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Posts tagged “black beans

Chipotle Black Bean Quesadillas with Avocado Cream

Black Bean Chipotle Quesadilla with Avocado Cream

I have some exciting news for you! Well, it’s exciting to me, anyway, and I hope you find it exciting too … Sumptuous Spoonfuls is teaming up with Swiss Diamond International. I will be crafting some recipes for Swiss Diamond International using their cookware. They are not paying me to do this, but they are giving me samples of their cookware to use in developing their recipes.

I was really excited when Swiss Diamond International contacted me, and even more excited after I read about their cookware.  I was intrigued by the use of diamonds in cookware. This is from Swiss Diamond’s web site:

  • Diamonds are durable - As the hardest material known to man, diamonds give the coating additional strength and resilience.
  • Diamonds are a better heat conductor than metal - Four times more conductive than copper, diamonds create even heat distribution across the pan’s surface. Diamonds also allow the pan to brown food like stainless steel, creating a “fond” that can be used for gravy – or easily washed away with warm soapy water.
  • Diamonds are naturally nonstick - One of the most valuable properties of diamonds in a nonstick coating is that very little sticks to them. Coupled with their durability, this creates a lifetime of superior performance.

So I was curious to see if it really works … and I have to say I absolutely love these pans! They cook like a dream … the heat distributes across the pan so well. The food cooks faster and so evenly. And nothing sticks to the pan … with no cooking spray or butter. I tried some of the stickiest, most difficult things (like fried rice) and nothing stuck. And they’re so easy to clean too. (By the way, while Swiss Diamond did give me the pans, they did not pay me to say that … this is my honest experience.) I’m curious to see how well they retain that magic nonstick surface … I guess time will tell.

Black Bean Chipotle Quesadillas with Avocado Cream

For this recipe, I used the crepe/omelet pan. This little pan is by far my favorite so far. It has a low lip so that it’s easy to flip crepes, omelets, and pancakes. (Even the IHOP-style pancakes that have always been a struggle for me to flip … I found I can even make giant  pancakes – bigger than IHOP’s! – in this pan and they cook and flip SO nicely.) Anyway, I was craving a quesadilla the other day and thought this pan would be perfect for that. I wanted to try making it without any oil or cooking spray and see if the tortilla got properly crisped and browned on both sides. And you know what? It did.

You don’t have to have a crepe / omelet pan to make these quesadillas … any frying pan will do. But it sure makes cooking a pleasure.

Black Bean Chipotle Quesadilla with Avocado Cream in Swiss Diamond International Crepe/Omelet Pan

 Chipotle Black Bean Quesadilla with Avocado Cream

For each quesadilla:

  • 1/2 of a ripe avocado
  • 1 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • juice from 1/4 – 1/2 of a fresh lime
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons plain nonfat yogurt (optional)
  • 2 tortillas that fit the size of your pan. I used some whole wheat “wraps” that were a little smaller than my crepe pan.
  • Refried black beans (homemade or canned)
  • About a Tablespoon of finely chopped onion
  • About a Tablespoon of finely chopped chipotle pepper (a jalapeno roasted on the grill would also work)
  • About 1/2 oz. of finely shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • For serving: your favorite salsa. A fire-roasted salsa is especially nice with this quesadilla!

Directions:

  1. First, make the Avocado cream by mashing the avocado in a bowl, then mash in the cream cheese, onion, garlic and lime juice and stir until everything is mixed well and the mixture is fairly smooth. Add a teaspoon or two of plain nonfat yogurt if you like to get it to a nice spreadable consistency.
  2. Take one tortilla and spread it with a layer of refried black beans, then spread on a layer of avocado cream. Sprinkle the onion and chipotle pepper over, then sprinkle evenly with the shredded cheddar and top it all off with the 2nd tortilla.
  3. Heat your pan over medium heat. If your pan needs it, spray the pan with cooking spray, then slide the quesadilla into the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, then check to see if the bottom is nicely browned and crisp. Once it’s brown, flip the quesadilla over with a spatula and cook until it’s brown on the other side and the cheese is melted. (The bottom half is crisp by now so the quesadilla is fairly easy to flip, but if you are making a large quesadilla, you may need to slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board and then flip it over back into the pan.)
  4. Slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board, cut into wedges, and serve with the salsa.

