Smoky and Spicy Black Bean and Chickpea Dip

August 14, 2013 By: Megabeth Category: Snacks/Appetizers


Faced with feeding a hungry group of people some snacks, I decided that rather than heading out and buying store-bought hummus, I just threw together stuff I had in the pantry. As a result, I ended up with a smoky-spicy hummus-like dip. Perfect for vegetables, pita and crackers.

I left out the oil but if yours is coming out dry, you can add about a tablespoon into the mixture and you should be good to go.

Recipe: Black Bean and Chickpea Dip

Summary: A “better than store bought” version of hummus.


  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons liquid aminos (or tahini or soy sauce)
  • dash cayenne, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper


  • Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.
  • Refrigerate before serving.

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)



Vegetarian Giro d’Italia: Dutch Stamppot Boerenkool with Sausage (Mashed Potatoes with Kale)

May 08, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

 Vegetarian Giro d'Italia: Stamppot with Sausage (Mashed potatoes with vegetables)

The Giro d’Italia begins today with an exciting burst of energy and lands us first in The Netherlands. That’s ok…shake it off.  It’s a bit confusing because I know you were expecting an Italian recipe. However, the time trial stage is set in beautiful Amsterdam so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Besides, we’ll get to Italy soon enough. In the meantime, we’ll just have to dive in head first in the Land of Cheese! Cheese! Glorious cheese! In fact, we’re klopt by cheese!

But one can’t live on cheese alone. Can they? Well, if one were to search for traditional Dutch foods you nearly get slammed in the face by a dish called “stamppot”. In short, stamppot is a farmers meal of mashed potatoes with vegetables mushed into veritable and absolute comfort food. Oh, yes, there is cheese in it but it doesn’t overwhelm the dish. It’s a versatile recipe using what you have on hand, so if you’ve got some potatoes and some vegetables hanging around you’ve got stamppot. This dish is served with a nice vegetarian sausage that you can quickly sear on the already hot griddle so it can be considered a one bowl meal.

Stamppot Boerenkool with Vegetarian Sausage


4 large red potatoes, peeled and chopped into even sized chunks
1 small red bell pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup chopped kale
cubed cheese, about a handful (Note: I used a nice Dutch Yodeling Goat Gouda)
1/2 cup (or more if you like) milk
3-4 T. butter
1 tsp coarse spicy mustard
salt, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg

Bring a pot of salted water to boil.

Meanwhile heat a griddle pan. Throw on the bell pepper and flip until charred pretty well on all sides.

Core and dice it. Set aside in a small bowl.

When the water comes to a boil, add the potatoes and cook until tender. Drain the water. (Note: The original recipe did not say when to stir in the kale. I stirred the kale in after this step so some of the steam from the potatoes could soften it a bit.)

Saute the onions in some butter or oil until browned and caramelized. (You can use the same griddle pan that  you roasted the bell pepper on.) This is a good time to throw the vegetarian sausages on that same griddle pan again. Just move the onions over with the chopped up bell peppers.

Heat the milk, butter and mustard in the microwave until steaming.

Pour it into the drained potatoes, along with the seasonings.

Mash to desired consistency.

Stir in the charred bell peppers and caramelized onions.

Stir in the cheese cubes and divide into serving bowls. Serve each bowl with a grilled sausage.

Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Oil

March 03, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes

Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Oil My bamboo steamer kept whispering to me every time I walked by it, “Use meeee. Use meeee.” So, finally, I listened and grabbed it off the shelf.

Now that the steamer was down on the counter, I knew wasn’t in the mood for an Asian dumpling so I hunted for something a little different. I’m glad I did, otherwise, I wouldn’t have found this unique recipe. It was also surprisingly quick and easy to make (if you don’t mind taking some time to grate the squash).

I used one acorn squash, and doubled all the other ingredients in the original recipe and was rewarded with 20 dumplings. It was enough for two hungry adults to wolf down as a main dish. It’s probably enough for a family of four to have as a side dish.

I also substituted flat leaf Italian parsley for the cilantro and reduced the amount of coriander. (Frequent readers will know that my in-house taste tester is the victim of the “soapy taste blues” whenever tasting either cilantro and coriander. So, as always, feel free to use what you wish.)

Acorn Squash Wadas in Garlicky Oil
from Laxmi’s Vegetarian Kitchen

Squash Dumplings:

  • 1 small acorn squash
  • 2 fresh hot green chili, stemmed and minced
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons chick pea flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons mild peanut or vegetable oil, plus more for brushing the steamer
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves cut into slivers
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (original recipe used cilantro)

Peel and seed the squash. Grate and measure 1 1/2 cups of squash.  Combine with the remaining dumpling ingredients and mix well. (Note: I sort of mushed the mixture together using the back of a spoon. I noticed the finer the grate, the better the mixture stayed together.)

Brush a steamer basket with oil or line a bamboo steamer with cheesecloth. Bring at least 1 inch of water to a boil in the steaming pot. Place heaping tablespoonfuls of the squash mixture 1/2 inch apart in the steamer basket.

Place over the boiling water, cover, and steam until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 4 minutes. You may have to steam them in batches. depending on the size of your steamer; add more boiling water for the second batch if necessary. (Note: I have a double steamer and was able to steam all 20 dumplings at the same time.) Ease out gently with a metal spatula and turn into a shallow serving dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds; when the seeds begin to sizzle and splutter, stir in the garlic. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the parsley.

Pour the seasoned oil over the dumplings, scraping the skillet with a rubber spatula. Toss well to coat. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Preparation time: 15 minutes.

Mutter Paneer – Peas and Cheese

April 19, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

The longer this cooks…the better this gets. Let it simmer a while on the stove and all the spices really have a chance to permiate into the entire dish. My favorite part? The paneer sucks up all the flavors and become rather soft and delicious. Serve the mutter paneer with some naan, parathas or some other flat bread for easy scooping.

Mutter Paneer – Peas and Cheese
Inspired by: Route 79

1 8 ounce package frozen fried paneer cubes
2 T canola oil
1 medium onion chopped finely
1 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 16oz package frozen peas
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3 (heaped) teaspoons garam masala
1 and a half teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of ground cumin

Defrost paneer cubes by placing in the microwave on defrost for about 2 minutes. Halfway through the defrosting, stir paneer. Drain off liquid, blot with paper towels.

Heat oil in a frying pan and add the paneer to the hot oil. Fry paneer until sides are brown.

browing paneer

browing paneer

Once browned, place on plate with paper towels to soak up excess oil.

browned paneer

In large pot, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onions. About three minutes into cooking the onions, add garlic and ginger. Let mixture cook an additional two minutes. Add the spices to the mixture and allow to saute for five minutes until the spices have a chance to be absorbed into onions.

onion and spice mixture for mutter paneer

Add the tomatoes and stir to heat the mixture through.

adding tomatoes to mutter paneer

onion and tomatoes for mutter paneer

Add three cups of water into the mixture and bring back to a simmer.

mutter paneer cooking

Add paneer into the pot and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

adding paneer into mutter paneer

Add the peas to the pot.

adding peas to mutter paneer

Turn heat down to low and partially cover the pot with a lid.

cooking mutter paneer

Simmer for at least 20 minutes but the longer you let it cook the better the flavors combine.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin