Archive for the ‘Beans’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans

If you’re looking for a fabulous vegetarian entree, look no further. This was the first time I cooked with quinoa and was quite surprised with how much I liked it. It definitely had an interesting texture but I’m looking forward to using it in this dish as well as others soon. All of the ingredients blended very well together. I enjoyed it just the way it is but my husband thought it needed some meat in it. It would be wonderful either way.

I recently joined Weight Watchers so I’m always in need of healthy and delicious dishes and this definitely fit the bill. I calculated these peppers around 6ish WW points per half since the only items that counted as points were the quinoa, black beans, enchilada sauce, and the cheese. Not too shabby.


4 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half stem-to-tip, seeds removed
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles (don’t drain)
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil, if desired
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack, grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 28 oz can red enchilada sauce


Add quinoa and onion to a large saucepan with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes, cover, turn off heat and let steam 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

In the meantime, microwave pepper halves 2-3 minutes to soften slightly. (Prepared this way, the peppers should come out crisp-tender. If you want them crisper, you can omit this step.)

Pour quinoa/onion mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in black beans, tomato, green chiles and their juices, cilantro, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. If the mixture seems to dry, drizzle in a bit of olive oil.

Pour enchilada sauce into a 9×13″ baking dish. Divide filling among peppers. Nestle stuffed peppers into the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheeses.

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve peppers drizzled with enchilada sauce.

Source: One Lovely Life


PostHeaderIcon Crockpot White Bean Chicken Chili

Fall is by far my favorite season. Cool weather, comfy sweatshirts, pumpkin desserts, comfort food – what’s not to love? Since fall has arrived I decided to make some chili in my crock pot. This recipe could not have been easier……and tastier. It’s a simple four ingredient recipe that takes minutes to throw together. I have had this recipe saved for months and was thrilled to discover it was just as delicious as I had imagined. I garnished it with fresh tomatoes, avocados, and sour cream. Get creative and garnish it with whatever you’re craving. I made 1/2 the recipe and it made about four servings, it also made excellent leftovers. I will definitely be making this many more times this fall and winter. Fall, I’m glad you’re finally here.

White Bean Chicken Chili


4 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini white kidney beans)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
8 ounces Pepper jack cheese
2 cups salsa


Combine the beans, cheese, and salsa in a crockpot. Nestle the chicken breasts into the mixture, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove chicken breasts, shred with a fork, and return to crockpot. Stir to combine, and serve with desired garnishes.

Source: Pink Parsley


PostHeaderIcon Southwestern Pasta Salad

This was my Mother’s Day dinner and it was everything I could have hoped for; delicious, healthy, filling, and vegetarian. I like to cook meatless meals whenever I eat solo for dinner. It’s not that I don’t love meat, I do. I just think most people, including myself, rely too much on meat as their primary source of protein when there are other great sources out there. Like beans! Black beans are my go-to protein when I’m looking to cook meatless. There are so many great vegetarian recipes that I have tried and loved, this is definitely one of them.

This is a great meal to make ahead since the longer you let the flavors blend together before serving, the better it will taste. Make sure you stir it well and add the diced avocados just before serving. This was the second time I made this dish and the only thing I regret about this meal was not making it sooner. I hate when I find a delicious recipe, make it, love it, and then forget about it. Please learn from my mistakes. :)

Southwestern Pasta Salad


1 lb whole grain pasta

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 small can of corn, drained

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

6 oz shredded Mexican cheese

1 cup salsa

1/2 cup olive oil

2 limes, juiced

1/2 – 1 teaspoon cumin

1-2 teaspoons chili powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

freshly ground salt & pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 avocado, diced


Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta, do not rinse. In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix well.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Pour over the pasta salad, add the cilantro, and mix well. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Keep refrigerated until serving. Just before serving, add the diced avocado and stir well.


Source: adapted from Cara’s Cravings


PostHeaderIcon Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

After my weekend on the Amtrak I just wanted a nice home cooked meal. Don’t get me wrong, the food on the Amtrak was surprisingly good, but there’s nothing better than a meal at home after you’ve been traveling. I choose this meal for many reasons: (1) the weather this week is cold and rainy so I wanted a comforting meal, (2) this recipe makes a nice amount, perfect for leftovers during the week, and (3) it’s DELICIOUS.

