Category Archives: black bean

Black Bean, Acorn Squash, Kale & Cheddar Jack Quesadillas

Let’s say that you and your boyfriend are going to a city council meeting one night, and you’re both working basically right up to the time it starts. Do you A. Go to the grocery store and buy things for dinner which would probably consist of pasta, and a jar of sauce B. Pick up something on the way to the meeting or C. Think about the hodgepodge of ingredients in your refrigerator on your drive home from work, throw this together in 45 minutes and then watch your boyfriend inhale an entire quesadilla in the 5 minutes he’s home before you both have to leave for the council meeting, knowing that it’s made of almost completely healthy things? 
 
C. If this town could run itself as efficiently as this recipe came together, it would be a whole new world. 
 
BLACK BEAN, ACORN SQUASH, KALE & CHEDDAR JACK QUESADILLAS (serves 2-4)
– 1/2 an acorn squash, sliced
– 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
– 2 cups kale, ribs removed, torn into pieces
– 1/2 vidalia onion, really thinly sliced
– 1/3 shredded jack cheese
– 4 flour tortillas
– 1 tbsp. butter
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt & pepper
 
1. Preheat the oven to 400. 
 
2. Carefully (these are really hard), with a serrated knife, cut the acorn squash into strips. Rub the cut sides with a little olive oil.
 
3. Place acorn squash on a baking sheet, roast for about 30 minutes, flipping sides around halfway through.



4. Thinly slice an onion, then cook it over medium heat in 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp. EVOO until it soften and starts to caramelize. Continue reading

Black Bean and Cilantro Hummus

 

The incomparable Caravia’s does just about everything perfectly. Their food is amazing, their produce is the best/most organic you can find in the area, everything is selected with care and detail, and the health inspector, while visiting, told them “If every place was this clean, I’d be out of a job”. Oh, and it’s a family-run business (by one of my favorite families of all time) and you should go there immediately, if not sooner.

Anyway, they make a ton of awesome food, but one of my favorites is their black bean and cilantro hummus. I tried to duplicate it, but I’ll admit a loss when I meet one – theirs is still better.  So the next time you visit Clarks Summit, pick some up. If not, this will do as a substitute!

BLACK BEAN AND CILANTRO HUMMUS (makes enough for a party-size serving)
– 1 BPA-free can of chick peas (also called garbanzo beans)
– 1/2 BPA-free can of black beans
– approx. 3 tbsp. cilantro
– 1/4 C. tahini
– 1/4 C. EVOO
– 1/4 – 1/3 C. chicken (or vegetable) broth
– juice of 1 lime
– 1 tsp. cumin
– kosher salt to taste

1. Drain and rinse the black beans and the garbanzo beans. Add the garbanzo beans to a bowl, set the black beans aside for later.

2. In the bowl with the chick peas, add the tahini, EVOO, 2 TBSP of cilantro, cumin and kosher salt. Mix it all together pretty well.

3. Add the mixture to a food processor, pulse it until it’s combined. 


4. Little by little, add the broth – continuing to pulse the mixture – until it’s pretty light and fluffy.

5. Put the mix back in the bowl, stir in the 1/2 can of black beans and the remaining 1 TBSP of chopped cilantro. Mix it all together and refrigerate. Serve with chips, veggies, pretzel chips, or even use it as a sandwich spread.

Black Bean Soup with Lime & Cumin-Infused Sour Cream

There are a ton of recipes for making a black bean soup with dried beans that you soak overnight, turning an hour-long process into at least a 12-hour one.  I love black bean soup, but I really love the fact that you can throw this recipe together using canned black beans, and have a great, flavorful, one-pot meal in almost no time at all.  Red bell peppers, red onions, cilantro, lime & garlic combine with the canned black beans & chicken broth, then are finished by roughly blending it all together. A dollop of lime & cumin-infused sour cream adds the perfect amount of creaminess to this, too.  Don’t be scared by the 4 tablespoons (!!! I know) of cumin in this soup as a flavoring.  Cumin is great for you – tons of health benefits from liver detoxification to metabolism acceleration.  If you’re not a fan of the spice, though, I’d probably cut this back to 2 tablespoons for a less noticeable flavor.

Happy first day of Spring!

BLACK BEAN SOUP WITH LIME & CUMIN-INFUSED SOUR CREAM (makes approx. 10-12 bowls of soup)
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– 1 red bell pepper, diced
– 2 red onions, diced
– 3 cans black beans (I can’t recommend buying Eden Organic products enough, if you can find them.  They’re truly organic, use BPA-free cans, etc.  Totally worth the relatively minimal extra cost.), rinsed and drained
– 4 tbsp. ground cumin
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1/3 C. fresh cilantro, chopped
– juice of 1 lime
– 1.5 – 2 C. chicken broth (depending on how thick or thin you like your soup)
– 1.5 – 2 C. water (same note as above)
– Kosher salt & pepper

LIME & CUMIN-INFUSED SOUR CREAM
– zest of 1/2 a lime
– 1/3 C. sour cream
– juice of 1/2 a lime
– 1 tbsp. cumin

1. Dice your onions & your bell pepper.


2. Over medium high heat in a Le Creuset French Oven, heat 1 tbsp. EVOO.  Add diced bell pepper & onions, and sautee until they start to brown, approx. 10 minutes.