Black Bean Chipotle Quesadillas with Avocado Cream

If you would like to purchase Swiss Diamond cookware, visit http://www.swissdiamond.us/.

This recipe was shared at Show & Share WednesdayCast Party WednesdayThursday’s TreasuresGala Dinner PartyFit & Fabulous FridaysFriday Food Fight, Weekend Potluck and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.


Bulgur Black Bean Salad with Tomato & Avocado

Bulgur Black Bean & Fresh Tomato Salad with Avocado & Jalapeno

My friend gave me some cooked bulgur when we went camping together … in a way, I wonder if she gave it to me just so she could see what I would do with it. I brought it home. It sat in the fridge till I was nearly sure it must have gone bad already … and then, suddenly, I was craving Mexican food. Something with black beans and jalapenos and tomatoes and cilantro and onions. And then it occurred to me what to do with the bulgur: give it a KICK! I made this salad one day last week and munched, munched, munched all afternoon.

Last weekend my friend came up to my parents’ place for the first time EVER, with her hubby and youngest son. We ate antelope & venison that my dad cooked on the grill, dad’s garden potatoes mixed with peppers, spices and cheese and my tarragon roasted vegetables. Then the next day we munched on Dad’s fabulous fresh garden melons. I fed them caramel peach bread pudding, chocolate zucchini cake, and sandwiches made from the roasted veggies and grilled meat (yes, in that order).

And after we had eaten all of that, I remembered  the bulgur salad. Everyone was stuffed, but I made my friend taste a bite of it anyway, since she had given me the bulgur. She loved it, so I sent it home with her.

Bulgur Black Bean Salad with Avocado & Fresh Tomato

I played around a little with stuffing a couple tomatoes with the salad for a pretty presentation … what do you think? (Vegies in the background are stray bounty from my mom & dad’s garden … it’s everywhere!)

Bulgur Black Bean Salad with Fresh Tomato & Avocado

This is a hearty, spicy, flavorful salad that you could serve as a meal all by itself.

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked bulgur
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 or 2 medium fresh garden tomatoes, chopped

Dressing:

  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped jalapeno (use more or less jalapeno according to how hot & spicy you like it)
  • 1/2 – 1 whole avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped (I only had about 1/2 an avocado, but I think the salad would be tastier with more!)
  • Garnish: cilantro or parsley leaves and a slice of fresh lime

Directions:

  1. Toss together the cooked bulgur, onion, black beans, and tomatoes in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, cumin, honey, and cilantro (or parsley) until well blended. Gently fold the avocado pieces into the dressing to coat. (This will help keep the avocado from turning black.)
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to mix. Garnish with a twisted slice of lime and some cilantro (or parsley) just before serving.

Bulgur Black Bean Salad with Fresh Tomato, Sweet Onion & Avocado

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Friday.


Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Confetti Pizza

Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Fiesta Pizza

Yesterday was another dance competition day. Dance competition days are always SO busy … I’m surprised I had time to do anything with food. But I did! While my daughter was getting ready, I had a little time to make myself some lunch. I pulled out a pizza crust from the freezer (one of my sunflower rosemary flatbreads) and started topping it. I went a little crazy with the toppings, but it was fun. And filling. And delicious. A fiesta on a pizza. I had to stop in the middle of it to go help my girl with her hair. Then I had to get my sewing machine out to fix the strap on her costume. But somehow I managed to get my belly happy and full before we left, and that was good.

