Equinox Dinner – Black and White

In our house, we celebrate the equinox with a special “black and white” dinner (for both dark and light).  During the dinner we discuss what we will miss about the passing season and look forward to in the coming season.  Our traditional menu is black beans and white rice, black olives and white cheese, black (chocolate) cake with white icing.  The cake is the wacky cake recipe posted here with either a powdered sugar or vegan cream cheese icing.  And, I’m going to assume you know how to make rice.  So, here I’ll supply the recipe for vegan black beans – veganasana style.

Vegan Black Beans

Makes 7 Cups

  • 1 lb. dried black beans (3 cups) – checked over and rinsed
  • Several cups water
  • 6 cloves garlic – crushed or minced
  • 1 large onion – chopped
  • 2 stalks celery – chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) – chopped
  • 2 tbs. ground cumin (if you are a cumin hater, leave this out)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper – seeded and chopped (optional if you don’t care for the heat)
  • 2 tomatoes – seeded and chopped finely (or pureed)
  • 2 tsp.  sea salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Place beans in a large pot (if you like to soak beans a little while first, you can do that, but black beans often don’t need it – if you do soak, be sure to empty the soaking water and start again with fresh water).  Add enough water to cover the beans and about 1 inch more.  Add the remaining ingredients. Bring beans to a boil and then lower heat and cover to simmer.  They will need 2 hours or more.  Add additional water if needed to keep level a little above beans and stir occasionally.  If you let the water get too low, the beans won’t cook and will scald.  Scalded beans are nasty.

Serve over bed of white rice, adding cheese, olives, and sour cream if desired.  Delicious!

*Note, I’ve made this without garlic when I run out, and it is still tasty.  I’ve also added shredded carrots with little difference in taste and used tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes.  It’s hard to really go wrong as long as you don’t burn the beans.

Apple Spice Muffins

I’m still adjusting this recipe, but it was pretty good today : )

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mace (optional)
1/2 tsp ginger (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
2 apples chopped small with or without skins
1 cup soy or rice milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients well.  Add wet ingredients and stir until mixed.  Fold in apples.  Spoon into muffin tins (about 1/2 to 2/3 full).  Bake at 400* for 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Not Really a Recipe – Roasted Veggies

This is one of my favorite fall dishes, though it’s not much of a recipe!


2 large potatoes 
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 bunches broccoli
2 carrots
1 pepper (green, red, or orange)
2 onions
11/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
sea salt


Chop all veggies to bite sized (remove skin if desired).  You can add in others if they are handy and sound good.  Mix in oil and seasoning.  Pour into a large baking dish (I like cooking this in a stone roasting pan) and place in oven at 450* and cook for 30 minutes (turn veggies in pan every 10 minutes or so for even roasting).  Add foil over pan and cook and additional 20 minutes or until done. Good hot or as leftovers cold in salads or wraps.  Yummy!