Thursday, December 31, 2009

On the Cheap

Chances are, you've been among the 45% of Americans that make New Year's resolutions. And it's even more likely that if you made one, it somehow involved eating better and managing money more wisely. (We won't share ours, but it may have had something to do with a 6 pound tin of butter cookies from Costco). Happily for you, we have a solution that can help with that and unsurprisingly, it involves beans.

Here we've done a comparison of several different ingredients that one might use as the main course for a dinner meal to serve a family of 4.

1 Pound Ground Beef, 15% Fat Variety

Cost: About $3.00/pound
Calories in 1 Serving (4 oz): 243
Total Fat: 17g (that's 27%!)
Total Protein: 21 g
Total Fiber: 0g

1 Pound Ground Turkey

Cost: $2.59/pound
Calories in 1 serving (4 oz): 193
Total Fat: 10g
Total Protein: 22g
Total Fiber: 0g

Now on to the beans. One can buy and cook beans in several different way. 1 pound of dried beans at the grocery store is equivalent to about 4 cans of beans, or 6-8 cups (beans will absorb slightly varying amounts of water depending on the variety and age of the bean in question). 2 cans, or 1/2 lb dried beans is usually about right for a family meal. I have used black beans for my comparison here. Other varieties generally cost about the same, but the nutritional value varies slightly. See a more complete nutritional guide here if you're interested in the nitty-gritty of bean nutrition.

2 Standard Sized Cans Black Beans (store-bought)

Cost: About $0.75/can for store brands, or $1.50 total
Calories in 1 serving (1 cup or 1/2 can): 140
Total Fat: 0g
Total Protein: 10g
Total Fiber: 12g (50% of your daily recommendation!)

2 Bottles Black Beans (home-canned)

Cost: About $0.45/bottle, depending slightly on your energy costs. No more than $1.00 total.
Calories in 1 serving (1 cup or 1/2 bottle): 140
Total Fat: 0g
Total Protein: 10g
Total Fiber: 12g

4 cups Black Beans, cooked in the Crock Pot (equivalent to 2 cans)

Cost: About $0.75 total, depending slightly on your energy costs.
Calories in 1 serving (1 cup): 140
Total Fat: 0g
Total Protein: 10g
Total Fiber: 12g (50% of your daily recommendation!)

As you can see, even store-bought canned beans are a good bargain for your wallet and your belt. When you cook them at home, the saving increase. Coming next, we'll discuss some of those methods of home cooking.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Economical Counter

I added two new tabs today, "Economical Counter" and "$5 or Less"

If you look to the bottom of the posts with the "Economical Counter" you will see a list of all the ingredients and how much each one costs. At the end you will see a total of how much it cost you to make the entire recipe and the cost per serving. All those that total under $5 will also be labeled in the "$5 or Less" category, to make it easier than ever to find cheap recipes.

Cecilotta will also be doing a post on the cost of using store bought canned beans versus home canning and cooking in the crock pot.

Spanish Chickpea Soup

I have never used but have heard that vegan soy churizo sausage is great. Just add at the end with the peppers.

1/4 tsp. saffron threads
olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans chickpeas, drained
2 medium potatoes (yellow fleshed ones are great)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 c. water
1/4 lb. chorizo sausage (Soy Chorizo sausage)
1/4 c. chopped piquillo pepper (or roasted red bell pepper)
Salt and pepper to taste

Dissolve saffron threads in 1 Tablespoon of warm water in a small bowl for 15 to 20 minutes.

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is tender. Add the chorizo sausage crumbling as it cooks. Drain off excess grease.

Add chickpeas, potatoes, parsley and water. Simmer until potatoes are tender. Add piquillo peppers. Simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Potage Savoureux

Olive Oil
3 carrots, chopped or gated
3 cloves garlic, whole
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
dash rosemary (optional)
3 c. vegetable broth
3 c. beef broth (use imitation beef or all vegetable both for vegan/vegetarian)
1/2 c. water
1 can cannellini or white kidney beans
1 can hominy
2 pkg Roads End Organic Savory Herb Gravy Mix (Vegan and gluten free)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Saute carrots, garlic cloves, and onion in olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they soften. About ten minutes. Let cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until the onion begins to caramelize. Using a fork, mash the garlic clove in the pot.

Add the parsley, rosemary, vegetable broth, beef broth, beans, and hominy. Simmer 5 minutes until heated through. Whisk the gravy packets into the 1/2 water, stirring to remove any lumps. Stir into soup pot and simmer over medium heat until thickened.

When thickened, season with salt and pepper to taste

Friday, December 25, 2009

Irish White Bean Soup

I found this gem of a recipe on a vegan blog. With minor changes here is my version and of course a link to the original
This is the picture from the original

She says "Add a smoky flavor by sprinkling on a little hickory salt or Liquid Smoke just before serving" My favorite J&D vegetarian bacon flavored sprinkle would be great here.

1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
4 carrots, sliced
1 lb potatoes, cut in large dice
1 parsnip, sliced
1/3 cup pearled barley (optional or substitute with gluten-free grain)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

6-8 c. broth (Vegetable, chicken, or some of both)
3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 hands full of spinach, chopped fine (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Crock Pot: Place the vegetables, seasonings, and barley into a large (at least 5 quart) slow cooker. Add enough vegetable broth to just cover the vegetables (start with 6 cups and add more as needed). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours. Add beans, parsley, spinach, and salt to taste. Check seasonings and add more herbs if necessary. Cover and cook for another hour.

Stovetop: Place vegetables, seasonings, barley, and broth into a large stockpot. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary. Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.

UPDATE on 12/01 - I only used one can of white beans and added 1/2 c. uncooked lentils in with the vegetables at the start of cooking

Creole Style Red Beans and Rice

A friend sent me a bean recipe and it reminded me of this recipe I had run across the other day in the family cookbook. While not as close as I had originally thought they are quite similar. This is the link to the recipe that inspired this post. Both look fantastic

2 cans red beans, undrained
olive oil
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large can chopped tomatoes, mostly drained
3 bay leaves
2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp.parsley
2 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Rice to serve over

Saute vegetables (except tomato) in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 1 hour until flavors are well blended. Remove bay leaves. Serve over rice.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Southern Fried Rice

I know it says bacon, just read to the bottom for the vegetarian alterations.

6 slices bacon
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/2 c. peas
2 eggs, very lightly beaten
1 can red beans, drained and rinsed
4 c. cooked rice

Saute bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and reserve drippings. Saute onion in drippings until onion is almost tender, add carrots the last 30 seconds of onions. Add peas, beans, and rice. Toss to mix and heat rice. Push rice mixture to the sides creating a well in the middle. Add eggs, scramble until solid. When cooked, chop up fine. Mix with the rest of the rice mixture. Top with crumbled bacon and serve immediately.

Vegetarian version: Skip the bacon, saute in butter or olive oil. Season with JD Bacon Salt.

Economical Counter: (for 5, 1-1/2 cup servings)
Bacon (at 2.50 a lb) $0.85
Butter (2 Tablespoons) $0.16
Onion $0.25
1 carrot $0.18
1/2 c. peas $0.38
2 Eggs $0.17
1 can beans $0.78
4 cups rice (Uncle Bens) $1.78

Total $4.55
Per Serving Total: $0.91

Herbed Beans and Rice

2 cans white beans
4 Tbsp. Butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. sliced mushrooms, optional
2 Tbsp. flour
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken stock
1 tsp. salt
1/4 . tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. rosemary
1/4 tsp. oregano

Melt butter in skillet. Add onion and garlic. Add flour and cook, stirring, until slightly browned. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened. Serve over rice.

Southern Corn Chowder

1 lb. bacon
1 large onion, chopped
10 ears fresh corn
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans chicken broth
2 large potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 large carrots, grated
1 can beans, drained and rinsed (Red or White both work great)
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. half-an-half
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Saute bacon in a large soup pot until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Reserve the bacon drippings. Saute onion in 3 Tbsp. of the bacon drippings.
Cut kernels from cobs into a bowl and reserve. Add corn cobs, broth, potatoes, carrots, and beans to onions in soup pot.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove cobs from soup
Whisk together 1/3 reserved bacon drippings and the flour. Cook in a skillet over medium heat, stirringly constantly, until browned.
Add milk and half-an-half to vegetable mixture. Stir in lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir in flour mixture.
Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until thickened.
Stir in bacon and serve immediately

Monday, December 21, 2009

Middle Eastern Lettuce Wraps

This was inspired in part by my last post and in part my going out to lunch with my friend this afternoon.

Green leaf lettuce
Red onion slices
alfalfa sprouts
Hummus (garbanzo bean dip)
Tzatziki sauce

Fill lettuce leaf with veggies, lots of hummus, and tzatziki sauce (if using, it's not vegan)

Also, I know that bean and alfafla sprouts are different but I am tagging it with that anyway for simplicity sake

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thai lettuce wraps

Green leaf lettuce
matchstick carrots
Thinly sliced carrot sticks
Bean sprouts
Peanut Sauce or Thai Bean Dip

Cut the bottom 2 inches off the lettuce and then cut in half horizontally. Top each lettuce section with carrots, bean sprouts, and celery. Drizzle with peanut sauce and roll up. Close with a toothpick or tie with a green onion strip.

Addition ideas to fill with (just keep in mind that anything that goes into it needs to be thin)

Sliced Zucchini
Alfalfa Sprouts
Bell Peppers
Crispy Lo Mein Noodles

Monday, November 30, 2009

Tomato Pesto Quinoa and Black Beans

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch greens, chopped (Kale, swiss chard, spinach...)
6 - 12 oz. sun dried tomato pesto (depending on how much you want in there at the time)
1 c. liquid (water works, for more flavor I like chicken or vegetable both)
4 c. cooked quinoa, chilled (read leftovers)
1 can black beans, drained 1 Tbsp liquid reserved

Sliced green onions for garnish

Saute shallot and garlic in olive oil over high heat until shallots are crisp. Add kale and cook, stirring, until softened. Add tomato pesto (reserve at least 2 Tbsp for garnish), broth, and reserved bean liquid. Stir until combined. Add qunioa and black beans. Stir over medium heat until heated through and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve topped with a small dollop of reserved tomato pesto and a sprinkling of sliced green onions.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Southern Bean 'n Rice pot

This is tagged vegetarian for a reason. Read all the way to the bottom for the changes that remove animal products. The bacon salt is only vegetarian though so vegans cant add that flavor back in, if you know of any great vegan bacon flavorings let me know

4 slices bacon
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. frozen lima beans, thawed
1 can black eyed peas, drained
1. chicken both
1/2 c. half-an-half
2-3 c. cooked rice, cold is best
Salt an Pepper to taste

Cook bacon until crisp, remove from pan. Add butter to drippings, saute onion and garlic. Add lima beans, black eyed peas, and chicken both. Simmer until lima beans are very tender. Add rice and half-an-half. Simmer until everything is heated though and most of the liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over the top.

For Vegetarians:
1) Omit the bacon (duh!)
2) Use 2 Tbsp olive oil for your cooking oil.
3) Use imitation chicken or vegetable broth.
4) Season with J D bacon salt

Sunday, November 15, 2009

BYU Bean Dip

4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1 can refried beans
1 tsp. taco powder (more o less to taste)
1/2 c. pepper jack cheese
1/2 c. cheddar cheese

Heat cream cheese until warm and almost melting. Stir in cheese until almost melted. Combine cream cheese and remaining ingredients. Make sure to mix well. Serve with corn chips

Optional: add salsa or salsa verde to taste

Thursday, November 12, 2009

White beans and carrots

4 Tbsp. butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
dash rosemary
Salt and pepper
1/2 c. cream
1 can white beans, drained
6 oz. greens, chopped (spinach or kale work great)
2 or 3 carrots, sliced

Saute Garlic and rosemary in butter until garlic is fragrant. Add carrots, saute until almost tender. Add greens, cook, stirring until wilted. Add cream, beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until heated through. Toss to coat.

Optional, can be tossed with pasta

French Onion Soup with Lentils

This ends up tasting pretty close to traditional french onion soup but I have added and simplified a few things.

6 cups beef broth
1/4 c. brown lentils
1/4 c. barley

3 Tbsp. Butter
2 or 3 large onions, sliced into rings

Italian bread
mozzarella cheese
pecorino cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine beef broth, lentils and barley. Simmer until lentils and barley are tender, about 45 minutes. Dont let it boil dry or cook down too much, you want a good amount of broth in your soup.

Meanwhile, combine onions and butter. Cook over low heat until golden and caramelized, between 20 and 40 minutes. When lentils and barley are al dente add the caramelized onions to the pot and cook until done. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Or add beef bouillon to add more seasoning.

I slice my bread and top it with some of both cheeses and broil until golden and then drop it in my soup.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rosemary Refried Beans

I had dinner at a friends house the other day and she served these beans. I loved them

Rosemary infused oil*
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
3 or 4 cans beans, mostly drained
Salt to taste

Saute onion in oil. Add beans. Simmer until beans begin to break down and create a paste. This takes a while, be patient. Salt to taste near the end

*You can make your own herb oil infusions at home. Heat oil over low heat until it is just warm, do not let it sizzle. Add the fresh herbs and remove from heat. Pour into a jar and refrigerate over night.

Other herbs this is great with are: basil, oregano, and cilantro. You can also add more than one type of herb for more flavor. Add grated cheese to to create a dipping oil. Cheeses that work great are parmesan, pecorino, and asiago

I like to serve refried beans, and flavored (or dipping) oils, with a whole wheat flat bread, to use with either, for dinner. I accompany it with a salad for a complete meal

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The most simple black beans ever made

1 or 2 cans black beans, undrained
butter or olive oil ( I prefer butter to crisp the onions in, but you can use the alternative for vegans with excellent results)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce onion and garlic in oil until onion is tender (I did mine until the onion was browned and starting to crisp, I loved the added flavor). Add remaining ingredients and simmer 5 - 10 minutes longer. Serve over rice

Optional: additional things I thought might be good in there, chopped celery to the onions while sauteing. Additional seasonings can be added too for more flavor. I was thinking maybe oregano, bay leaf, or rosemary

You can also use different types of beans, pinto with ham would be good too

Something else I enjoy with these beans is caramelized onions. Start the onions before you start the rice and then serve them on top of the beans.

Cecilotta says she sometimes adds a small can of ham to hers

Food Storage: Skip the oil. Use dehydrated onions and garlic. Add all the ingredients together and simmer about 15 minutes making sure dehydrated onions are not still crunchy.

Economical Counter: Total Cost to feed 5 people with 1 1/2 cups of beans and rice (3/4 c. of each)

Black beans (price per can x 2) $1.56
Butter (2 Tablespoons) $0.16
Onion $0.25
Fresh Garlic(Two Cloves) $0.12
Rice (Uncle Bens brand) $1.78 (two cups uncooked rice)

Total $3.87
Per Serving Total: $0.77

While looking for more black bean recipes I came across this black bean stew recipe and thought it looked worth sharing. I haven't tried it yet though.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Carrot Chowder

This recipe is a favorite from my Mother-in-law. The original recipe calls for 1 lb ground beef and no beans, but as you may have noticed, we like to add beans to things around here.

