Smoky Pink Beans, Fun Slaw, and Fried Potatoes

Today marks the first time in a couple of months I’ve spent the entire day in the kitchen. I baked bread, made three different kinds of soda, pickled some radishes, made ice cream, and made a big dinner. Although I wanted to make a nice Sunday meal, I had no idea what to make. I finally decided I wanted to use up some dried beans, so I did an “extended quick soak” on some pink beans and just sort of went from there. I had also bought a “rainbow slaw” (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots) mix I wanted to incorporate into the meal. Here’s what I did:

Mayo-less Fun Slaw

Mark hates mayonnaise, made with eggs or otherwise, so I wanted to make a mayo-free slaw he would enjoy. This was quick and easy.

6 oz. “rainbow slaw” (a pre-packaged mix of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots)
3 Tbsp chopped scallions
2 Tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Place the vinegar, oil, mustard and salt into a small mixing bowl.

Whisk well.

Toss with the slaw and scallions.

Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Smoky Pink Beans

2 1/4 cup dried pink beans
2 small onions, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
vegan broth (I used “chicken”-flavored) to cover beans by 2 inches
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp salt (I used smoked Maldon)

Soak the beans overnight in cold water, or quick soak by boiling for two minutes, then removing from heat and soaking for an hour. Drain.

Place all ingredients but the salt in a pressure cooker if you have one. Pressure cook for 12 minutes then quick release if using a pressure cooker, otherwise, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until beans are soft. Stir in the salt after the beans are soft.

When my beans were done, I still had a lot of broth, so I brought it to a steady boil and boiled what I could off. I eventually got tired of waiting and wanted the beans to be soupier so I stirred in about 1/4 tsp xantham gum. You don’t need to do that, however. Break up the onions with the back of a spoon before serving.

Fried Potatoes

2 lbs potatoes, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp flaked salt (I used the smoked Maldon again)
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes for about five minutes, then drain. Heat some oil in a cast iron skillet, then add the onions, peppers, salt, oregano, and cayenne and black peppers; saute until onions are soft. Add the potatoes and fry until golden brown. I deglazed the pan with a triple-strength mixture of Vegeta and water for extra flavor.

And here is everything together, served with brown rice.

Mark liked this a lot; he had two huge servings of the beans, which he thoroughly doused in Tabasco. There are plenty of leftovers, which I imagine will only improve with age.

And now it is time for a heartwarming tale. One morning a few weeks ago my manager and I had to go downtown for three back-to-back meetings. As we drove into the city, I warned him that I was going to be very cranky by the time the meetings were over because they were interfering with my normal lunch time and I’m not pleasant to be around if I don’t eat at regular intervals. My manager is a very good guy and when the meetings were over and we were heading back to the office, he wanted to know if I was okay or if I’d like to stop for lunch. I noticed him looking at a hot dog stand as he asked this, though, and I said, “that’s a hot dog stand, what the hell would I get there? You think they’re going to have vegan hot dogs at a hot dog stand?!”, as if he were totally off his rocker. Well, to my immense surprise, on Friday I came across this post on DC Vegan. It seems some hot dog stands in DC DO in fact have vegan hot dogs and not only that, the one we passed is one of them (it was the third on that list). Frankly, I’m flabbergasted. But that also made my month. This year has been a lot of things so far, good and bad, but I’ll tell you what: it is a GREAT year to be vegan. I FEEL SO NORMAL! I’ve been vegan for 12 years and when I started I never dreamt I’d be able to order a hot dog from a hot dog stand. That’s just…amazing.

You know what else is amazing?

This guy!

And this girl!

Doesn’t Gomez look a little evil in this picture?

But he’s not evil! He’s a sweet, wonderful, lovable, adorable, amazing little boy!

It’s really amazing that we are actually watching their personalities form. Sure, they already had very distinct personalities when we got them a week ago, but they are changing in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways. Gomez is FAR less shy than he was when he got here (I’m not even sure the word shy even remotely describes him any longer), and they are both even more affectionate than they were a week ago. They constantly switch between which one is dominant. They are learning from one another. Every day – every hour, even – I learn something new about them. It’s so weird, yet exciting, to have cats I don’t know better than I know myself (after living with Tigger and Brachtune each for 16 years, I could anticipate their every move). Torticia is sitting on my lap as I type this, purring like a machine and licking my wrist: my plan to make lap cats out of them is going well!

Mark and I are both wildly in love with these kittens. I don’t know how a person could not be, honestly.


  1. Ksenia Said,

    June 21, 2010 @ 4:16 am

    Your Sunday meal looks so nice 🙂

    And the part about the vegan hot dog is great 😀 I haven’t seen any hot dog stands here that sells vegan hot dogs, but I haven’t seen too many hot dog stands anyway, of any kind 😛 I was very suprised too when the other day I ordered a soy ice cream and they had it (hidden in the freezer, but it was there). Maybe I should ask more and I would be surprised more often too….

    Your kittens are absolutelly adorable 😀

  2. Meg Said,

    June 21, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    Pet their paws a ton! One thing I wanted with my new cat that my old cat wasn’t into was for her to let me pet her paws. So I pet them all the time when she was little and now I can pet the tops of her hands. It’s adorable!

  3. Courtney Said,

    June 21, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

    That sounds like a perfect day…I would love to have a day to spend in the kitchen!

    Thanks for the slaw recipe! I am with Mark–mayo in any form (egg based, tofu based, etc.) grosses me out big time. Yuck! I will have to give your slaw a try 🙂


  4. Josiane Said,

    June 30, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

    Getting beans from soaked to cooked, and onions from whole to breakable with the back of a spoon, that fast? You have convinced me: a pressure cooker will be on my birthday wishlist…
    So cool about the hot dog stands offering vegan hot dogs! Even though we’re far from seeing that around here, it’s great to see that things are moving. I totally get the thrill of being able to feel like we are normal. I’m just back from Portland OR, and it was so awesome to not only be able to choose among several options on a menu, but also to be able to choose any of the many restaurants there were around and be certain that they’d have something for me. It was refreshing!
    You really got some amazing pics of your kitties! I *love* the first one. Also, I forgot to say on my comment to the previous post: Torticia is the best name ever!

  5. lou Said,

    July 2, 2010 @ 9:03 am

    Those pictures are so cute I got a lump in my throat! I would be so in love too, they are so beautiful and sweet. Good for you guys!

  6. Cedar Said,

    October 5, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

    I just stumbled on your blog and I love your recipes! But even more I love how much you love your kitties! It’s so nice to see someone who is as obsessed with their cats are we are. They brighten our days EVERYDAY and have such awesome and unique personalities. I can’t imagine our lives without them. 🙂


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