Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Pasta Salad

1 bottle black beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb box elbow or shell pasta
1.5 c. corn
1 can whole or diced tomatoes
1-2 c. shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese
1 bunch green onions, diced (optional)
1 c. shredded cooked chicken or 1/2 c. crumbled bacon (optional)

1/2 c. each salsa, BBQ sauce, sour cream, and ranch dressing

Cook pasta according to directions on box. While it's cooking, drain and chop the tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. When pasta is cooked, immediaely drain and rinse with cool water until it is cool to the bite. Shake off excess water. Mix with all other ingredients except dressing and bacon in a large bowl. Stir in dressing a little at a time until it is coated to your liking.

If not serving immediately, you may need to add more dressing before serving as the pasta tends to absorb dressing over time and get dry.

Sprinkle with bacon just prior to serving.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hominy Stew

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil (Or bacon drippings, see notes below)
2 carrots, cut into small chunks
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can hominy, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 green bell pepper, chopped into large pieces
1 tsp. taco powder
1/4 c. salsa verde
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add carrots. Cover and turn heat to low. Stir a few times so the carrots don't brown too much, cook until carrots are starting to get tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 1 hour. Don't let it go dry.

Other options for great added flavor:

1. Saute a few strips of bacon and use the drippings in place of olive oil. Sprinkle the top of the stew with the crumbled bacon.

2. Add Anaheim or hot peppers to the onions when sauteing

3. Add a can of corn in with the other canned ingredients.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Teriyaki Beans

1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 gloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained, liquid reserved.
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 can kidney beans, undrained
2 tsp. cornstarch

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add bell pepper and cook for 1 minute longer. Add pineapple tidbits, brown sugar, soy sauce, and beans with their liquid. Simmer 5 - 10 minutes. Combine cornstarch and reserved pineapple liquid and stir until smooth. Add pineapple mix to the pan and cook until thickened and bubbly.

Serve over rice

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beans Florentine

Vegetarians, skip the chicken, just start with the shallots, and make sure your Parmesan cheese is rennet free.

1 chicken breast
Salt & peppers to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 can white beans
2 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
3 or 4 artichokes heart quarters from a bottle, regular NOT marinated, chopped pretty fine
1 1/2 c. milk
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 oz. white cheddar
1 - 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

Pinch Paprika to Garnish

Heat oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in a skillet. Sprinkle chicken breast with salt and pepper. Cook in oil until browned, but not burned. Remove chicken from heat and set aside. When cool enough to handle shred the chicken.

Meanwhile add the remaining tablespoon of butter to pan. Add the shallots and cook until they are starting to get tender. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Slowly stir in the milk and keep stirring until blended. Add the artichoke hearts, beans, chicken and both cheeses. Stir until blended.

Garnish with a pinch paprika for color

Serve with pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes

Greek Macaroni Salad

1 lb small pasta (Piccolini is really fun here)

1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 can black olives, cut in half
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 small container feta cheese, crumbled
1 tiny bottle pimentos, drained
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 pkg cherry tomatoes, cut in half OR 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small handful fresh parsley chopped (optional)

1/4 c. mayonnaise
2/3 c. greek salad dressing or other vinegar and oil salad dressing

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until tender. While cooking prepare vegetables and set aside.

Whisk mayonnaise until smooth. Slowly whisk in salad dressing until blended. When pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with dressing until coated. Stir in chopped vegetables

Other tasty additions:
Sliced zucchini
chopped spinach
Toasted pinenuts

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Skillet Black Bean Lasagna

For a simpler version skip the vegetables. Just start by adding the water and sauce to the pan and go from there.

Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 zucchini, grated
1 bottle spaghetti sauce
2 1/2 cups water
2 beef bouillon cubes (vegetarians use an imitation version or just water)
1 can black beans, drained
1/2 lb uncooked pasta (radiatore or farfalle are both great)

1/2 c. ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
2 Tbsp mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. parsley
dash salt & pepper

Saute onion, garlic, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and zucchini in olive oil until vegetables are tender. Add spaghetti sauce, water, beef bouillon cubes, and uncooked pasta. Simmer, uncovered until pasta is tender. Check to make sure that sauce doesn't go dry, if it starts to, add water. When the pasta is al dente stir in the black beans.

