Category Archives: Beans

Black Bean Salsa

Black Bean Salsa

I gotta tell you… My brother in law makes the best fish tacos.  Better than anyone that I know.  And lucky for us, we were invited to dinner last night.  I am not one to ever go to someone’s home empty handed so I made some salsas to share.  First of all, I made my Black Bean Salsa and a yummy Restaurant Style Salsa by Tia at iamsimplytia.com.

My black bean salsa is good for you and super simple to make.  It has tender black beans, red onion, juicy grape tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, lime, and spices.  Both salsas were great additions to last night’s dinner.  As far as the fish tacos go…  I will share the recipe at a later date.  They were simply scrumptious.  Meanwhile, I hope that you enjoy the Black Bean Salsa.  We sure did!  Tessa

Black Bean Salsa Ingredients:

  • 1 15 ounce can black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp jalapeno pepper finely chopped (I like to use more)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper or to taste

Begin by grabbing a medium sized mixing bowl.  Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Lightly toss and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors marry.  Serve with chips, put in burritos, tacos, salads or serve as a side dish.  Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Tia’s Restaurant Style Salsa.  You gotta try it, it’s really good!  Thanks Tia!  Click here to get the recipe.

Mixed Bean Soup

Mixed Bean Soup

It’s been two weeks into 2012 and I am happy to say that I am doing a fairly good job of living up to my New Year’s expectation of being less wasteful in the kitchen.  Often times when I make soup from dried beans that I purchase in those little plastic bags, I have some leftover beans.  So, I keep a jar in my cupboard just for that purpose.  I toss the leftover dried beans into the jar and I give it a gentle shake to mix them up, taking care not to break the beans.

My little jar of mixed beans is proof that cooking a great bowl of soup is not rocket science.  Every time I make my mixed bean soup, it is not exactly the same as the last time and in fact may taste a bit different than the last time I made it depending on the mixture of the beans.  I say so what and who cares?  The point is to use what you have, make it taste great and be less wasteful.

I bet you may be wondering what’s currently in my mixed bean jar?   There are some black beans, pinto beans, brown lentils, great northern beans, split peas both green and yellow, lima beans, black eyed peas, garbanzos, and red beans.  After I shot this photo, I removed 2 cups of beans from this jar for my soup and  I then tossed in some Anasazi beans and lima beans for later use.

My recipe for Mixed Bean Soup is hearty, good for you and very easy to make.  You can use whatever mixture of dried beans you have on hand or if you want, you could buy a more expensive premixed blend of beans.  My Mixed Bean Soup has Italian style tomatoes, beef stock, onions, celery, carrots, oregano, basil, cumin, and I even tossed in a bit of leftover ham that was tucked away in my fridge.  You could even make this in a slow cooker if you would like.  Just toss in all the ingredients, place on low, cover, and walk away for about 8 hours.  Cooking time may vary depending on the type of beans that you use.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried mixed beans (picked over and soaked in water overnight)
  • 2 quarts of beef stock (use more if desired)
  • 1 – 28 ounce can of Italian style crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup carrot (chopped)
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped ham (optional)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Place all ingredients in a large pot.  Cover, cook low and slow for about 2 hours or until beans are tender.  Stir occasionally. Be sure to taste the soup and correct your seasonings.  Dish up, garnish with parsley and serve.  Makes about 8 servings.  Can be frozen for later use.

Note: This is a really good recipe for busy college students.  It’s easy on the wallet and you can get a few good meals out of this…

Cranberry Bean Chili Con Carne

Cranberry Bean Chili Con Carne

Can you believe that I started my new year without any resolutions?  Nope, none, nothing, nada…  I have a tough time keeping resolutions.  Every year I say I have one, I am good for a few short months and then my bad habits creep right back up on me.  This year is different.  I decided that this year I am having “New Year’s Expectations”.  Expectations, I know I can do.  Expectations are attainable and having expectations is how I operate.

One of my expectations for 2012 is to be less wasteful in the kitchen.  Instead of buying expensive store bought vegetable and meat stocks, I will make my own.  It saves money and helps keep spoiled vegetables in the vegetable drawer of my refrigerator to a minimum.  I also expect to be more creative with the use of leftovers.  That also saves money and valuable refrigerator space too.

Last night I made a gorgeous prime rib roast for New Year’s Day dinner.  I had a couple of pounds of the roast leftover in the refrigerator this morning.  Living up to my “new” expectations, I decided to make a Cranberry Bean Chili Con Carne.  My Cranberry Bean Chili Con Carne is made with leftover prime rib roast, cranberry beans, homemade beef stock (from the prime rib), onions, garlic, carrots (leftover too!), extra dark cocoa powder  and fragrant spices.  Top your bowl of Cranberry Bean Chili Con Carne with fresh grated cheddar cheese, green onions and red bell pepper.  Makes about 2 quarts of chili or 8 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

 Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried cranberry beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 pound leftover prime rib or roast beef cubed (fat removed)
  • 1 cup white onion chopped
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock (0r more if needed)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbls. extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. dark chili powder
  • 1 Tbls. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbls. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. seasoning salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onion and chopped red pepper.

