Candle Cafe's Paradise Casserole

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According to Joy Pierson, co-owner of Candle Cafe, Paradise Casserole has been one of the most popular dishes served at the restaurant over the years.

It is a delicious concoction of cinnamon-scented sweet potatoes layered with spicy black beans and millet. This is wonderfully hearty, loaded with complex carbohydrates, vitamins and protein. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

4 sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon sweet white miso

1 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar (can substitute a mixture of red wine vinegar and soy sauce)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cans cooked organic black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups millet

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 finely chopped onion (yellow or white)

1 teaspoon cumin

1-inch piece of kombu or other seaweed, rinsed

pinch of crushed red pepper

pinch of salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the sweet potatoes for one hour, or until fork tender. When cool enough to handle, remove the cooked potatoes from their skins, place them in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Combine the miso, vinegar and cinnamon with the potatoes.

Drain the black beans and place in a large stockpot. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Add the rinsed kombu, cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until tender Drain and set aside, removing the kombu.

While the beans are cooking, put the millet and 3 ½ cups of salted water in a large pot. Bring to boil, cook 25 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

In a separate pan, heat 1 tsp of olive oil and sautee the garlic, onion, cumin and crushed red pepper with salt until just tender. Mix with the cooked black beans.

Spray or lightly oil a 3 qt. casserole dish or a 9" x 13" baking dish. Spread the millet over the bottom of the pan, and then spread the black bean mixture in an even layer over the millet. Add the sweet potato mixture over the black beans in an even layer.

Bake the casserole for 40 – 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before serving. Serves 4 to 6 people.

Black Bean Burger

Based on a recipe by New York Coalition for Healthy School Food

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Ingredients

1 cup oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup brown rice

1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups water

Preparation

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and saute until soft. Do not brown. Mix in the rice, black beans, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Add water and bring to a quick boil. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Carefully remove black bean mixture from heat and let cool. Shape into patties and place unto paper lined sheet pans.

Bake patties at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with salsa, chopped tomatoes or chopped scallion.

For more recipes from the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, click here.

Marinated Chickpeas

Based on a recipe by Wellness in the Schools and SchoolFood

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Ingredients

1 15-ounce can chickpeas

1 large red onion

1 large green pepper

1 large red pepper

½ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic

1 teaspoon fresh basil

Preparation

Rinse and drain chickpeas. Combine chickpeas, peppers and onions in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients to make dressing. Pour dressing over peas, peppers and onions and mix thoroughly. Store in refrigerator and serve chilled.

Vegetarian Chili

Based on a recipe for Wellness in the Schools by Bill Telepan

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Ingredients

2 ounces vegetable oil

1 onion, diced small

1 red pepper, diced small

1 green pepper, diced small

1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 ounces tomato paste

1 28-ounce can diced tomato

3 14-ounce cans of beans, either black, kidney or chickpeas

Preparation

Heat oil in a pot on medium heat, and add onion, peppers and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix in spices and paste. Add tomatoes and a half a can of water and simmer for about 20 minutes until thick.

Add beans and simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes. Serve warm.

Vegetarian Pasta Sauce

Based on a recipe for Wellness in the Schools by Bill Telepan

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Ingredients

2 ounces vegetable oil

1 onion, diced small

1 red pepper, diced small

1 green pepper, diced small

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried basil

3 ounches tomato paste

1 28-ounce can diced tomato

1 14-ounce can beans, white or chickpeas, draining half of the liquid

1 zucchini, diced small

1 cup broccoli florets

Preparation

On medium heat, saute onion, peppers and garlic in oil with a pinch of salt. Cook covered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in spices, paste, tomatoes and a half a can of water. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until thick.

In a large pan heat remaining oil and add zucchini and broccoli. Cover pan for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of water and salt and cover and cook 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and reserve.

After cooking 20 minutes, add beans to sauce and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add vegetables and cook 2 more minutes. Salt to taste.