Tag Archives: black beans

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos

Sweet potatoes. Eh. Never been a huge fan. At Thanksgiving I place that nasty marshmallow covered pan far away from me. But I’m definitely making progress on learning to like them. The trick for me? Cook them savory, not sweet. And cook them in a way that they get a little crispy. A bit of texture goes a long way with me. Baby food sweet potato mush does not appeal. Give me some crunch!

This recipe went down as a big check in my sweet potato “like” column. The beans and other veggies add texture, the spices add some savory to balance the sweet and roasting the potatoes added some crispy edges and nice chewy texture. It all added up to an out of the ordinary, and very delicious taco!

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Honey-Lime Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos
(From Cooking Classy)

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled if desired and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5) oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed and drained
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Corn or flour tortillas
Taco toppings of your choice, such as romaine lettuce or purple cabbage, cotija or feta cheese, lime wedges, diced avocados, fresh salsa or pico de gallo and hot sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil then place sweet potatoes on foil. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp olive oil and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle evenly with cumin, paprika, coriander, cayenne pepper and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste then toss to evenly coat. Bake in preheated oven 15 – 20 minutes until tender, removing from oven and tossing once halfway through baking.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until caramelized (golden brown on edges and tender), about 5 – 6 minutes, adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of sauteing. Reduce heat to medium-low, add in drained black beans, corn, honey and lime juice. Heat until warmed through. Toss in roasted sweet potatoes and cilantro. Serve in warm tortillas with desired toppings.

 

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Roasted Pepper Black Bean Chili

I know, I know. It’s 80 degrees and I’m making chili. You might think I’m odd, but for me, chili is not just a winter food. One reason is I like it too much to confine it to just one season. The other is that I planted ten pepper plants and I have to find ways to use them, assuming I don’t kill them off before they produce anything. Besides, this is a recipe for the crock pot, which means no heating up the house with the oven!

The basic recipe for this is actually quite similar to my regular chili, but this time I used dried beans and roasted peppers and wow! it tastes completely different. Deeper, smokier, wonderful! You can use whatever combination of peppers you like or happen to have. I’ll list the combo I used, which resulted in a fairly mild but flavorful batch. Feel free to toss in some hotter ones if you are a five-alarm sort of person.

Plan ahead and soak your beans the night before to ensure they get done in the slow cooker. Or you can use canned beans in a pinch. This works well as a vegetarian recipe too, just leave out the ground beef.

Roasted Pepper Chili

Roasted Pepper Chili

Roasted Pepper Chili

2 cups dried black beans
4 cups water
2 poblano peppers
3 anaheim chiles
1 red bell pepper
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
1 pound ground beef
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2-3 tbsp. chili powder
2-3 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
Salt & pepper

The night before, rinse dried beans. Place in a bowl with at least six cups of water. Let soak overnight. In the morning, drain beans and put in crock pot. In a skillet, brown ground beef and add to crock pot.

Remove seeds and stems from peppers and lay skin-side up on a large cookie sheet. Place under broiler 4-5 minutes, until skin turns black. Remove and put in a paper or plastic bag to cool.

Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, oregano and cumin to crock pot.

Remove peppers from their bag, chop and add to the crock pot. Cover with about 4 cups of water, give it a stir. Cook on high for 6-8 hours until beans are soft. Add salt & pepper to taste.

This was even better the next day!

So good.

So good.

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Festive Black Bean Salad

Easy, pretty and delicious.  This salad is hearty enough to eat as a main dish – I usually throw it over the top of a pile of greens in that case – or great as a side with pretty much anything.  I especially like it for BBQs and potlucks because it doesn’t have to be refrigerated and tastes great at room temperature.  This will also keep in the fridge for several days so I usually double the recipe so I have yummy leftovers.  If you like it spicy, toss in a little finely diced jalapeno for an extra kick.

Festive Black Bean Salad

Festive Black Bean Salad

Festive Black Bean Salad

1-2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 orange (or red or yellow) bell pepper, diced
1-2 diced tomato
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1-2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Eat!

