Sunday, January 13, 2019


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It's been about 2 1/2 months since I last blogged.  There are various reasons for this-- some "blogger burn-out", I suppose you could call it,  after 12 years, first of all (13 years, actually).  And then, there's been a fairly big change in my diet and how I cook now, since I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic last year and now eat a low-glycemic diet. (See blog posts from March 2018 and on, particularly this one.) I'm not on a low-carb, or no-sugar, or vegan keto diet.  I've just been learning to cook with low-glycemic and high-fiber grains and flours, and fewer sweets, and also learned about "resistant starch"-- see this post.

Just as I was feeling like blogging again, I developed a case of shingles!  This has laid me low for over a month now.  It is improving, but my energy has been pretty low.  I'm hoping that I'll be back to normal in a couple  of weeks, but it's hard to predict.

But, at least I've had a little more interest in cooking again.  Lately, I've been working on developing some truly good low-glycemic rolled biscuits, but I haven't got there yet! (Stay tuned.) I've also been working on a good high-fiber, low-glycemic, not too fatty or sweet chocolate chip cookie recipe. My goal was also to make it easy to make, using readily-available, inexpensive ingredients, and of course, to make cookies that still tasted like a treat!

So, I'd like to offer you my latest version, which I'm quite happy with (but, you never know-- I might refine them further). I hope that you will enjoy them, too!

Servings: 12 cookies 
These also happen to be GF and soy-free, too, though I do not purposely avoid either of those things.

3/4 cup COLD chickpea flour (besan/gram flour) (Keep some in a jar in your fridge or freezer.)
1 T. oat flour (You can grind oat flakes or quick oats to a powder in a DRY blender.)
1 T. coconut flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 Psyllium "Egg":
Mix and let stand 5 minutes
2 tsp. psyllium husk (not powder)
3 T. water and
1/2 tsp. oil
(NOTE: If you have no psyllium husk, use 1 T. ground flax seed whisked with 3 T. hot water and then chilled in the fridge for about 5 minutes.  Both psyllium husk and flax seed are inexpensive, high in fiber and easily available in large supermarkets, bulk food stores, or natural food stores.)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
2 T. smooth UN-sweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark vegan chocolate chips
Optional: 1/4 cup walnut pieces, chopped (Use pecans or other nuts, if you wish, or you can omit the nuts.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with baking parchment.
In a medium bowl, mix together the Dry Mix ingredients with a whisk.
Mix together the Wet Mix ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup-- this works best with an immersion/stick blender.

Add the Wet Mix to the dry mix and stir with a spoon.  Then add the chocolate chips and nuts (if using).

Scoop the batter out with a 4 tsp. measuring spoon, slightly rounded, and drop a the dough "blobs" a couple of inches apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet, using a small silicone spatula to scoop the dough out of the spoon.

Bake for 6 minutes, 

then gently flatten each cookie a bit with a flexible stainless-steel slotted spatula (see below). 

Continue to bake for another 8 minutes.  Remove the baking sheet to a rack and cool for 5 minutes.  Then remove the cookies from the baking sheet to the rack and cool for at least another 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts (using the walnuts)  per cookie:
Calories: 134 ; Total Fat 8g; Saturated Fat 2.3g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 28mg; Total Carbohydrate 15.4g;  Dietary Fiber 1.4g;  Total Sugars 10.1g; Protein 2.1g; Calcium 9mg;  Iron 1mg; Potassium 58mg


Thursday, November 1, 2018


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Yesterday I wanted to use up some medium-firm tofu that I had in the refrigerator.  For some reason, my mind dredged up memories of one of my late mother's favorite snacks, or breakfast items-- cottage cheese with pineapple tidbits mixed in.  Not very exciting, I know, but it sounded like a reasonable use for this excess tofu.  I got out my copy of my own book, "Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause", which contains my old recipe for Tofu "Cottage Cheese"-- I hadn't made that for ages!

It's quick and easy to make, so, in no time I had a container of it chilling in the fridge and went rummaging in the pantry for my last can of sliced pineapple. As soon as the "cottage cheese" was chilled enough, I scooped out 1/2 a cup into a bowl and stirred in two chopped-up slices of pineapple.  It made a great high-protein afternoon snack with some sourdough rye toast-- not exciting, perhaps, but satisfying and filling.

