This dish combines the heartiness of kidney beans with the chewiness of seitan, the freshness of green beans and a lovely parsley sauce. Howard Wallen made it up and his daughter, Hana, declares it a favorite.
2 cups dried kidney beans, soaked in spring water overnight
4 cups of water
A 2-inch strip of kombu
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cups green beans, sliced on the diagonal in 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 small (or half a medium) red onion, sliced in ¼ moons
1 package of seitan, cut into bite-sized dices
1 cup of fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (optional)
6 leaves of dandelion greens, chopped into 1-inch pieces. Avoid tough bottoms of stalks.
1 tablespoon shoyu
2 cups of the bean cooking liquid
½ bunch fresh parsley
1 tablespoon umeboshi paste
Bring kidney beans, water, kombu and bay leaf to a boil in an open pressure cooker. Skim off any foam that might form. Close the pressure cooker and bring to full pressure. Reduce heat and let simmer for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let the pressure come down fully. Open the pressure cooker and add salt, and simmer for 10 more minutes over low heat. Drain beans but keep the cooking liquid.
In a small saucepan, blanche the green beans for a minute or so. Remove from water and set aside.
In a skillet, heat the sesame oil and sauté the onion with a pinch of salt until the onion is soft and releases some of its moisture. Add the fresh shiitake and another pinch of salt. Add the seitan and the dandelion leaves and shoyu. Stir well to integrate the ingredients. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes over low heat. This sauté should be a little salty.
Blend dressing ingredients in a blender and adjust seasoning to taste. Toss beans, green beans, dressing and sauté together. Mix well and add a dash of umeboshi vinegar. This tastes even better if the ingredients and sit and blend their flavors for an hour or so. Great the next day.