1/2 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
1 can white beans, with liquid
1 med onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (or 1/4 c dried bell peppers)
3 stalks celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 quart tomato juice
1 1/2 c. water
2 1/2 c. grated carrots
1/2 tsp marjoram
2 cans cream of celery soup
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place ground meat, onions, celery, garlic, and peppers in a soup pot with a splash of olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat until meat is cooked thoroughly and vegetables are soft. Drain fat if using ground beef. Add water, tomato juice, marjoram, and carrots and simmer over medium heat until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Add cream soup and beans and heat through over low heat - do not boil. Serve with bread.

Jules adds: Whenever I use ground beef I like to add cooked quinoa to it first. I cook quinoa and mix it into the raw beef and saute like normal. I use about 1/4 the amount of beef so it is 4 parts beef and 1 part quinoa.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Red lentil and brown rice soup

Ok, I just wanted to start with This is not my recipe. So you can check out the original before trying my version.

I will just list the changes I made to the soup and many thanks to cecilotta since she made it first and inspired me to try it, these are really her changes.

1) I use garlic instead of shallot, since thats what I had

2) I used paprika instead of the red pepper flakes

3) I Used Chicken broth instead of the vegetable, though I suspect the "potato peel broth" from "The Vegetarian Epicure book Two" By Anna Thomas would be great

4) I cooked them both a lot longer than she said to cook them and I didnt bother with the garnishes.

My kids all loved it and said wonderful things about it to the tune of the best food ever and all ate several bowls full.

We both served it with a salad. I served texas toast and Cecilotta served apple muffins.

Food Storage Adaption: I used bouillon, dried onions flakes and granulated garlic.

Economical Counter:
Onion $0.25
Garlic $0.12
Bouillon $0.15

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Colonial peanut soup

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 Tbsp flour
5 c. Chicken Stock
1 c. smooth peanut butter
3/4 c. cream
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained,

Chopped Peanuts, for garnish

In a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, three-five minutes.

Stir in flour and cook two minutes longer.

Pour in the chicken stock and beans, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Puree soup.

Whisk the peanut butter and the cream into the liquid. Warm over low heat, whisking often, for about five minutes. Do not boil.

Serve warm, garnished with the chopped peanuts.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Quinoa Stew

I friend just sent this recipe to me, even though it doesnt have any beans in it, it would be great with a can tossed in there. Just drain and rinse whatever you have on hand and toss in at the end with the quinoa, though really, it doesnt need it.

For more quinoa information check out this web site

½ cup quinoa,
1 cup water
2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, cut on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick slices
1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup cubed zucchini
2 cups undrained chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
1 cup water or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of cayenne (or more to taste)
2 teaspoon fresh oregano (OR) 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt to taste

Cook quinoa in water until tender. Saute onion, garlic, carrot, peppers, celery, and zucchini in oil until tender. Add the remaining ingredient and cooked quinoa and simmer until heated through.


Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Grated Cheddar OR Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

Pinto Beans with Sage

I found this recipe in my file folder, I thought it came from Martha Stewart but when I searched her web site it wasn't there so it might have been another magazine.

2 c. dried pinto beans
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
7 slices applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/4 in pieces
4 1/2 c. chicken stock
8 fresh sage leaves, plus more coarsely chopped, for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Place beans in a large bowl, and cover with water by 2 inches. Loosely cover, and soak in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 375. Drain beans. Melt butter with oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and add onion, garlic, and bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp.

Stir in stock, beans and sage. Bring to a boil; cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake until beans are tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with additional sage.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Dads Fabulous Enchiladas

I can't believe I didn't think to post this until now. My dad makes wonderful enchiladas. He would make them when mom was gone and let us eat them in the living room and watch Star Wars during dinner.

1 1/2 cans refried beans (I usually add some salsa verde to my refried beans and simmer a few seconds for more flavor)
1/2 lb. hamburger OR 2 cans of whole beans
2 Tbsp. taco powder
2 c. Grated cheese, plus more for topping
1 onion, chopped
12 flour tortillas
2 cans red enchilada sauce

Sour Cream

Combine taco powder and beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain grease. Spread tortilla with beans. Top with hamburger (or beans), onion, and then cheese. Roll tortilla and place seam side down in a 9x13 casserole. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Top all with enchilada sauce and additional cheese, if desired. Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Serve with sour cream and salsa

Sometimes I also add some cooked Spanish rice to the filling.

Economical Counter: Feeds 6
1 1/2 cans refried beans $1.50
Hamburger $1.50
Taco Powder (based on 1oz from a 23 oz. Tones container) $0.18
Cheese $2.00
Onion $0.25
Tortillas (I buy them at the dollar store) $1.20
Enchilada sauce $2.50

Total: 9.13
Per serving total $1.52

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Refried beans

These are great over rice, in warm tortillas or as a dip with corn chips. When I make it for a dip I add a little extra broth for a thinner consistency.

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green chili, chopped ( I used 1/4 cup salsa verde)
14 oz. can kidney beans, drained
14 oz. can pinto beans, drained
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
(optional, this is my addition, I added a big pinch of chili powder)
1 c. vegetable stock
Salt & Pepper

Saute the onion in oil for about 3 - 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chili and cook for another minute. Mash the beans with a potato masher and stir into the pan with the cilantro. Stir in the stock and cook the beans, stirring, for 5 minutes, until soft and pulpy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

In honor or re-creating Olive Garden recipes I thought I would add this one as well. Very tasty

2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Carrot, grated
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
8 oz. spinach
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded (optional)
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz. gnocchi
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 c. chicken broth
1c. milk
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper

Saute onion, garlic, and celery in butter until onion is tender. Add carrot and saute 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until spinach is wilted and gnocchi is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For a true Italian treat serve with Italian Sodas

Green Soup with Ginger

There is a really great looking soup recipe again on 101cookbooks called Green soup with ginger. While it she doesn't put any beans in it, it looks like it would be great with a few lentils or some white beans throw in.

Zuppa Toscana

An Olive garden favorite. You can puree or mash the beans if you want to make a thicker soup or hide the beans.

2 links italian sausage (I prefer hot, if you don't like spicy use sweet)
3 c. chicken broth or stock
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 - 3 medium potatoes, sliced about 1/4' thick
1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed and chopped
1 can white beans
Salt to taste
Red Pepper to taste (optional)

Remove casings from sausage, crumble and saute until cooked. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the potatoes and kale are cooked taking care not to let the soup come to a full rolling boil.

For an aditional Italian treat, serve with Italian sodas

Hungarian Goulash

I have talked to two different Hungarian women who have both given me the same advice for "authentic" goulash.

1) Don't add tomatoes, the red comes from the paprika
2) Don't use a thickener, the potatoes are cooked until the are super tender and they are what thickens the sauce.

But then I say if you like tomatoes in your, add them, you are the one eating it. I personally prefer it without though. Don't let the sauce go dry, if it starts to, add more water.

Olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. black peppers
3 c. water
3 beef boulion cubes (Edward&Sons vegan for meatless)
3 - 4 Tbsp. paprika
3 - 4 potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 1 baker sized per person)
1 can beans, drained (kidney, red, or white beans work really well here)

Sour cream or greek yogurt

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is tender. Add remaining ingredients, except beans, and simmer, covered until sauce is thick and potatoes can be crushed easily with a spoon, about 1 hour. Twenty minutes before potatoes are done, add beans and stir in gently to avoid breaking up the potatoes too much.

Serve topped with a dollop of greek yogurt.

Mock Chicken and Rice Soup

1 can white or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
6 c. water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
3/4 c. uncooked white rice or quinoa
2 c. frozen mixed vegetables

Combine all and simmer until rice is cooked.