So, if you have been vegan for a while and are craving something from your pre-vegan days, this just might do the trick.  Here are 12 ways to use this recipe:

1.) Make a "Weight Watcher's Danish"-- spread 1/4 cup of my Tofu "Cottage Cheese" on a large slice of whole grain toast (with or without pineapple chunks) and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

2.) Spread Tofu "Cottage Cheese", topped with some berries, between slices of vegan French Toast.
3.) Make a healthful "Banana Split" by substituting "Tofu Cottage Cheese" for the ice cream and topping with berries or a lightly-sweetened berry sauce. For a breakfast dish, sprinkle with your favorite granola.

4.) Add some to a smoothie.
5.) Put a scoop on top of fruit salad or a chunky tomato-vegetable salad.
6.) Add some to any creamy pasta casserole.
7.) Use it as a crepe filling with strawberries or other fruit.
8.) Use it instead of sour cream on baked potatoes, etc.
9.) Spread Tofu "Cottage Cheese" on some crusty bread (toasted, if you like), top with sliced ripe tomato, drizzle with a bit of good olive oil, and sprinkle with flake salt and chopped green onion or basil- yum!
10.) Layer in small glasses with chopped melon and granola for breakfast "parfaits".
11.) Blend leftover Tofu "Cottage Cheese" into a vegan fruit popsicle mix.
12.) Use it as a filling for savory crepes topped with sauteed or grilled vegetables.

Printable Recipe

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 lb. medium-firm tofu, mashed coarsely and drained well
2/3 cup firm or extra-firm SILKEN tofu
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar 

Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of the salt on the mashed tofu in a medium bowl.  In a food processor, mix the silken tofu, the remaining salt, sugar and lemon juice until VERY smooth.  Scoop into the bowl with the mashed tofu and mix gently.  Refrigerate in a tightly-covered container. That's it!

Nutrition Facts for 1/2 cup serving: 
Calories 77.50, Calories From Fat 39.20, Total Fat 4.64g, Saturated Fat 0.67g, Cholesterol 0.00mg, Sodium 359.26mg, Potassium 135.47mg, Carbohydrates 2.45g, Dietary Fiber 0.30g, Sugar 0.43g, Sugar Alcohols 0.00g, Net Carbohydrates 2.15g, Protein 8.12g 


Sunday, October 28, 2018


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QUICKIE POST, once again:
I don't know why I haven't posted this recipe before now-- it's one of our perennial favorite soup recipes.  It's not only nutritious and quick and easy to make-- it's adaptable as far as some of the ingredients go, hearty, filling and tasty, and can feed you well for a few days, or feed a small crowd! We love it with vegan apple/sage sausages, but Italian-style are good, too. When I made this the other day, I had no vegan sausages (and I live on an island), so I sliced up a couple of my homemade vegan cutlets  and added that instead.  It worked out well, although I think I prefer the sausage.

About those "white beans"-- I really like Great Northern beans, but you can use small white beans, navy beans (also known as "pea beans"), cannellini beans, or white kidney beans.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do!

Printable Recipe

Serves 8 to 10

2 cups diced carrots
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
3 apple/sage OR Italian vegan sausages (such as Field Roast or Tofurky), sliced
(NOTE: If you have no vegan sausage, you can substitute sliced seitan cutlets [as in the photos], or reconstituted Butler Foods’ Soy Curls, or other vegan product that you like.)
8 cups flavorful vegan “chiken-y” broth
3/4 tsp. EACH dried oregano, thyme and basil
3 cups cooked, drained white beans [see above] (OR two 15 oz. cans of white beans, rinsed and drained)
10-12 ounces roughly-chopped fresh greens of your choice, such as chard, kale, or baby spinach leaves
(NOTE: If you have no fresh greens, use a 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach or other greens, thawed and squeezed as dry as possible.)
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large, heavy pot sauté the carrots, onion and garlic in a little oil of choice (dark sesame oil is nice and flavorful) over medium heat until they have softened, adding a squirt of water if needed to keep things moving.  Add the garlic and  vegan sausage slices and brown a bit. 
(NOTE: If you’re pressed for time, dump the carrots and onion into a microwave-safe casserole with a cover [Pyrex is good] and microwave this for about 6-8 minutes, until the onion and carrots are softened. Then dump it all into your hot, oiled pan with the garlic and sausage slices and stir over medium-high heat until you get the onions ans sausage a bit browned.)

