Monday, June 22, 2015

Vegan 3 Bean Ranch Salad

Thursday afternoon I got home from work and was so hot I couldn't stand the thought of making spaghetti sauce and noodles as planned. Instead I made some banana ice cream and decided that it felt summery enough to want a burger picnic dinner. For budget's sake, I wanted to try to make dinner with whatever we had on hand already. Since we bought out the Hillary's veggie burgers when they went on clearance at Target, we had those in the freezer and I'm okay with using bread instead of buns. We also had some fakin bacon and Daiya shreds, so we were set for tasty vegan bacon cheeseburgers! I needed to come up with a side besides potato chips and knew I had some dry beans. I didn't have the right kind of beans or enough of some ingredients to make baked beans, so I had to come up with something else. Traditional 3 bean with Italian was out because I didn't have the dressing or the ingredients to make it. We had the ingredients for BJ's world famous (to me) ranch dressing. This dish was born. Obviously I didn't get out of a hot stove because I had to cook the beans, but whatever, spaghetti is boring.

For the ranch dressing, you'll benefit from having the dry ingredients prepared in a mason jar to keep on hand. I use this mix in my vegan Spanish pinwheels and to make ranch dressing in small batches so it doesn't go unused. I highly recommend buying herbs from the bulk section. It costs just pennies on the dollar and helps save the environment when you use your own reusable container. Just remember to tare the container before filling it!

Ranch Dressing Mix

  • ¼ cup dried parsley
  • 4 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
Add all ingredients into a mason jar and stir together. You'll want to stir it around before using it because the heavier ingredients tend to settle at the bottom and the flavor isn't as good without even distribution of herbs and spices. I don't really care about expiration dates of herbs/spices, so if it doesn't look, smell, or taste bad, I'll eat it. Sorry I can't recommend how long this keeps. I'd say forever or until you eat it all. Go with whatever you feel comfortable with, but you'll probably finish it before you start worrying.

Ranch Dressing

  • 2 parts vegan mayo (I use Just Mayo by *Hampton Creek, sooo good!!!)
  • 1 part plant based milk (I have used unsweetened Soy and original Silk Cashew Milks)
  • 1 Tablespoon ranch dressing mix, or to taste
I use a Blender Ball gadget to make this dressing. Add all ingredients and shake shake shake! Taste test to see if you need more dressing mix. Resist drinking straight from bottle. I know it's hard. If you actually have self control, I recommend eating this within a week.

*Hampton Creek just came out with Just Ranch, but it isn't available in my area yet. I'll probably try it, but I really like the zero waste factor of making my own. It's probably cheaper to do so, too. And, by making it yourself, you control what's in it. Win, win, win.

3 Bean Salad
  • 1/3 cup kidney beans
  • 1/3 cup pinto beans
  • 1/3 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
  • 1 (8 oz) can corn
I decided to make this very last minute so I didn't follow the ABS (always be soaking) rule. In fact, I didn't do any soaking of any kind. I read this article saying that soaking beans does nothing but make cooking a tad faster. Interesting and perfect since I had no time and was determined to make this for dinner. Full disclaimer, I actually hate beans. This recipe was simply because I've been really bored with life, BJ likes them, and we had them. I don't hate this recipe, it's good, but I just don't like beans. Sometimes I eat stuff I don't like to eat. I know that's weird, but if I didn't, my diet would consist mostly of buttered toast 10x a day, bananas, Tofutti pizza and ranch, Earth Balance mac&cheese, and copious amounts of Chinese food. Here we go!

Wash your beans and remove anything that you don't want to be eating later. Unless it's all the beans, then this is just a corn and cheese ranch salad. I'd prefer it that way. Minus the corn. Seriously, ranch and cheese salad is delicious!

Bring 3 cups of plain water to a boil then add your beans. Turn down heat, cover, and cook for 1.5-2 hours. Make sure to check on the water levels once in a while. I made the mistake of forgetting about it and my apartment still smells like burnt beans. Gross. Unless you love beans and burnt smells. Don't worry, the beans tasted fine according to BJ. Add more water as needed during cooking.

About halfway through, add some salt and cumin for flavor. If you like things Southwesty, go crazy and add whatever other spices you want.

Once cooked, drain and rinse. Add your beans into a dish, obviously Pyrex is best. I had a little Friendship 473 action happening for my salad. Drain the can of corn then add to beans. Throw in your cheese, more or less as desired. Mix it all together to distribute evenly. Pour some ranch dressing on top depending on your preference. I didn't want it to be too liquidy nor too dry so I added a bit at a time until I was happy. You'll have quite a bit of dressing left over to use with your Tofutti pizza or veggies. Refrigerate for a few hours to cool and meld flavors. Once chilled, stir and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment