Archived entries for beans

Delicious Healthy Cookies. No Joke!

Everyone knows cookies are the best. But the guilt which goes along with eating something which isn’t very good for you isn’t so much fun. But there might be a way to have one without the other. And no, I’m not talking about those stupid Snackwells. My friend Sarah, recently turned me on to this recipe for cookies which are delicious and good for you. Not just low fat, but actually good for you! And they taste good!

Morning Glories.  Photo courtesy of

Sarah Britton, the holistic nutritionist and vegetarian chef behind the blog My New Roots, developed the recipe for her Morning Glory’s as a healthy option for a breakfast cookie.  The main ingredient is Oats which is very high in a super fiber called Beta Glucan which is good for lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar.  But the main kicker of this recipe is that it uses white beans as a binder instead of an oily fat like butter.  Although it sounds a bit nuts, these cookies have a great texture and a delicious flavor of anise.  Just try for yourself, I know you won’t be disappointed.

Check out the Morning Glory recipe here.

Grandma’s Homemade Baked Beans

No holiday meal is complete without baked beans.  When my Aunt Nancy recently sent me my Grandmother’s recipe, there was no better time to try my hand then Easter dinner.  Luckily, I also had my Great-Grandmother’s bean pot to cook it in!

Grandma’s Baked Beans
makes 10-12 side servings

  • 1 lb dry navy beans
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1/2 lb bacon
  • quart tomato juice
  • salt to taste

Cover 1 lb of navy beans with water and soak overnight.  The next day, rise beans.  Place in a pot and cover with fresh water and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Boil beans until tender, but not falling apart*, about 30 min.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix boiled beans with sugar, mustard, pepper and diced onions.  Smoked or salt bacon works best. If you are using raw bacon, fry for a few minutes to remove some of fat.  Add chopped bacon and pour tomato juice over beans.  Mix.

Place beans in a ceramic pot or a dutch oven and cover.  Place in oven and bake for 3 hours at 325 degrees.

*If you over cook beans (until they are mushy and falling apart), you can substitute tomato juice for 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce and bake the same as above.

Left-Over-Remix: Poor Man’s Enchilladas

I love dinners which can be described as everything but the kitchen sink.  I had a collection left overs from the Rice and Beans we had for dinner the other night I wanted to use up but, I also had friends coming over, so I needed to serve something appealing.   To top this off, I was also in a very lazy mood and not wanting to fuss much as well as not spend much money on more groceries.

Here’s a list of what I had available:

  • left over white rice and re-fried black beans
  • oversize burrito tortillas
  • salsa
  • sour cream

I decided with a quick trip to the corner store for a few veggies and cheese, I could whip up a quick vegetable enchilada dish.  As I said, I didn’t want to fuss, so by mixing a bit of  the sour cream into the salsa, I could make a quick creamy enchilada sauce.  Here’s what I came up with.

Poor Man’s Vegetable Enchiladas
prep time: 20-30 minutes  bake time: 30 minutes  total: 1 hour

  • 2-3 c. cooked rice
  • 2 c. re-fried beans
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1-2 peppers or chilies sliced
  • 2 small zucchinis sliced
  • 1 lime
  • 1-2 c. salsa
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 8 oz. bag shredded cheese
  • hot sauce

I started out by preparing some vegetables. You can use whatever vegetables you want.  I decided some caramelized zucchini would be nice, so I sliced them up, coated with oil, salt and pepper and broiled them until they were a light brown and a bit crispy, about 15 min.  After removing the zucchini, I turned the oven heat from broil to 350 to bake the enchiladas  Meanwhile, I sliced my onions, an orange pepper and a red chili and sauteed them over medium heat.  When the onions were transparent, I squeezed half a lime over the onions and peppers and let them cook for a minute or two before removing from heat. I then mixed the zucchini in and seasoned the veg mix to taste with a bit more salt.

Next, I assembled my enchiladas.  I heated up the rice in the microwave for a minute or two, just so they wouldn’t be so firm.  Laying out my three gigantic tortillas, I layered them with a smear of re-fried beans, topped with a layer of rice, and then the vegetables.  I sprinkled about 1/4 c. shredded cheese on top as well as a dripped a bit of hot sauce over the fillings.  Wrapping them up I placed the three rolls in a baking dish.  I took the salsa I had left, and quickly mixed in about a 1/4 c. of sour cream, and then coated this on top of the tortillas.  To finish it off, I sprinkled the rest of the shredded cheese.

Finally, I baked the enchiladas. Those pups got thrown in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350.  And then, it was dinner time!  A quick garnish of avocado and yum yum.  My favorite kind of dinner, quick, cheap and easy!  Oh yeah, and TASTY!

Left Over Remix: Black Bean Salad Becomes Soup

Meena and I planned WAY too much food for our friend’s bachelorette party.  I knew we were overdoing it a bit, but when we arrived to find out we had planned for almost 2 times as many guests as were coming, we had a bit of left overs.  We had a large amount of a bean salad to take home with us.  It makes a great side dish, but the amount we had would last a long time for two people.  I decided it was left over remix time!

I love left over remixes because it takes something which you’ve eaten but is been there/done that and turns it into a new exciting dish.  It got cold this past week, so soup is on the menu again!  (I eat so much soup in the winter, I’m sick of it by summer.  But when the cold weather comes creeping back in, so does my desire for bowls of steamy  stewy soups!)

I pulled out all the items I had in the fridge, which included a bag of bean salad and half a jar of roasted salsa left over from the party.  I had some vegetable stock from making seitan and a jalapeno and some shredded cheese for making the jalapeno poppers left over from our launch party.  The stock along with some milk in the fridge pureed into the beans would make a hearty soup.  The salsa along with some tomato paste would sweeten the beans and spice it up along with the jalapeno.  Its soup time!