Add the broth, herbs and white beans to the pot, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.  Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.  Taste for salt and pepper.

OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL STEP:  If you want a “creamier” soup, take out 3 or 4 cups of the soup (minus the sausage slices) and process it until smooth in a large Pyrex batter bowl with a hand/immersion blender, then add this mixture back to the soup pot and mix well.

Nutrition Facts for one serving:
Calories   314.68, Calories From Fat  51.95, Total Fat 5.95g, Saturated Fat 1.25g, Cholesterol 2.46mg, Sodium 1812.07mg, Potassium 1071.18mg, Carbohydrates 52.06g,Dietary Fiber 9.60g,   Sugar 3.41g, Sugar Alcohols 0.00g, Net Carbohydrates 42.46g, Protein 15.53g 


Wednesday, October 10, 2018


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We went to the Denman Island Free Store on Saturday and I lucked out-- I came home with two cast iron Lodge cornstick pans (worth about $25 each!).  I love cornbread, and I've always wanted to try making cornsticks.  The cast iron pans were said to be the best because they make a really crunchy crust, so I had to try it immediately.

My recipe is an easy one and the corn sticks came out nice and crispy, as they should be.  They are great for eating with a good chili!

Printable Recipe

Yield: 14 corn sticks  (Can be gluten-free if you use certified GF oat flour-- which you can make out of oat flakes in a dry blender.)

You will need two cornstick pans (preferably cast iron), each with 7 indentations for the batter. (Mine are Lodge, which is an excellent brand.)

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup oat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 cups soy milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp oil OR 1/4 cup melted vegan butter
1 Tbsp Orgran or Ener-G egg replacer powder
1 Tbsp oil for brushing on pans
I haven't tried any of these yet, just to let you know.
1.)Some people add corn kernels to the batter (about 1 cup), but toss them in the flour mix first.
2.) Another common addition is cayenne pepper-- about 1/4 tsp. -- or some chopped jalapeño peppers, or a cup of grated vegan "cheddar" or other vegan cheese.
3.) You could also try using 2 Tbsp. of ground golden flax instead of the egg replacer powder.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. When the oven is heated, heat the pans in the oven for about 5 minutes. Brush the indentations in the hot pans with the 1 Tbsp. of oil.

Mix the Dry Mix ingredients together in a medium bowl, and whisk the Wet Mix ingredients together with a whisk or immersion blender in a 1 qt. pitcher. Set aside separately.

To make the batter:
Pour the Wet Mix into the Dry Mix and stir in an over-and-under fashion just to moisten all of the Dry Mix.. Spoon the batter into the oiled indentations of the warm corn stick pans, to just barely fill to the top of each one.  Immediately place in the hot oven and bake for 18 minutes. Cook the pans on racks for a few minutes before carefully loosening the sticks from the pans and removing the cornsticks to a plate.  They should be nice and crispy on the bottoms. Eat as soon as possible!

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 84 calories, 34 calories from fat, 3.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 195mg sodium, 65.5mg potassium, 10.6g carbohydrates, 1.1g fiber, less than 1g sugar, 2.2g protein, 2.4 points.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018


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As you may be aware from reading this blog in the last few months, I am refining my vegan low-glycemic way of eating because of a diagnosis of pre-diabetes (and it's working!).  I've lost some weight, and I'm learning to use some different ingredients and to cook a bit differently from what I was used to, but it's really not been that difficult.  You can read about my research here and see some of my new low-glycemic recipes, discoveries and cooking adventures in my blogs from March 2018 to the present.