Begin by washing, picking over and soaking the cranberry beans in a bowl of water overnight.  Grab a large pot with a tight fitting lid.  On medium heat saute your onion, shallots and carrots in the olive oil.  Cook until onion is opaque.  Add soaked cranberry beans and the remaining ingredients with the exception of the garnishes. Cook for about 4 hours on very low or until beans are cooked to your liking.  Be sure to keep an eye on it and stir occasionally.  Taste the chili, correct your salt level, add additional stock if needed and ladle into bowls.  Garnish with shredded cheese, sliced green onions red pepper.  Note:  Go ahead and make this in your slow cooker.  About 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Black Bean Soup

 

Black Bean Soup

I’ve spent the morning digging around my lap top’s hard drive looking at some old photos.  I happened to find this photo of a bowl of my Black Bean Soup. I really liked the photo and back then, my family thought that my soup was pretty good.  I took this shot a few months back when I was first learning how to use my camera.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s been over a year and I still don’t know how to completely use my camera!  My camera is an Olympus E420 DSLR type camera that my husband gave to me as a gift.  He bought it with the intent that I just might use the camera for family photos and that I just might take pictures of vacations and special events.  Little did he know that he would help create a food blog monster…

Anyways, if you get the chance, make my Black Bean Soup.  It’s tasty, hearty and perfect for a cold winter day.  It has black beans, ham, vegetables and has a wonderful southwestern inspired flavor.  Any leftovers can be frozen and used at a later date.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dried black beans (soaked overnight or about 8 hours)
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 pound ham, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 2 -3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbls. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. dried cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. dark chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • sour cream, chives and paprika for garnish

Put your black beans in a bowl and pick over.  Picking over means checking for small rocks or foreign material.  I know that it sounds weird but if you want to chip a tooth or lose a filling then omit this step…  Add water and let soak for about 8 hours or overnight.  Rinse and drain.  In a pot with a tight fitting lid add the beans, ham and 2 quarts chicken broth and cook on low until beans are tender or about 2 hours.  Buzz with your hand blender for about 30 seconds or until smooth (optional).

In a pan sauté the chopped onion, pepper, celery and carrots in olive oil until the onions turn light golden brown.  Add the vegetables to the pot.  Now add your garlic paste, cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, and black pepper.  Put the lid on mixture and cook on low, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour.  Taste and correct the salt level if needed.  Add a bit of water if the soup is too thick for your liking.  Garnish with sour cream and fresh chopped chives.  Makes about 3 1/2 quarts of soup.

Ham and Lima Bean Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ham and Lima Bean Soup

Last week after I bought my son a slow cooker I promised him that I would post simple recipes that he could make while studying at the university.  He has a rigorous class schedule and other activities that keep him busy throughout the day.  So, cooking dinner for himself may not be as convenient as he would like it to be.  My goal is to help him create dishes that are quick to pull together, fairly healthy and since he’s a college student, dishes that are easy on the wallet.  My recipe for Ham and Lima Bean Soup is satisfyingly simple and tastes fabulous with a slice of fresh baked cornbread or a crusty French roll.

My savory Ham and Lima Bean Soup is made with a smoked ham shank, lima beans, onions, celery, carrots, and spices.  If you can’t find smoked ham shanks at the store, it’s no big deal.  Feel free to substitute a cup of coarsely chopped ham or a small smoked ham hock.  If you are in a vegan mood, go ahead and omit the ham and use a good quality vegetable stock instead.  Makes about 4 servings.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Oh, if you don’t own a slow cooker, don’t despair!  You can easily cook this on your stove top.  Just go low and slow.  Cook it tightly covered and keep an eye on it.  It will cook faster on the stove top than in the slow cooker.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small ham shank
  • 8 ounces dried large lima beans (soaked in water overnight)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbls. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbls. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • seasoning salt to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Begin by chopping your vegetables and place them into the slow cooker.  Add the ham shank.  Drain and rinse your lima beans well and add to the slow cooker.  Add all the ingredients into the pot with the exception of the chopped parsley and seasoning salt.  Cook on low for about 7 hours or until the beans are tender (or on high for about 4 hours). Remove the ham shank from the pot and set aside to cool.  When cool enough to handle, use your clean fingers and pick all the ham from the bone.  Add the ham back to the soup and continue to cook a bit more or until the ham is heated through.  Toss out the ham bone or any inedible pieces.  Fish out your bay leaf, taste your soup and correct your salt level with the seasoning salt if necessary. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.

Note:  The soup can be frozen and the recipe can be doubled.  Also, I have learned that not all slow cookers are created equal.  You may find that yours cooks faster or maybe even slower than my recipe describes.