07 December 2011

Gluten Free Vegan Allergen-Free Meal

Sometimes it's hard to think of a meal that absolutely EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE WORLD can eat. That's why I was surprised to realize that my dinner the other night was just that, even though I was just rooting around in the fridge for some leftover goodies.  I really enjoyed the comforting hominess of the meal, so I thought I would share that this meal contains:

no gluten
no dairy, egg, animal products, mammal, seafood, or fowl
no nuts
no soy (bunches of people have soy allergies, did you know?)

I don't think the meal works if you're on the Atkins diet, though. Oh well!

Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Quick Collard Greens without Pork
Parsleyed Crowder Peas (recipe follows)

Obviously, you could easily fill this out with a fruit salad or another vegetable side like sautéed mushrooms or a NUT-ENCRUSTED PORK SANDWICH WITH MAYONNAISE. I kid! I get my jollies where I can.

Parsleyed Crowder Peas or Herbed Beans

I make this with fresh or frozen crowder peas, but the recipe works equally well with any fresh or frozen bean.

If you are using dried beans, do the whole process: soak 4 hours, drain and rinse, cover with water in a pot, bring to a boil, turn heat down, add the fresh herb stems, and simmer until bite-able. Salt the water and simmer until it reaches a tender consistency (you have to taste it every 15 minutes or so to be careful). Drain and proceed as in recipe below.

a full package of fresh or frozen crowder peas, black-eyed peas, purple peas, or beans
extra-virgin olive oil
1 large fresh bunch of your herb of choice: parsley, mint, cilantro, thyme, you name it

  1. Wash your peas or beans. Remove any stones or weird-looking alien intruders.
  2. Put peas in a pot. Cover with about a 1/2 inch of water.
  3. Heat up the water. Meanwhile, wash your parsley or other herb. Separate the stems from the leaves. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS.
  4. Bundle the stems together and stick them on top of the peas in the water. If you have cooking string or cheesecloth or whatever, tie them together for easier removal later.
  5. Bring water to a boil. Turn down to a simmer. Cook until tender.
  6. Meanwhile, chop up the herb leaves.
  7. Turn off heat. Remove as much of the herb stems as you can with tongs or chopsticks (NOT your poor widdle fingers). Drain the beans. Remove rest of herb stems. Immediately pour beans into a serving bowl with ample space for stirring. 
  8. While beans are still warm, add just enough of your best extra-virgin olive oil to coat. Salt the beans until they don't taste like bean-cardboard anymore. 
  9. Let the beans cool until they're not so steamy. Add the chopped herb leaves on top. Serve with a spoon and an apple-cheeked smile.

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