375. PBJ Smoothie [Vegan]

PBJ Smoothie | Vegan | Ann NIng Learning How

I didn’t tell CMD I was having trouble eating prior to Oregon. She took one look at my tongue and knew. So while I was resting on the table and letting the needles do their magic she compounded some hardcore herbs for me. I meekly took the Ziploc bag and thanked her for her efforts but made a mental note that it would be a miracle if I could get those herbs down my throat. I kid you not – there were great big chunks of stuff in there! They were like trees. And she was very up front with me that it was definitely going to taste bad, but it would help with the nausea.

She was puzzled by the non-improvement in my tongue a few days later and I had to tell her that I hadn’t taken the herbs. She tried to wheedle me into compliance for a few minutes but then when she left me in the room to get ready she said she was done trying to convince me and I was big enough to make my own decision. Side note: I’ll let you guess what I decided :).

Coach R asked me about my diet last week while he was stretching me out and I immediately tensed up, ready for combat. This kind of response is unnecessary with him, though – I’m just used to it from Trainer D. During my first session Trainer D lost no time in telling me that his wife J (code name: Mrs. Miyagi) is a respected dietician in our community. Great. Just great, I thought, and assiduously avoided the subject of food for the next two months.

I met Trainer D right when I was doing my full force Vegan Experiment and I immediately ascertained that he is an enthusiastic and vocal supporter of eating animal protein. Furthermore he provides consistently spirited philosophical opposition to my non-or-low consumption of animal products.

Click for vegan recipes!

Click for vegan recipes!


That’s why I avoided the topic with him for so long, but then he got it into his head that it was time to call in the big guns so he made me keep a food diary for a week, and roped J into a consultation. The contrast between what she wrote via email and what he delivered verbally was hysterically funny to me, but that’s another story for another time. The bottom line is that while I have no qualms about arguing with Trainer D, I immediately waved the white flag of surrender when the well-credentialed Mrs. Miyagi entered the scene.

I could have dealt with you by yourself, I told Trainer D, but noooooooo – you had to bring J into this. 🙂. FYI she is now Team Tanimal’s Dietician. Trainer D is in charge of the fight song.

So now, after prolonged debate, I ingest a lot of protein powder. It’s a vegan kind that the Miyagis are comfortable with in terms of amino acid profile. When the eating situation really deteriorated prior to OR I began to rely heavily on it. This is not a recommended course of action. Tanpo was two shakes away from inserting a new PEG (feeding tube) himself, and Mommy only tolerated it bc she knew I was trying to eat but honestly couldn’t. Even Trainer D didn’t fuss with me when he found out I was having trouble.

But now I’m really trying hard to get back into the swing of things. I told Ai Ai a few weeks ago, Hey, Boo Boo – I think I feel mo’ betta when I eat more food. She gave me the dirtiest look – you know, with squinty eyes over her glasses. She was like, Mmm hmm. I need you to not say that in front of our father when we go home.

I was doing great, and practicing my kitchen mobility skills – her family likes my food!! – but the last week has been tougher. I think it was the unanticipated stress of coming home and seeing the things the moving company delivered from my storage garage in OR. We didn’t bring home a lot, but it’s been enough to throw me off track.

So I’m still busy building my protein shake repertoire. I often like to add a ¼ cup of hemp hearts to my breakfast shake. I’ve seen sources state that hemp hearts are a complete protein, and others state that they are “almost” complete. From what I can gather (sorry I don’t have citations for you) hemp hearts do contain great Omegas plus all of the essential amino acids (the ones your body can’t make on its own), but not in the ideal ratios for protein “completeness.” Specifically, I read somewhere that hemp hearts don’t have enough lysine in them. So if I’m only using hemp and no protein powder I’ll dump some frozen peas in there bc peas are high in lysine and call it a day. I love using frozen fruits and especially veggies in my smoothies instead of ice bc you get a frozen texture plus nutritional value without the added bulk of ice. Here’s a favorite:


PBJ Smoothie [Vegan]

serves 1

10 oz almond milk

½ cup frozen blueberries

1 scoop vegan protein powder – plain or vanilla

1 heaping Tbsp PB2 or peanut flour

dash of cinnamon (optional)

3 frozen strawberries (optional)

