Slow Cooker Spicy Chipotle BBQ Beans

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You know when you’re just cruising around social media and you see an eye catching post like this one: Suck at Cooking? Here are 6 Vegan Recipes You Can Handle, and then suddenly you’re down the rabbit hole making your own version of someone else’s recipe? Once I saw these words Slow Cooker Chipotle Tacos, I was in.

We’d received the slow cooker as one of our wedding presents, but I hadn’t been much interested in the recipes in the slow cooker book I’d gotten. (Please, Isa – write one!!) One of my friends had also recently asked me if I knew of any cheap, easy, slow cooker recipes, so I thought the timing was perfect. I really liked the simplicity of this recipe, but also decided to use it as an excuse to take care of some of the leftovers I had in the fridge. Plus, I did some swaps for other stuff called for like chipotle powder vs. pepper, and Sriracha BBQ sauce instead of the chile sauce. So, I’m not saying this is some perfected recipe by any means! It was really more of an experiment that I’m documenting for the future. 🙂 (Which is really what I use blogging for the most, if I’m being honest.)

We like spicy food, so this has many layers of heat. If you want a lot less, use regular black beans and regular BBQ sauce, and maybe chili powder instead of the chipotle powder. Adjust salt as necessary.

Slow Cooker Spicy Chipotle BBQ Beans

2 (15 oz.) cans Spicy Black Beans (Trader Joe’s), drained
1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. peas (leftovers)

1 cup corn kernals, frozen
1.5 c. frozen veggies

~ 6 oz. tomato paste (leftovers)
~ 8 oz. tomato sauce (leftovers)
3/4 cup Sriracha BBQ sauce (Trader Joe’s)

2 tbsp. chipotle powder (could use just 1 tbsp, a chipotle pepper, or maybe some chili powder instead?)
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Directions:

1. Mix everything up well in the insert, and set cooker to High for 2 hours.
(The original recipe cook times were Low 3-4 hours, or High 1.5-2 hours, but I added a bit of volume, so went for the higher.)

2. Cook up some rice if you feel like it, or use it as filling for things.

EAT! 🙂

Results:

Okay, I had my doubts, but this actually turned out pretty well! I was really happy with the veggies I threw in too. I almost put in greens, but I was really in the mood for cauliflower. VERY HOT though, so adjust spices accordingly! No knifework and just throwing everything into the crockpot was a pretty awesome way to get dinner on the table. It took maybe 10 minutes to prepare, popped the lid on, and then I just walked away. The only thing that really heated up the kitchen was the rice that I cooked on the stove halfway through, so extra bonus points for a hot summer day with no A/C. (Thomas is working on trying to find us one as I type this. Heat wave this weekend!) I’m glad I documented this, so I can play with the ingredients another time.

Just gave a quick stir and popped the lid on.

Just gave a quick stir and popped the lid on.

2 hours later!

2 hours later!

Tastes better than it looks! ;)

Tastes better than it looks! 😉

Have any slow cooker recipes to share or a favorite book to recommend? Please let me know! 

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Easy Vegan Hamburger Mac

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This is barely a recipe, but a tasty, cheap, fast way to get dinner on the table in the time it takes to boil and cook the pasta of your choice. The secret? Our good friend T.V.P.! We hadn’t bought some in a long time, but luckily I remembered we had picked some up on our last shopping trip. I grabbed the TVP* out of the cupboard, along with a jar of pasta sauce and some elbows, and then proceeded to look up my recipes over at veganderbycatparty.com. I didn’t even bother to get as fancy as this, but made it in the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way possible. Instructions below!

*Want more ideas of what to do with TVP? I wrote a blog post about that here: How to make TVP / vegan ground meat substitute in 5 minutes!

Easy Vegan Hamburger Mac

1 lb box of your favorite pasta

1 1/4 c. water (or broth, if you have some – use less Bragg’s)
2 tsp. liquid smoke
2 tsp. vegan worcestershire
2 tsp. Bragg’s liquid aminos / soy sauce / etc.
1 1/4 c. TVP

1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
fresh ground pepper, to taste
crushed red peppers, to taste

1 c. chopped frozen greens or veggies, optional

1/4 c. nutritional yeast, optional

 

Directions:

1. Put pasta water to boil. Cook pasta according to box directions.

2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine water, liquid smoke, worcestershire, and Bragg’s, and bring up to a boil. Turn off heat and add TVP. Stir until water is absorbed. Add jarred pasta sauce and seasonings, and stir until well combined. Raise heat until mixture bubbles, and cover to simmer while the pasta finishes cooking.

3. At the last 1-2 minutes of pasta cooking, add frozen greens or veggies (if using), and strain when done.

4. Shut off heat on sauce. Stir in nutritional yeast (if using), and adjust seasonings if necessary.

You’re done, and that took no knife work, and only 8-15 minutes, depending on what pasta you used!

For the TVP

For the TVP

TVP absorbing the flavors

TVP absorbing the flavors

Pasta and Kale drained

Pasta and Kale drained

Some Nooch for good measure!

Some Nooch for good measure!

Dinner is DONE!

Dinner is DONE!

 

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How to Cook Black Quinoa!

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This was one of my most popular posts ever on cameraphonevegan.com/veganderbycatparty.com, so I decided to archive it on here as well! Please forgive the picture quality, as these came from the cameraphonevegan era when the cameraphones weren’t quite as sophisticated as they are now! 😉

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One day at Whole Foods, I was looking around the bin section and found this black quinoa. It looked a whole heck of a lot like red quinoa, but I thought I’d give it a try and see if the taste was much different. It was a little toastier tasting, where I think the red quinoa has a slightly savory flavor compared with the plain. It cooked in the same time as red quinoa, which was 20 minutes (I find that regular quinoa cooks in 15).

I used 1 cup of wet, rinsed quinoa and 1 3/4 cups of filtered water. For more flavor, feel free to use veggie broth instead of water or throw a vegan bouillon cube in with everything!

You will need:

1 cup of black quinoa, well rinsed
1 3/4 cups filtered water (or 2 cups if not rinsed)
pinch of sea salt

Directions:

1.First you’ll need to rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer to remove the saponin (that causes bitterness).

2. Bring quinoa, water and salt up to a boil, and boil for about 2 minutes. Drop heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

3. Fluff with a fork and enjoy!

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First you’ll need to rinse it off. I mean, commercially they rinse it for you, but it’ll still be a little more bitter if you don’t. I often don’t rinse regular quinoa, but you probably want to with the black.

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Bring quinoa, water and a pinch of sea salt up to a boil. I let it boil for a minute or two before dropping down to a simmer.

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Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed and fluff with a fork. Ta-da!