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!

Jalapeno Hummus

I’ve commented over and over again about how much I love hummus, so I won’t go into it again.  I’ll just leave you with this kicked up version of hummus for the folks who love jalapeno like us.  Enjoy!

Sorry no picture here, but it looks just like my regular hummus only with tiny green flecks in it from the jalapeno.

Jalapeno Hummus

2 jalapeno peppers, ribbed and seeded {You could go with 1-3 depending on your tastes}

2 small cloves of garlic, peeled

1 (14 oz) can of chickpeas, drained

juice of 2 small lemons

1/4 cup tahini

4-6 Tbsp water

2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt

1/4 tsp cumin

Combine the jalapenos, garlic, and chickpeas in the bowl of a large food processor.  Pulse into coarse paste.  Add lemon juice, tahini, some water {start with 4 Tbsp}, salt, and cumin.  Process until fully ground.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  With the machine running, add the oil through the feed tube.  Scrape sides of bowl again and then process for a few more seconds to ensure that everything is combined.  May need to add more water to reach desired consistency.

Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Stuffed Peppers

I had stuffed peppers on my mind after seeing a post from Chloe the other day, so when I had a few leftovers in the fridge suitable for filling the peppers I gave them a try.  I’m not really going to list specific measurements for everything because I was just using what I had in the fridge.  I also ended up with a little extra filling, but it was tasty eaten plain.  The sun-dried tomatoes added a nice chewy texture and a subtly sweet flavor {similar to raisins} to the dish and the chickpeas remained a little crunchy, so overall the balance of textures was really nice.

Stuffed Peppers

Inspired by:  Valuable, but Small Life

Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper

1/2 yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup cooked rice

1/4 cup leftover ground beef cooked with onions and jalapenos and seasoned with taco seasoning

1/2 of a can of chickpeas, coarsely mashed {could substitute black beans}

sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1-2 Tbsp tomato paste

chicken broth or water

Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Wash peppers and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the stems, seeds and white membrane. Place the peppers cut-side down in a microwave safe dish. Add half an inch of water, cover and microwave on high for 9 minutes, or just until softened. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, lightly mash chickpeas with a fork or pastry blender, leaving some whole.  Reconstitute the sun-dried tomatoes if necessary, or drain if they have been packed in oil, and chop.

Warm up the rice and beef, in a saucepan and then add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, mashed chickpeas, and tomato paste.  Stir everything together and add some broth, a little at a time, to bind it together.  Just cook until everything is heated through.

Divide the filling among the steamed pepper halves.  Sprinkle each pepper with the Parmesan.

Place on a baking sheet or broiler pan and broil for a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Enjoy with a dash of hot sauce!

Buffalo Chicken Patties

This recipe was intended to be vegetarian which I’m sure would have been terrific, but I had to add some chicken since T is far from being vegetarian.
Ash at Veggie by Season had a great suggestion to make these into burgers, but we just ate them plain.  Additionally if you make them into mini patties, I think they would be great appetizers or as sliders too.   It’s nice to have versatility.
If you do want to make them vegetarian, omit the chicken obviously and use a whole can of chickpeas, or just follow the link to her blog.
Buffalo Chicken Chickpea Patties
adapted from:  Veggie by Season
Ingredients:
half of a 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. buffalo sauce, plus more for serving
1 egg white
1 small yellow onion, grated or finely minced
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper
For serving:
Buffalo sauce
Ranch or blue cheese dressing
Carrot Sticks
Celery
Buns, lettuce, tomato and crumbled blue cheese, if served as burgers
Directions:
Add chickpeas to a bowl, use a potato masher or fork and mash until about 2/3 of the chickpeas are pasty and 1/3 are in pieces or whole.  Add the shredded chicken.
Add the buffalo sauce to the chickpeas and chicken.
Add half of the oats to a food processor, pulse to create a crumb, add to the chickpeas.
Beat the egg white in a small dish to a froth, add to the chickpeas.
Grate onion into the chickpeas, finally add the garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Use a spatula and fold mixture, combining ingredients well.
Heat a griddle over medium, spray with nonstick spray or add 1 tbsp. EVOO.
Use a 1/3 measuring cup or large ice cream scoop to portion out chickpea mixture onto griddle, this yields about 7 patties, or more.
Cook patties for 5-7 minutes, until crispy and brown, flip gently and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Serve immediately to retain maximum crispness.

RP: Hummus

Sliced cucumbers with hummus is one of my favorite snacks, especially at my desk during the workday.  And we have tons of cucumbers coming out of our garden, so I decided to whip up a batch of hummus.  I have posted this recipe before, but it’s another one that I feel got lost within another post from over a year ago.  So, here it is again.

Hummus

(adapted from Good Things Catered)

Ingredients:
one 12-oz can chick peas
1-2 large cloves garlic {I prefer one}
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 heaping Tbsp tahini {sesame paste}
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt

Optional- pinch of cumin and pinch of paprika

Directions:

-Drain water from the can of chick peas into a small bowl and reserve.
-In a food processor, mix together the chick peas with the remaining ingredients, being careful to add second half of lemon juice and tahini slowly, stopping to taste.
-Slowly add some of the reserved liquid from beans for correct consistency, (about 1-2 minutes) until a smooth, slightly fluid paste is formed.
-Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Can top with a drizzle more of EVOO and chopped parsley for serving if you like.

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