¼ cup hemp hearts (optional)



341. Emergency Scones [Vegan, Flourless, NSA]

Emergency Scones | Vegan, Flourless, NSA | Ann Ning Learning How

This is a variation of my Emergency Cookies because sometimes you just need a scone.  This might be a foreign statement for you.  But I was raised by Baker Smurf – so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I made scones routinely in Oregon.  I used whole wheat flour and subbed buttermilk for the cream.  I always added cocoa and dried strawberries so mine were chocolate strawberry scones, and I thought they were fantastic until Mommy would come to visit me, make a batch of her classic tender triangles and I’d remember how good the originals were.

This recipe uses no flour or added sugar and I made them orange cranberry since that’s Mommy’s go-to combination.  They are lovely!  They make two small scones, so Mommy and I shared them and she said she liked them and would enjoy them again when I made them next. Poor Tanpo was not invited to the tea party, not that he would have partaken anyway :).

But I’m not sure when the “next time” is going to happen bc I’m going through one of those not-wanting-to-eat phases.  CMD gave me some high-octane herbs to combat the nausea and make me hungrier but I haven’t been up to swallowing them.  The only thing that has helped is more exercise – so I’m going with the work-out route for now as best as I can.  So I might be light on the recipes in the next few weeks.

Emergency Scones – Orange Cranberry (Vegan, Flourless, NSA)
Yields 2 small scones
Preheat toaster oven to 350

  • 2 Tb almond butter
  • 1 Tb unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tb ground flax
  • 2 Tb rolled (GF) oats
  • splash of vanilla
  • handful of craisins
  • handful of slivered almonds (optional)
  • orange zest to taste – I used about ¼ of an orange

Note:  I used a dinner spoon and not an actual measuring spoon. 

Mix everything together.  Form into desired shape on a parchment lined pan.
(I made a square I cut into 2 triangles.) Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

More Scones:

266.  Sun|Almond Butter Scones

266. Sun|Almond Butter Scones


339. Morning Glory Banana Bread [Vegan, NSA]

Morning Glory Banana Bread | Vegan, NSA | Ann Ning Learning How

We had the languishing banana problem again at my house a couple of weeks ago. So I looked up vegan banana bread recipes and decided to use [gasp!] real flour. I could not, however, bring myself to add the sugars recommended – multiple recipes called for several types of sweetener simultaneously. Perhaps it adds a depth of flavor my undiscerning palate wouldn’t appreciate, but I decided to forego the added sweetener and just let the bananas do the talking. I then decided to make this a “Morning Glory” loaf and threw in some carrots, coconut, walnuts and raisins. The results were delicious (mine got a nice crust on the edges, and the insides were wonderfully moist), even if I do say so myself. I was also glad not to have to add any oil. I added some almond butter, but I can live with that. I stored this loaf in the fridge and toasted a slice when I wanted it in the toaster oven. It is wonderful at any time of day. Try it with (vegan) cream cheese or more almond butter on top!

189.  Coconut Flour Banana Bread [Grain Free, NSA]

189. Coconut Flour Banana Bread [Grain Free, NSA]

Morning Glory Banana Bread [Vegan, No Sugar Added]

Preheat oven to 350 – yields 2 (smaller) loaves

Grease 2 small loaf pans or line them with parchment paper

  • 1 c oatmeal
  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large dashes of cinnamon – or to taste
  • ½ c DF milk + 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (let this sit for a fews minutes while you assemble the other ingredients)
  • 5 very ripe bananas
  • ¼ c unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ c almond butter
  • splash of vanilla
  • 2 huge carrots or 3-4 small ones, shredded (I let mine bounce around and get chopped in my Vitamix)
  • ½ c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ c walnuts (optional)
  • ½ c raisins

Mix everything together. Divide between your loaf pans. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.


327. Cake Batter Bars [Flourless, Gluten Free, Vegan]

Cake Batter Bars| w beans, GF, vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

These aren’t brownies, promise.  They just look dark bc I made them from beans and the only beans I had were a dark rosy color.  I started feeling better last week and was itching to make something in the kitchen and I was craving cake mix bars.  But after careful combing through both pantries I ascertained that we had no cake mixes in the house.  So I figured I’d Google quick and easy blondies and I happened upon a recipe from one of my favorite sources – Chocolate Covered Katie.