For added flavor you can saute onion and celery before adding all the other ingredients.

You can also use pasta in place of the rice for chicken noodle soup.

Thai Bean Dip

1 can white (or garbanzo) beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. Tahini
Juice of one lime
1 medium bunch chopped cilantro
1 or 2 cloves garlic
Salt to taste

Puree white beans, add remaining ingredients. Add reserved bean liquid until dip is desired consistency.

Serve with corn chips or pitas


Serve this as a dip with pitas or corn chips, veggies, or with falafel

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
1/3 c. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. tahini (sesame paste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin

Puree all until smooth, adding 2 to 3 Tbsp of the cooking liquid to obtain a soft, creamy consistency. Transfer to a shallow dish and garnish with

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Sprinkling of paprika

Optional thing to stir in to change things a bit are
Chopped olives
Sun dried tomatoes
Chopped fresh herbs, esp oregano
Chopped roasted red peppers

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Succotash comes from a Narragansett Indian word meaning "boiled corn." American settlers quickly adopted the dish and it is still popular in many areas of the east. Southern succotash usually includes stewed tomatoes.

This is usually served as a side dish (in Pennsylvania it's a traditional Thanksgiving side) but it also makes an excellent main course for a cold winter dinner.

1 lb bag frozen baby lima beans
1 lb bag frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (optional)

Add bag of baby limas to a saucepot of salted, boiling water. Cook until tender, then add corn and heat through. Drain well, add butter and seasoning to taste. Serve hot.

With tomatoes: After draining, return to pot and add stewed tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes over med-low heat, stirring and making sure it doesn't scorch. Add butter and seasoning, serve.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Curried Noodle Bowl

This recipe was inspired by the "Slurptastic" noodle recipe from 101 Cookbooks, but it's also very similar to the noodle bowls I ate as "fast food" in Hong Kong. They're incredibly easy to prepare, and you don't have to be at all precise on the ingredients; since they're assembled at the table, everyone can toss in what they like. For 3 people you will need:

8 oz thin noodles (I used Trader Joe's spinach-chive fettuccine, you can use any thin noodle - Ramen is actually perfect for this).

1 1/2 c vegetable broth (can use chicken)

1 1/2 c. light coconut milk (regular is fine, but heavier)

2 tsp sweet curry powder

1 can garbanzo or white beans, drained and rinsed (Cec likes garbanzos, Jules prefers white beans. You can also use silken tofu diced into small cubes).

1 cup frozen green peas, warmed

1 bunch finely sliced green onions or a couple Tablespoons snipped fresh chives.

Small bowl of crushed dried red peppers (optional, if you like yours spicy!)

Cook noodles according to package directions, making sure not to over cook them. While they're cooking, mix vegetable broth, coconut milk, and curry in a saucepan and heat through. Salt to taste. Assemble other toppings in bowls. Serve by placing a helping of noodles in each bowl, allow guests to place other toppings on as they wish, and finish by ladling curry broth over the top. Eat with chopsticks and don't forget to slurp!

Thai Noodle Bowl: Instead of curry powder, add a stalk of finely chopped lemongrass to the coconut broth, and place a bowl of fresh basil on the table with other toppings. Finish with a squirt of lime wedge (optional).

Peanut Noodle Bowl: Instead of curry powder, whisk 3-4 T chunky peanut butter (organic unsweetened might be better in this) into your coconut-broth sauce. Serve with chopped salted peanuts, lime wedges, crushed red chilis, peas, green onions, and fresh basil.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mixed Bean Crock Pot Curry

6 peeled and chopped potatoes
4 peeled and chopped carrots
1 small granny smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules OR 1/2 a NOTchicken vegan bouillon cube
3 Tbsp. Flour
4 Tbsp. Curry powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can coconut milk
Place first sever ingredients in crock-pot in order written. Combine flour, curry, cumin, and salt. Shake to mix and dump all in crock pot and add 1 c. water. Cook on high 3 - 4 hours or low 6 - 8 hours The last 30 minutes of cooking add white beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and coconut milk, if using low switch to high for last 30 minutes.

-Coconut milk will give it the best flavor but it is really high in fat. If that doesn't work for you, substitute with an equal amount of evaporated fat free milk and 1/2 tsp. coconut extract.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


3/4 c. plain yogurt
1 tsp chopped fresh mint leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 lb ground beef
1 can pinto beans
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. water
1 carrot, grated
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
26 wonton wrappers
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp water

1/2 c. dried yellow split peas
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 1/2 c. water

1. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, mint, and garlic. Refrigerate.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef and onions until meat is browned, stirring occasionally to crumble; drain fat. Stir in beans, 1 cup water, carrot, salt, black pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until water evaporates.

3. Lay out wonton wrappers on aluminum foil. Mound two large spoonfuls of beef mixture in the center of one wrapper. Dip a finger in water and trace it around all four edges. Lay a second wonton wrapper on top of the first, and press on all edges to seal. Roll up the edges to create a round, hat-shaped ravioli. Repeat, making 13 ravioli.

4. Place ravioli in steamer and steam 40 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, mix together the yellow split peas, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, chicken bouillon, and 1 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, or until it reaches a thick slurry-like consistency.

6. Meanwhile, in the large skillet, mix remaining beef mixture with 2 tablespoons water, tomato paste, and 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Simmer over low heat until liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

7. To serve, spread yogurt on a serving plate. Top with ravioli, and top again with split pea mixture. Finally, top with tomato and beef mixture. Serve immediately.


1 can zesty refried beans or 2 c. homemade refried beans
6 flour tortillas
Salsa Verde
Chopped tomatoes

Divide refried beans evenly between the tortillas and spread evenly over the top to the edges. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with salsa verde. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from heat. Cool slightly and top with lettuce and tomatoes

You can also top with
Black Olives
Chopped Broccoli
Sour Cream
More salsa verde
Sliced Jalapenos
Whatever else you feel like

For Vegans just leave off the cheese or use a vegan substitute, top with what ever fits your diet choice and enjoy!

Couscous Curry

Olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into strips
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced OR 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1 Carrot, grated
1 can Beans, rinsed and drained (White or Pinto)
1 1/2 c. broth (Chicken, vegetable or a combination of the two)
1/4 tsp. Paprika
1 - 2 tsp. Curry
Pinch Ginger
1/8 tsp. black peppers
2 Tbsp. Salsa Verde
3/4 c. dry Couscous*

Optional: Mix together greek yogurt and curry powder. Serve with a dollop on top.

Sliced green onions

Saute onion, garlic, and carrot in olive oil until onion is tender. Add beans, broth, paprika, curry, ginger, black pepper, and salsa verde and bring to a boil. Add couscous and remove from heat. Cover pot and let sit 10 minutes. Remove lid and fluff. Garnish with green onions and cashews.

*Quinoa Variation - Use 3 c. cooked quinoa that has been chilled. Reduce broth to 1 cup and stir in cold quinoa. Simmer until heated through and most of the broth is absorbed.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
2 Tbsp butter
4 strips bacon
4 c. chicken broth (Or vegetable)
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium sliced peeled potatoes
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
2 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Sour cream
Chopped fresh parsley

Fry bacon until crisp, crumble, and set aside, reserving 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease. In a large saucepan, saute onion and celery in bacon drippings and butter until both are tender. Add the broth, beans, potatoes and pumpkin; cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; cool. Puree half of the mixture at a time in a blender or food processor until smooth; return all to the pan. Add the milk, nutmeg, paprika, salt and pepper; heat through.
Spoon soup into bowls; top each with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of parsley and crumbled bacon.

