Tag Archives: beans

Forget the Lettuce Veggie Salad

When you eat a lot of vegetables, which we do at my house, you get sick of the traditional salad. Sometimes I just don’t want to see another leaf of lettuce, even though I really like salad. But never fear, when salad boredom happens, I tend to just start combining random ingredients in the hopes of inventing something new that everyone will actually eat. It usually works.

I would describe this as a Mediterranean-ish veggie extravaganza. Filling and flavorful, it stands well on its own, or is the perfect side dish for just about anything. As an added bonus, it works well at room temperature which makes it terrific for potlucks and picnics.

No Lettuce Veggie Salad

Forget the Lettuce Veggie Salad

Forget the Lettuce Veggie Salad

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can olives, cut in half
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 zucchini, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1 small can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered or coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 tbsp. vinegar
Salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients. Eat.

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Where’s The Tortilla in Tortilla Soup?

When I was in art school I had a great job for a while, working at Denver Art Supply.  Not only did I get a discount on all my art supplies for school, I learned all sorts of fun things and I had the pleasure of working with a great group of people.  One of the people I looked up to was a girl named Jennifer, who although only in her mid-20’s, was a wife and mother and artist and knew all sorts of interesting things.  One of the things she taught me was how to make tortilla soup, which to this day, although I’ve played with it a little bit, is still very similar to that original recipe.

Of course one of the great mysteries (to me) about tortilla soup is that there are not any tortillas in it.  I’ve come up with some answers to this, mostly just because I like answers to questions.  One is that there USED to be tortillas and the recipe has somehow evolved to not need them anymore, perhaps because someone discovered it’s just better to crunch up chips in at the end instead.  Or maybe it’s because it’s really great when you eat it WITH tortillas, scooping some of the soup up with a torn off bit and making a total mess of yourself in the process.  Either way, it’s delicious!

Chicken Tortilla Soup. Not a tortilla in sight, but it’s still awesome!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1/2 pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups beef broth
1 cup tomato juice
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 can black beans, drained
2/3 cup uncooked rice
1-2 tsp. cumin
1-2 tsp. chili powder
Salt & pepper

Saute onions, garlic & jalapeño in a little canola oil for a couple of minutes.  Add chicken and continue to cook until onions are soft and chicken is no longer pink.  Add broth, tomato juice and worcestershire.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium and cook for 10 minutes or so.  Add beans, rice and seasonings.  Stir to combine and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until rice is done.  Top with a squeeze of lime, avocado, cheese, sour cream or tortilla chips (or all of the above)!

The leftovers freeze great, so I highly recommend making a double batch!

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Rustlin’ Up Some Chili

Cowboys have it figured out.  Fresh air.  Horses.  Chuck wagon.  Sleeping under the stars.  And along the way somewhere they discovered the perfect food.  Chili.  Chock full of protein & veggies.  Cooks in one pot on the stove (or campfire).  Does it get any easier -or tastier- than that?

Canned chili is disgusting.  And in my opinion, pointless.  Why would you eat a nasty can of something when it’s so easy to throw a bunch of stuff in a pot, come back 30 minutes later and find chili that is fresh and good?  Any cowboy worth his salt would throw that can to the cows and rustle up a batch on his own.  So hang up your spurs, throw on an apron, and get to rustlin’!

This is about the easiest recipe ever.  Sauté, throw things in, simmer.  I know there are a million recipes for chili, but even when I stray and try new things, I always return to my old standby.  For a vegetarian version, just leave the meat out.  It cooks in about 45 minutes from start to finish, and it’s even better the next day.  Plus the leftovers freeze very well. I like to make it in a double batch and freeze half of it in small containers for easy lunches later.

Three Bean Chili

April’s Three Bean Chili

1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef (optional)
2-3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce (or 2 small cans)
1 can black beans (drain & rinse)
1 can pinto beans (drain & rinse)
1 can kidney beans (drain & rinse)

Sauté onions, peppers and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil.  Add beef and continue to cook until it’s browned.  Add seasonings and stir to mix thoroughly.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes (or longer if you want).  Check seasonings.  Adjust if needed.  Chow time!

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