3. Add 4 tbsp cumin & 3 minced garlic cloves, stir until fragrant.


4. Add 3 cans rinsed and drained black beans, stir everything to combine.


5. Add water just to cover – either 1.5 – 2 C, depending on how thick or thin you like your soup.  Then add 1.5 – 2 C. chicken broth, too. Pacific makes a great 4-pack of 1-cup servings of chicken and vegetable broth, and they too are “truly” organic, as well as supporters of regulations for GMO labeling (hurraugh).


6. Bring soup just to a boil, then cover and simmer for approx. 30 minutes. Uncover, then add 1 tbsp. salt, 15 grinds of black pepper, juice of 1 lime (I used our new Rosle Citrus Reamer/Juicer again, which is the greatest thing ever), and the chopped cilantro.  Stir & let simmer for another 10 minutes.

 
 

7. At this point, blend it with an Immersion Hand Blender.  You can taste it before you do, but I wouldn’t recommend it, because it’ll just taste like bean water (“hot ham water” – Lindsey Bluth). I roughly blend this, because I like the end result to be a little chunkier, but blend it to whatever consistency you’d like.  Taste, then adjust seasonings.  Cover again, leave on low heat, and make your lime & cumin-infused sour cream.


8. Easy-peasy: combine sour cream, cumin, lime juice, lime zest.  Taste and adjust.  This will keep well in the refrigerator over the next couple of days to top off your bowls of soup.


9. Ladle a bowl of soup, top with a dollop of sour cream, mix & enjoy.  Overnight, this will get thicker & blend the flavors together – like so many soups, it’s good today, but will be great tomorrow. So will the sour cream.

Chicken, Black Bean, Kale, Roasted Butternut Squash, & Avocado Enchiladas


Say you have friends over on Monday, and you make an enormous roasted chicken. Then let’s say you have a ton of leftovers, since apparently an 8 lb. roast chicken is way too much for 4 people. And let’s also say that you would like Mexican food, but not turkey tacos, since although they are delicious, you make them all the time.  

Enchiladas??  Okay.

These were so tasty, and so filling, and I was able to convince myself that the kale, squash, and avocado made them healthy (enough). I thought the roasted butternut squash might add too much sweetness, but it ended up acting as sort of a binder for the filling, and lending just a little bit of flavor. This recipe uses a  tomatillo sauce that I found in the store, so if anyone has a tomatillo recipe they love, I’m all ears. These keep, and reheat, really well. I think they might actually even be good cold.

CHICKEN, BLACK BEAN, KALE, ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH & AVOCADO ENCHILADAS (makes 7 enormous enchiladas)

– 1 lb. shredded chicken
– 2 cups kale, “ribs” removed and roughly chopped
– 1 15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1/2 roasted butternut squash
– 1 small avocado, diced
– Mexican cheese – I was able to find a small wheel of “quesadilla cheese” in the grocery store which was perfect
– 2 cups tomatillo sauce
– Smaller-size flour tortillas
– 1 small onion, diced
– 2 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt or Herbamare
– Fresh-squeezed lime juice
– Sour cream, for topping

1. Roast your butternut squash. This is really easy but takes a little time. First, heat the oven to 400. The just take the whole squash, with a couple of holes poked into it, into the oven for about 15 minutes.  The squash will soften, and make cutting it a slightly less terrifying experience.
2. After 15 minutes, cut off the bottom of the squash, then cut it down the middle and scoop out all of the seeds.


3. Rub a little olive oil on the cut side of each half of the squash, then place cut-side down on an ungreased baking sheet.

4. Cook at 400 for approx. 30 – 45 minutes (depending on the size of the squash). Remove from the oven and let cool a bit.  The skin of the squash will peel right off, and you can then cut the squash into chunks for this recipe, or salads, or soup, or whatever.

5. While the squash is roasting, dice an onion.  The easiest way to do this is to cut the onion in half, then make vertical cuts along the onion’s natural lines.  When you then cut the onion, it will dice itself naturally.


6. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tsbp EVOO, and when hot, cook the onion until soft. 

7. Add the rinsed and drained black beans, chopped kale, and chicken. Stir to combine.
8. Add about 1/2 C. of the tomatillo sauce to the bean/kale/chicken/onion mixture for some flavor. Taste and adjust seasoning.

9. When the mixture is cooked, add the roasted squash and the avocado. Stir gently to combine.

10 Lower oven heat to 375.  In a microwave, heat the tortillas (4 at a time) in paper towels, for approx. 45 seconds.

11. Spread approx. 1/2 C. of the tomatillo sauce over the bottom of a large baking pan.


12. Assemble your enchiladas – spoon filling into the middle of a warm enchilada, grate some mexican cheese over the filling, and squeeze a little lime juice over it as well.  Roll up the enchilada and place in the baking pan seam-side down.

13. Step and repeat.

14. When all the enchiladas are in the baking pan, pour the remaining cup of tomatillo sauce over the top of them, then top with approx. 1/2 C. of shredded Mexican cheese.

15. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, for approx. 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

16. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream, salsa, etc. Ole.