The one thing that we haven't been eating very often is dessert, sadly. (My husband is being very patient!)  I have devised a delicious low-sugar apple/rhubarb crumble, and some yummy no-sugar corn muffins, but we've mostly been enjoying the lovely fruits available this summer, and the occasional Chocolate "Nice Cream. (It's made with frozen ripe bananas and no added sweetener-- I'll post my version soon, as well as my newest version of Peruvian Lucuma Ice Cream, made with lucuma powder, which is used as a natural sweetener by some raw foodists, so you don't need to add much sweetener.). But, as  the weather was changing a bit, I thought I'd work on making some LG and low-fat  brownies. (You might have noticed that I love chocolate!)

In my first version, I use a combination of oat, millet and soghum flours (all low-glycemic) and smooth unsweetened applesauce instead of fat and a small amount of agave nectar for the sweetener (you could use maple syrup instead). They weren't bad, but the millet and sorghum flours made the brownies slightly crumbly in the finished product, even though the flours felt very fine to me when raw.  So, I tried  the same recipe again with only oat flour.  The brownies were better, but I still felt that they weren't moist enough. 

The 3rd time I made brownies, I used 2/3rds oat flour and 1/3 bean flour, AND I added 1/4 cup of yellow split pea puree, which I keep in the freezer, frozen in ice cube trays [2 tablespoons per cube] and then popped into freezer bags. This puree is a great as a fat replacer in baking and I thought it might add just that little bit more moisture that I needed. It turned out really well and this is the recipe I'm sharing below.

UPDATE: But, re-reading my post on baking with yellow split pea puree, I noted that I had been adding 1 T. water to the 2 thawed-out cubes of puree for a moist texture in muffins.  So, I did just that today (Sept. 22, 2018) when I made a fourth batch, and the brownies were perfect this time. One more change I made was using 6 tablespoons of agave nectar instead of 1/3 cup (which is 5 1/2 tablespoons). We brought the brownies over to some friends today and they loved them! So I have updated the recipe below and I hope you enjoy it!PS: See about baking with yellow split pea puree, + a yummy fat-free muffin recipe at this link.

Anyway, enough chatter!  If you try these, let me know what you think.  I may try using a date puree for the sweetener next time and, if it works, I'll post it.

Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S MOIST & DELICIOUS LOW-GLYCEMIC, LOW-FAT, VEGAN BROWNIES (soy-free and gluten-free if you use GF oats; NO added oil)                 
        Servings: 12 bars   
RECIPE UPDATED SEPT. 22, 2018 (See highlighted paragraph above.)

1/2 cup oat flour  (I simply blend rolled oats in a dry blender until fine and fluffy.)
(NOTE: stir the oat flour a bit before measuring.)
1/4 cup chickpea flour or white bean flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup smooth unsweetened applesauce
6 tablespoons agave nectar (you can use maple syrup instead, if you prefer)
1/4 cup yellow split pea puree (see Tip below for how to make and store)
1 tablespoon water (to mix with split pea puree)
1 tsp vanilla extract
EXTRAS: (Optional)
1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet dark chocolate chips (can be minis)
1/2 to 1 cup walnut halves or pecans, roughly chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (NOTE: When I use my little counter-top Cuisinart Air Fryer Oven, 325 degrees F works best.)

Oil an 8-inch square baking pan (I use a Pyrex pan). Line with baking parchment, if you wish.

In a medium bowl, mix together the Dry Mix ingredients.

In a small bowl, mix together the Wet Mix ingredients.

Pour the Wet Mix into the Dry Mix and combine briefly but thoroughly. If you are using the chocolate chips and/or nuts, stir them into the batter.

Spread evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Check with a toothpick at 18 minutes. If the toothpick is a bit gooey, bake a few minutes more. A toothpick should come out just about clean, but not really dry.

Cool the pan on a rack. When it has cooled completely, cut into 12 squares. Store in a covered container at room temperature-- they are even better the next day!

TIP- To make and store yellow split pea puree:
Mix 2 cups of dried split yellow peas [they don't have to be soaked first] with 4 cups of water in your Instant Pot or other pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. (PS: Or, you can simmer them in a pot, covered, for 30 minutes on your stovetop.) Let the pressure come down before opening the pot. The resulting soft mush just needed a few stirs to "puree", and the yield was 5 cups.

