Sunday, July 5, 2009

BBQ Bean & Wheat nuggets with Corn and a Spinach and Roasted Almond & Tomato salad

Tonight's dinner was made over the last two days, but only because I had time yesterday to get things started. The BBQ sauce is the one previously mentioned. The nuggets are adapted from a recipe in the Veganomicon (buy this book!). I made one batch of nuggets using chickpeas and another using great northern beans. The great northern batch was a little wetter before cooking but that could also be from my tendency to not be a stickler about accurately measuring things.

So.. the nuggets - take one can of beans drained and put it into a bowl with 2 TBSP of oil (I'm not sure how they would turn out without the oil). Mash the beans into a paste. Once done, add 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (heaping), 1/2 cup bread crumbs (heaping) and 1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth plus another TBSP or so. To this add some dried thyme, garlic powder, cumin and chili powder. I'd say 1/2 TSP each or so (again I don't really measure I just kind of do it by sight). Mix together and knead for 3-4 minutes. Then pull them into small nugget size pieces and put onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes at 375 and then flip and cook for another 10. You can also make these into larger filet size pieces. Tonight I'm going to reheat mine at 350 with a coating of the BBQ sauce.

The salad - simple baby spinach into a bowl, topped with some roasted tomatoes and a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar (non-vegans might want to add some goat cheese crumbles). The tomatoes are made by taking roma tomatoes, slicing off the end and then slicing lengthwise into three pieces. Place all the slices on a baking sheet, brush with a light amount of olive oil and then top with fresh diced basil and a light sprinking of sea salt. Bake in the oven for 2 hours at 350. Ten minutes before you're going to serve, throw some sliced almonds into a pan and put them in the oven. Take the warm slices of tomato and place them on top of the spinach sprinkle on some toasted almond slices and then drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

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