Tag Archives: beans

Kale, Bean and Sausage Stew

Here we go again with the Olympics.  I feel like it was not so long ago when I was writing about how I was spending my entire Saturdays and Sundays watching the summer Olympics.  My how time flies.  Before the opening ceremonies on Friday, I started to watch the very first competitions on Thursday but just couldn’t do it.  I was so sick of the cold and snow and ice that the last thing I wanted to do was watch it on TV.  But then the opening ceremonies happened and my patriotic spirit was tapped and I’ve been glued to events I wouldn’t normally think twice about ever since. I’d been excited all week to spend some time in my kitchen making some good food this weekend but when Saturday came and I got sucked into figure skating, I suddenly didn’t want to be in the kitchen.   Fortunately, this Kale, Bean & Sausage Stew was so simple that I didn’t have to work too hard and it basically cooked itself.

Smoked sausage, cannellini beans, and kale are cooked with fire-roasted tomatoes to make a hearty and flavorful stew. Smoked paprika (which you may remember is my favorite spice ever) adds another layer of smokiness making this stew hit a smoky trifecta.  The sausage and creamy beans give this stew some real heft while the kale adds an earthy yet fresh addition (the recipe calls for swiss chard but any leafy green will do). This stew came together quickly and was everything I could have asked for in a stew.  It was the perfect warm lunchtime meal to be slurping down while I sat on my couch cuddled up in blankets watching the Olympics.


In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 7 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook for 1 minute.



Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until almost dry, 2 minutes. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, stir in the beans and simmer for 15 minutes.



Stir in the greens and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.


Season with salt and pepper.


Additions: None

Omissions:  None


  • Kale

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

I’m not sure where you live but where I live, it’s been downright cold.  Friday we got 8 inches of snow and I woke up Saturday morning to the temperature outside being only 5 degrees.  I had plans to go to a football game later that day which meant walking around in layers and layers of clothing.  Those are the kind of days where the cold just permeates you and you can’t escape it.  Even in the comfort of home and my running heater, I was always chilled.  The best way to warm up on days like that is to warm up from the inside.  This Tex-Mex Chicken Soup is a perfect way to beat the cold.

Onion, garlic, red pepper, and jalapeño are sautéed in olive oil until soft and fragrant before being mixed together with vibrant spices of chili powder, cumin and crushed red pepper.  This mixture becomes the basis for this soup which adds precooked rotisserie chicken, corn, broth, tomatoes, and black beans (which I only left out because I thought I had them on hand when I didn’t).  The result is a bold and flavorful tex-mex soup that is a perfect soup to warm your soul.  I wish I would have had the beans to add in but even without them, this was a very satisfying soup.  Plus, there is something very satisfying about having a pot of soup simmering on your stove on a frigid day.  It’s like that little mixture of ingredients not only warms your body, but the scent warms your home too.


The ingredients:


Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil, onion, and next 3 ingredients; sauté 3 minutes. Add chili powder and next 4 ingredients; sauté 30 seconds.


Add chicken and next 4 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes.


Top evenly with cilantro and queso. Serve with lime.


Additions:  None


  • Black beans
  • Queso fresco

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Black and White Chicken Chili

August can be strange because it’s still beach weather but with the school supply commercials and preseason football on the television and cooler-weather clothes in the stores, it can tease your mind into thinking it’s already fall outside.  Just the sound of the whistles blowing during a football game sends me to the kitchen with the urge to make chili.  But since it’s still hot outside, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time standing over the stove.  This Black and White Chicken Chili couldn’t have been any easier or any faster to make.

Navy beans, black beans and salsa verde are warmed together before adding in chicken (I used precooked rotisserie chicken which saved TONS of time!).  That’s it!  Obviously you can add in any vegetables or spices you want (just taste it first).  Once it’s all warmed through, I topped the bowl with feta cheese, lime juice and scallions.  Talk about simple.  The whole time I thought there weren’t enough ingredients for this to be a flavorful chili but it really was.  I did add a teaspoon of cumin and some black pepper which added a little spice but I completely underestimated the flavor of the green salsa in this.  It is spicy, salty and everything you want in an everyday chili.  Since I used precooked chicken, this whole dish took about ten minutes to make.  If you want a quick chili that can be made in a flash, try this.