I refrigerated the puree for a day or so.  When I removed it from the refrigerator, it had hardened considerably! I pressed some of the the puree into ice cube trays, which made cubes of 2 tablespoons puree, and some in 1/4 cup portions in silicone cupcake liners also in a silicone ice cube tray that made 1/4-cup cubes. Then I  froze them.  Later, I popped out the frozen portions, bagged them up in zipper-lock storage bags and placed them back into the freezer for future use.) Add 1 Tablespoon water to each 1/4-cup portion of split pea puree before adding to a baking recipe for brownies, muffins, etc..

WITHOUT chocolate chips or nuts:
Nutrition (per bar): 64 calories, 6 calories from fat, less than 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 134.1mg sodium, 139.2mg potassium, 14.9g carbohydrates, 1.8g fiber, 7.1g sugar, 1.8g protein, 2.1 points.

WITH semisweet chocolate chips, but NO nuts:
Nutrition (per bar): 98 calories, 23 calories from fat, 2.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 134.9mg sodium, 139.2mg potassium, 19.4g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 7.1g sugar, 2.1g protein, 3.2 points.

WITH 1/2 cup nuts, but NO chocolate chips:
Nutrition (per bar): 96 calories, 33 calories from fat, 4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 134.2mg sodium, 160.7mg potassium, 15.6g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 7.2g sugar, 2.6g protein, 3.1 points.

WITH both chocolate chips AND 1/2 cup nuts:
Nutrition (per bar): 130 calories, 49 calories from fat, 6.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 135mg sodium, 160.7mg potassium, 20g carbohydrates, 2.6g fiber, 7.2g sugar, 2.9g protein, 4.1 points.

WITH semisweet chocolate chips AND 1 cup nuts:
Nutrition (per bar): 195 calories, 94 calories from fat, 10.9g total fat, less than 1mg cholesterol, 141.6mg sodium, 198.7mg potassium, 20.1g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 6.5g sugar, 5.3g protein, 5.6 points.


Saturday, September 8, 2018


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This is an old recipe of mine that I have just resurrected, and I'm loving it!  Super quick and easy to make, and great on toast (with some low-sugar jam) for breakfast or in a PB&J sandwich, or on apple slices and/or celery sticks for a quick snack.

I'm really enjoying using tofu these days, BTW.  The whole soy scare thing is so unfortunate and is the result of misinformation distributed by groups such as the anti-vegetarian Weston A. Price Foundation, and then blindly re-distributed by people and groups who don't do their homework. (See my research here: ) There are many types of tofu easily available these days (have you tried smoked tofu?); you can purchase organic tofu; it's inexpensive and full of protein, but low in fat; it's versatile as an ingredient; it can take on all sorts of flavors and seasonings and be used in recipes from cuisines.  

Yield: 2 cups/ Servings: 16
 Each serving= 2 T. 
This spread contains a similar amount of protein, 1/3 of the fat and 1/2 of the calories of an equal amount of peanut butter.

12.3 ounces extra-firm silken tofu
(OR press 1 lb. of medium-firm tofu down to 12.3 ounces-- see below)
1/2 cup unsalted peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. agave nectar, maple syrup or organic sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Scoop into a 2-cup container with a lid.  Refrigerate. Easy as that!

How to press tofu: Sandwich your 1 lb. block of tofu between clean, absorbent dish towels (or several folded paper towels, if you must). Place a flat surface on top, such as a small cutting board or baking sheet, and weigh it down-- 28-ounce tomato cans or books work well.  15 to 30 minutes of pressing is usually sufficient.  Weigh the tofu on a small food scale to make sure that it is now about 12 ounces, or slightly more.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 2 T. serving): 82 calories, 49 calories from fat, 5.8g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 75.9mg sodium, 121.8mg potassium, 3g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 1.3g sugar, 5.9g protein, 2.4 points.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018


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This is the time of year when we often on tasty full-meal vegan salads for lunch or dinner.  Since we live on an island and can't run to a supermarket or natural food store for everything that might be called for in a recipe, I often just have a look in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry to see what I have around that might make a nutritious, delicious and satisfying salad meal all by itself.  