I have long resisted the idea of bean baking.  But I tried it this time since it seemed like the lowest hanging fruit and I adapted the recipe to better suit my measuring, lower sugar, and cake-batter(ish) requirements.  If you want the original chocolate chip blondie (with peanut butter) original recipe go to the source here.

Cake Batter Bars [Vegan, Gluten Free, with beans]

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
Preheat oven to 350.  Grease an 8×8 pan.

  • 1 can (~15 oz) beans, drained and rinsed.  (The color of your beans will influence the color of your bars.  That’s why mine are dark and I cannot call them “blondies” in good conscience.)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (or sub brown if you like)
  • big splash of vanilla
  • small splash of almond extract
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • ¼ c almond butter
  • handful of chocolate chips & palmful of sprinkles

Grind everything (except the chips and sprinkles) in a food processor or high-speed blender until nice and smooth.  Mix in the chips and sprinkles.  Spread into your greased 8×8 pan.  Decorate the top with more chips and  sprinkles if you like.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 350.

J came over later that night to drop off the CSA we’re sharing so I made her sample the goods.  Of course they looked better once my food stylist arranged them for me.


More vegan cake batter fun from CCK:

So Simple:  Cake Batter Ice Cream from CCK || Ann Ning Learning How

316. Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread Pudding (Vegan)

Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread Pudding | Vegan, 3 Ingredients | Ann Ning Learning How

I have gone back and forth on the subject of eating bread over the past year.  Contrary to what I’ve absorbed in my internet travels, my GI tract did not explode when I reintroduced gluten into my diet.  Just kidding.  People don’t really say that – it’s just that I was hoping living a gluten and/or grain free lifestyle would make me feel dramatically better.  But no, it didn’t.  But apparently it does make people with gluten intolerance feel better, and it’s almost magical for people with more severe allergies.  The source of my problems, though, is my brain, not my gut – and alas, I did not notice a significant change in my physical condition when I avoided grains 100% this summer.  I still avoid grains/gluten often (out of habit, and the fond hope that I will start seeing a difference), but I make an exception with Ezekiel bread.  This bread is made from sprouted whole grains, and it’s vegan.

Click for vegan recipes!

Click for vegan recipes!

I have felt better since I started pretending to be vegan.  I love the idea of eating a plant-strong, whole food diet, plus the last time I saw CMD she said my tongue looked pretty good.  SCORE one for ME.  (Remember, looking at your tongue is a diagnostic tool for digestive health in Chinese Medicine.)  So I’m trying to eat things that will keep my digestive pot boiling.  Seriously, I told my parents that I might be more Chinese after having the bleed/stroke bc of CMD’s influence.

Due to my dental discomfort (I can only chew on the right side bc my face is messed up, but now the teeth on the back/right are acting up) I’m trying to eat softer things, hence this bread pudding.  It’s only 3+ ingredients, it’s hot, and it’s a great vegan breakfast option. If I were to make this for dessert I’d use plain Ezekiel bread then sprinkle some DF chocolate chips and orange zest in there.  YEAH.  Maybe that will be another post.  Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread Pudding (Vegan)

Serves 1, great for breakfast, preheat oven to 350

  • 2 slices of Ezekiel Bread (cinnamon raisin)
  • 1 spoonful almond butter
  • ½ cup nondairy milk
  • dash of nutmeg (optional)

Tear up your bread and put it into a small (single-serve) baking dish. Measure ½ cup of DF milk and add a spoonful of almond butter.  Mix well.  Pour the milky mixture over the bread.  Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

311. Black Cake Brownie Bites [GF, Vegan, Oil Free]

Black Cake Brownie Bites| GF, Vegan, Oil Free | Ann Ning Learning How

I am Asian. I am not Jamaican. But I have a taste for the ultra-dark and rich fruit cake that comes from Jamaica since we grew up eating the version made by one of the F daughters. SO good. I just refer to it as “black cake.” That, along with Mommy’s Fried Rice, is one of the foods of my youth. Ai Ai told me that our friend S starts preparing hers months before Christmas.

