Posts Tagged ‘artichokes’

D.I.Y. Cinco de Mayo

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

Today is May 5th, Cinco de Mayo in Spanish.  If you go to the SEARCH box on my Home Page and type in Cinco de Mayo, you will come up with several postings, which I don’t wish to repeat, so I thought I would do a little Cooking with the Strings of Your Apron idea and give you options to make your own tortilla/taco/ wrap.

First, choose an organic grain free or corn wrap. I like the SIETA brand of grain free wraps, either almond (supposedly no bee-killing pesticides from their supplier, which I will double check) or Cassava (pictures) or an organic corn flour. If you choose (whole) wheat, make sure it is organic.

Next, choose your ingredients. They do not need to be what I chose, but I am posting the photo and list for you to consider and then add or subtract items of your choosing. For example, traditional tortillas and tacos are made with rice but I decided to use organic, sprouted quinoa because I forgot to put up the rice before I started assembling my ingredients, and quinoa takes only about 15 minutes. The tri-colors also makes the dish visually attractive. I also used a fresh, chopped organic salsa with multiple ingredients from Mom’s Organic, rather than a jar of salsa that is mostly tomatoes.

Below are my choice of ingredients:


On the cutting board are scallions, (non-dairy) cheese slivers, wraps and Castle-Vetrano ripe green olives. (My favorite!)

Next from left to right: yellow bowl of sprouts, orange bowl of artichoke hearts, organic salsa (middle bowl), black beans* and quinoa (Organic and Sprouted) in the two bowls below the olives. *I have tried to sprout black beans with little success, so I do use organic canned beans or organic boxed beans.

The last two larger bowls are mashed organic avocado (with a little lemon juice to prevent oxidation) and organic lettuce.  I assembled the ingredients onto the warmed tortilla wrap like this:

1. First, I spread some mashed avocado on the wrap.

2. Then I placed a leaf of lettuce.

3. Next I added some cooked black beans and quinoa, topping the tortilla with sprouts and scallions. (I placed the olives and artichoke hearts on the side.

4. Then I folded my concoction and enjoyed eating it, with some beans and quinoa falling out of the tortilla because I piled on too much!

(Feel free to add salt, pepper and/or cayenne to your taste. I decided not to use the non-dairy cheese slices and just munched on these.)

Here’s a photo of my lunch, with the (unwrapped) tortilla on the upper left.






I also cooked an artichoke (upper right), pulling off the leaves and dipping them in the leftover, mashed avocado, and I combined the quinoa with the black beans (lower right hand foto) for another dose of Cinco de Mayo tomorrow.

Happy, healthy eating for this May holiday!

Artichoke & Black Bean Salad

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Beans are staples in my plant-based diet (except for a few supplements that are not vegetarian). Generally I buy dried beans, which I then soak, sprout, and freeze to use as needed. But I always like to keep a can of organic black beans (No BPA or BPS lining*) in the kitchen cabinet, because I have found that dried black beans take so long to sort and cook that the money I saved on buying them dried is los tin the cost of long-term cooking.

Recently I think I have found an alternative to canned black beans. I can now buy them in a tetra pack ( or a carton made from mostly paperboard but does have 4% aluminum, that is sealed hermetically. (I need to do more research which is the better choice, non-BPA/BPS linings tetra packs. I read that BPA-free does not necessarily mean 100% safe.)

So, whether you use dried, canned, or tetra pack beans, here is a fall salad that you can enjoy. The artichokes are NOT from a jar or can, but frozen with no added oils, citric acid, etc., just artichoke hearts that I thaw and use in many recipes.


Utensils: Cutting board and knife, strainer, bowls
Prep. Time: 15 minutes (with cooked beans)
Cooking Time: None!
Categories: No sugar added, Vegan

Ingredients (This is a cooking-by-your-apron strings dish that allows flexibility in the amounts used.)

one cup artichoke hearts (If using jarred, then strain them; if using frozen, thaw them.)
one cup cooked black beans, well drained and rinsed
slices of leek or fennel bulb
parsley (chopped) [Can also use cilantro or dill instead]
grated carrot
salad dressing of choice (ex. olive oil and lemon)
salt & pepper to taste or other herbs of your choice
lettuce (optional)


  1. Remove artichoke hearts from freezer; measure out one cup into a small bowl and allow to thaw while preparing other ingredients. (You may want to do this about one hour before lunch dinner to be sure they are soft before adding to bowl.)
  2. Rinse well and drain cooked black beans so none of the color leaks into salad. Place in large serving bowl.
  3. Slice washed leek or fennel bulb thinly and add to bowl.
  4. Grate one small, scrubbed carrot into the serving bowl.
  5. Wash and chop parsley (or cilantro or dill), reserving stems for soup stock and add to salad.
  6. Toss all the ingredients, including thawed artichoke hearts, with salt & pepper to taste (optional) and your favorite salad dressing.
    Note: If you wish, you can line your bowl with Romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, or kale.

Artichoke data from Googling Artichoke Hearts: “Because of their tough exterior, artichokes take some careful preparation.+ But your efforts will reap nutritional rewards — the veggie is a good source of folate, dietary fiber, and vitamins C and K. Artichokes are also packed with antioxidants; they’re number 7 on the USDA’s top 20 antioxidant-rich foods list.” (+My recipe uses only the hearts, so no careful prep needed. es)


BPA and BPS, or bisphenol A and bisphenol S respectively, are chemicals that are used in the production of “soft” (i.e. flexible) plastics and the linings of some metal products. The danger in using these chemicals in the production of food containers is that the chemicals from the container can seep to the food inside it, which can cause some negative health effects. In fact, a growing body of research has already linked BPA and BPS exposure to: impaired brain function, memory and learning, depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and fertility problems……(See entire article on the site.)