Quinoa with Chickpeas, Sweet Potato and Raisins

This was the type of meal where I was crossing my fingers the entire time I was cooking it, unsure if I would like it.  Of course it sounded very intriguing when I came across the original blogger’s post which is why I decided to make it.  But I was totally doubting that cinnamon and raisins would work in a savory dish.  So it is definitely a combination of things that I wouldn’t have put together on my own but they actually combined very nicely in the end.

Quinoa with Chickpeas, Sweet Potato, and Raisins

Inspired by:  Eats Well with Others

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 tbsp garlic, minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp red curry paste

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup quinoa

2.5 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 large sweet potato, cooked and diced (can use butternut squash)

1 tbsp dried basil (or cilantro) – optional

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pot.  Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and curry paste.  Cook another minute.

Add the quinoa, broth, chickpeas, honey, and raisins.  Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Add the sweet potato and continue to simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes.

Top with basil or cilantro if desired.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Tamale Pie


We love spicy Mexican food and can’t get enough of it. I cook it at least once a week so I’m always looking for new Mexican recipes.

Tamale Pie
Source: A Couple Cooks

1 (18 oz) tube polenta
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1/2 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup taco seasoning
dash to taste – cumin, cayenne, dry cilantro, garlic powder
1.5 cups shredded cheese
sour cream for serving

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray an 8×11-inch baking dish (or similar size).

Spread the polenta into an even layer on the bottom of the baking dish.

Cook the ground beef with onion an bell pepper, then drain. Stir in the taco seasoning, canned tomatoes, any additional seasonings and mix until heated through and well combined then add the corn and black beans. Layer the beef mixture over the polenta. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake about 20 minutes or until heated through. Remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Top each serving with sour cream.

Enjoy!

Ham and Bean Soup

As soon as temperatures turn chilly in the Fall, soup is the first thing I turn to.  And one really great thing about this soup is that it is cooked in the crock-pot so its really easy.  🙂

Sorry, no picture.

Ham and Bean Soup

Source:  Budget Bytes

1 medium yellow onion

3 stalks celery

4 medium carrots

2-4 cloves of garlic, to taste

2 medium ham hocks

1 pound dry 15 or 16 bean soup mix {discard the seasoning mix that comes with it}

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried ground thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

1 bouillon cube

ground pepper to taste

6 cups water

Directions:

The night before, pick over the beans for stones and debris, rinse and place in a large bowl and cover with 2x the water.  Let sit overnight.

In the morning, chop all of the veggies and garlic and place in the bottom of a large slow cooker. Lay the ham hocks on top.

Pour soaking liquid off beans, rinse again, and add beans to crock.  Add all seasonings and bouillon.  Top with water.  Lightly stir, but don’t disturb the ham hocks and veggies.

Secure the lid and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or until beans are soft.

Remove the ham hocks and cut off any meat and add it to the soup {there will be very little meat, but the soup already has great ham flavor}. Discard the rest of the hocks.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.  Serve with garnishes and toppings of your choice.  We enjoyed it with hot sauce and sour cream on top and crusty bread alongside.

Enjoy!

Quinoa with Black Beans

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) may sound a little unusual, but once you make it once you will be hooked.  Especially if you are looking for healthy alternatives to starches.  Quinoa is actually a seed and is a complete protein.  Use it instead of rice, add it to salads, the list really goes on and on.  It is healthy and filling!  I plan to post other recipes using quinoa soon.

Anyway, I served this side dish with the shrimp and sausage skewers from the other night.  It was very good.

Quinoa with Black Beans

1/2 a red onion, chopped very finely

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup Quinoa, rinsed

1.25 cups water

1/2 a can black beans, rinsed and drained

Saute the onion in oil until tender.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Add quinoa, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 12 minutes.  Let stand about 5 minutes, fluff, add black beans.

Serves 4.

Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn

This was a terrific meal from just the other night.  Unfortunately, I was very disorganized while preparing and cooking it.  It took me twice as long to prep as it should have and I didn’t have a few of the ingredients, but I made do with what I could.

 

Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn

Source:  Pink Parsley (I couldn’t add a link…something about invalid URL??? I’ll try again later.)

