Tag Archives: beans

Lighter Sloppy Joes

My posts have been few and far between lately. I can’t explain it. I’m busy, I spend too much time on the computer already, I have other things I want to do, blah blah blah. The thing is, I still cook every weekend and make the food I plan on posting. I just don’t get around to writing up these posts. Honestly, my life is boring lately. I don’t really have anything to say. My life consists of work, cooking, eating and doing puzzles. Oh, and trying to get in a daily workout. But who wants to hear about all of that? It’s life after all and we all have one. Not to mention that I’ve been struggling with what to make lately. I’m trying to eat healthy and make food that is easy to portion out. Because I am one of those people who will have just one more bite, okay one more spoonful, okay one more helping. Portion control for me is key. These Lighter Sloppy Joes are a good dish to portion out so they make for a quick go-to lunch or dinner.

Ground turkey is cooked with onion and spices before settling into a smooth tomato sauce. Mashed up chickpeas are added to the mixture which gives an additional nutritious boost that blends right in. I’ve been pretty into sloppy joes lately and this unique kind is a new favorite. I’m a firm believer in the benefits of beans so this sandwich is a winner in my book. I topped this with some spicy banana peppers instead of pickles and now I’m hooked. I may never go back to regular pickles again. Especially on my sloppy joes.

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Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until almost tender.

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Add turkey; cook until browned and no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Stir in chili powder, sugar, and salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

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Add 1/4 cup water and tomato sauce; reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until thickened.

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Place chickpeas in a bowl; partially mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir chickpeas into turkey mixture.

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Spoon about 1/2 cup turkey mixture onto bottom half of each bun; top each with pickles or banana peppers and top half of bun.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Ground turkey
  • Banana peppers

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Corn-and-Black Bean Salsa

Got a last minute invite to watch the Superbowl somewhere and don’t want to show up empty handed? Well, I’ve got a really quick, hearty and tasty salsa that can be made in a few minutes with only a few ingredients. If you are someone like me who generally has canned food stocked away, this Corn-and-Black Bean Salsa will be a lifesaver when you need a quick dish or have a last minute guest to feed.

Canned corn and black beans are mixed with canned tomatoes (flavored with lime and cilantro), scallions, cumin, olive oil, and lime juice. This chunky salsa is fantastic with chips as a snack or as an addition to some chicken or in a healthy salad. And because everything goes in one bowl and can be made quickly, there is little time needed to throw this together and very little clean up. Sure, everyone can go to the store and buy some tomato-based salsa (“from New York City?!”) but you know this salsa is so much better.

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Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

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Cover and chill.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Coastal Living magazine

Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili

As I’m sure you’ve heard, we are supposed to get a little bit of snow here in the Northeast. I’m not someone who panics and runs to the grocery store when a storm is coming (although maybe I should) but I did happen to pick up a few things anyway. I did a lot of cooking this weekend so I have plenty of food to get me by (assuming I don’t lose power). After a quick trip to the produce stand on Saturday, I decided to use some extra zucchini for this Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili. Warm and hearty, this chili will hopefully keep me warm while it snows.

Ground turkey (the recipe calls for beef), zucchini, black beans, onion, fire-roasted tomatoes and seasonings are combined in a slow-cooker where the meat melts into the sauce. Because I used ground turkey, I only cooked this chili for about 3 1/2 hours on high and it turned out perfect. The fire-roasted tomatoes given this chili so much flavor while the zucchini and beans help make it hearty. I’m really happy to nosh on this over the next few days. Now I just have to pray that I don’t lose power. Cold chili just isn’t the same.

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In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the meat, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, onions, tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, oregano, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

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Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).

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Serve the remaining chili with the sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Real Simple magazine

White Bean Spread

When you are eating healthy, you need healthy snacks, right? So you buy some baby carrots to have on hand to snack on here or there but after a while you just want to dunk it into some creamy or cheesy dip. Carrots are my quickest go-to when it comes to quick-grab veggies but sometimes, I just can’t eat another one plain. And since I hate cooked carrots more than anything and don’t particularly care for light dressings, I’m left to find myself another way to eat these little guys. Luckily for me, I usually have cans of beans on hand so when I came across this recipe for White Bean Spread, it was like an aha moment.

Canned cannellini beans are whirled together with nothing more than lemon juice, fresh thyme, salt and pepper, producing a fiber and protein-filled snack. This vegetarian dip is simple but complex in flavors and one of the easiest things you can make. The lemon juice gives it a real vibrancy and the thyme shines through subtly. I didn’t process the beans all the way so I could have some chunky bites here and there (for those of us who like lumpy mashed potatoes) which made this feel more like a small meal than a snack. This dip is thick and only gets thicker if you put it in the refrigerator but can easily be thinned out with water or additional lemon juice. If you are sick of hummus, give this fresh dip a try.

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Combine beans, oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper in a food processor.