I even found time to make lunch and a little food care package for my daughter to eat at the competition … they never seem to have any healthy food at dance competitions. I packed her a PB&J on a fresh bun, a package of strawberries and an apple … it was a VERY good thing to have along. Everyone else was eating greasy, over-salted popcorn, donuts, candy, soda and brownies — or fast food they ran out and bought. Some of these dancers were there for over 12 hours. Next time we decided we need to bring a cooler full of food so our kids have something good to eat.

Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Confetti Pizza

Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Confetti Pizza

Makes one individual-sized pizza. If you want a bigger pizza, double the ‘sauce’

  • 1 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1/4 of a ripe avocado
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of salsa
  • 1 pizza crust
  • Black beans, cooked
  • Corn, cooked
  • Red onions, thinly sliced
  • Finely chopped jalapeno (or bell pepper, chopped, if you don’t want it so spicy)
  • Chopped fresh tomato
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • A few slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • Slices of avocado
  • Green onions, snipped

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, smash the avocado with a fork, then mix with the cream cheese and salsa. Spread it all over the pizza crust. If you have any left, use it as a dip with corn chips (oh SO good … Or you could just make extra for dip).
  2. Top with black beans, corn, red onions, jalapeno and tomato.
  3. Dot the pizza with goat cheese crumbles, then add bits of cheddar cheese here and there.
  4. Bake (on a pizza stone, if you have one) at 450 for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the pizza is nice and hot all the way through and the cheddar cheese is melted.
  5. Top with slices of avocado and green onion … and cilantro, if you have it. I didn’t. I wanted some, but they were all out at the store.

Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Confetti Pizza

This recipe was shared at Everyday Mom’s Meals, Talent Show TuesdaysThursday’s Treasures and Recipe of the Week-Secret Ingredient: CornKatherine Martinelli’s Bean Blog Hop and Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.


Cheesy Rice & Black Bean Burritos

… and a game of “tag” … I was tagged twice, first by Good Cooks and then Chef in Disguise tagged me again

I don’t know that I even think of this as a recipe … it is one of those throw-it-together kind of lunches, something I could almost do in my sleep. You could add a sauce over the top if you like. My sister has a great recipe for homemade red sauce that would be awesome on these.

I was making my burrito for lunch, so I just wrapped my burrito in a napkin and munched away on it while I worked … but it’s a great quick meal to throw together for a hearty Meatless Monday meal, or if you have some meat you want to toss in, chop it up and add it with the beans and rice.

Cheesy Rice & Black Bean Burritos

Add in other stuff as you please … or leave out anything you don’t like. This is a very forgiving recipe.

  • Black beans, cooked and drained
  • Cooked rice (I used basmati rice)
  • Large flour tortillas (whole wheat or regular … )
  • Your favorite salsa (I used my funky kiwi, kumquat, and mango salsa … the salsa you choose is going to really impact the flavor so pick a good one!)
  • Optional: chopped jalapenos or green chile
  • Chopped onion & avocado
  • Shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend + some shredded sharp cheddar)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

First, make sure the black beans and rice are good and hot.

For each burrito, heat a large tortilla in the microwave briefly until it’s warm. (Warm tortillas fold better.) Put a couple spoonfuls of beans in the center of the tortilla in a rectangular-ish shape and mash them roughly with a fork. (You could use refried beans too in place of the black beans … that works well too …) Top with a few spoonfuls of salsa and the rice.

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and microwave on high for a minute or two until the cheese melts, then toss on some cilantro.

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

Now fold over the short edges of the burrito and then fold over the long end.

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

and then just roll it up …

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

If you were going to add sauce, this would be where you would pour the hot sauce over top, maybe add a little more cheese, then microwave it a bit more to get that cheese on top all melty.

(Instead of microwave-melting the cheese, you could make a bunch of these, put them in a baking pan, cover with sauce and a bit more cheese and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or so or until everything is all hot and bubbly.)

Cheesy Rice & Black Bean Burrito

Now for the tag game … I’ve been tagged, so I have to answer the following questions, then tag 5 other bloggers who are supposed to do the same.

