1. Glorious Guacamole

Recipe Courtesy of Healing the Vegan Way by Mark Reinfeld

What a glorious way to celebrate avocado’s perks: monounsaturated fats, protein, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamins B6, C, and K. Its creamy goodness is enhanced by nutrient-packed garlic, onions, pepper and spices, and a little lime for sweetness. If you are not serving the guacamole immediately, you can leave the avocado pit in the dip to keep it staying greener longer.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups guacamole

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Serving size: 1/4 cup

Number of servings: 5

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups mashed avocado (about 2 medium-size avocados)

3 tablespoons minced red onion

1 large garlic clove, pressed or minced

1/2 teaspoon seeded and diced jalapeño pepper

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or additional chili powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1.Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

2. Black Bean and Corn Salad

Recipe Courtesy of Healing the Vegan Way by Mark Reinfeld

A perfect blend of sweet and savory chewiness and crunch, with a Mexican flair, this is a great go-to salad for a party since it is easy to prepare and presents very well. Black beans have a have superior fiber and protein content, which makes this simple salad pack a punch. Strong immunity-boosters, such as garlic and chile; the heart-healthy antioxidants in cumin; and natural cleansing agent cilantro round out this colorful salad. Serve on its own with chips for a light snack, or as a side topped with Glorious Guacamole.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups salad

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Number of servings: 5

Ingredients

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed well, or 1 1/2 cups cooked

1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn

1/4 cup seeded and diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion or diced red onion

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

1/2 teaspoon seeded and diced jalapeño pepper (optional)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (optional)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons wheat-free tamari or other soy sauce (optional)

Directions

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

3. Black Bean Tostones with Creamy Mexican Dipping Sauce

Recipe Courtesy of Healing the Vegan Way by Mark Reinfeld

Traditionally, tostones (from the Spanish “to toast”), are twice-fried plantains. You can’t go wrong with this healthier, baked version that includes two Latin American staples: black beans and plantains. What a savory treat they become when baked into a low-fat patty with herbs, spices, and versatile green onions or scallions—known for their rich abundance of vitamin K. Serve with Vegan Sour Cream, Creamy Mexican Dipping Sauce (recipe below) or Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

Yield: 8 tostones

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Serving size: 1 tostone (1/8 cup)

Number of servings: 8

Ingredients

2 very ripe plantains (1 cup mashed)

1/4 cup flour (try with gluten-free, such as brown rice or garbanzo)

2 tablespoons diced green onion

2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon chili powder or chipotle chile powder

1/4 cup cooked black beans

oil for baking sheet, optional

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the mashed plantains, flour, green onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, and chili powder in a bowl and mix well. Add the black beans and stir well.

2. Form into eight equal patties with a small ice-cream scoop, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes. Carefully flip and bake for an additional 7 minutes. Serve warm.

Variations

Replace the black beans with adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, or pinto beans.

Lightly oil the baking sheet if you do not have parchment paper.

Replace the plantains with just-ripe bananas.

Add 2 teaspoons of curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, for an Indian treat.

Replace the cilantro with fresh dill.

Add 2 teaspoons of an ethnic spice blend, such as Moroccan or Ethiopian.

Instead of baking, you can sauté the tostones in coconut oil over medium-high heat until just crispy on each side, about 3 minutes on each side.

Creamy Mexican Dipping Sauce

Make your dip Mexican with the addition of classic flavors, such as antioxidant-rich cilantro, immunity-boosting garlic, and fiery chili powder. Vitamin C–rich lime juice also has unique active compounds called flavonoid glucosides, which offer antibiotic properties.

Yield: 1 cup sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Serving size: 2 tablespoons

Number of servings: 8

Ingredients

1/2 cup raw cashews

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened soy, rice, or almond milk
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, or 1/4 teaspoon chili powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of chili powder

Pinch of sea salt, or to taste

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Place the cashews in a bowl with ample water to cover. Allow to sit for 20 minutes or longer. Drain, rinse and drain well.

2. Transfer to a blender with the soy milk and blend until creamy, adding additionally soy milk if necessary to fully blend the cashews.

3. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Alternatively, you can process all the ingredients in a small food processor until well blended.

Variations

Add 1/4 cup of mashed roasted garlic.

For Goddess Dipping Sauce, blend with 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, 2 tablespoons of fresh flat-leaf parsley, and 1 teaspoon of fresh dill.

Go decadent and replace the cashews with vegan mayonnaise, either homemade, or store bought Vegenaise brand.