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Process until smooth.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Family Circle magazine

Smoky Weeknight Chili

I was shocked the other day when I was driving around and noticed how few leaves are on the trees already. Didn’t summer just end? Did I miss the full color of bright yellow, red, and orange leaves that I’m typically in awe over every single Autumn? It’s only the middle of October! And, I might add, it’s going to be 80 degrees in Philadelphia today! Where are my leaves? I shake my head thinking about how quickly Christmas will be here, which means winter, which means cold, which means…sad face. I love Fall, and all that comes with it: bright leaves, football, pumpkin beer, and warm chili. I may not be able to do anything about the leaves but I can certainly make some chili. This Smoky Weeknight Chili is perfect for the busy person who doesn’t have time to hang out in the kitchen before dinner.

With two different kinds of beans and no meat, this vegetarian chili gets thick tomato flavor from tomato sauce, smokiness from fire-roasted tomatoes, and a warm, surprising undertone from cocoa powder. Don’t worry, there is nothing sweet about this chili which is hearty and fulfilling, even though it’s vegetarian. Sure you can add meat if you’d like but there is no need. The white beans are creamy, the chickpeas are chewy and the onion and peppers round everything out. This is a perfectly quick meal for the middle of the week in the middle of month like today.

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In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet pepper and onion; cook and stir for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender.

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Add beans and chili powder; cook and stir 2 minutes.

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Stir in tomato sauce, undrained tomatoes, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. Bring to boiling; reduce heat.

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Cover and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Top with sour cream, green onions, and additional chili powder, if desired.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Cannellini beans

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Huevos Rancheros Tacos

I hope everyone out there got a chance to spend the day with their moms or mom-figures yesterday. Or if you didn’t get to spend the day with them, I hope you at least got to reach out to them in some way. Mother’s Day is never easy for me and seems to get harder every year. I would give anything in the world to hug my mom one more time and tell her I love her. But since I can’t, I’m happy that I have my wonderful aunt who I can reach out to anytime I need to. In honor of her, yesterday I made these Huevos Rancheros Tacos.  These may not seem like typical brunch fare to some of you, but to my aunt and I, they totally are.

Corn tortillas are broiled with cheese and black beans before being topped with a fried egg, avocado and pico de gallo. This is such a quick and easy dish to make in a morning or even for a quick dinner. Since I’m all about eggs for dinner, this is something that is right up my alley. I chopped up regular tomatoes in lieu of the pico de gallo and left out the Mexican crema but still got all of the flavors of huevos rancheros I wanted. Since my aunt is in Chicago and I’m in Philadelphia, I ate this dish without her but told her about it when I called to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. Every mom deserves a meal made for her.  Even if she’s not your mom.

DSC05073Preheat broiler to high. Arrange tortillas on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 2 minutes; remove pan from oven. Turn tortillas over. Top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons beans. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts. Remove from oven.

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Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Crack eggs into pan; cook 2 minutes. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until whites are set.

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Place 1 egg in center of each tortilla; sprinkle with pepper. Top tacos evenly with pico de gallo, crema, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with lime.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Mexican crema

Substitutions:

  • Vine-ripened tomatoes for pico de gallo

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Lime-Spiked Black Bean Dip

It’s Cinco de Mayo so what are you planning on eating today?  Burritos?  Enchiladas?  Fajitas?  Tacos?  Mexican food is so good but can be really terrible for you, especially because so much of the Americanized Mexican food available to us is loaded with ooey gooey melted cheese.  But the good thing is, Mexican food can easily be made low-fat at home by substituting low-fat cheese, low-fat sour cream, healthy beans and lots of veggies.  As tempted as I was to make a big Mexican meal, I decided to keep things a little simple with an easy bold and healthy dip.  This Lime-Spiked Black Bean Dip is a healthy way to enjoy some Mexican food on this Cinco de Mayo without a)breaking the bank or b)spending hours on the elliptical machine working it off.

Canned black beans are whirled in a food processor until smooth (but not too smooth – chunks of beans make for awesome texture) and combined with grated carrots, fresh lime juice, scallions, garlic, and cilantro.  A little salt and cayenne pepper add seasoning to beans which can typically be pretty bland (I used low-sodium black beans so I could control the salt content).  I really love the addition of the grated carrot because it provides a fat-free crunch while the scallion gives a fantastic mild onion flavor.  And the lime – it really brings this dip to life.  This is a thick dip, especially if it’s been in the refrigerator for a bit so add a little water or black bean juice if you ‘d prefer it to be more “dippy”.  If you don’t like cilantro, you can leave it out but it provides an herby flavor that is so good in Mexican food.  Serve with tortilla chips and you’ve got a healthy vegetarian snack or appetizer than would also be great folded into a tortilla for a light lunch.

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Place beans in a food processor, and pulse until almost smooth.

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Combine the beans, carrot, and the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until well blended. Let stand 30 minutes.

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Serve with baked tortilla chips.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

 

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