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Archive for the ‘Beans’ Category

This is a simple, quick, go-to recipe of ours. Be sure to turn on the rice cooker before you start chopping up the onions and peppers. You can dice the onions and peppers as finely as you wish but I like them chopped fairly coarse, like a 1/2″ chop. This is a good dish to use up bell peppers that have been sitting a little too long in the refrigerator and it uses some basic pantry staples that I try to keep around in case I need something quick. Tonight I served it with a simple tossed salad with lettuce from the garden and homemade Italian salad dressing – the recipe in the good old, red and white Betty Crocker classic cookbook.


Red Beans and Rice

1 tbsp oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 green bell peppers, chopped

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp paprika

1-8 oz. can tomato sauce (no salt added if you can find it)

1/2 – 1 cup water

hot sauce to taste

2-15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Cooked rice – we prefer white rice with this meal

Sour cream

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, garlic and peppers. Cook until the onions are getting soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and paprika and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in beans and tomato sauce. Stir in enough water to make the sauce liquid enough to simmer the beans in; start with about a half cup. Add the hot sauce (if desired) and simmer about 10 minutes. Serve over rice with a dollop of sour cream.

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This recipe is one that we have made many times. It is a light and refreshing dinner. Be sure to check out the original recipe, as I make this one as written.

Lentils are a powerful protein source. One cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein. Wow! They are also high in fiber and thus fill you up for fewer calories. Only 230 calories per cup of cooked lentils. Not to mention, they make a great inexpensive meal!

Whenever I have lentils cooking on the stove, my husband comments on how good dinner smells. There is something almost meaty smelling about them. For a while I thought it was the smell of the bay leaves but even when I cook them without bay leaves, he still comments when passing through the kitchen. I think we just both like the smell of lentils!

The herbes de Provence pairs well with the lentils and the cayenne pepper gives it a slight kick. We serve it over chopped romaine. And sometimes if we can’t wait, we will eat it slightly warm too. It tastes great both ways.

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Almost two weeks ago now, in a Meal Plan Monday post, I mentioned that we were going to be trying a recipe from Susan at Fat Free Vegan. Be sure to check out the original recipe. We have tried quite a few of Susan’s recipes and especially enjoy a couple of her tofu recipes: Chipotle Barbecued Tofu and Sichuan Tofu with Garlic Sauce.

This recipe caught my eye because we love chickpeas (but unfortunately, not asparagus). I have substituted broccoli before in other recipes calling for asparagus and so I was happy to see Susan suggest it as a substitution. And when I saw that she cooked her polenta in her pressure cooker, I wanted to give that a try too as I have only made soups and beans in my pressure cooker since I got it in January.

So I made the polenta in the pressure cooker but it didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. I usually make polenta in a heavy pot and have had continued success with that technique but I am not sure what I did wrong with the pressure cooker. The polenta began to burn on the bottom but we were able to scrape enough off the top, missing the burnt parts. I will likely try making polenta with my pressure cooker again although I am not sure it is any easier or quicker than the way I usually make it.

Instead of the asparagus called for in the original recipe, I used broccoli, which I steamed in a steamer basket on the stove. I added the lemon juice and peel just as Susan did. I made the chickpeas per the original but I doubled the amount it as I wasn’t sure it would be enough for us as well as for a bit of leftovers.

Unfortunately we were not thrilled by this recipe (although many people have reported great results over on Susan’s page). The chickpeas in their sauce were not very flavorful, although the lemony broccoli was tasty. As for the chickpeas, I am not sure if it was because I used a different ‘type’ of vegetable broth and not an un-chicken broth. I used Trader Joe’s vegetable broth, my usual broth. And so I wonder if this was the difference because I found that adding quite a bit of salt to the chickpeas helped. Perhaps my broth wasn’t flavorful or salty enough? Or was I just ‘off’ that evening? Let me know if you try it as I can’t figure out where I went wrong.

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Three Bean Tacos

This is an old stand by recipe for us; we’ve made it for years. It makes a lot and can be eaten in a variety of ways so it is great to make when you know you will need some leftovers to munch on later in the week. I am not sure where the original came from, but here is my version.


Three Bean Tacos

2 tsp oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp chili powder *

1 Tbsp oregano

1-1/2 tsp cumin

1 clove garlic

3- 15 oz. cans of beans, drained and rinsed *

1 – 8 oz. can of tomato sauce

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, peppers and spices. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the beans and tomato sauce and 1/2 can of water (1/2 cup). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.

Serve with hard taco shells, soft corn tortillas, or if you aren’t gluten free, flour tortillas. Add your typical taco toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, sour cream, hot sauce, salsa – whatever you like.

In the picture above, I used a Brown Rice Tortilla from Trader Joe’s. They are pretty good, be sure to heat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

I also enjoy eating the leftovers heated with some shredded cheese on top and some corn tortilla chips to scoop it up. I have also been known to make a taco salad out of it; just make a bed of lettuce, heat some of it up and place on top of the lettuce and sprinkle with cheese. Add whatever other salad topping you like.

Notes:

* Sometimes I use all regular chili powder, sometimes I substitute part of the chili powder with chipotle chili powder for a slightly different flavor.

* Our usual mix of beans is 1 can of pinto beans, 1 can of chickpeas, and 1 can of black beans, but you can mix it up with whatever you have in the cabinet, kidney beans, black eyed peas, cannellini beans, etc.

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