Bean Vegan Lately? Brazilian Feijoada and Red Bean Ice Cream


For as long as I can remember my mom has been on the hunt for good recipes with beans and legumes. This has influenced me a bit too as I may not search for such recipes as actively but if they fall in my lap my curiosity will be piqued.

When I was offered the Vegan Beans from Around the World cookbook for review I could hardly say no. The ‘around the world’ part obviously increased my interest. Would it love up to my high expectation? Let’s find out with the two recipes I prepared from this cookbook: the Brazilian Feijoada and the Japanese Red Bean Ice Cream.

feijoada 2

Brazilian Feijoada

I am not vegan but no harm in having a vegan meal now and again. It’s actually fun to learn different techniques I can incorporate in my cooking. In the past I have not always been impressed but after trying a few recipes in this book I now have hope again. An important food to consume if you are vegan is beans in all its forms. They are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and flavor, making them the perfect base for countless meals.

vegan red bean ice cream 1

Japanese Red Bean Ice Cream

Many people are deterred though because they lack the knowledge of how to choose and prepare them. The first part of the Vegan Beans from Around the World cookbook explains all these things: from types of beans, dry vs canned, how to prep and cook dried , soaking beans, and ways to save cooking time.

Another deterrent is the old saying: Beans, Beans, The Musical Fruit! Well you will learn how to remove the oligosaccharide, a form of sugar, which is know to cause these side effects.

Vegan Beans From Around the World

Just to tempt you a little bit more, here is a sampling of some of the recipes you will find in these pages: African peanut soup, African curried black eyed pea and coconut soup, mujadara (Lebanese spiced lentil pilaf), curried dal with cauliflower, black bean brownies, sweet red bean paste, soy milk, Mexican Refried Beans, Tuscan White Bean Soup and Greek Lentil Salad.

feijoada 1

The first recipe I tried is the national dish of Brazil. A Brazilian Feijoada is a stew prepared with black beans and usually smoked meats like pork and sausages. It is usually served along with rice, greens and orange slices. Since we are dealing with a vegan recipe some modification will be required. The meat here will be seitan or tofu, I bought fried tofu squares. The key to make this vegan version a success is the liquid smoke. It gives that smoked flavor the meat would have given…it’s a must.

feijoada 3

The result was incredibly satisfying. I have enjoyed the classic meat version and this vegan recipe it just as delicious. You don’t even miss the meat at all. I really loved it.

Brazilian Feijoada

Rating: 51

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Feijoada is a stew from Brazil that is typically very full of meat. Liquid smoke and seitan, however, add some depth of flavor and textures to this homage to Brazil’s national dish.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces spicy seitan (or fried tofu)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1?8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 3?4 teaspoon salt
  • 1?8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound black beans
  • hot sauce
  • cooked rice sautéed greens (collard, chard, or kale)
  • orange slices


  1. In a large pot on medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions and seitan until browned, about 7 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add bay leaves, cayenne, liquid smoke, 8 cups of water, salt, pepper, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for approximately 2 1/2 hours. If necessary, add more water during cooking to make sure the beans do not dry out.
  3. Using a spoon, mash half of the beans and stir. Taste for seasonings and add hot sauce to your liking.
  4. Serve with rice and greens, topped with orange slices.

And now who wants beans for dessert? Many of you will find this concept weird but beans are very common in Asian sweets and treats. Keep an open mind and I promise you will be gladly surprised. A good place to start is at Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants. Japanese ones may have a good selection too.

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Red bean paste is a classic ingredient in many Asian sweets. This paste is made with the Azuki bean and it is the base for the Japanese Red Bean Ice Cream. Since we are going vegan we will sub the milk for coconut and almond milk, and use tapioca as a thickener.

This is the 2nd of the 3 ice creams I made 2 weekends ago. Check out my first post for the Kaffir Lime Ginger and Gin Ice Cream. The result of the Japanese Red Bean Ice Cream was quite convincing as well next to the dairy version. Just a note: it will freeze hard so do remember to take it out for a bit before serving. It is not a smooth custard base.

Anybody know what the white things are, served on a dollop of the red bean paste atop of the ice cream? It’s one of those ‘I have to buy because I have no idea what this is’ finds from Chinatown. They are Attap Chee, or Palm Seeds. It came in a came with a weird sweet syrup. Can’t say I am a fan but nice to add atop an exotic sweet.

Japanese Red Bean Ice Cream

Rating: 41

Yield: Makes 1 quart

Serving Size: 6 to 8 servings

Sweetened red beans are a very common flavor for ice creams throughout Asia and are often the first time that Westerners experience this dessert legume.


  • 2 cups coconut cream
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoon tapioca syrup (can substitute brown rice flour)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 1/2 cups Sweet Red Bean Paste


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, boil the coconut cream, almond milk, tapioca syrup, sugar, and pinch of salt. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1?2 cup almond milk and the tapioca starch. Add the red bean paste and blend. Pour the mixture into to the saucepan and whisk vigorously. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain and chill completely. Freeze using your ice cream maker’s instructions. Allow to set in the freezer for a couple hours before serving.

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9 months 8 days ago

Hello Evelyne!
I love your Japanese Red Bean Ice Cream idea. I would just use honey instead of the sugar since I don’t eat sugar.

1 year 13 days ago

Thank you for sharing these two recipes!! We eat a lot of beans, making them from dried beans so I’m always looking for new recipes. I’ve always wanted to make sweet red bean paste from scratch and I love that this ice cream uses it. Now I definitely have some inspiration!

1 year 21 days ago

great recipes, thanks for sharing. love to have it right now.

1 year 21 days ago

Two great recipes! I love the red bean ice cream…had it a few times but never thought of making it. Thanks for the inspiration! As for the fejioda, I don’t think I’d miss the meat at all. It looks delicious.

1 year 22 days ago

Recently I’ve discovered the red bean paste and wanted to try it out but as you just said it sounds weird :). Now you’ve convinced me to give it a try.

1 year 23 days ago

I am a huge bean fan and can eat them every day! I would loveeee this book!

1 year 23 days ago

Hey, something my Dad could eat. However, I’m much more interested in the meatier version of this.


I love vegetarian recipes where you don’t miss the meat at all! And red bean is a favourite food of mine. I know some look upon it as weird but I love it 😀

1 year 23 days ago

I always enjoy the little research you do for us, Evelyne. Never heard of feijoada or bean ice cream, but they look good enough to try! Thanks!

ela h.

1 year 23 days ago

Great recipes Evelyne, I grew up with feijoada and read bean desserts, but never thought in a vegan version of it…thanks for the recipes!
Hope you are having a great week 😀

1 year 23 days ago

Brazilian Feijoada sounds like the perfect dish to enjoy while watching the world cup!

1 year 23 days ago

I am a huge fan of beans and legumes! I love that Brazilian Feijoada..exotic and so delicious.

1 year 24 days ago

Two terrific looking recipes! I doubt I’d miss the meat in your feijoada…and I’ve been dying to taste a red bean dessert. Hope to soon!

1 year 24 days ago

I love black beans. They make a very decent replacement for meat. When I cooked a one pot pasta dish, it feel rich and wholesome with the black beans as the protein.

Oh, and I love red bean ice cream :)