Vegetarian version: Omit bacon (duh!) use butter to saute. Replace salt with 1 tsp. J&D's Bacon Salt

Variation: Reduce broth to 1 cup and cream to 1/2 cup. Toss with hot cooked pasta or cheese ravioli and top with crumbled bacon

Tuna Bean Pot

Make Ten Minute Bean Pot. Just before serving, add

1 can drained white tuna (flaked)
several tablespoons capers.

Serve with bread.

Pasta e Fagiole

This soup is very similar to the one served at Olive Garden, but I find this version tastier. Theirs has meat in it, if you want the meat, simply brown 1/2 lb ground beef or italian sausage with the onions, and drain the fat before going to the next step. I like mine just fine without it, though.

Like many of our soup recipes, this calls for chicken broth. It's just as tasty to substitute vegetable bouillon if you want a vegan alternative.

1 yellow or sweet onion, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, finely diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced (or 3 T dried celery, to be added when you add the broth)
1 can tomatoes and liquid
1/2 can tomato paste
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I usually use bouillon cubes)
1 c. small pasta
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can white beans, drained
2 T salt-free Italian herb blend (I like Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in 3-4 T olive oil. (Include hamburger or sausage if using). When vegetables are translucent and tender, add tomatoes and chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and simmer for ten minutes. Then add pasta, herbs, and beans. Continue simmering until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Whisk in tomato paste - add more if you like your broth to be more tomato-y. Salt and pepper to taste.

For a fun Italian treat, serve with Italian sodas

10 Minute Bean Pot

Ideally this should be served with a chewy, crusty bread to scoop up the beans and soak up the delicious juices.

2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
6-8 cloves garlic, diced (or put through the garlic press)
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning (I like Penzey's pasta sprinkle)
1 can white beans, drained and mostly rinsed
3-4 T butter
salt and pepper to taste

Saute garlic gently in butter for 5 minutes, until it's soft and fragrant. Use very low heat to avoid burning the garlic. Add all other ingredients and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Italian Sausage and Spinach

2 links Italian Sausage (Hot or sweet) cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 box (14 oz. - 16 oz.) Spaghetti pasta
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red chilie oil (Optional, usually found in the Asian section of most grocery stores)
1/4 tsp. salt more or less to taste
1/2 c. chicken broth
4 - 6 c. packed fresh baby spinach

Asiago or Parmesan cheese grated or shaved into wisps.

In skillet cook sausages, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes or until no longer pink. Add sweet peppers and onion to sausage in skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Add white beans.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti, with 1 tablespoon salt added to water, according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water* Drain pasta; return to pan.

Toss sausage mixture and salt with spaghetti in pan. Stir in chicken broth, red chilie oil, and enough reserved pasta water to thin, Add spinach; toss just until combined and spinach is slightly wilted.

Sprinkle servings with cheese and additional crushed red pepper.

*Using Pasta Water: Use pasta cooking water to flavor and thin sauces. To reserve, just before draining pasta, ladle out the amount of pasta water needed into a glass measuring cup or bowl.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Amy Stocks Taco Soup

I had this tonight at a church recipe exchange. It was so good. Thanks Amy!

1 lb. ground turkey or hamburger
1 packet taco seasoning (About 2 Tbsp)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can chicken broth
1 c. Ketchup

Brown meat. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer one hour or longer. Can be dumped in a crock pot for the afternoon.

Note Added March 31, 2010
This is one of very few recipes I haven't felt the need to doctor and tweak.

I had leftover hamburger one night and planned on using it up with this recipe. The night before I wanted it I threw all the ingredients together in a large tupperware and just put it in the ridge. The next night for dinner all I had to do was pour the tupperware into the crock pot and I had a mess free dinner in minutes.

Cuban Red Beans and Rice

Another one of my kids' favorite dishes. You can use red beans or kidney beans.

1 large sweet or yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
3 T dried bell pepper (or 1/2 fresh bell pepper, diced)
4 T tomato paste
1 can red or kidney beans, drained but not rinsed
1 cup uncooked white rice
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water and bouillon cubes)
1 tsp cumin
salt to taste
olive oil

Saute onions, garlic, and peppers (if using fresh) in 2-3 T olive oil over medium heat until very soft. Add rice and continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. Add all other ingredients except beans and and bring to a simmer. Simmer until rice is cooked through and liquid is mostly absorbed. You want the rice to be very soft and to have something of a thick tomato gravy rather than being very dry, so if it needs more liquid, add chicken or vegetable broth 1/4 c. at a time. Stir in beans and continue cooking until beans are heated through. Salt to taste.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Caribbean Jerk Nachos

1 Tbsp. Dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
pinch nutmeg
large pinch cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine all and set aside OR 4 Tbsp Caribbean jerk seasoning

2 c. white beans
2 c. grated cheese

Combine beans, cheese, and half of the seasoning mix. Sprinkle over corn chips and bake at 400 until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. lime juice.

Combine red and yellow bell peppers with lime juice and other half of jerk seasoning. Sprinkle over nachos immediately after coming out of oven so the peppers cook a little but not enough to get mushy.

Optional: Sprinkle more cheese over the bell peppers while nachos are still hot to "set" the peppers

Friday, September 11, 2009

Classic Alfredo

1 stick butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 c. heavy cream (I usually use half-an-half or whole milk, I have a
friend who uses evaporated skim milk)
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 can white beans, divided

Mash half the beans and set aside (you want them kinda chunky) Melt butter skillet. Stir in garlic powder and flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter starts to turn slightly brown. Turn the heat down to low and slowly whisk in the cream. Add the mashed and whole beans and black peppers. Simmer on low until thickened. Stir in the cheese and whisk until blended.

Southwestern Eggrolls

Olive oil
1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped pretty fine or 1 c. white beans
2 Tbsp red bell pepper, minced
2 Tbsp. green onion, minced
1/3 c. frozen corn
1/4 c. canned black beans
1/4 c frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 Tbsp. canned jalapeno peppers, chopped
1/2 tsp. parsley, minced
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
dash cayenne, optional
3/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper and onion to the pan and sauté for a couple minutes until tender. Add the chicken (or white beans), corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to the pan. Cook for another 4 minutes. Stir well so that the spinach separates and is incorporated into the mixture. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese and cilantro. Stir until the cheese is melted.

Wrap the tortillas in a moist cloth and microwave on high temperature for 30 seconds or until hot. Spoon approximately one-fifth of the mixture into the center of a tortilla. Fold in the ends and then roll the tortilla over the mixture. Roll the tortilla very tight, then pierce with a toothpick to hold together. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until you have five eggrolls.

Arrange the eggrolls on a plate, cover the plate with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best.

While the eggrolls freeze prepare the avocado-ranch dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Preheat 4-6 cups of oil to 375 degrees.

Deep fry the eggrolls in the hot oil for 5-6 minutes and remove to paper towels or a rack to drain for about 2 minutes. Slice each eggroll diagonally lengthwise and arrange on a plate around a small bowl of the dipping sauce.

Garnish the dipping sauce with the chopped tomato and onion.

Dipping Sauce:
1/4 c. smashed fresh avocado (about half of an avocado)
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sour cream
1 Tbsp buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 dash dried dill weed
1 dash garlic powder
1 dash pepper

Sunday, September 6, 2009


1 sheet of frozen puff pastry (I use regular whole wheat bread dough that I can make at home)
1/2 onion, chopped
4 small potatoes, cut into 1/2" dice (about 2 cups)
1 c. canned white beans
1 ½ c. frozen peas
1 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1” piece of ginger, finely grated (about ¾ teaspoon)
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne
crumbled bay leaf
pinch cloves
dash black peppers
pinch coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. prepared mustard
¾ tsp. salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
½ tsp. lemon juice

Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for at least a half hour.

