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.)