Describe yourself in 7 words…

Foodie, Tree Hugger, Geek, Empath, Mother, Dreamer, Friend

What keeps you up at night?

Usually I sleep well, but sometimes I worry. Sometimes I stay up too late talking to my best friend … or out on a date. I’m divorced, yes, so I worry about men and love and where things are going in my life. My mind can also get busy wondering, pondering, fearing for my childrens’ future. Sometimes I can’t sleep because I think of a really good idea for a recipe and I’m so excited to make it. Sometimes I stay up late to finish writing up a blog post. Sometimes I stress over stupid things like how to make an ugly food look good. Once in a while I stress over work.

Who would you like to be?

I want to just be me and not let anybody get in the way of that. Being an empath, that’s hard to do because I feel what other people feel and I care so much about my friends and family. I guess, though, that is who I am.

What scares you?

Global warming and how people take our earth for granted. What’s going to happen in my children’s lifetime … and their childrens’ lifetime. Will our earth be able to recover from what we are doing to it?

Sometimes the thought of being alone scares me too. But since I started this blog, really, I never am alone …

What are the best and worst things about blogging?

The very best thing about blogging is the wonderful friends I have made along the way. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it feels to wake up every morning to this fantastic group of caring, loving people. Foodies are the most generous, sweet, kind people you will ever meet, and having a food blog has brought me friends from all over the world I would never have met or even known of if I didn’t have this blog.

The worst thing about blogging … I suppose it is the time, because it does take a lot of time. But every moment I’m blogging or cooking for the blog is pure joy. I blog because I love it.

What is the last website you looked at?

I went to my sister’s food blog: She Eats Pork and Fishes … to find the recipe for the burrito sauce.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To love and respect myself more. To be kinder and more forgiving to myself. To stand up for myself and say no sometimes, rather than trying to please so many people. To be a stronger, better mother.

Slankets, yes or no?

Seriously? You want to know that? No, really, you don’t care. This is not important … (um, what’s a slanket anyway?)

Tell us something about the person who tagged you…

Samah (Good Cooks) is a mother from Palestine who lives here in the US now. Her photographs and recipes are just phenomenal. She is adventurous and brave in the kitchen and tackles all sorts of different recipes, and although I’ve not met her in person, I am sure that is how she is in real life too. Everything she cooks makes me drool …

Sawsan (Chef in Disguise) is a wonderful cook, a talented photographer and a sweet, sweet person. She is a mother and a doctor, but she is also my friend. She has so many good things to say. I love the variety of foods that she makes–she teaches me about foods I had never heard of. She has a heart of gold.

Tag, you’re it!

Now to pass on this game to five other bloggers … it’s so hard to choose … but I pick:

  1. Bobbi’s Cozy Kitchen
  2. Cooking with Mel
  3. Debi at Recipes for my Boys
  4. Bia at Rich and Sweet
  5. Melissa at ChinDeep

This recipe was shared at Meatless MondaysTotally Tasty Tuesdays, Midweek FiestaNewlyweds Recipe LinkyCast Party Wednesday, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Spicy Shrimp, Avocado & Black Bean Bites

Spicy Shrimp, Avocado, & Black Bean Bites

This is a quick, easy, healthy, delicious and fancy shmancy looking appetizer that could easily morph into a dinner, if you skipped making the little cups and served the shrimp mixture over rice or even rolled it up into a tortilla, burrito-style.

The cups are simply tortilla triangles sprayed with cooking oil and baked.

You could fill the pretty little cups with just about anything your little heart desires … I just happened to have some black beans, shrimp, salsa, cilantro, and lime juice on hand, begging to be used in something delicious …

Spicy Shrimp, Avocado & Black Bean Bites

Spicy Shrimp, Avocado, & Black Bean Bites

  • Large flour tortillas (white or whole wheat or whatever flavor you like)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery, leaves reserved
  • 2 -3 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 1 cup of fresh or frozen shrimp
  • 1 cup of cooked black beans
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite salsa (I used my kiwi, kumquat, & mango salsa)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Avocado, peeled and cut into little chunks and/or shredded cheese if you like

Directions:

Cut the flour tortillas into 6 triangles. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and wedge one tortilla triangle into each muffin cup. Spray the tops of the tortillas with cooking spray and  bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes or until the tortillas are golden brown and crispy.

