Nutritious Vegan Dinner Idea: Corn Chowder With Black Bean And Sun-dried Tomato Quinoa

Nutritious Vegan Dinner Idea: Corn Chowder With Black Bean And Sun-dried Tomato Quinoa

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Protein is always the focus for a vegan meal. However this dish not only supplies the protein, but also dietary fiber vitamins B6 and E, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, AND zinc. These recipes (corn chowder and a quinoa side) certainly don’t TASTE like vitamins. Try them for yourself to find out…

Corn Chowder ingredients:(serves about 4 to 5)

1 large onion, chopped

3 Tablespoons olive oil

2 corn cobs, shucked -obviously and corn cut off the cob (or about two cups frozen corn)

1 large potato (or two medium sized ones) chopped into little cubes

about 1 Tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons thyme

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 cups of water

1 cup coconut milk (or soy, almond, rice, etc…)

If you have been wondering what are meal kits and what do they include, here is an example for you. 

Heat up the olive oil in a soup pot or large saucepan, and saute the onions until lightly browned. Add the potatoes, corn (reserving about 1/2 cup for garnish), and the seasonings. Mix it up really well and add the water and milk substitute (if you don’t have any, just add another cup of water instead).

Let it simmer about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the potatoes are softened, take it off the heat and let it cool a bit before putting it in a blender or food processor and pureeing it to a smooth texture…. or add less chowder to the blender to puree for a thicker version.

Once it’s as chunky or smooth as you like it, pour it back into the pot and add the reserved corn kernels. Bring it to a low simmer until ready to serve, adjusting the salt and pepper as needed. Once served I garnished mine with a bit of fresh parsley and paprika.

While the chowder is simmering, prepare your ingredients for the black bean and tomato quinoa dish

Ingredients: (serves about 3)

1 cup quinoa

2 cups black beans (soaked overnight – or for 8 hours) – I only had a cup of black beans left, so I mixed in some Pinto beans as well.

2 cups shredded cabbage

a dozen sundired tomatoes

vegan “cheese” (if you don’t have a recipe to make your own “cheese” refer to my vegan pizza article for a yummy cashew “cheese” recipe – note: it yields about half a loaf pan)

Rinse out the soaked beans and put them in a pot with ample water (about two inches above the beans) and bring them to a boil. Add a pinch or two of salt, reduce the heat a bit and put a cover on it. Test a bean every now and then until they are soft, but not mushy!

Next, put the quinoa in a small pot with about 2 cups of water…. bring to boil, add a pinch of salt, reduce the heat to a simmer, stir it up, and cover… it should be ready in about 10-15 minutes.

Now, using the last burner on your stovetop, boil enough water to blanch the cabbage. While that’s working on boiling, sit down and enjoy a glass of wine… or bourbon… or do what you gotta do – maybe supervise the work area for maximum efficiency (I always feel a bit over the top when using all the pilots on my stove… but that’s neither here not there)

Once the quinoa is cooked, spoon out a bed of these wonderful grains onto a plate. Followed by a layer of cabbage…. then, using a slotted spoon, scoop out some beans and put that on top of the cabbage. Arrange the sundried tomatoes… and finish it off with a good dollop of “cheese”. It should look pretty impressive by now… and you can serve it immediately. I garnished it with some black and red pepper and dried basil I dehydrated and ground from the garden (but certainly use fresh basil if you’ve got it!).

As an aside, I grew the cabbage in my own yard! This was my first year growing cabbage, and I chose a flat leaf Dutch heirloom variety from, and I’ve never tasted cabbage quite this good to be quite honest (and perhaps with a tinge of unnecessary pompousness). California is great for growing cabbage which is fairly easy to grow. We harvested about five heads of cabbage alone from a four square foot plot outside our apartment. If you are reading this, and wish you could try more fresh, organic ingredients, don’t be afraid to try it!

It should work out so the two dishes finish around the same time and there you have it… a very satisfying and healthy meal that complement each other rather well. I drank Callaway Vintage 2009 Cabernet with mine, which is a bit heavy but pairs well with the sun dried tomatoes and corn.