Yesterday, I made this salad for lunch (and there's some leftover for tomorrow!), with some cooked quinoa and bulgur and cremini mushrooms that I had in the refrigerator, plus some gorgeous fresh-picked green beans from our neighbor's garden, a cup of cooked chickpeas from my stash in the freezer, and one lone orange that was left from the last shopping.  Mixed with a piquant, slightly Asian-style dressing, it all became a very tasty and filling low-fat, high-fiber meal, AND one that is low-glycemic, which is what I need to be concerned about because of a pre-diabetes diagnosis. (The diet is working-- my blood sugar levels have improved and I've lost 13 lbs.)  

Cooked Quinoa
Medium (#2) Bulgur Wheat

Both quinoa (which is actually a seed, not a grain, but we use it like a grain) and bulgur wheat are low on the glycemic index.  (Bulgur (the grain used for making tabouleh), because of the ancient way in which it is processed, contains "resistant starch", which is a good thing!  You can read all about it here.) I usually mix quinoa with bulgur because my husband is not fond of quinoa on its own, and bulgur is very inexpensive, so this cuts the cost a bit.  Fortunately, they cook in about the same amount of time, with the same amount of liquid.  I often cook a large-ish pot of them together and freeze portions for future use.

Servings: 4

A citrus-y dressing, orange zest and little chunks of fresh orange make this full-meal salad refreshing as well as satisfying. NOTE: Both quinoa and bulgur wheat are low-glycemic, so this is a great salad for anyone is on a Low-GI diet.

You might be interested in my article, “Are Vegans Really Hurting South American Farmers by Eating Quinoa?”, at

1/2 cup white or red quinoa (pre-washed, such as the Kirkland organic white quinoa from Costco)
1/2 cup medium (#2) bulgur wheat
(For a gluten-free version you can use 1 cup white or red quinoa or a mixture of both, and eliminate the bulgur.)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
NOTE: You could use 3 cups of pre-cooked quinoa/bulgur mixture, or just quinoa (of any color) if you have some on hand in your refrigerator.
12 oz. fresh green beans, stemmed and cut into 1 to 2" pieces
1 Tbs. dark sesame oil
8 oz. fresh cremini mushrooms (remove any tough stems), sliced about 1/4" thick
1  cup cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium orange, peeled after zesting, and sliced into small chunks
zest from 1 medium orange
Citrus Dressing:
1 1/2 Tbs. plain rice vinegar (not salted)
1 1/2 Tbs. soy sauce or tamari 
NOTE: I urge you NOT to use Bragg's Liquid Aminos, which actually contains more sodium than soy sauce and is unfermented, so lacking umami flavor compounds. See this article:
1  Tbs. dry to medium sherry
1 Tbs. orange juice
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. olive oil

Mix the quinoa and bulgur (or 1 cup quinoa for gluten-free) in a medium saucepan with a tight lid.  Bring to a boil, stir and turn the heat down to Low.  Cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes.  Remove the cover and fluff the grains with a fork.  Scoop into your serving bowl and set aside.

While the quinoa/bulgur mixture is cooking, you can cook your green beans in another pot, just barely covering the beans with water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender but firm-- not mushy.  Drain immediately in a colander and run cold water over them to cool them down.  Leave in the colander to drain while you finish the recipe.

Heat the sesame oil in a medium-large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and sauté until they are cooked to your liking but still keep their shape.  You can add a bit of water from a kitchen squirt bottle every now and then as you sauté to keep the mushrooms moving well and prevent sticking-- but don't overdo the water! When they are cooked, scrape them into the bowl with the quinoa/bulgur mixture.

Now, add the drained green beans to the hot skillet over high heat and keep the beans moving until most of them are slightly seared. Immediately add them to the bowl with the grains and mushrooms.

Add the drained chickpeas and the orange chunks and zest to the bowl.

In a small bowl or pitcher, whisk together all of the Dressing ingredients, then add the dressing to the bowl of salad ingredients and mix gently with a large spoon.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per ¼ recipe serving): 333 calories, 82 calories from fat, 9.5g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 482mg sodium, 907.5mg potassium, 55.4g carbohydrates, 11.7g fiber, 7.8g sugar, 12.2g protein, 10.2 points.