What? What's that? You say grocery shopping is neither thrilling, nor adventurous?
It IS, when you're a mommy, and shopping is the closest thing to "me time" you'll be able to hope for over the next decade or so.
Anyway, there I was, browsing the clearance bin -- because, you know, I'm thrifty like that -- and I ran across six containers of Eden Foods Umeboshi Paste. And, for some reason, they were marked down from around $11.00 to FORTY-NINE CENTS each!
To tell the truth, the discount stickers claimed they were affixed to clearance single drink pouches, but I didn't care about that, because I felt exactly like this:
I don't think I have to tell you what happened next, because it's so obvious I grabbed every last one of those buggers and tossed them in my cart!
I know, I know... you're like, "But, Sexy Vegan Mama, what IS umeboshi paste?"
Well, I'll tell you.
It's magic. It's this amazing, magical combination of plums and pickling stuff that's ground into a paste and you can use it for anything in the whole wide world. Or, at least, some really awesome sauces and rice balls, and dips and other amazing stuff.
(Bonus on the allergy front: Eden Foods doesn't use Red 40 in their umeboshi, unlike many commercial sellers.)
So, I used this spectacular find to massively make over my already pretty awesome bean salad recipe for a funky twist on a classic.
Warning: This recipe makes enough to feed an army, so adjust accordingly, or invite your local high school football team over for a meal.
Umeboshi Bean Salad
1 can each:
Great Northern beans (a.k.a. white beans)
Dark red kidney beans
Chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans)
Butter beans (a.k.a. lima beans)
1 c mukimame (a.k.a. "shelled edamame")
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 small onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 c rice vinegar
1/2 c canola or vegetable oil
2 T sesame oil
3 T agave nectar
1/4 c umeboshi paste
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t ground ginger
1/4 c fresh cilantro leaves
Drain and rinse the cans of beans and baby corn. Dump into a GIANT bowl.
Add mukimame, bell pepper and onion.
In a blender, combine vinegar, oils, agave, umeboshi paste, spices and cilantro, blending until creamy and smooth.
Pour dressing over beans and vegetables, stir well, and chill before serving.
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