  • 4 skinless white fish fillets (6 to 8 oz each), 1-inch thick {I used Tilapia and they were about 1/2″ thick}
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest – I omitted
  • 2 Tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (16-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups corn kernels – I shamefully used a can of creamed corn
  • 1/2 red onion, minced – I used a white onion
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro – I omitted

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat to 450 degrees.

Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Using a fork, mix together the butter, 1 teaspoon chipotle, orange zest, half the garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a medium bowl until well-combined.  Spread butter mixture over the fish.

Combine the beans, corn, onion, scallions, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, orange juice, remaining chipotle, remaining garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.

Lay four 14-inch lengths of foil on the counter and divide the bean mixture evenly over the lower half of each piece of foil.  Top with fish, and fold the foil over the fish, folding the edges to seal.

Arrange the packets in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the fish is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.  Carefully open the packets and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Serve over rice.

Red Beans and Rice with Kielbasa

Here’s the other recipe that calls for dried beans that I mentioned below.  I really should have cut this recipe in half because it serves 8!  We’ll be eating it for awhile, so much so that we’ll be sick of it and I’ll probably never make it again.  But oh well, it was good.   Again – very hearty and intensely flavorful.

Red Beans and Rice with Kielbasa

Source:  Relish Magazine

Ingredients

  • 1  pound dried red kidney beans
  • 1  tablespoon olive oil
  • 1  pound turkey kielbasa, cut into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • 1  cup chopped onion
  • 2  celery ribs, chopped
  • 2  cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2  cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons hot sauce
  • 3/4  teaspoon salt
  • 4  cups hot cooked white rice

Instructions

  1. Rinse beans. Place beans in a large bowl or Dutch oven. Cover with water by several inches. Let soak for 8 hours.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add kielbasa and cook until browned on both sides. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook until onion is tender. Drain beans and add to pan. Add chicken broth and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Add parsley, hot sauce and salt.
  3. Cook beans until tender, 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours. Add more water if needed. Serve over hot rice.

Ham and Bean Soup

I recently found 2 recipes that I was greatly interested in that called for dried beans so I thought I would give it a try.  I had never used dried beans, so I figured it was time to go for it.

It’s certainly not difficult to use dry beans, it just takes a little planning.  Every recipe says to “soak beans overnight” and it wasn’t clear to me if that meant soak them overnight and ALL of the next day while I was at work, or if an 8 hour total soak was sufficient.  So after some googling, I determined that I would start the soaking time in the morning before work and then cook them that night.  It worked out great.

The soup’s flavor was very good, almost creamy from the texture of the beans.  Very hearty and filling too.

Ham and Bean Soup

Source:  adapted from Relish Magazine

Ingredients

  • 1  pound dried navy or great northern beans, rinsed and picked over
  • about 3/4 pound piece of ham
  • 2-1/2  quarts water
  • 1  tablespoon butter
  • 1  small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large celery rib, chopped
  • 1  teaspoon salt- I omitted
  • 1/4  teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Soak beans for 8 hours in water.
  2. Rinse and drain beans.  Combine them in a large pot with ham and water. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.  Stir occasionally and add more water as necessary.
  3. Remove ham; when cool, remove and discard skin, bone and fat. Cut meat into small pieces and return to soup.
  4. In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until lightly browned.  Add to soup along with salt {if using} and pepper and stir, pressing down with the back of a large spoon to break up some of the beans and thicken soup.

Serves 6

Black Bean Soup

I’m on a roll with the super quick meals lately!  First, there was the pierogi skillet, then tortellini soup, then Mongolian beef, and now this black bean soup.  I’m stoked!

Meals generally take me 45 minutes to one hour to prepare, so I could not be happier to have a few go-to meals for stressful work nights.  If I leave work right on time and make no stops on the way, I get home at 6:15.  Usually, I’m starving and I would really prefer to eat at {or before} 7:00.  Unfortch, that doesn’t happen very often.  By the time I cook for an hour, eat, and clean up – my night is shot.  So, I can’t stress enough how thrilled I am when a meal cooks fast.  I’ll be even more thrilled when it is still daylight at dinner time for the sake of my pictures. 😉

What time to you eat dinner?

