One of my students this morning was talking about some of the challenges she’s facing in the process of switching to a plant-based whole-food diet. She was noting that it is taking some time to build up a repertoire of recipes. Actually, what she said was that she’s getting bored with what she’s been eating. And her idea is to tap into the community for new whole-food plant-based recipes to liven things up a bit.

I thought I’d get things going with a recipe I’m making for a birthday celebration potluck this evening. Last evening, when I started thinking about what to bring to share, I immediately thought of one of my (many) favorite bean salad recipes from Moosewood cookbook. As with all recipes, I follow it to the extent I can given the ingredients I have on hand. The celeriac and parsley in my garden are too immature at this date to get away with taken more than a smidge of them. But I do have a freshly harvested bunch of garlic scapes and cilantro and dill that I might use. I still have frozen green pepper and green beans from last year’s harvest, so I’ll use those. The beans have already been processed so I won’t bother with steaming them.

The recipe in the cookbook calls for dried beans, which I cook in my electric pressure cooker, but you can substitute canned beans if you prefer. Before bed last evening, I put one cup each of black, pinto, and kidney beans in the electric pressure cooker and covered them with water to soak. This morning, I used the ‘bean’ setting to cook them. Then I put one cup garbanzo beans to soak to cook later when I get home later. While the garbanzos are cooking, I assemble everything else.

I’ll let you know how it turns out and try to take some photos. 

In the meantime, check out one of Lydia’s favorite recipes, her famous quinoa and black bean chili recipe. 



4 cups dried beans, soaked and then cooked. Moosewood recommends one cup each of black, kidney, pinto, and garbanzo. And they you can soak and cook the first three together, but to do the garbanzos separately.    OR use 7 cans of canned beans.

6 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs minced garlic

3 to 4 Tbs lemon juice

6 to 8 Tbs red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp salt

Lots of black pepper

1/4 lb fresh green beans

2 medium stalks celery, finely minced

1/3 cup very finely minced red onion

Up to 1 cup (packed) finely minced parsley

1 small red or green bell pepper, minced

Optional:  a small amount of minced cucumber

Optional garnishes:  cherry tomatoes, sieved hardboiled eggs (if your diet isn’t entirely plant based).

Once the beans are cooked and drained well, place them in a large salad bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the oil, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Add the dressing to the beans and stir well.

Trim the tips of the green beans and cut into bite size pieces.  Steam until tender (approx. 5 to 8 minutes).  Refresh under cold running water and drain well.

Add the green beans and remaining vegetables to the beans and mix well.

Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours.  And when it’s potluck time, enjoy!