Heat an oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set it aside.
Saute onion in oil until tender. Add potatoes and beans and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 6 - 8 minutes. Drain them well and then return them to the hot pot to dry them off.

While the potatoes are cooking, put the peas in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them on high power to defrost them (about 2 minutes).

When the potatoes have cooled down (they can still be warm), add the remaining ingredients to the pot except for the peas and lemon juice. Mash the potatoes with a fork, leaving some small chunks. Make sure that all the spices are mixed in well. Add the peas and lemon juice and stir well to combine. You can do this with your hands and it will be much easier.

Unfold the puff pastry sheet and cut it into thirds along the folds. Cut each third in half horizontally to get six rectangles. Lay a piece of foil or plastic wrap down on your work surface and place one rectangle on top. Roll it into a square that is a little larger than 6”, then rotate it 45 degrees so that the corners are now at the top and bottom.

Take 1/6 of the filling, place it on the top half of the dough, and form it into a triangle that is about 1” thick, making sure to leave a border of about ¾”-1” around the filling. Lightly brush the edge of the dough around the filling with water (you can do this with your finger). Fold the bottom half of the dough up and over the filling. Press the edges together firmly, then roll them inwards towards the filling, making sure to pinch the dough to ensure a tight seal.

Place the samosas onto the lined baking sheet; they should stand upright. Bake until the puff pastry is light golden brown, about 27-30 minutes. Serve warm. (You can store the samosas in an airtight container; reheat them for 10-15 minutes at 350° F.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Monggo Bean Soup

This was one of our favorite meals in the Philippines. My girls ate several bowls apiece.

1 c. green mongo (mung beans), soaked in water for 30 minutes
6 - 8 c. chicken broth (or more)
1 Tbsp cooking oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 c. pork, sliced into strips
1/2 c. shrimp, peeled and deveined (can use a can of small shrimp)
1 c. chopped spinach

Soak Mung beans in water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat cooking oil. Add pork and fry until brown. Add garlic, onions, and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in the chicken broth. When soup starts to boil, add soaked mung beans. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour. Add shrimp and spinach. Add more broth until it's "soupy" enough for your tastes. Serve with white rice.

Friday, August 28, 2009


This is a popular Filipino dessert. It quite literally means "mix-mix," which is an appropriate name.

1 glass filled 2/3 full of crushed ice

Top with evaporated or whole milk until the ice is covered.

Then top with a spoonful each of:

Creamed canned corn
Gelatin set very firm and cut into small cubes (often green)
Cubed cooked ube (you may substitute sweet potato)
Canned Kaong (very tasty - try an Asian market)
Cubed Mango
Shredded fresh coconut

Place a scoopful of ice cream on top our pour over a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. This is sometimes served with sliced bananas.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cilantro Lentil Stew

4 c. vegetable broth
3 c. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1-1/4 pounds)
3/4 c. dried lentils
3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro
extra vegetable bouillon cubes to taste

In crock pot combine the first nine ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in cilantro and extra bouillon cubes to taste.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Brighter Days

There is a great whole foods market I found in Savannah the other day. As I was checking out their web site a ran across these recipes

Garlicky Chick Pea Soup with Greens

Savory Lentil Spread

Split Pea Soup


I make this when I have leftover cooked grains on hand. The reason for using the grains cold is then they absorb the broth better.

1/2 medium onion, chopped really fine
1 stalk celery, chopped really fine
1 carrot, grated really fine
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 c. broth, chicken (or imitation)
1 tsp. rosemary
1 c. cooked rice, cold
1 c. cooked quinoa, cold
1/2 c. cooked barley, cold
1-2 c. cooked lentils, cold
1/2-1 c. cooked white beans

Melt butter in skillet. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and rosemary. Saute until onion and celery are tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until broth is absorbed and everything is heated through.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Skillet Gnocchi with Spinach and White Beans

This recipe was featured in the December 2010/January2011 issue of Taste of Homes Healthy Cooking magazine on page 51

Olive Oil
1 lb gnocchi, fresh made or frozen, cooked
1 medium onion, chopped
2 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch spinach (or Swiss Chard), chopped
1 can tomatoes with Italian seasonings (I use regular canned tomatoes and Italian seasoning, most seasoned tomatoes contain added sugar)
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
dash black pepper
1/2 c. mozzarella, grated (optional)
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil 2 minutes. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned in spots. Add spinach (or Swiss Chard) and cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted. Add can of tomatoes and white beans. Add pepper to taste. If using, top with both cheeses, cover and remove from heat. Leave covered until cheese melts.

Several additions from other people and my own experimenting are:
Cooked Italian Sausage
Marinated Artichoke hearts
a little cream with the tomatoes
Italian seasoning

Check out the original here

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Food Storage Salsa

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 can tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
2 T olive oil
garlic powder to taste
Dash lemon juice (bottled)
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips (you can even make your own!) or over cornbread.

Can also be mixed with 3 cups of cooked pasta for easy pasta salad. You may want to add a bit more seasoning (to taste) if you do this.

Winter Squash Soup

1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced or crushed
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cooked butternut or acorn squash (medium sized), cooled and scooped out of skin (or a medium-small pie pumpkin)
1 can garbanzo or white beans
2 c chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
1-2 tsp cumin
Dash red pepper or paprika (optional, to taste)
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion and celery stalk in olive oil over medium-low heat until soft. Add the garlic a few minutes before the end. When soft and fragrant, add chicken broth, spices, and squash. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, and add undrained can of beans. Puree and heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can also add a chopped red bell pepper with the onions if you like. I don't recommend green because your soup will look disgusting once it's pureed!

Greek Lentil Soup

Saute in oil:

2 c. chopped onions
1 c. chopped celery
1 T. chopped garlic

Add 2 c. lentils, 8 c. water, 1 T. Oregano

Simmer until almost done (about 30 minutes), add 2-3 bouillon cubes, 1 can tomatoes and 1 c. diced carrots

Cook until carrots are tender (10 more minutes or so, and add more water if needed), then add salt and pepper to taste and the juice of 2 lemons (or serve with lemon wedges and let people do their own).

Crostini with White Beans

Excellent as an inexpensive appetizer or with soup.

Crostini is usually made with italian bread but you can use regular white bread cut thick or even split rolls. Best to use day-old bread rather than perfectly fresh. Brush it with olive oil and toast it in the oven. Then top it with a spread made of:

2 cloves garlic sauteed in 2 T olive oil
sage, marjoram,
red pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste
pureed with 1 can white beans

You can add fresh tomatoes to it too. This is also good in salad wraps with vinegar and oil dressing and mozzarella or parmesan cheese.

Texas Stuffed Tomatoes with black-eyed pea salad

2 cans black-eyed peas
2 c. corn
red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, roasted and diced
1 bunch chopped green onions
1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced

Toss with Dressing made of:
1 c oil
juice of 2 limes
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp Tabasco
1 tsp salt
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp lime zest
1 tsp oregano
1/4 c
red wine vinegar

Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Squash Gratin with White Beans

If a squash recipe could be described as decadent, this would be it. The original recipe is meant as a side dish, but I think it would make a lovely light meal with a can of drained and rinsed white beans gently tossed in.

The original recipe is here: Summer Squash Gratin

I made a few modifications which I've listed below:

I used only 1/4 cup of olive oil in the sauce, and two large cloves of garlic. I thought the smaller amount of oil was plenty, if your mix seems too dry you could add more 1 T at a time.

I used paprika instead of red pepper, because the little people in my household don't do spicy too well.