Another great thing about this recipe, in my opinion, is that it calls for prepared salsa which already has garlic and other spices in it.  So you don’t have to measure out a bunch of spices to add to the soup and the flavor is great.

Black Bean Soup

Source:  adapted from Simple & Delicious Nov/Dec 2009

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

half of a medium red onion, chopped

half a green bell pepper, seeded and chopped – optional

1 can of corn, drained {or 1 cup frozen corn}

3/4 cup salsa

1 can {15 oz.} of black beans, rinsed and drained – next time I will probably use 2 cans

one 14.5 oz. can of chicken broth

Directions:

Heat the oil in a soup pot.  Add the onion and bell pepper, saute until tender.  Add the corn, black beans, salsa, and broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Serve with sliced avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, and/or tortilla chips.

Yield:  4 servings.

Southwest White Chicken Chili

White chili is not something that ever really intrigued me in the past.  It never looks that appetizing in pictures and I always overlooked it.  I now realize I was making a mistake.  I had no idea what I was missing!

This chili, while vastly different from my traditional chili, is very good and very flavorful.  It had just the right amount of spiciness from the peppers, creaminess from the soup, and heartiness from the chicken.  It is a real winner and I’ll definitely make it again.

This picture looks like chicken and dumplings, doesn’t it?  Next time, I’ll cut the chicken into smaller pieces.  🙂

Southwest White Chicken Chili

source:  adapted from Campbellskitchen.com

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 large chicken breasts, cut into small cubes

4 tsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 large onion, chopped

2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 can reduced fat condensed cream of chicken soup

1 soup can of water

1.5 cups frozen whole kernel corn

1 can white beans {Canellini or Great Northern}, rinsed and drained

1 cup of low sodium chicken broth – optional {use more or less to reach desired consistency}

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep soup pot over med-high heat.  Add the chicken, onions, pepper, and spices.  Cook until chicken is cooked through, stirring often.

Add soup, water, corn, beans, and chicken stock.  Heat to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 5 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning and add more broth accordingly.

Can serve with shredded cheese on top, but we didn’t.

Coconut Red Curry Lentil Stew

I don’t think I have ever seen a recipe on a blog one day and made it the very next day!  So, this was a first.  When I saw Cara post this, I immediately knew that it would be the perfect thing to make for our next dinner.  I knew with a few adaptations based on what I had on hand, it would suit us perfectly.  And it did!  It was perfectly delicious on a chilly night.

I didn’t really notice the coconut flavor, which was sort of disappointing but the warm curry flavor made up for it since it was certainly not lacking flavor overall.  I’m sure the coconut milk added some creaminess, so it was definitely a necessary ingredient. Surprisingly, the lentils retained some bite even after cooking so long.  I was really worried that they would be complete mush.  But, I was happy to be wrong!

Coconut Red Curry Stew

Source: adapted from Cara’s Cravings who adapted it from 101 Cookbooks

1 cup yellow split peas {I used green}

1 cup red split lentils {I think I used brown}

7 cups water

2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger {I used about 1 tsp ground ginger}

2 tablespoons red curry powder

2 tablespoons butter

8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced {I used one small white onion, chopped}

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup tomato paste

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

one small handful cilantro, chopped

toasted coconut, for garnish

Optional: 3oz raw shrimp per serving, peeled and deviened, shells removed

Start by rinsing the split peas and lentils. Put them in a bowl, add enough water to cover, and stir around. Drain through a mesh sieve. Repeat until water runs clear.  Place the rinsed lentils in a crockpot with the water.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, toast the curry powder until it is fragrant and has darkened a bit. Transfer to a small dish, add the ground ginger to it and set aside.

Heat the butter in the pan, add the onions, celery, and carrots.  Saute for two minutes, stirring constantly until softened.  Then add the raisins and stir.  Then add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two.  Off the heat, whisk in the coconut milk and the toasted curry powder & ginger. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the crockpot, and season with salt.

Cover and cook on high for 6 hours. {I cooked it on low for 10 hours.}

If desired, season the shrimp with salt and pepper and cook by desired method until just opaque.

Add the shrimp to the top of each serving of stew.  Enjoy!

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