Sticky Rice Stuffing

It’s not too early to start thinking about your Thanksgiving Day menu. In fact, some people would wonder what is the holdup.

Well, I don’t have to ponder too long because we usually have almost the same food every year: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, baked oysters, a vegetable or two, relish tray, etc. One of these years, though, I’m going to switch things up a bit and make something completely different.

Perhaps, this will be the year. The reason I’m saying this is because of a rice stuffing recipe that came to my attention from the award-winning Food Network producer Irene Wong. The recipe is for Sticky Rice Stuffing, a Chinese favorite, which Wong said her mother would prepare every Thanksgiving along with traditional American classics.

The recipe contains a lot of ingredients that I really like, including rice, mushrooms sausage, shallots, cranberries and pistachios. And the nice thing about the stuffing is that it can be prepared on the stovetop.

I don’t know if my powers of persuasion will be enough to convince my family to give it a try, but what the heck, it’s worth a shot.

Sticky Rice Stuffing
3 ounces (about 6) large dried black mushrooms
1½ cups of short grain rice (also known as sweet rice)
1½ cups of short grain brown rice
4 cups of chicken stock
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 ounces (about 2 links) Chinese sausage, diced into ¼-inch pieces
3 medium-sized shallots, finely minced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 scallions, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch rounds
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 ounces (about ½ cup) dried cranberries
½ cup of lightly toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
In a shallow bowl, reconstitute the dried black mushrooms with hot water. Be sure to submerge them occasionally as they plump. This should take about 30 minutes. The mushrooms are ready when you are able to squeeze the caps and not feel any hard spots inside. Remove and discard the stems, squeeze the caps until all the excess water has been removed and then cut them into ¼-inch pieces. Set aside.
In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the short grain rice, short grain brown rice, 4 cups of chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook the rice mixture for 20 minutes, stirring with a chopstick once halfway through cooking to fluff the rice. Turn the heat off and let it rest covered for another 15 minutes.
While the rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the Chinese sausage and saute for 1 minute. Remove the Chinese sausage and set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of peanut oil and add the garlic and shallots. Saute until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the black mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the scallions and saute for 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and cooked rice. Gently stir until well combined. Add the dried cranberries and return the pan to the stove. Over medium high heat, stir the sticky rice stuffing until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. If serving right away, transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the pistachios.
If making ahead of time, transfer the sticky rice stuffing to a baking dish, cover with foil and refrigerate up to 2 days. Place the foil-covered sticky rice stuffing into a preheated 350 oven for 25 minutes.
Yield: 7 cups, which serves 6.

Quick, Creamy Lasagna

I’m in the mood for lasagna. And I’m not talking about traditional lasagna with sausage or ground beef. The recipe I’m going to try comes from cookbook author Pam Anderson, who in 1998 wrote “The Perfect Recipe: Getting It Right Every Time — Making Our Favorite Dishes the Absolute Best They Can Be.”

 We just had lasagna a month or so ago, and if my memory serves me right, Therese’s latest version contained some ground elk along with the other usual ingredients (several kinds of cheese, a nice tomato sauce) as well as some no-boil noodles and spinach. It was a hit with both me and my grandson, Rakeem.

Anderson’s lasagna can be made with or without meat. The author is kind of like us. She goes meatless two meals a week, while we rarely have meat more than twice in a seven-day period. I’m going to try her chicken version using cooked pheasant, since we have an abundance of the tasty game bird in our freezer after a successful hunting season.

This lasagna, just like most others, can be refrigerated for several days and reheated in the microwave. You also can cut into individual portions and freeze it, which makes it perfect for people on the go with busy work and kid schedules.