Festive Black Bean Salad

Festive Black Bean Salad

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One Pork Roast, 3 Dinners. Day 2: Shredded Pork & Black Bean Tacos

For my second installment of the Pork Roast saga, I give you tacos.  Now yes, you can make tacos out of just about anything, but boy were these yummy.  Pulled pork is not something I usually have lying around, so it was a treat.  And these particular tacos had the added benefit of using pretty much all ingredients in my cupboards so I didn’t have to go to the store.

If you missed chapter one of my pork roast week, click here to see directions for the basic pork recipe and BBQ pork sandwiches.  Or skip ahead to part 3 for Shepherd’s Pie.

porkroast-burritos

Shredded Pork and Black Bean Tacos

2 cups (approx.) Basic Pulled Pork
1 can diced green chiles
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Flour or corn tortillas
Lettuce, cheese or other taco toppings (optional)

In a skillet on medium heat, add pulled pork, green chiles, black beans and seasonings.  Stir and cook until well combined and heated through.  Warm tortillas in the oven, pile filling in the tortilla, top with lettuce or whatever else you like on your taco and eat!

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Black Bean Enchilada Stacks

What to make for the birthday dinner for one of my dearest friends of all time?  Well…Mexican food of course.  And something vegetarian for this particular friend. She was literally doing a happy dance in her chair while she was eating these enchiladas.

I first saw enchilada stacks in New Mexico, when I had huevos rancheros served this way in a little cafe outside of Taos.  I fell in love with these little towers of tastiness.  They are so much easier to make than rolled enchiladas but you still have individual servings which is a nice touch.  For me the highlight of this recipe is the amazing verde sauce.  It’s incredibly easy to make and so much better than anything you will find in a can.  Next time I’m making a double batch so I can use it on about a dozen other things.

Black Bean Enchilada Stacks with Homemade Verde Sauce.  Yum!

Black Bean Enchilada Stacks

Verde Sauce:
12 oz. tomatillos (7-8 large)
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped roasted green chiles (canned works fine)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped

Filling:
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped green chiles (canned is just fine)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt & pepper

Other Ingredients:
16 corn tortillas (for 4 stacks, add more tortillas for more stacks)
2 cups shredded jack/cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup chopped red or orange bell pepper

Make the sauce first. Remove husks and stems from tomatillos and wash.  Add tomatillos to a sauce pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes until tender.  Drain. Put tomatillos and other sauce ingredients in a blender and puree.  Set aside.

In a bowl mix black beans and other filling ingredients.  In a large casserole dish or jelly roll pan (use 2 pans if needed), spread 1/4 cup sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Create 4-6 enchilada stacks (I made five), starting with a tortilla, then 1/3 of bean mixture, cheese, then tortilla, then 1/3 bean mixture, cheese, then tortilla, then 1/3 bean mixture, cheese, ending with a tortilla. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the stacks.  Cover with the remaining shredded cheese.  Garnish each stack with feta and peppers.

All stacked up and ready to go in the oven.

Bake at 375˚ for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is melted and tortillas are starting to brown on the edges.  Serve entire stack on a plate with extra sauce from the bottom of the pan spooned over the top.  For lighter appetites, you may want to cut these in half, but we didn’t have any problem polishing off a whole stack each!  This recipe will make 4-6 stacks.

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3 Pepper Sauté

When I was young I didn’t like any peppers at all.  Strange that now I can’t seem to get enough of them, especially this time of year.  My favorites are the sweet red, yellow and orange ones, but I’ll eat any of them that come my way.  The poblanos in this add a little kick and more complex flavor, but if you don’t want that, just use regular green peppers as a substitute.

This is a simple recipe that I usually make as a side dish for tacos, or chicken or well…whatever.  It also works great in a bowl by itself, as a burrito filling, or folded into an omelet for breakfast the next day.

3 Pepper Sauté

 

3 Pepper Sauté

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup sliced red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Poblano peppers, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Salt & pepper

Sauté onions, garlic and peppers in olive oil until the veggies are tender.  Add corn, beans, lime juice and seasonings and mix well.  Stir and cook a couple of minutes until it’s all heated through.  Serve hot or cold.