The ingredients:


Drain and rinse the beans. In large saucepan, mix beans with salsa, chicken and 1/2 cup water (or if using precooked chicken, omit the chicken in this step).


Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Remove chicken; shred and stir into chili (or add precooked chicken, if using).


Serve chili with toppings and lime wedges.



  • Cumin
  • Black pepper

Omissions:  None


  • Reduced-fat feta cheese
  • Scallions

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Tortilla Chip Casserole

Didn’t someone once say that casseroles are boring?  I guess casseroles used to primarily consist of some kind of leftover meat, mixed vegetables, maybe a pasta, rice or potato and some kind of creamy condensed soup…yeah…boring.  I wouldn’t want to eat that.  Well, unless I’m really hungry.  This Tortilla Chip Casserole is unlike any other casserole you’ve had.  If you are making this for dinner for guests or family, don’t even bother telling them you made a casserole because you’ll have them dreaming of Taco Bell right away.  Instead, tell them you have made the most flavorful, cheesy knock-your-socks-off dish and leave it at that.

Black beans, chicken and tortilla chips are nestled between layers of a spicy, cheesy milk sauce, and topped with enchilada sauce and cheese before being baked until melted and gooey.  Cumin and coriander are added to the milk sauce giving warmth to the already-bold flavors going on in the dish and cream cheese is also melted in making the sauce thick and rich.  Roasted red peppers, which are tucked away in the middle of the layers, add more flavor but sort of disappear in the end result so leave them in or leave them out, it’s up to you.  The best way I can describe this dish to say it’s like eating your favorite Mexican dip for dinner.  It’s creamy, it’s cheesy, it’s hearty, it has chicken, it has chips, it has spice.  It’s everything wrapped up in one little casserole bow.  Don’t let the lengthy list of ingredients deter you:  this will be the best dish you’ve made in a long time.  And no one will be dreaming of Taco Bell.


The ingredients:


Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 6 minutes. Add garlic and flour; cook 2 minutes. ­Gradually add milk and stock, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and cream cheese.



Spread 1/2 cup milk mixture over bottom of a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Layer beans, 1 1/2 cups chicken, and 2 ounces chips. Top with 1/2 cup milk mixture. Layer 1 1/2 cups chicken, bell pepper, and 2 ounces chips; top with 1 cup milk mixture and enchilada sauce.



Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.


Sprinkle with green onions, if desired.  (I was in such a hurry to eat this, I completely forgot the green onions!)


Additions:  None

Omissions:  None


  • Red enchilada sauce

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Black Bean Salsa-Stuffed Peppers

As I write this I’m staring at my big orange suitcase, affectionately known as The Pumpkin, which is 99% packed for my annual girls trip to Vegas.  It can’t come fast enough.  By this time tomorrow morning, the first day of Spring (applause!), I’ll be on a plane trying to keep myself busy enough for the 5 plus hours to go by quickly so I can start gambling, sunning, drinking, betting, and overall partying.  In preparation for the trip and any decadence coming my way, my friend and I endured a week-long cleanse last week, which I won’t bore you with, and I have been super-strict since.  These Black Bean Salsa Stuffed Peppers were made before the cleanse but they are healthy enough to have anytime you are watching your waistline.  I kind of wish I had them now.

Black beans are mixed with fresh tomato, serrano chile, cilantro, oregano and extra-virgin olive oil and spooned into bright, crisp peppers.  The recipe ends there, suggesting to enjoy these stuffed peppers as a cold plate or appetizer with some chips.  But I took it a step further and threw those bad boys in the oven with a little water, covered in foil, and baked them at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  How you choose to eat this is up to you but the cooked version made these feel more like a meal to me.  If you want to get even crazier, add a little ground meat with the beans or top them with a little cheese when baking.  This is a great dish for a vegetarian in your circle of peeps or just as-is for a healthy meal, cooked or not.

I won’t have another post this week due to my little vacay but I’m hoping to have some photos to share via Instagram here.  In the meantime, Happy Spring!


The ingredients:


In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, tomato, onion, chile, cilantro and oregano. Stir in the EVOO; season with salt.