Black Bean Soup

  • 4 c. left over bean salad
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto or kidney beans
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
    -added to-
  • 1/2 c. salsa
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 quart (4 c.) soup stock- whatever kind you prefer
  • shredded cheese to garnish.
  • optional: fresh lime

Making soup is pretty easy and I usually follow the same steps regardless of the ingredients.

Start with sauteing the onions.  I added the jalapeno as the onions were becoming translucent to reduce the heat a bit with a quick saute.

Next I added the beans as well as the salsa and let them saute for a minute or two.

Next I added the stock and allowed it to come to a quick boil and reduced it to a simmer.  The canned beans are already cooked, so I could use my immersion blender to puree the soup right away (instead of simmering until all vegetables were cooked).   If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can pour it into a regular blender, or use a food processor.

I tasted the puree and seasoned as necessary.  I added some shredded cheese and a bit more milk to make it more creamy and a bit of fresh lime to punch it up.  But you should taste and season to your liking.  A bit of honey helps sweeten or a few drops of hot sauce can help spike up the spice.

I made some quick quesadillas with the shredded cheese and a few tortillas, garnished with fresh cilantro, and bam: Bean Salad became Bean Soup!

Lamb and Black Bean Chili In Red WIne

As a kid, I always hated Chili. Until my Mom went on a diet. In her attempts to make more healthy meals, she came across a low fat recipe of stewing lamb and black beans in red wine and chili powder. My Mom’s regular chili was always stuffed with huge gross mealy kidney beans, which I could not stomach. Kidney beans remain one of the few foods I never grew out of disliking. When she served us the new chili recipe, I LOVED it. I guess as a kid I thought kidney beans were what all beans tasted like, and I was surprised by how good the black beans were. This new chili had a thin tart broth with a rich lamb flavor so different from the thick gooey beany chili I hated.

When planning the courses for my supper club events, I always try to pick dishes which fit within the Forkable mindset of dressed up comfort food, made fast and cheap. Because in the cold winter weather, a bowl of hot chili is so relaxing, I thought chili would be a good theme for the next event. The lamb chili immediately popped into my head first because the of the more sophisticated ingredients, the simple and easy recipe and the total comfort and pleasure given from eating this dish.

Lamb and Black Bean Chili

  • 1 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, un-drained and chopped
  • 1 c. dry red wine
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 15 oz. cans black beans, drained
  • salt to taste
  • hot sauce to taste

In cooking pot, saute lamb, onion and garlic.

Add tomatoes, red wine, and seasonings up to sugar and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 2 hours.

Add black beans and allow to simmer for 30 more minutes.

Season with salt and hot sauce to taste. Done! Garnish with cilantro and fresh jalapenos.

**Murphy’s Law of event planning is something always goes wrong. After preparing my lamb stew, I realized the lamb I had gotten was not particularly flavorful enough. The chili lacked the depth of flavor I wanted. I had some lamb bones in the freezer from a leg of lamb. I drained some liquid out of the chili and boiled it for an hour or two with the bones, to increase the flavor. This is the first time I’ve ever had to augment the flavor to the recipe, but it was a relatively painless fix.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 293 (22% from fat)
Fat: 7.2g (sat 2.4g,mono 2.8g,poly 0.8g)
Protein: 28.5g
Carbohydrate: 29.9g
Fiber: 4.6g
Cholesterol: 61mg
Iron: 4.3mg
Sodium: 400mg
Calcium: 90mg

Courtesy of: Cooking Light, APRIL 1997

Left Over Remix: Tortilla Pie

I always seem to have tortillas in the refrigerator left over from taco night. We love a tacos or burritos for a quick dinner on a weeknight, but between Ira and I, we don’t really finish up the whole package in one night. The tortillas get pushed to the back of the fridge and then I remember them days later, sad and stale.

A while back, my Mom suggested Martha Stewart Recipe for a tortilla pie as a good way to use up stale tortillas. Its also made primarily of ingredients I generally have on hand so I don’t have to worry about getting anything special. Easy and fast. Fun to eat. Its a good thing. Oh shit. That’s copyrighted. Its a good food object.

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

  • flour tortillas
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped and seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 32 oz can black beans, drained
  • 12 ounces beer or 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 ounces)

Using a paring knife, trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch spring form pan, using the bottom of the pan as a guide. Here I had large Burrito tortillas, so one was enough for each layer. Smaller tortillas can also be used, just overlap them and trim using the bottom of your spring form pan as you would with the larger.

If you don’t have a spring form pan, you could probably use a pie pan or even a cast iron, but the shape of your pie might not be as nice or as easy to cut and get out, but it will work. However, this pie would probably look awesome in a cast iron pan. Use bottom of your pie or cast iron pan as a guide.

Saute the onion, garlic and cumin in oil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add beans and beer to skillet, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.

Beer? Fancy that, I just happen to have some lying around; another perfect excuse to use up that Budweiser!

Stir in corn and scallions, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fit a trimmed tortilla in bottom of spring form pan; layer with 1/4 of the beans and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat three times, using 1 cup cheese on top layer.

Bake @ 400 degrees until hot and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. If you used a springform pan, remove the side mold. Garnish with extra scallions and sour cream. Cilantro is also nice. I cooked a side dish of rice made with salsa verde and coconut milk as a side dish. Yum.

**A quick note: The last time I made this, I noticed the tortillas tasted a bit mushy. I made a note to toast the tortillas over my burner before assembling. This may give it a more crispy texture, perhaps. It will give it a little more smoky flavor too probably.

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