 

 

 

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Black Bean & Spinach Quesadillas

You know you’re getting old when one day you sneeze and somehow pull a muscle in your lower back.  Yesterday evening I was tired, hurting, and a tiny bit grouchy. It’s true!  It happens! Now of course you’re thinking, why not just order out?  Well…the Chinese place I like doesn’t deliver and I didn’t feel like going to get it.  Besides, we ate out for lunch.

I love to cook.  That doesn’t mean I love to spend hours in my kitchen cooking.  Looking over most of the recipes I make on a regular basis, it seems like 30 minutes is my cooking limit in most cases.  But when I don’t feel well, or am wiped out, or have a gimpy lower back… I have a collection of 5-10 minute recipes I pull from.  And if I was really sick, this one is easy enough that Claire could make them by herself.  As always, she was very helpful.

Quesadillas are super quick to make, and you can put just about anything in them.  My kids love them.  Sometimes I make them with just cheese, but my favorite ones have beans and veggies of some sort included.  I had two kinds of salsa in my fridge left over from other recipes.  Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa that was just begging to be eaten, plus some of my awesome tomato salsa that I make in big batches just for occasions like this.  All I needed was something to dip in it.

Black Bean & Spinach Quesadillas with Red & Green Salsa

Black Bean & Spinach Quesadillas

Flour tortillas (I prefer the smaller taco sized tortillas, they are easier to flip!)
Shredded cheese (I like the pre-shredded Mexican blend)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
A big handful of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
Salsa

Heat a dry skillet (or grill) over medium heat.  Place a flour tortilla in the skillet and build your quesadilla right in the pan.  I start with a little cheese, then put beans and spinach and then top with more cheese (you need glue on both sides!). End with another tortilla.

Building the Quesadilla

Keep an eye on the bottom tortilla, peeking under it once in awhile.  When it’s brown on the bottom and kind of stiffened up, flip the entire thing (put your hand on the top of the stack to hold it steady if needed).  Cook until the bottom tortilla is browned and the cheese is melted.  Slide onto a cutting board and slice into wedges with a pizza cutter.  Serve with salsa and chips.

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Project Veggie: Day 15 – Black Bean Soup

Today marks the halfway point of Project Veggie.  I’m happy to report we are doing great!  I feel terrific, have lots of energy and haven’t been missing the meat at all.  We may just keep going with it after the month is up.

My daughter, Claire, has a recurring dream.  She calls it the “monster stealing my soup” dream.  She gets up from the table for something and when she returns there is a tiny, poofy, green monster who grabs her bowl of soup and disappears.  The only thing that changes is the kind of soup.  I’d like to think the underlying cause of these dreams is the irresistible soup I make.

One year for Christmas my dad and stepmom gave me two Calphalon hard-anodized pans.  One soup pot, and one sauce pan.  This was about 15 years ago and I still have them and they are still like new, and my favorite pans.  They are indestructible.  I wish I had an entire set.  They came with a little cookbook that I’ve used so much it’s fallen apart and is now being held together by binder clips.  Whenever I make a recipe out of a cookbook, I draw a face on it describing how I feel about it for future reference.  This book is riddled with happy faces.  One of the happy faces is on the recipe for Black Bean Soup.  It’s quick, easy to make, and very satisfying.  But beware, it’s so good a monster may try to steal it!

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup
(adapted from Weeknights, by Calphalon Cooks)

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can stewed tomatoes with onion, celery, and green bell pepper
1 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
sour cream
lemon wedges
Salt & pepper

Saute onions, pepper and garlic in oil about 5 minutes.  Add cumin and saute 5 minutes more until onions are soft.  Stir in beans, tomatoes, cilantro and oregano.  Remove from heat.  Spoon into a blender or food processor a portion at a time.  Puree coarsely – there should still be some whole beans.  Return to cooking pan and add broth.  Bring to boil.  Taste and add salt & pepper if needed.  Ladle into soup bowls and finish with a swirl of sour cream and a squeeze of lemon.  Serves 4.

 

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