Combine ricotta, garlic, mozzarella, parmesan, parsley,and salt and pepper. Drip by spoonfuls into skillet, cover and turn heat to medium low. Simmer until ricotta is set. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes before serving

Zucchini Chicken Lentil Soup

2 boneless skin chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1/4 tsp. marjoram

8 cups chicken broth
3/4 c. brown lentils
1 can tomatoes, undrained
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into thin coins
4 zucchini, cut into quarters and then sliced

Combine salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and marjoram. Sprinkle chicken with combined spices. Cook in olive oil and butter over medium heat with onion until chicken is well browned, but not charred. Removed chicken from pan. Set aside.

Add broth and stir, scrapping bottom of pan, to deglaze. Add lentils and tomatoes and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. When chicken is cooled, shred. Add carrots, zucchini, and shredded chicken. Simmer until vegetables are cooked.

Tuscan White Bean Soup

4 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. Flour
1 medium yellow onion, quartered lengthwise
1 medium stalk celery, quartered crosswise
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, cut in half
2 cans cannellini beans, drained
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary OR 1 tsp dried
1 Tbsp pomegranate juice
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
4 cups chicken broth
olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Chopped fresh parsley

Toss onion, garlic, and carrot with a little olive oil and roast at 450 until carrot is mostly tender, but not soft, about 30 minutes.

Mean while saute bacon until crisp. Remove from grease and set aside. Saute celery in dripping until translucent. Add 2 Tbsp. flour and cook, stirring until starting to bubble and darken in color. Add chicken broth, beans, bay leaf, rosemary, and roasted vegetables. Simmer for 20 minutes, until vegetables are completely tender, almost to the point of mushy. Remove the bay leaf and the rosemary sprig. Puree all until smooth.

Stir in juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley

Vegetarians and vegans - skip the bacon and saute in olive oil. Use a vegan substitution for the chicken broth, my favorite is always Edward & Sons

Monday, May 17, 2010

Asparagus Pilaf

I also suspect that orzo (rice shaped pasta)would be very good here in place of the rice. Dont cook it first, just add some extra water in with the broth and simmer until orzo is cooked.

2 1/2 c. cooked quinoa
1/2 c. cooked rice
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
Olive Oil
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 carrot, grated
1 c. chicken broth (Edward & Sons bouillon cubes make an excellent vegan substitution)
1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces (the thinner the better)
1 can garbanzo beans, lightly mashed

Saute onion, garlic, and carrot in olive oil until tender. Add broth and asparagus and cover. Simmer over low until asparagus is tender. Add quinoa, rice and lemon juice and stir, simmer, uncovered until liquid is almost absorbed. Add beans and simmer until liquid is gone.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jules Style Pasta Primavera

This is my version on Pasta primavera, it's a little different than cecilottas version but both are excellent, I only changed it to use what I already had on hand.

1/2 lb thin asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut into coins
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 c. chicken broth OR 1 c. water with 1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 lb cellentani pasta,
1 can white kidney beans, drained
1 Tbsp. flour
1/3 c. heavy cream

Boil water and salt. Cook pasta until al dente, drain

Saute asparagus, carrot, onion, bell pepper, and garlic in butter until slightly tender. Add the beans and chicken stock and simmer until absorbed. When mostly absorbed add the flour, stir to coat, and let cook a bit. Add the pasta and the cream and stir to combine. Let cook over medium low heat until thickened.

Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Taste of Home Contest Winner

I got home today and found this in my inbox.


Congratulations! You came in 2nd in our "Make it Meatless" Contest! My name is John McMillan; I'm an editor here at Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking, and I want to congratulate you on taking second place! We'd like to feature you and your recipe in the August 2010 issue of Healthy Cooking. (You'll receive a free copy of this issue, too.)

One of the recipes from this blog will be in Taste of Home! Check back the end of July (once the magazine is published) for which recipe.