So when I set out to make these brownie bites I was aiming for a gingerbread taste. They came out more reminiscent of the black cake I love. I was not disappointed – it was a happy accident! My apologies to real Jamaican fruit-cake makers – I know the real thing is irreplaceable – I’m just pleased I came up with an easy alternative for myself. If you’ve never had the kind of cake I’m talking about, be informed that the taste is strong (although alcohol-free in this case). To achieve a lighter taste, try ¼ cup maple syrup and ¼ molasses. Or a scant ½ cup maple syrup and a splash of molasses. I haven’t tried this yet, but once I finish the rest of my brownie bites I will. Oooh – or use all maple syrup and add a splash of mint extract for mint brownies. I bet you saw that one comin’.

Black Cake Brownie Bites [Gluten Free, Vegan]

Yield: 24 mini muffin-size brownies

Preheat oven to 350

Line mini muffin trays with paper liners

    • 3 Tb ground flax
    • 1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
    • ½ c molasses
    • ½ c unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/2 c GFDF mini choc chips
    • splash of vanilla
    • dash each of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
    • 2 dashes of ginger powder

Mix everything well. Fill your mini muffin cups and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. After they cool, frost only those you’ll be consuming with a white glaze (e.g. powdered sugar + non-dairy creamer), sprinkle with your favorite toppings. Mine aren’t necessarily GF/Vegan, e.g. crushed candy canes, M&M’s (I love the dark chocolate mint, green ombre variety), but if you need a safer choice, try colored sanding sugar.

300. Veggie Bisque [Vegan]

Veggie Bisque | The Vegan Experiment | Ann Ning Learning How

The Vegan Experiment is over for now.  The Verdict:  I will continue to avoid meat.  I’ll likely incorporate some fish back in my diet once or twice a week, and won’t be as concerned about putting ½ and ½ in my herbal coffee (!!) or eating something baked with an animal product, but I think that the most important thing is that I not consume chunks of beef or poultry as is my wont.   I feel like my insides are working less hard to process my food.  This could be mental, but it doesn’t matter at this point – the bottom line is that I feel better, so I’m going to go with that.  My tongue looks better.  There is still some whiteness, but it has receded.  Whatevs.  I’ll take what I can get.

This is another no-oil added recipe.  It’s completely vegan and VERY creamy, like my

272.  Dairy Free Clam or Chicken Chowder

272. Dairy Free Clam or Chicken Chowder

.  The brown tint came from the balsamic vinegar.  I like mine served on a bed of quinoa and wilted greens.

Veggie Bisque [Vegan]

Makes a HUGE pot


For the Base:

  • Half a large head of cauliflower (in florets), or 1 small head
  • 8 oz tofu (1/2 a box, I think)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp Mrs. Dash no salt
  • Worcestershire sauce



  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced (I like a lot of mushrooms, you could use less)
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 2 long Chinese eggplants, sliced
  • balsamic vinegar


In a HUGE pot, bring a splash of veggie broth to a state of rowdiness.  Add all the base ingredients in except for the veggie broth, Mrs. Dash and Worcestershire sauce.  Cover and let cook for 2 minutes.  Add everything into your blender, cover with the veggie broth, add the seasonings.  Puree.

In that same huge pot, broth-sauté the mushrooms.  Add a splash of balsamic, stir, add the celery.  Stir more.  Cover everything with the base, stir well, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Target Launch Tues Dec 10| Ann Ning Learning How

Please pray that all goes well logistically and we will get the incorporation and banking issues squared away for the target launch date of Dec 10, or sooner.

299. Fennel Apple Quinoa Stuffing [GF, Vegan]

Fennel Apple Quinoa Stuffing | GF, Vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

Quinoa is a great alternative for the Gluten Free among us.  Before I talk about quinoa (keen-wah) some more, let me just give a shout out to the Honey Baked Ham guy who helped me out in November 2010.  He read the fear in my eyes and told me, “It’s going to be okay.”

Yeah, it was fine because my friend, L, was there to do the actual cutting of my pre-cooked turkey.  I also Skyped earlier in the day with my family.  I held up a huge bag of Yukon Golds and was like, “Mommy, what do I do with these?”