Tortilla appetizer cups

Now, make the filling:

  1. Chop the onion, celery and garlic, reserving the celery leaves for later.
  2. Spray a cooking pan with cooking spray, heat over medium high heat till hot, then add the onion, garlic and celery and saute briefly. Add the white wine and saute for a few minutes or until the wine dissipates and the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the shrimp and black beans and saute a few minutes longer until the shrimp is cooked through. Add the salsa and lime juice and stir everything together just briefly till it’s all good and hot.
  4. Stir in the reserved celery leaves and most of the cilantro leaves, reserving some for garnish.
  5. Spoon a bit of the filling into each tortilla cup, garnishing with avocado, cilantro, and cheese (if desired). I tried it both with and without the cheese and it is good both ways.

Spicy Shrimp Avocado & Black Bean Bites

You can make the filling ahead of time (like I did) and assemble these babies right before serving.

This recipe was shared at Weekend PotluckTotally Tasty TuesdaysTrick or Treat Tuesdays, and Talent Show Tuesdays.


Yellow Watermelon Salsa – Two Ways

Yellow Watermelon Salsa - Two Ways

I suppose it might seem a little odd to be posting a watermelon salsa on December 1st, but believe it or not, I still have some watermelon to use up from my dad’s garden. He had such a huge crop of yellow watermelon this year that they actually donated a trailerfull of them to the local school so they could serve it to the children for lunch! Isn’t that amazing? And then there were still a bunch left! They didn’t have room for all of them in the fridge so they were storing them in the shed. Luckily the weather cooperated and brought cool but not overly chilly temperatures. Last time they came down to visit they brought me 10 watermelon! Each one is small … but still, how do you use 10 watermelon?

I gave six of them away, I made watermelon sorbet, I made some watermelon tequila, and then I made salsa. We are down to half a watermelon which I think will get eaten without any special preparations.

First I made a “plain” watermelon salsa. I think this salsa would be delicious over chicken, fish or pork. It’s fruity, with a light sweetness, spicy, fun. It makes your body feel good inside the same way that a cool watermelon does on a hot summer day. And the colors are just so fantastic too!

Yellow Watermelon Salsa

Then I remembered how much our friends loved the black bean salsa I made a while back and I thought perhaps I should add some black beans. This black bean watermelon salsa has a bit more substance. The beans add protein and a really nice flavor and texture contrast to the sweet, crunchy watermelon. This black bean version would be great with chips or in a salad. I am also thinking melted cheese on chips with this black bean watermelon salsa spooned over would be such an amazing snack.

Watermelon Salsa Two Ways

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 1 1/2 bell peppers
  • 2 jalapenos (for a milder salsa, use a smaller amount of jalapeno, or leave it out altogether)
  • 2 c. seeded watermelon, cut into very small chunks (I used yellow watermelon, but you can use red)
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a few sprigs of fresh basil, chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • juice of half a lime
  • 2nd Way: add 2/3 cup or so of black beans

Toss the garlic, onion, and peppers into a handi chopper or food processor and process till finely chopped (or chop them finely with a knife). In a medium bowl, combine the pepper mixture with the watermelon, tomatoes, salt, herbs and lime juice.

If you want a “meatier”, more substantial salsa, stir in the black beans.

Watermelon Black Bean Salsa

I bottled some of the black bean watermelon salsa up to give to our TaeKwonDo instructors. They really love black bean salsa and I think they’re going to LOVE this one.


Mexican Style Breakfast Bake … Olé!

Mexican Style Breakfast Bake Ole!

Yesterday I saw a post at Becky’s Root Cellar for Mexican Style Baked Eggs and it looked so colorful and delicious I immediately wanted to try it. Reviewing the recipe, I just felt it needed one more thing: potatoes.