One of my favorite cooking blogs just featured a hash recipe. It inspired me to make some of my own, and by inspired I mean made me search for something to eat an egg over)

4 or 5 strips bacon
4 or 5 potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 handfuls frozen green beans (Or 1 can)
1 bottle small red beans or adzuki beans, drained
Butter (about 1/2 stick)or oil
Mortons Nature Seasons OR Salt and Pepper

Several Eggs

Fry bacon until crisp. Chop potatoes into small pieces, about 1/4 inch wide. Remove bacon from pan. Saute potatoes and onions in pan until potatoes are starting to get tender, dont let the pan get dry or the potatoes will stick, add butter or oil to grease pan. Let cook about 10 minutes more, only stirring three of four times to let potatoes crisp a bit. Chop the green beans into small pieces. Add to pan with 1/2 water, beans, and seasoning to taste. Simmer until liquid is absorbed.

Can serve as is or crack eggs on top and cover pan, when eggs are cooked to desired donenss remove from heat.

Sprinkle hash with reserved bacon

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Confetti Bean Pilaf

This is a great way to use up leftovers in the fridge - in fact that's how I came up with it. Leftover beans, veggies (cooked or not), and rice or other grains are all fair game. You could use uncooked rice too, just be sure to use the proper amount of liquid for cooking it and lengthen the cooking time.

2 c. leftover cold cooked rice or other grain
1-2 cans beans, any kinds
1. c water
2 tsp. chicken or vegetable bouillon
1 tsp bouquet garni
2 large onions, diced
6-8 cloves garlic, finely diced
1-2 c. any vegetables you like, cooked or raw, cut into small pieces (I used 2 fresh tomatoes and a leftover carrot)
4-5 T. olive oil

In a large, heavy frying pan, saute onions and any uncooked hard vegetables (such as carrots) in olive oil over med-low heat until they are very soft and beginning to brown, add garlic and saute, stirring, for a few more minutes until garlic is softened.

Add rice, water, bouillon, and herbs and cover. Simmer over med-low to low heat until water is almost absorbed, checking once or twice and stirring to make sure rice doesn't stick to the bottom - about 10 minutes.

When liquid is almost absorbed, add beans with their liquid and any cooked or soft veggies (peas, tomatoes, cooked carrots, etc). Cover and simmer another 5-10 minutes until vegetables and beans are heated through. The rice should very soft and almost saucy - neither dry nor watery. if it begins to dry out, add chicken broth a splash at a time, if it is too runny, simmer a few more minutes uncovered.

Salt and pepper to taste if desired.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spicy Quinoa Peppers

This makes 8 peppers for an entree or use the smaller peppers for an appetizer. If you want yours a lot spicier add the seeds you remove from the peppers into the onions when you saute

4 Anaheim peppers or 12 jalapeno peppers, cut in half lenght wise, seeds removed
1 c. cooked quinoa
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and divided
1 onion, chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
1/2 c. cheese, plus more to top
1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. salsa verde

Saute onion and garlic until onion is tender. Add bell pepper and saute until soft, add salsa verde. Mash half of the beans until a paste and lightly mash the other half, just to break up a bit into smaller pieces. Combine beans, quinoa, onion/salsa mix, and cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Fill peppers with quinoa mix. Place in a greased baking dish and cover with tin foil. Bake at 420 for 30 minutes or until peppers are tender. Turn oven to broil, top with remaining cheese and broil uncovered until cheese starts to bubble and brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving

Red Quinoa Salad with Poblanos and Avocado cream

Anaheim peppers an not very hot and make a great substitution from the poblanos. Southwest seasoning is NOT the same as taco seasoning.

1/2 c. Red Quinoa
1 c. water
1 lime, zest and juice
Salt to taste
1 1/2 tsp Southwest Seasoning
1/4 c. Olive Oil
3/4 c. Corn an Black Bean Salsa
3 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 c. fresh Poblano or seeded JalapeƱo peppers, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside. In a large serving bowl, whisk lime juice with zest, salt, Southwest seasoning, and salsa. Add olive oil and whisk until well blended. Add quinoa to the dressing and toss. Add scallions, peppers, avocado, cilantro, and beans and toss well. Garnish with additional cilantro and lime zest, if desired. Serve with avocado cream.

Avocado Cream
1 ripe avocado, well mashed
1/4 c. plain non-fat Greek-style yogurt or sour cream
1/2 lime, zest and juice
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk all ingredients together until creamy.

Vegans use a silken tofu in place of the yogurt.