dissolves.
- Beat in flour/milk mixture.
- Add in lemon juice if desired, and beat until you've reached your desired consistency.

*For the regular version just use regular milk instead of soy and butter in lieu of shortening.

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