I used good parmesan instead of gruyere, because that's what I had in my fridge (although I'm sure the gruyere would have been delicious!).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Farmhouse Chowder

1 medium onion, chopped
1 or 2 stalks celery, sliced
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 carrot, sliced
1 parsnip, sliced
Red bell pepper, chopped, about 2 Tbsp, enough for a little color
3 1/2 c. water
2 chicken bouillon cubes (optional, soup will need more salt if omitted, can use vegetable bouillon too)
1 can cream style corn
1 or 2 cans white beans
1/4 tsp. tarragon or dill
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 c. cream

Heat oil in large pot. Add onion, celery, potatoes, carrot, and parsnip. Cook until potatoes begin to soften up and turn a bit brown. Add red bell pepper, water, bouillon(or salt), corn, beans, tarragon, and pepper. Simmer until vegetables are cooked through. Add cream, simmer until heated through being careful not boil. Salt to taste.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Southwestern White Bean and Cheese Chowder

I submitted this recipe to Taste of Home for their "Make it Meatless" competition and ended up winning second place. You can read more about it here and here. The picture is the one they took, straight out of the magazine

2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 green bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cup. chicken broth (Or vegetable)
1 can green chilies (4 oz.)
1/8 tsp. chile powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 c. milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
4 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped (optional garnish)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Saute onion, celery, and garlic over medium heat until translucent. Add bell pepper and cook another 30 seconds. Add 1 can of beans and mash into onion mixture with a potato masher or slotted spoon (mixture should be chunky-smooth).

Stir in second can of beans, green chilies, corn, carrot, chicken broth, cumin, and chili powder. Bring mixture to a simmer. Blend cornstarch into cold milk and stir into chowder, bring slowly to a mild boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until corn and celery are just tender and mixture thickens. Stir in cheese just until melted.

If desired, garnish with additional shredded cheese and diced cilantro or sliced green onions

Monday, July 27, 2009

Black Bean Soup II

This soup is more like the Black Bean Soup often found at restaurants. It's also easy to make with food storage items - dried onions and garlic, for example - although I always use fresh unless it's an emergency. It also cooks up in under 30 minutes.

Plus, it's low-fat and high fiber - but you don't have to tell your family!

3 cans black beans, with liquid
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
3 c chicken or vegetable broth (I use bouillon cubes, so if you use regular broth, you'll probably want to add a bit more salt to the finished product)
1-2 carrots, diced
1/4 c. dried mixed red and green peppers (bell peppers, NOT hot peppers!)
Dash chili powder and cumin (optional)
3 T olive oil

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a heavy pot over med-low heat until they're very soft and slightly golden. Add chicken broth, peppers, carrots, and spices and turn heat up to medium. Simmer until carrots are tender, then add 2 cans of beans. Puree and add the third can of beans. Heat through and serve.

Very tasty plain or served with a dollop of salsa and plain yogurt or sour cream, a sprinkle of shredded cheese, and a bit of guacamole (or any combination of the above!).

Economical Counter: For 7, 1-1/2 c. servings

3 Cans black beans $2.34
Onion $0.25
Garlic (4) $0.24
3 bouillon cubes $0.07
Carrots (2) $0.36
Dehydrated bell peppers $0.32
3 Tbsp Olive Oil $0.48

Total: $4.06
Per Serving Total: $0.58

The per serving total is particularly fun to see since in restaurants soup in usually 3/4 cup portions, making their total $0.29 a serving, and you typically pay around $4 a bowl!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Chickpeas with Zucchini and Garlic

2-3 small green zucchini, thinly sliced
3 c. cooked pasta (spaghetti noodles work well)
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
2-3 large cloves garlic, diced
pinch of crushed red pepper
3 T butter
3 T olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat olive oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and zucchini until zucchini is tender. Add chickpeas, pasta, salt, and red pepper, and toss until evenly mixed and warm through. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Monday, July 20, 2009


1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 carrot, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
olive oil
2 cups beef broth (vegetable or imitation beef broth for vegans)
3/4 c. dry brown lentils
Italian seasoning
1 bottle spaghetti sauce

Saute onion, garlic, celery, pepper, carrot, and zucchini in olive oil until onion and garlic are tender. Add beef broth, lentils, and italian seasoning and simmer until lentils are tender. Watch the pot and don't let it boil dry, add more water or broth if necessary. Drain additional liquid when lentils are tender. Add the bottle of spaghetti sauce and serve over pasta.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

White bean pitas

Pick the fillings you like, they are mostly all optional. Also I dont buy greek seasoning I mix my own. I haven't needed to in forever though and can't find my recipe, I just google a recipe. I also use just a pinch of cinnamon, most call for more. This can be done in tortillas as wraps instead of pitas, whatever you have on hand.

Pita Pockets
1 can White beans
Greek seasoning
Cucumber sauce
Romaine lettuce
Sliced tomatoes
Feta cheese
Chopped kalamata olives

Rinse and drain white beans. Toss with a little greek seasoning. Spread pita with hummas and fill with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, olives, and seasoned beans. Drizzle with cucumber sauce.

Cucumber Sauce
8 oz. sour cream
1 large cumber
2 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. lemon juice
dash tabasco
1/4 tsp dill
salt to taste

Peel cumber and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape put seeds with a spoon. Grate remaining cucumber. Stir into sour cream. Add lemon dill and salt to taste. add dash tabasco and stir in garlic. Serve with whatever you want.

Sweet Potato Falafel

Ok, i'm sure some of you can guess where this came from, the same place as the last two posts...Something I like to do with traditional falafel, and i'm sure this would be good as well, is make small balls and throw them into salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and anything that I feel like throwing in there.

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel

2 medium sweet potatoes (orange inside), around 1 1/2 pounds in total
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 small cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 big handfuls of fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
a scant cup chickpea flour
a splash of olive oil
a sprinkling of sesame seeds
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425F degrees (220C) and roast the sweet potatoes whole until just tender - 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off the oven, leave the potatoes to cool, then peel.

Put the sweet potatoes, cumin, garlic, ground and fresh coriander, lemon juice and gram/chickpea flour into a large bowl. Season well, and mash until smooth with no large chunks. Stick in the fridge to firm up for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes. When you take it out, your mix should be sticky rather than really wet. You can add a tablespoon or so more of chickpea flour if necessary (the water content of sweet potatoes varies enormously).

Reheat the oven to 400F. Using a couple of soup spoons (put a well-heaped spoonful of mix in one spoon and use the concave side of the other to shape the sides) or a falafel scoop if you have one, make the mixture into falafelly looking things and put them on an oiled tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, until the bases are golden brown.

Baby Lima Soup with Chipotle Broth

Ok, another 101cookbooks recipe, its just so good. I add around 3 chicken bouillon cubes to my broth for a little extra flavor, 10 (the amount of water) is too many and takes over the soup

1 pound dried baby lima beans, picked over and rinsed
10 cups water
1 head garlic, top lobbed off to expose the cloves and loose skins removed
2 tablespoons olive oil or clarified butter
1 onion, halved top to bottom and sliced into thin crescents
1 to 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt

Squeeze of lime juice (optional)

Pick over the beans, looking carefully for any pebbles or dirt clumps; baby limas seem to be magnets for dirt. Rinse the beans, then combine them with the water and garlic in a heavy soup pot. You might think putting a whole head of unpeeled garlic in the pot is strange, but just go with it. Bring the beans to an active simmer and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until just a touch al dente and not mushy or falling apart. Test their doneness by tasting; you really can't tell any other way.

Heat the olive oil (or butter) in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion, chipotles, and 2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce, and sauté over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, just until the onion starts to soften. You can always add more adobo sauce later for a spicier soup; just don't overdo it on the front end.

