Vegan Black Bean Tortilla Tower

Black-Bean-Tower

Vegan Black Bean Tortilla Tower

Black-Bean-TowerServes 4

Refried Black Beans

Ingredients:

1 lb dry black beans

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 large white onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)

Additional ingredients for frying the beans after they’ve been cooked:

1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 large white onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 garlic clove, minced

Method

Place dry beans in a bowl and add enough water to cover the beans by two inches. Let sit overnight. Alternatively, if you don’t have time to soak the beans overnight, place the dry beans in a large bowl and pour boiling water over the beans, covering the beans with at least an inch of water, and let sit for one hour. Note, if your dry beans are a little old, or if you have reason to believe that they will be tough to cook (beans stored in hot or humid climates can get tough), you can add some salt to the water (1 1/2 teaspoons of salt 2 quarts of water) which at this stage will help the beans soften when they cook later.

Once the beans have soaked, they should have expanded noticeably. Drain the soaking liquid. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot on medium high heat.  Add the cumin. Once the cumin is sizzling, add the chopped onion.  Cook for 5 minutes or so, until translucent.  Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the drained beans and 2 quarts of water.  Bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a simmer.  Simmer for 2 hours. At the 2 hour mark, add 2 teaspoons of salt (if you salted the soaking water in step 1, then taste first, and only add a teaspoon or so more of salt if you think it needs it). Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro. Let cook uncovered for another half hour, or until the beans are tender.

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Add the chipotle powder, chili powder, and cumin. Once the spices are sizzling, add the chopped white onion and cook until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Add the cooked black beans (and liquid from the pot) to the frying pan. Use a potato masher to mash the beans in the pan.  Let them cook 3 to 4 minutes longer.  If the beans are a little soupy for your taste, just let them cook longer. If too thick or dry, add more water. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Tortilla Crisps

12 ea corn tortilla 6”

Lay on sheet pan and bake for 6 minutes at 350° or until firm and crisp.

Tofu Mexi-Rice

1 tsp plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

11 oz Peas

15 oz pkg tofu

1 tbsp Southwest Seasoning Mix

2 cups uncooked white rice (you could also use brown rice – just adjust liquid amount and cooking time accordingly)

2 cups vegetable broth

1c Cilantro, chopped

3 Tbsp Chili Powder

Drain tofu and slice into 1/4″ thick slices.  Press tofu between absorbent toweling for at least 20 minutes.

Add 1 tsp of oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Drain peas well and pat dry with paper towels.  Add to skillet in a single layer.  Cook without stirring for 5 minutes or until caramelized on one side.  Remove from skillet; set aside.

Sprinkle tofu slices with seasoning mix; press into tofu to adhere.  Cut into cubes and place on a heavy baking sheet that has been sprayed or brushed with oil. Bake at 400°, stirring occasionally for even browning, for 15-20 minutes or until desired doneness.

Add remaining 1 tbsp oil to skillet.  Add rice; stir until coated with oil and slightly browned.  Add broth and chili powder; bring to a simmer.  Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.  Add peas, cilantro, and tofu and stir gently to combine.

Chimichurri

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh parsley and/or cilantro, firmly packed

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (optional)

3-6 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Chopped tomatoes for garnish, if desired

Method:

Pulse the garlic and onion in the food processor until finely chopped.

Add the parsley and/or cilantro, and oregano if using, and pulse briefly, until finely chopped.

Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl. Add the olive oil, lime juice, and vinegar, and stir. (Adding the liquids outside of the food processor gives the chimichurri the correct texture. You don’t want the herbs to be completely puréed, just finely chopped).

Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Begin plating by spreading some chimichurri around each plate.  Add a tortilla crisp and top with refried black beans.  Top with a crisp and then the rice/tofu mixture.  Top with final crisp and garnish with some chopped tomatoes if desired. Pass remaining chimichurri in a bowl.

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