But back to quinoa – it’s a seed, not a grain.  However, I’ve heard of it referred to sometimes as a “pseudograin,” and it has a mixed reception in the Grain-Free community.  Since I am not eating meat presently I’ve embraced quinoa since I love the hearty texture, and the fact that it’s a complete protein.   SCORE!  I wouldn’t consider it a low-calorie food, though, so I’m still mindful of serving size, but in the grand scheme of things I’m glad quinoa is on my list of “okay to eat” things right now.

Pure quinoa is gluten free – but if you’re purchasing a mix just be careful to verify that it’s certified GF if you need it to be.  This stuffing is a great alternative to the usual bread stuffing or its processed GF counterpart.  Mommy never actually stuffed the bird when we were growing up – actually, I heard that this practice is frowned upon now as unhygienic.  Anyhoo, Mommy always made a glutinous sticky rice we called “stuffing” with Chinese sausage, shitakes, and chestnuts for Thanksgiving.  Yum!  I wanted to do a quinoa/vegan version this year and this is what I came up with.

I’ve never cooked with fennel before, but I like the licorice-taste it imparts and I just sliced it up (only the bulb, not those pokey things) and went for it.  I broth-sauteed this so there is no added oil, but feel free to cook it how you choose.  I would definitely recommend, though, that you use red quinoa (it’s prettier) that has been cooked in leftover soup/broth.  I’m pretty sure this gives it a tasty boost.  I used some roasted carrot soup and some veggie bisque (recipe coming tomorrow) as well as veggie broth.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Fennel Apple Quinoa Stuffing (GF, Vegan)

Serves around 5

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa cooked in soup/broth – the flavor boost is strongly recommended)
  • 1 bulb of fennel, sliced
  • 1 green apple, e.g. granny smith
  • ½ lb. mushrooms, e.g. baby bella, sliced
  • 5 chestnuts (or more/less – your preference)
  • Veggie broth, for cooking
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Mrs. Dash no salt
  • Salt and pepper

In a big pan or wok, bring a splash of veggie broth to state of rowdiness over high heat.  Toss in the mushrooms.  Add a splash of balsamic, a pinch of Mrs. Dash no salt, and stir.  Lower the heat and cover for 2 minutes.  Add in the fennel and apple.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir and cover again for 1-2 minutes.  Add the quinoa in and stir.  Season to taste.  Drop the chestnuts in and heat everything through.

Other Allergy-Friendly Thanksgiving Food:  click here

114. PBCC Quinoa Oatmeal

114. PBCC Quinoa Oatmeal



Target Launch Tues Dec 10| Ann Ning Learning How

Please pray that all goes well logistically and we will get the incorporation and banking issues squared away for the target launch date of Dec 10, or sooner.


297. Flourless Chunky Monkey Emergency Cookies [Gluten Free, Vegan, No Sugar Added]

Chunky Monkey Emergency Cookies |Flourless, GF, Vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

You could have guessed that this was going to happen. I love ice cream, and I love cookies…It doesn’t take a brain surgeon…(pun intended). I haven’t had Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream in years. But when Mom brought it home one day when I was still a teenager I was like, Umm…this is SO good. At that point I didn’t even really like bananas, so maybe it was the name that caught my fancy.

In any case, I didn’t feel like using only half a banana so I threw a whole (small) very ripe banana in and increased the ground flax seed. I got 8 cookies out of this batch – still small, but gauge the size of your toaster oven and plan accordingly. I tried this with both sun butter and regular peanut butter. Both are delicious, but you should be aware (and I apologize for not telling you this during Sun Butter Week) that sun butter often bakes up green due to the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds. I Googled it, and as you know, the internet does not lie. The green colored baked goods are safe to eat but I thought they might be rather off-putting in the pictures, so I tried a peanut butter version. Success!! If, however, you want to use sun butter you could try squeezing some lemon juice in there.

The fuzzy monkey you see in the background in the picture above was a gift to me in the hospital from my dear friends (college roomates) who drove up from California to visit me. See (look over Karine’s right shoulder)?