Slice off the top third of each bell pepper. Discard the stems and finely chop the remaining flesh from the tops; add to the bean mixture. Keeping the bell pepper bowls intact, discard the ribs and seeds.  Place the bell pepper bowls on a platter (trim a bit off the bottom if they’re wobbly) and fill with the bean mixture. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired, or bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.


Additions:  None


  • Red onion


  •  Jalapeño pepper

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Sweet Chili Rolls

Have you had one of those weekends where you either have too much to do or don’t feel well enough to do anything at all?  That was me this weekend.  After taking Friday off and laying in bed all day because the pesky cold virus that was threatening me most of the week final showed it’s ugly face, I still didn’t feel up to much the rest of the weekend.  When you have a food blog and do almost all of your cooking on the weekends though, this doesn’t make things easy when all you want to do it lay in bed.  So thank goodness for the slow cooker.  Normally, I don’t have the patience to wait for food to cook in a slow cooker.  But when every physical activity becomes exhausting and all you want to do is rest, the slow cooker is a life saver.  And these Sweet Chili Rolls were worth the wait.

Ground turkey is mixed with a blend of water, pinto beans, ketchup, dijon mustard, garlic and chili powder in the slow cooker and cooked low and slow for 6 hours.  The result is healthier version of a sloppy joe which is topped with cheese.  I love the addition of the pinto beans here because the slow cooking process make the turkey meat tender and texturally perfect with the beans which also provides a boost of fiber.  I substituted some of the chili powder with chipotle chili powder to add a little kick so consider adding in additional spices if you choose.  I really don’t think you can go wrong here with other flavors like dry mustard or smoked paprika also.  Whether you have a lot to and have no time to cook or just need keep your feet up instead of standing in the kitchen, these sandwiches are a happy no-brainer.


The ingredients:


Blend chili powder, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Add ketchup and mustard and stir to combine.


Pour ketchup mixture into slow cooker and stir in 1 cup water, beans, onion and garlic. Crumble in half the turkey and gently stir to combine. Repeat with remaining turkey.



Cover and slow cook on HIGH for 6 hours or on LOW for 8 hours.


Uncover and add salt. Spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture onto a roll. Top with 2 tbsp shredded cheese.


Additions:  None


  • Vidalia onion


  • Chipotle chili powder

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Family Circle Magazine

Crunchy Chickpeas

For the second weekend in a row, I’ve gotten completely sucked into the 80’s miniseries North and South staring Patrick Swayze.  Last week was North and South Book 1 and yesterday was North and South Book 2 (based off of John Jakes’ book Love and War).  I remember watching both of these miniseries when I was a kid and have managed to get sucked right back into it all over again like I’ve never seen it.  I’ve always slightly been fascinated by the Civil War but it might be because I grew up in the Land of Lincoln, 30 minutes away from Springfield, Illinois where every field trip I went on in school was somehow related to Abraham Lincoln.  As if dedicating two Sundays in a row to the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln wasn’t enough, I proceeded to watch Killing Lincoln on Nat Geo last night before bed which let me tell you – was not a good idea.  At some point, I did manage to make myself a snack of Crunchy Chickpeas, to keep me going through hours of, well, death.  I guess it’s fitting since today is President’s Day, right?

I’ve seen these chickpea snacks nearly everywhere – in magazines, on Pinterest and in food blogs so I figured, why not give them a try?  They aren’t the simplest things to make but now I get the hype.  Canned chickpeas are tossed with garlic and seasonings and baked low and slow for a long time until crunchy on the outside but slightly chewy on the inside.  Sounds simple enough but the beans first have to be drained and de-skinned.  Hah..wahh?  I never really paid attention to the fact that chickpeas have skin but they do.  Lay them out on a paper towel, top with another paper towel and gently roll.  Yes, roll.  Those little pesky skins will slide ride off.  But take my word for it, do this process in batches.  Otherwise, you’ll be rolling and plucking skins all day.  My first bite of these chickpeas, I wondered what was so great.  But then, there I was, watching 80’s TV and popping these obsessively into my mouth.  I can’t explain it what it is about these snacks but they are slightly addictive.


The ingredients:


Wrap chickpeas in a towel; lightly roll to loosen skins. Discard skins.


Combine chickpeas and remaining ingredients.


Arrange on a baking sheet.


Bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.


Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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