Add the salt and the onion-chipotle mix to the pot of beans and simmer gently for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors. The broth should be thin, so add more water if needed. Add more salt and more adobo a bit at a time if the flavors aren't popping. Finish with a squeeze of lime if you like. I usually remove the garlic head at this point or serve around it.

Armenian Apricot Soup Recipe

Armenian Apricot Soup Recipe

Add the chicken cubes to taste but not enough to equal the amount that would normally be used to make the water broth, just to add a hint of flavor, or you can leave them out all together. This is my adaption on the recipe found here.

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 c. red lentils, rinsed
1 can white beans
10 cups water
6 - 12 oz. dried apricots, chopped
1 or 2 chicken bouillon cubes (my addition, totally optional)

Heat the oil in your soup pot over medium heat, then stir in the onions and carrots. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and stir well. Decrease the heat, cover, and let the vegetables sweat for ten minutes.

Add the lentils, beans and chicken cubes and pour in enough of the water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook for twenty minutes, or until the lentils and carrots are tender. Add more of the water as needed as the lentils soften and expand.

Remove from the heat, stir in the apricots and any remaining water, and season with salt. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth; alternatively working in batches, puree in a regular blender until smooth. Take care not to over salt this soup. The right amount will bring out the flavor of the apricots but leave the onions in the background. Serve hot.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Country Herb Skillet

2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 3/4 c. water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp, basil
2 c. Normandy vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots)
2 c. uncooked corkscrew pasta

Parmesan cheese

Boil water in large pot. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese) and simmer until vegetables are tender and pasta is cooked. Dust with cheese.

Tex-Mex macaroni and Cheese

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/8 - 1/4 tsp chile powder
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 c. water
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 c. elbow macaroni
1 can cheese soup
1/2 c. salsa
4 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. onion powder

Cook beef and chile powder until beef is no longer pink. Drain. Add kidney beans, broth and water. Bring to a boil, add pasta and reduce heat to medium. Cook until pasta is tender. Add can condensed soup, salsa, and onion powder. Stir to combine. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted.

Baked potatoes or Casserole

OK, so this isn't exactly a "recipe" just a great dinner idea

Steamed Normandy vegetables (Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
White beans, rinsed and drained(I sometimes use cooked brown lentils)
Cheese sauce

Mix all together and serve over baked potatoes.


Replace the baked potatoes with 2 bags of steak fries, bake until crisp in a 9x13 casserole dish. Add 1 egg to sauce and pour over cooked potatoes and top with grated cheese. Bake until heated through and sauce is slightly set.

Risotto with Black Beans

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
salt and black pepper
2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Arborio rice
1 c. milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the beans and milk and cook, stirring frequently, until milk is absorbed.
Measure 3 1/2 cups of water. Add 3/4 cup at a time and cook, stirring occasionally and waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding the next. It should take 25 to 30 minutes for all the water to be absorbed.
Stir in the Parmesan and oregano.

Curry in a Hurry

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 c. cauliflower florets
1/4 c. chicken broth
2 c. peas
1 can black or white beans, rinsed and drained

Cook curry, onion and pepper in oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until vegetables are cooked. Serve over rice

Kielbasa Fettuccine

1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
7 oz. roasted red bell peppers, drained
1/2 kielbasa
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained.
2 green onions, sliced

Place whipping cream, bell peppers, and Cajun seasoning in a blender. Puree until completely smooth. Slice kielbasa, cook over medium heat until starting to brown. Add and cook with the kielbasa for 2 minutes. Add the pepper puree and cook until slightly thickened. Serve over pasta topped with sliced green onions.

Pesto Soup

You can cut the broth down to 1/4 c. and serve as a pasta dish topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

1 pkg. knorr pesto, cooked according to package directions
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
4 c. chicken broth
1 1/4 c. cooked pasta or rice or other grain

Combine all and simmer until heated through

Creamy Hungarian Bean Soup

I haven't tried this recipe yet, it looked like it might be interesting.

2 c White Beans
2 small Onions, chopped
1 Leek, rinsed and chopped
3 Carrots, diced
6 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Sweet Hungarian Paprika
6 Tbsp Flour
1/2 c Sour Cream
2 tsp Cider Vinegar

Soak beans overnight. Drain them and place in large soup pot with onions, leek, carrots, and garlic. Add water to an inch above the level of the beans. Bring them to a boil and then simmer, covered, until tender (about 1 1/2 hours). Mix in the salt, pepper, and paprika. Ladle out 2 cups of the hot bean water and slowly stir it into the flour until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the beans, stirring constantly. Remove the soup from the heat and whisk in the sour cream and then the vinegar. Gently reheat the soup for about 10 minutes.

Smoky Pinto Bean and Potato Soup

1 medium Onion, chopped
3 large Red potatoes, cut into l/2" cubes
2 Carrots, thinly sliced
1 Celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 cans Cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 1/2 c. beef broth
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Cumin seed
1/4 tsp. Black pepper
2 tsp. Mesquite smoke flavoring
1 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
1/4 lb Chopped smoked sausage

Combine the onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, beans, sausage, and broth in an crock-pot. Stir in the cumin, pepper, smoke flavoring, and vinegar. Cover and cook on HIGH until the vegetables are tender.


Instead of the chilies I use about 1/4 c. of bottled salsa verde. The stuff keeps longer and is cheaper than the canned chilies

3 lb. Pork roast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Ground cumin
1 Tbsp. Salt
2 can pinto beans
2 Tbsp. Chili powder
1 Tbsp. Dried oregano
1 - 2 (4 oz.) Can chilies

Put roast in crock pot. Top with remaining ingredients including beans and their liquid. Add water to cover all. Cook on high 1 hour and on low 6 hours. Remove meat and shred with forks. Return meat to crock pot and cook another hour. Serve on tortillas with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ethiopian Lentils

Ethiopian Lentils

1 lb Lentils
6 c Water or vegetable broth
1 Bell pepper chopped
4-oz can chopped green chiles
2 Red onions; chopped
2 Cloves garlic minced; or more
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Pinch ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. fungreek
Dash nutmeg
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring lentils and broth to boil and simmer 10 minutes.

Add onion, garlic, pepper, chilies, spices, and vinegar. Cook covered for another 30 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed.

Serve with ground black pepper to taste.

For a vegetarian meal, these lentils are good with a dollop of greek yogurt and brown rice.

Spicy black bean and ham soup

Spicy black bean and ham soup

2 can black beans, drained
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut in pieces (or one can ham, crumbled)
6 cups beef broth
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 - 2 Chopped Pasilla chilies
1 4 oz. can chopped jalapeno peppers or mild green chiles
1 clove garlic -- minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp ground thyme
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Greek yogurt and chopped tomatoes -- for garnish

In slow cooker, combine beans, potatoes, ham, broth, onion, chilies, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, thyme, and cloves. Cover and cook on Low 8 to 10 hours or on High 4 to 5 hours. Stir in cilantro. Serve. Garnish bowls with greek yogurt and chopped tomatoes, if desired.

Thai Sweet potato soup

2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 carrots, cut into chucks
Oil or butter
1 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
Salt to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Thai red curry paste (more or less to taste)
2 c. chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained.

Toss together sweet potato, carrots, enough oil to coat vegetables, curry powder, salt to taste and paprika. Bake uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Saute onion and garlic together until fragrant. Stir in the Thai red curry paste until blended. Add the broth, coconut milk and the roasted vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes, remove pot from heat and allow to cool enough to puree. Puree until completely smooth. Add the white beans and return to heat, simmer until heated though.

Garnish top with a sprinkle of paprika and sliced green onions