Quick, Creamy Lasagna
Salt
15 oven-ready (rippled-style, such as Ronzoni) lasagna noodles (from 2 8-ounce boxes)
4 cups spinach-mushroom-pheasant filling (see recipe)
1½ teaspoons dried basil
12 ounces cream cheese, softened, divided
½ cup vegetable broth, divided
1 25-ounce jar marinara sauce or homemade marinara (see recipe)
4 cups (1 pound) grated part-skim or whole-milk mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Dissolve 1½ tablespoons salt in 2 quarts piping hot tap water in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Add noodles and soak until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander. Meanwhile, mix spinach-mushroom filling with basil, 8 ounces cream cheese and ¼ cup broth. Mix remaining 4 ounces cream cheese with remaining ¼ cup broth in a small bowl; set aside.
To assemble, smear ¼ cup marinara sauce over bottom of baking dish, then assemble 4 layers of each of the following: 3 lasagna noodles, a scant cup marinara, 1 scant cup filling mixture, ¾ cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with remaining 3 noodles, cream cheese—broth mixture, remaining 1 cup mozzarella and remaining ¼ cup Parmesan.
Spray one side of a large sheet of heavy-duty foil with vegetable-oil cooking spray. Cover baking dish with foil, oiled side down, and bake until bubbly throughout, 40 to 45 minutes. Leaving lasagna on same rack, turn oven to broil. Remove foil and broil until lasagna is spotty brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.
Yield: Serves 12. Approximate nutritional analysis per serving without meat: 428 calories, 47 percent calories from fat, 23 grams fat (11 grams saturated), 56 milligrams cholesterol, 36 grams carbohydrates, 23 grams protein, 806 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.
Homemade Marinara
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
Heat oil and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When garlic starts to sizzle, add tomatoes and enough water to make a sauce that is neither thin nor too thick. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, partially covered, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.
Yield: 3 cups.
Approximate nutritional analysis per ¼ cup: 43 calories, 52 percent calories from fat, 3 grams fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 5 grams carbohydrates, 1 grams protein, 87 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Spinach-Mushroom-Chicken Filling
4 cups chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound slice mushrooms, preferably baby bella
2 10-ounce packages chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
Heat olive oil in a large (11- to 12-inch) deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender and well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add spinach and continue to cook, stirring, until heated through. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Yield: About 4 cups.
Approximate nutritional analysis per ¼ cup (without meat): 37 calories, 45 percent calories from fat, 2 grams fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 5 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 58 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Easy, Healthy Fish-n-Chips

I like meat a lot. However, as I’ve gotten older, my emphasis on it has waned. Granted, there’s nothing like a good burger or steak. But for the sake of my health, I’ve cut down on eating red meat to only once or twice a week at the most.

I got to thinking about this yesterday morning while listening to a story on National Public Radio about Meatless Mondays, which has been adopted by 12 countries from the U.S. to the U.K., South Africa, Brazil and Taiwan. Hundred of schools, companies, hospital and communities in those countries communities have adopted the “cut out meat just one day a week” movement to prevent obesity, heart disease and other killer chronic conditions. (Heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer kill more than 1.7 million Americans each year and result in billions of dollars of preventable health care expenses and productivity losses.)

Meatless Monday is part of the Monday Campaigns (www.mondaycampaigns.org), a cultural revolution started by Sid Lerner, a 79-year-old ad guy from the “Mad Men” era. (One of his early ad roles was developing and writing for the “Don’t squeeze the Charmin” campaign at the old Benton & Bowles agency on Madison Avenue in New York City.

The most recent addition to the nonprofit Monday Campaigns is Kids Cook Mondays. Kids Cook Monday is a weekly opportunity for families to take health into their own hands. Kids Cook Monday provides examples of kid-friendly recipes and video demonstrations along with nutrition and safety tips — making it easy for families to cook and eat together every Monday.

Kids Cook Monday features several informative links including one to the webpage of Julie Negrin, a certified nutritionist and cooking instructor who believes that meals should be deliciously satisfying and healthful while also easy to prepare. Negrin recently published her first cookbook, “Easy Meals to Cook with Kids” for adults who want to cook with kids ages 2 and older.

Negrin’s works have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio programs as well as on network television. Because of her many years of volunteer work in elementary through high schools, she was invited to attend first lady Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move to the School” launch event at the White House. (Negrin’s book is available online at www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/BookSearchResults.aspx?Search=julie%20negrin or by e-mailing her at julie@julienegrin.com.)

Here is a sample recipe from the cookbook for fish and chips, a lighter version of a favorite comfort food, which can be made for less than $20 that both adults and children will love.