Sadly, I was still asleep, otherwise we would have had a grand old time. 2 seconds after I took the title photo, this happened:


Chunky Monkey Emergency Cookies (GF, Vegan, NSA)

Makes around 8 cookies
Preheat oven to 350

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 small ripe banana (or half of a large banana)
  • 2 Tb ground flax
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla
  • handful DF chocolate chips
  • handful walnuts

Mix the peanut butter and banana first – I used a fork to mash the banana into the PB. Mix everything else in. Drop by the large spoonful or ice cream scoop onto your greased or lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Store in the freezer. If you don’t devour them immediately, enjoy them straight from freezer, barely defrosted, or reheated in the toaster oven.

for other Emergency Cookie variations: click here.

Target Launch Tues Dec 10| Ann Ning Learning How

Please pray that all goes well logistically and we will get the incorporation and banking issues squared away for the target launch date of Dec 10, or sooner.

295. My Best Beans

My Best Beans |Vegan, No Refined Sugar | Ann Ning Learning How

Not only are these my best beans, these will likely be my only beans.  I don’t think I’m digesting their protein well.  If I were not in a bit of a digestive pickle due to the AVM rupture + massive stroke I would be eating these all the time – so that’s why I feel good about recommending them to people looking for a tasty plant-based protein source.  My statement re. not digesting the beans’ protein well  is based solely on CMD’s evaluation of my tongue – these (like all the other food I’m eating) caused me zero digestive distress.  I  actually told Mommy after I made these that I was so happy that my soaking method appeared to make these easy for my belly to take(The popular bean soaking method I found online:  Soak dry beans for 2-3 days, changing the water every morning and night.  Add bay leaves, ginger, or kombu to the soaking water.  I used 2-3 bay leaves.)  I normally avoid beans in chili or in other dishes at restaurants, but these were fantastic for my purpose.  I cooked them in a vegan baked-bean style, with no added oil (I don’t count greasing the baking dish) or salt, a la Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat to Live method.  I love baked beans, but they don’t love me back.  These, however, contain no refined sugar and I included a bit of cinnamon so it smelled lovely – like the chicken Moroccan stew I used to cook all the time in Oregon.

I had my first personal training session yesterday.  I got to lie on the mat pretty much the whole time, but fascinatingly, I am still sore.  D evaluated my muscles and could tell right away that there are differences between the right and left sides.  Happily, he has plans for how to address them.  It came to light that D married a respected dietitian in our area, or a nutritionist, or something, and knows about this stuff himself. Great.  Another person to debate with over how I eat.

Just kidding.  The nutritional advice he gave me was very kindly given, based in clinical research, and was just that – advice, not a decree.  So I’m going to ponder the future of my Vegan Experiment, but I have to say that I am enjoying it so far and my tongue looks better.  It’s still not pink like yours, but the whiteness has receded a bit and isn’t as thick.  So I’m going to keep on going for now.

My Best Beans [Vegan]

These are baked beans sweetened with dates instead of oodles of brown sugar.  You’ll bake them at 350, but you pre-cook them on the stove so you could probably preheat the oven near the end of the stovetop cooking step.

1. Prepare the Beans:

1 16 oz bag of dry cannellini beans (you could try navy, pinto, or whatever you like)

  • Soak (instructions in paragraph 1 above) and rinse them
  • Cook them in a pan of water for 45 minutes.  Although the end result was fabulous, this might be a little overkill since you’re going to simmer them and then bake them, but I’ve never cooked beans before, so I cooked them just in case.  Use your own judgment on if/how long to precook the beans.

2.  Prepare the Base:

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ small onion
  • 1.5 tsp Mrs. Dash No Salt
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 10 dates (pitted and pre-soaked in hot water for 15 minutes)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (I would’ve used fresh, but we were out)
  • splash of natural maple flavoring
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Throw everything in your blender or food processor and puree.


3.  Cook the mushrooms and beans on the stove

  • 1/2 lb of sliced mushrooms, e.g. baby bella
  • veggie broth
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Broth-sauté the mushrooms:  Bring a splash of vegetable broth to a boil (as much as you can since it’s only a splash).  Add the mushrooms in, stir and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Stir again and cover on low-medium heat for 2 minutes.  The mushrooms will release more water.
  • Pour the base (#2) over the mushrooms, stir, cover, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the beans and stir, cover and let cook, stirring occasionally for 45-60 minutes.

4.  Bake

  • Pour into a greased casserole, cover and bake for 60 minutes at 350.