I substituted several of the ingredients with some of my corn and black bean salsa, which took care of a bunch of things that the recipe called for and I just happened to have some already mixed up in my fridge, like it was just waiting for this dish …

Oh man this is good.

Mexican Style Breakfast Bake Ole!

Mexican Style Breakfast Bake … Olé!

Serves 2 – 4. You could easily scale it up to feed a crowd with not too much more effort.

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 med-large potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups corn & black bean salsa (recipe here - if you don’t like things too hot, just cut down on the amount of jalapeno)
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 strips bacon (optional), cooked & crumbled — but I think some cooked chorizo would be amazing in this!
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend of cheeses
  • Fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat, then add the potatoes. Cover and cook, opening and stirring frequently, until the potatoes are tender and cooked through and lightly browned on the side. Add salt (or Red Robin seasoning) and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the onion and bell pepper and sautee for a few minutes longer until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the salsa, black beans, bacon (if you are using it) and cook a few minutes more until the entire mixture is good and hot.
  5. Stir in the tomato, oregano and cheese.
  6. If your pan is oven proof, you can just flatten the mixture, then crack your eggs over top and put it in the oven to bake. My frying pan is not oven proof, so I sprayed my ceramic tortilla warmer with cooking spray, then poured in the mixture, spread it flat, and cracked the eggs on top. (You could also use a 9x9x2 inch baking pan.)
  7. Bake at 375 until the eggs are set. Becky says it takes 8 – 10 minutes, but mine took considerably longer, more like 20 – 30 minutes (I wasn’t really keeping track … working and cooking at the same time!)
  8. Sprinkle with a few fresh oregano or cilantro leaves for garnish and serve with hot tortillas and your favorite Mexican condiments (guacamole, sour cream, cilantro leaves, salsa … whatever you fancy!)

Mexican Style Baked Eggs

This recipe was entered in the November Blog Hop & Giveaway: Favorite Vegetable Recipes on the FaveDiets blog and shared at Melt in your Mouth MondaysFavorite Breakfast Recipes, and Recipe of the Week: Mexican Cuisine.


Thick & Hearty Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Thick & Hearty Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

I got in a fight with my teenage son this afternoon … it was, as usual, a very emotionally charged exchange. We were both livid by the time we left the house. I was driving him to his dad’s place and yes, I was angry, but after a moment, I forced myself to calm down and breathe so I could drive safely. Still, I was fighting back the tears of rage.

I was just crossing through an intersection where the light was green on a country road that crosses the edge of the city when a lady in a silver car turned right in front of me, just as I was nearing the edge of the intersection. Perhaps she didn’t see my little gray car coming; perhaps she wasn’t paying attention. I slammed on the brakes and managed to stop without hitting her. There wasn’t anywhere else for me to go, no other lane to swerve into. But in that moment I saw both of our lives flash before my eyes. I thought to myself how miniscule our argument really was, in the scheme of things. Apparently my son had the same thought because he looked at me and said, “that really puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?”

Now don’t get me wrong, we needed to fight today. There were things I needed to say to him, and he needed to get out some of the rage he was holding inside. But we also needed to remember how precious and fragile our connections to each other are.  They could be broken … gone … in an instant. So often in an argument, we say hurtful things and we forget.

This stranger, in a moment of carelessness, sent us a powerful reminder.

Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup with Feta

Thick & Hearty Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Roughly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 large onion, peeled
  • 2 t. olive oil
  • 2 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1/4 c. chardonnay or other dry white wine — although I think a dry red might work even better
  • 2 c. black beans
  • 1/2 quart canned tomatoes with juices
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. beef or vegetable broth
  • Red Robin Seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 t. cayenne seasoning (or more to taste)
  • Feta cheese crumbles and/or roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and a few whole black beans for garnish
Directions:
  1. Whirl the onion and garlic in a handi chopper or food processor till they are in tiny chunks (or chop into small bits with your knife).
  2. Over medium high heat, sautee the chopped onion and garlic with the cumin, curry, and smoked paprika in the olive oil until the onion and garlic is soft. It should be sort of a paste of onion and spices.
  3. Add the wine and cook for a few minutes until most of the wine has evaporated.
  4. Whir the beans and tomatoes briefly in the handi chopper or food processor (do them separately if your device won’t hold them all at once!) or mash with a potato masher to break down the beans and tomatoes to a sort of rough puree.
  5. Add the beans, tomatoes, pumpkin and broth to the pan. Season to taste with Red Robin Seasoning, freshly ground pepper, and cayenne.
  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 – 30 minutes or until the flavors have all mixed well.
  7. Serve hot with feta cheese crumbles and a few whole black beans and/or pumpkin seeds for garnish.
Thick & Hearty Curried Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Spicy Corn & Black Bean Salsa

Spicy Corn & Black Bean Salsa

I have a lot of fresh corn still and have already frozen plenty for the year. I really love hot, spicy salsas and I thought it would be fun to try a corn salsa. I just tinkered with it till I came up with a flavor combination that worked.

This works. The jalapenos give it a great bite. The sweetness of the corn balances with the hearty black beans, then the onion, garlic, peppers, cumin and cilantro round out the taste. It’s all the freshness and kick of summer in one little spicy bowl.

This might just be my new go-to summer salsa.

Spicy Corn & Black Bean Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. corn (about 3 cobs)
  • 1 – 3 jalapenos (I used 3, but I like it really spicy-adjust to your heat tolerance!), finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3  - 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • 2 c. chopped tomato
  • A bunch of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t. Red Robin seasoning (or seasoned salt)
  • 1/2 t. salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Let sit for an hour or so to let the flavors blend. Keep any leftover salsa in the fridge.

It’s great with chips.

Spicy Corn & Black Bean Salsa

Or you can use it to transform an egg and tortilla into a lovely breakfast burrito.

Breakfast Burrito with Corn & Black Bean Salsa

This recipe was shared at Recipe of the Week: Superbowl Snacks.


Fiesta in a Bowl! Black Bean & Corn Salad

with Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

black-bean-corn-salad with tequila lime vinaigrette

Usually I have a lot to say about a recipe, but today I’m rushing through lunch and need to get back to work. I just have a whole lot of sweet corn from my mom and dad I need to use up and a black bean and corn salad seemed like the right thing to do. I did it backwards and threw the salad together last night and just whipped up the dressing for lunch today.

This salad is so amazingly tasty, colorful, and very, very good for you! And i t’s a great way to use up some of those abundant summer vegies.

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • Fresh sweet corn, cooked & cut from the cob: about 3 cobs. (You could also use canned or frozen corn–probably about 1 15-oz. can would be equivalent)
  • Black beans, cooked and drained — I cooked my own, but probably used about the equivalent of 1 can of black beans
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped fine
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 to 1 cucumber, chopped (I used half a cucumber, but it was a VERY large cucumber!)
  • 1/2 a green bell pepper, chopped (or for even more color use part red/part green)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved — toss in as many as you want to add color and flavor!
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Goat cheese crumbles

Tequila Lime Vinaigrette (from Cooking Light Magazine):

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

  1. Prepare the vinaigrette: Toss all ingredients into a food processor and whir till blended. Or you can just whisk them all together in a bowl. I used watermelon-infused tequila (made by soaking watermelon cubes in tequila for several  days). Cover and chill until ready to use.
  2. Prepare the salad: Mix together all ingredients except the pinons and goat cheese in a bowl. Toss with enough vinaigrette to cover–save the rest for another salad!
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro, pinons and goat cheese. The soft flavors of the goat cheese and the pine nuts with the sweet tangy vinaigrette, the spice of the jalapeno, along with the corn and beans and tomato is such a good combination!
black-bean-corn-salad with tequila lime vinaigrette

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