Easy, Healthy Fish-n-Chips
6 4-ounce cod, sole or tilapia filets
2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cup panko crumbs (or breadcrumbs)
Canola or safflower oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, dried herbs, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl such as a pie pan. Whisk egg and water together in a shallow bowl. Place panko crumbs (or breadcrumbs) in a third shallow pan or bowl. Dredge one filet at a time in seasoned flour, dip into egg was and then dredge in panko crumbs. Carefully place fish on baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. If fish is very thin, bake for 18 to 20 minutes. If fish is thicker, cook up to 25 minutes. Serve with tartar sauce or ketchup.
Yield: Serves 4.
Fries
4 russet potatoes, washed and peeled
1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher or sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or to 400 degrees for convection, which is best for this recipe). Cut potatoes into 1/8-inch slices. Pat dry well with paper towels or dish towel to remove any extra moisture. Toss with olive oil directly on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or foil. Spread out so slices they aren’t touching and sprinkle salt evenly. You can add more salt after you bake them if necessary. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until crispy.
Yield: Serves 4.
Note: For a crispier fish, you can pan-fry it, but throwing it in the oven keeps your hands free and is equally delicious.

Green Bean Casserole with a Twist

One of my favorite holiday casseroles, although my taste isn’t shared by most members of my family, is the one that was perfected by the people at Campbell’s that contains green beans, cream of mushroom soup and french-fried onions, among other things.

Until just recently, I knew only of the basic recipe. But a recent posting at the Campbell’s Web site offered several variations to the popular casserole.

One was to add some sliced almonds to the onion topping. Another called for some crumbled bacon to be thrown into the mix. Still a third spiced things up with a ½ cup of chopped red pepper.

But my favorite was adding some Cheddar cheese. That’s because I’m a cheesehound. Anything with cheese doesn’t escape by radar.

I know it’s still a couple of weeks before the holiday season arrives with Thanksgiving, but here’s a recipe that’s worth tucking away now. You can’t be too prepared.

Green Bean Casserole
2 10.75-ounce cans Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups cooked cut green beans
2 2/3 cups French’s French Fried Onions
Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in a 3-quart casserole.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling.  Stir the bean mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 148 calories, 8 grams fat, 3 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 431 milligrams sodium.
Tips: Use 2 bags (16 to 20 ounces each) frozen green beans, thawed, 4 packages (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, thawed, 4 cans (about 16 ounces each) green beans, drained or about 3 pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.
Variations: To add crunch, add ½ cup sliced almonds to the onion topping. For bacon lovers, add 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, to the bean mixture. To add a festive touch, add ½ cup chopped red pepper with the soup. For cheese lovers, stir in 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese with the soup. Omit the soy sauce.  Sprinkle with an additional ½ cup Cheddar cheese when adding the remaining onions. For Golden Green Bean Casserole, substitute Campbell’s Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup for the Cream of Mushroom Soup.  Omit the soy sauce.  Stir in ½ cup chopped red pepper with the green beans.

Easy Shrimp Curry

I’m always on the lookout for new shrimp recipes. One of my favorites is called Sunday Shrimp Bake, which I plan to blog about in the near future. I also like to use shrimp in marinara-type sauces that can be put over pasta. And, of course, when I want to take the easy way, there’s always shrimp with cocktail sauce. My cocktail sauce is about two-thirds ketchup to one-third horseradish. It may sound a little too zingy for some people, but it’s just right for me.

One of my favorite shrimp dishes that I had when eating out was a shrimp curry at a Twins Cities Indian restaurant several years ago. Although I don’t recall the establishment’s name, the dish was unforgettable.
So, it was with interest when I came across a recipe for Easy Shrimp Curry in an e-mail from New Asian Cuisine. The recipe is from author Shubhra Ramineni, a native of northern Indian. She says the dish is a combination of cooking styles and flavor of northern and southern India and goes well with just plain boiled rice or even with Indian breads.

