Black Soybean Hummus

Makes about 1-1/4 cups / Black soybeans are a terrific stand-in for chickpeas in this robust hummus. Because of soybeans' nuttiness and creamy texture, no olive oil and very little tahini is required to give the dip its rich flavor.

1 clove garlic, peeled
1-1/2 cups cooked black soybeans, or 1 15-ounce can organic black soybeans, drained (reserve liquid)
2-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons soybean liquid or water
1-1/2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
Sweet paprika and oil-cured olives, for garnish

1. Mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the black soybeans and the minimum amounts of remaining ingredients. Process to a fairly smooth paste, scraping down the sides of the work bowl as needed. Taste and blend in more of any ingredients required to give a smooth consistency and to suit your taste.

2. Garnish and serve with a basket of pita triangles.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 121 calories Fat: 7g (1g saturated) % fat calories: 50 Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrate: 7g Protein: 10g

Tempeh Braised in Coconut Milk with Lemongrass

Serves 4 / Since Indonesia is tempeh's land of origin, it's no surprise that it tastes so good when prepared with seasonings common to that part of the world. Serve this dish over jasmine rice or Japanese udon noodles.

8 ounces tempeh (mixed grain)
1-1/2 - 2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon slivered garlic
1-1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks
1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk (may use light)
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced celery
1/2 pound cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
2 4-inch stalks lemongrass, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tablespoons barley miso, dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
4 ounces snow peas, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
Shoyu (soy sauce), to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Cut tempeh in half crosswise, then cut each slab lengthwise. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly brush both sides of each tempeh piece with oil and set in skillet. Cover and cook until speckled with dark brown spots, about 2 minutes. Flip over, cover, and brown on the second side.

2. Transfer the tempeh to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch "fingers," then cut each finger on the bias into slices about 1/2-inch thick. Set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Brown the garlic, add leeks, and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, tempeh, vegetables (except snow peas), and red pepper flakes. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

4. Remove lemongrass and stir in dissolved miso and snow peas. Add shoyu to taste. Just before serving, stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice to taste.

PER SERVING: 329 calories, 50% fat calories, 18g fat, 6g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 25g carbs, 17g protein Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 329 calories Fat: 18g (6g saturated) % fat calories: 50 Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrate: 25g Protein: 17g Reprinted with permission from The New Soy Cookbook by Lorna Sass (Chronicle Books, 1998)