I had most of the ingredients on hand so it was super easy to whip up and throw in the slow cooker. The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon chili powder, I used 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon regular chili powder and the heat was perfect! I served the soup with homemade tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, and limes – it was literally the perfect meal! My husband even gave it 6 out of 5 stars! Pretty impressive, huh? :)


2 frozen chicken breasts
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
1 whole yellow onion, chopped
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
1 can (15 oz) corn
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic
1 cup water
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 whole bay leaf, optional
Tortilla chips
2 limes
Low fat sour cream
Low fat cheddar cheese


Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, corn, beans, garlic, water, chicken broth, seasonings, cilantro, and bay leaf into the crock pot. Stir and cover. Put on low setting for 7-8 hours.

Remove chicken breasts and shred with 2 forks. Place back in the crock pot and stir.

Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, low fat sour cream, lime wedges, and a sprinkle of cheese!

Source: adapted from Tasty Kitchen


PostHeaderIcon Restaurant-Style Hummus

My husband and I are currently having a Terminator marathon. We watched The Terminator a couple weeks ago, so this past weekend we watched The Terminator 2 (yeah, I know, we’re a pretty cool couple). :) We have seen both movies but it has literally been ages so I decided it was time to re watch them. We loved the movies to say the least! Big 80′s hair on women + Arnold Schwarzenegger = a very entertaining (and pretty funny) movie. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen either movie I highly suggest you do!

I decided to make this hummus to snack on during the movie. I was excited to find a great hummus recipe from Cook’s Illustrated – where they test a recipe hundreds of times until it is perfect. This hummus is creamy, light, and I’m already looking forward to snacking on the leftovers this week. I followed the original recipe exactly except I used a little less tahini and cumin than originally called for, the recipe below shows these changes. I served the hummus with pita chips but hummus also goes well served with pretzels and vegetables.

Restaurant-Style Hummus


3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons tahini , stirred well
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil , plus extra for drizzling
1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas , drained and rinsed
1 small garlic clove , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced


Combine lemon juice and water in small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in second small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside 2 tablespoons chickpeas for garnish.

Process remaining chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through feed tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through feed tube; continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas and cilantro over surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated


PostHeaderIcon Pasta & Bean Soup

I try to make vegetarian dinners at least twice a week. I made this delicious soup a few weeks ago, right after the huge blizzard that hit Chicago, and it was the perfect dinner to survive the brutal weather. I’ve always been a fan of bean & minestrone soups and this is the perfect combination of both! I love making this in the summer using fresh vegetables from the farmers market but this is wonderful in the winter as well. It just makes you dream of the warmer days to come……

This makes a perfect meal paired with a piece of bread or salad. I love eating soup with a nice crispy piece of bread (and a ton of butter).

Pasta & Bean Soup


1 cup uncooked small pasta
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded fresh spinach


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick saucepan, saute the celery, carrots, onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Stir in the water, tomatoes, broth, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Drain pasta; stir into vegetable mixture. Add the beans; heat through. Stir in spinach; cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

Source: Taste of Home


PostHeaderIcon Texas Caviar

Ever since I can remember, my favorite part of watching a football game is all the great food!

I vividly remember getting excited when my mom would plan to have people over for a football game since I knew she would make tons of snacks and appetizers (How am I not morbidly obese? Never mind, don’t answer that.). I love to graze when I eat so a table full of appetizers is ideal for a gal like me!

I’ve seen this dish made two different ways. The first way is with a bottle of italian dressing, the second (and my favorite) is with a combination of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and fresh lime juice. Both ways are delicious but the second way is my favorite since it uses freshly squeezed limes instead of bottled dressing. The original recipe only called for 1/2 lime but I used two limes and it was perfect! This dish is a great appetizer or side dish to some mexican food.

Texas Caviar


1 can (15 oz) black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) corn, drained and rinsed

1 whole tomato, chopped

2 whole green onions, chopped

2 whole jalapenos, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 limes, juiced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3 pinches ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir and chill for several hours or overnight.

Serve cold on its own as a side dish or with chips as an appetizer!

Source: adapted from Tasty Kitchen