Easy Shrimp Curry
1 pound shrimp (40 to 50 count)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 dried finger-length red chili peppers
¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 small onion, grated on the largest grating holes on a box grater or in a food processor
1 fully ripe tomato, cut into 4 pieces
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons garam masala
¼ cup water
If you’re using shrimp with their peels and heads on, remove their heads, peel the shrimp, remove their tails and devein them. Rinse the peeled shrimp in cold water.
Pour the oil into a medium nonstick skillet and place over medium heat. When the oil is heated, tear open and add the red chili peppers, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Saute until the cumin seeds turn brown and you hear the mustard seeds pop, stirring frequently, about 10 seconds. Do not let the cumin seeds burn and turn black.
Immediately add the onion. Saute until the onion is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the tomato and cover the saucepan. Cook until the tomato becomes completely soft and mashed and is combined with the onion to form a coarse paste, stirring every minute or so and lightly mashing the tomato, about 5 minutes.
Add the turmeric, red pepper, salt, black pepper and garam masala a. Stir to combine. Cook uncovered for 6 minutes, stirring frequently. This is the masala (spice base). Add the shrimp. Stir to combine. Add the water and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the shrimp are opaque and they curl up, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Enjoy now or let cool to room temperature and refrigerate for later!
Yield: Serves 3 to 4.
Reheating method: Place the refrigerated shrimp curry in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir periodically. Or place the shrimp curry in a microwave and stir periodically.

Father Knows Best — Dad’s Homemade Vegetable Soup

My dad knew a thing or two about making soup. I’m not sure where he picked up his knowledge of it, since his mother died when he was just 8 years old and he was shuffled around between relatives until he was old enough to hold a steady job as a 12- or 13-year-old.
Regardless, I would put his soup up against that of any of the well-know chefs our times.
His boiled dinner was one of my favorites as was his bean soup. Whenever we had ham, I could be sure that he would make either of those with the leftovers. And no matter which one he chose, we were never disappointed.
But beyond a doubt, No. 1 on my list was his vegetable beef soup. Besides being loaded with lots of good vegetables and a tasty chuck roast cut into chunks, it contained Mom’s homemade egg noodles, which gave it a consistency that it otherwise wouldn’t have had.
I can remember sometimes coming home late at night in the late fall or winter and finding a kettle of the soup cooling on the back porch. And I would eat some of it to my heart’s content.
I’m going to work on a batch of the vegetable soup this afternoon, right after digging up the two rows of carrots in my garden. My mom is coming over to help me with this chore. I’ve counted on her to help do this every fall for about the past 15 years. Maybe I can talk her into making some homemade noodles this year.
Vegetable Beef Soup
4 quarts water
1 2- to 3-pound chuck roast
10 carrots, diced
1 head of green cabbage, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 rutabaga, diced
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 32-ounce can tomato juice
½ cup pearled barley
Salt and pepper to taste
Homemade egg noodles (see note)
Place beef roast in water and cook until tender. Remove from pot and let cool. Add the remaining ingredients to pot and bring to a boil, adding cooled meat cut into bit-sized pieces. After soup comes to a boil, simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until vegetables are tender.
Note: To make homemade egg noodles, I beat two eggs with a fork and then add flour so the consistency thickens but is not too runny. When the soup is done cooking, drop egg mixture into the soup by the spoonful. After about 10 minutes or so, they should be done, and the soup can be served.
Beef and Barley Vegetable Soup
½ pound ground round
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 14.5-ounce can lower-sodium beef broth
1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added whole tomatoes
2 cups lower-sodium vegetable juice cocktail
1 cup water
½ cup quick pearled barley
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
Hot pepper sauce, pepper and salt, to taste
Brown ground beef in skillet over medium high heat; drain. Place in slow cooker crock and add onion, carrots, potato, parsnip, garlic, pepper, basil, beef broth, tomatoes, vegetable juice cocktail and water. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours.
Turn slow cooker to high. Stir to break up whole tomatoes. Stir in barley and frozen mixed vegetables. Cover and cook on high 30 minutes. Just before serving, taste and add hot pepper sauce, pepper and salt to taste.
Yield: Serves 8.

Venison-Style Chili

I have venison chili on my mind. And I guess that’s appropriate since deer hunting opens at noon Friday.

My speech pathologist wife, Therese, brought home a recipe from school yesterday for venison chili. She thinks it came from her boss, Lake Agassiz Elementary School principal George Whalen, who always likes to talk about recipes with me when our paths cross.

The recipe looks like it was cut out of an old Field and Stream magazine and from the list of ingredients, it might be quite tasty. It has lots of peppers and onions as well as the usual suspects such as tomatoes, spices and the like. Another interesting feature is that uses black beans instead of kidney beans.

I know chili aficionados will say that real chili doesn’t contain beans, but that’s not the case in my book. I love beans and think they belong in chili, regardless of what some people insist. (For those of you who would like this recipe, I’ll be posting it later this week on the Grand Forks Herald Web site (www.grandforksherald.com/event/tag/group/Life/tag/food/). And for those of you who can’t wait for a chili fix, here are a couple of more recipes that should tide you over. There’s even one for the nonbean chili lovers and another for vegetarians.

Venison and Elk Texas-Style Chili
1½ pounds venison loin
1½ pounds elk loin
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic, divided
2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2 cups red wine
3 dried ancho chilies
3 dried pasilla chilies
1 or 2 dried chili de arbol (optional)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
4 plum tomatoes, diced
3 cups vegetable juice (such as V-8 juice)
1½ tablespoons lime juice
Lime wedges, for garnish
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Finely chopped yellow onion, for garnish
Place venison and elk in a casserole dish just big enough to the hold the meat or a large self-sealing plastic bag. Add carrot, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 chopped onion and wine. Cover; refrigerate for 48 hours, turning meat occasionally.
Drain meat, reserving wine. Discard vegetables.
Dice venison and elk into ¾-inch pieces. Place a nonstick skillet over high heat (or use a regular pan coated with nonstick cooking spray or a little vegetable oil). Add meat; cook, stirring, until browned on all sides. Remove meat from pan. Add remaining onion and remaining 1 tablespoon teaspoon garlic to pan; cook, stirring, until onion is transparent. Add wine; cook until it evaporates. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Remove seeds and stems from chilies. Add chilies to boiling water; cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup water then drain chilies.
Combine reserved 1 cup water and chilies in a blender; process until pureed. Pour puree into the large pot. Add meat, cooked onion mixture, sugar, salt, tomatoes, vegetable juice and lime juice. Bring a to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer; cook until meat is tender, about 45 minutes.
To serve, garnish with lime, cilantro and onions.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 260 calories, 4.5 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 16 percent of calories from fat, 119 milligrams cholesterol, 41 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 6.5 grams sugar, 3 grams fiber, 371 milligrams sodium, 36 milligrams calcium, 846 milligrams potassium.
Bison Chili
1 pound ground bison
1 cup finely diced yellow onions
1 teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
2 tablespoons diced celery
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup canned chili beans
½ cup canned black beans
½ cup canned, kidney beans
1 cup tomato juice
1½ tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Brown the bison in a large skillet over medium heat; drain any fat. Add onions, cayenne, celery and bell pepper. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, beans, tomato juice, chili powder, cumin, water, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 107 calories, 2 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated), 17 percent of calories from fat, 22 milligrams cholesterol, 12 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams sugar, 3.5 grams fiber, 541 milligrams sodium, 28 milligrams calcium, 180 milligrams potassium.
15-Bean Veggie Chili
1 16-ounce bag 15-bean mixture
1 pound textured vegetable protein (TVP; see note)
3 tablespoons Bragg liquid aminos (see note)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 green medium bell pepper, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
2 red onions, finely diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely diced
1 bunch fresh chives, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
5 large tomatoes, finely diced
4 ribs celery, finely diced
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, finely diced
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
Soak beans for 4 to 6 hours in a large pot. Drain, then rinse. Fill pot with fresh water or vegetable stock about an inch above the beans. Cook at a simmer over medium heat until beans are tender, about 1½ hours.
About 15 or 20 minutes before beans are done, rehydrate TVP in 4 to 6 cups of water in a large bowl. Add amino acid, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder.
When beans are tender, add TVP mixture, bell peppers, onions, cilantro, chives, garlic, tomatoes, celery, Scotch bonnet pepper and tomato paste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and let simmer 30 minutes.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 432 calories, 2 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated), 4 percent of calories from fat, no cholesterol, 47 grams protein, 70.5 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams sugar, 26.5 grams fiber, 435 milligrams sodium, 302 milligrams calcium, 1,793 milligrams potassium.
Note: TVP and Bragg liquid aminos are available at natural foods stores.