Black Bean Tortilla Soup

We made this at work today, and it was super quick and easy.  Based on Mairlyn Smith’s recipe in her book “Healthy Starts Here!“.

The soup:

  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 x 540ml tin of garlic & olive oil diced tomatoes (or just diced tomatoes)
  • 1 x 540ml tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (or fresh)
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, or use garlic powder
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

The topping:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions (about 5)
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes or slices
  • 1 lime, scrubbed well, and cut into wedges
  • 40 unsalted whole-grain corn tortilla chips, or 4 fresh corn tortillas

 

  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a soup pot.
  2. Add the undrained tomatoes, black beans, corn, salsa, hot sauce, cumin, and garlic; bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.  Add cilantro, stir, and remove from heat.
  3. Ladle the soup into 4 deep soup bowls. Sprinkle each portion with the green onions, avocado, dividing evenly.
  4. Squeeze a lime wedge or two into each bowl. Crumble 10 tortilla chips into each bowl and stir gently. If using fresh tortillas, just tear into bite-sized pieces and add to each bowl.

 

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Filed under food, Soups, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

The Food Lab on Hard Boiled Eggs

I’m a huge fan of J. Kenji López-Alt, and this article is terrific, as usual.

The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs

J. Kenji López-Alt is the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, and author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, where he unravels the science of home cooking. A restaurant-trained chef and former Editor at Cook’s Illustrated magazine, he is the author of the New York Times best-selling cookbook The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, available now wherever books are sold.

 

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Kristen’s Granola

Best on top of yogurt with fruit.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp honey, warmed (added half way through baking)
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In large bowl, toss oats with almonds, flour, brown sugar, poppy seeds, and salt.
  3. Over the stove, or in the microwave melt the butter in the maple syrup. Add it to the oat mixture and stir until thoroughly coated.
  4. Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake the granola in center of oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir the granola, and drizzle the honey over top.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes longer, stirring once more, until golden and nearly dry.
  8. Turn off the oven and prop the door open half way; let the granola cool completely in the oven, stirring occasionally.

Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about three weeks.

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Black Bean and Corn Patties

This is a recipe from Food52.  Smoked paprika is a must, as is a food processor.  We serve on top of mixed greens dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, and top the patty with N’s Killer Guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and thinly sliced red onions (we don’t think it would taste good on a bun).

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cupscooked black beans, DIVIDED (or approximately 1 1/2 cans, rinsed and drained) 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2/3  quick oats, plus extra as needed
  • 3/4 cups fresh corn cut from cobs
  1. Sauté onion and garlic in the olive oil for eight to ten minutes, or until golden, soft, and fragrant.
  2. Add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, sea salt, and peppers to taste. Stir in the sauté pan till spices toast lightly.
  3. Add 2 cups of the beans and stir to coat with the spices and onions.  Turn off heat.
  4. Add the oats to the bowl of a food processor and pulse them a few times. Add the onion, garlic, and bean mixture. Process everything together, until it’s well combined but still has texture.
  5. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the last cup of black beans and the corn, and mix well with your hands. Check for seasoning and season to taste. If the mixture is too mushy to form into patties, add a little more oats or bread crumbs.
  6. Shape mixture into six patties. Pan fry them in olive oil until golden on each side, and heated through.

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Filed under food, Protein, Salads, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Aarti Sequeira’s Keema

Love her recipes!

  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ~ 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp good garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tsp malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil and add onions; cook until golden (do not rush this step)
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for another minute.  Stir in the spices, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the beef, breaking up lumps with a spoon, and sauté until the meat is no longer pink.
  4. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of water, and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer, partially covered, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the peas, and cook another 5 minutes, partially covered.
  6. Stir in the vinegar and chopped cilantro.
  7. Serve with warm chapatis, or over rice.

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, food, Main Course, Protein, whole food

Maple Quinoa Granola

This is based on a recipe at Food52, by “spacekase” — I’ve adapted it, ingredient-wise and quantities-wise to my own preferences.  The quinoa adds a definite crunch; use quinoa flakes if you don’t like the whole quinoa.

Maple Quinoa Granola

Maple Quinoa Granola

Preheat oven to 225F

Mix together in a large bowl, then set aside:

  • 2 cups whole rolled oats (not the instant kind)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, the pre-rinsed kind (like Bob’s Mill)
  • 1 cup raw nuts, coarsely chopped (any kind that you like — I use walnuts & sliced almonds)
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit, chopped if big (I like apricots, dried cranberries & dried cherries)

For the coating, whisk together until thoroughly combined:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid/melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Pour the wet mixture onto the dry mixture, and stir until everything is completely coated.

Spread the mixture evenly into a large roaster, or onto a large cookie sheet, so that it covers the entire bottom.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it is lightly browned.  Allow to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, food, Grains, whole food

Browned flour for thickening

In a dry skillet over medium heat, add a cup or two of all purpose flour and stir gently until it’s browned.  Let the flour cool completely, and store in an airtight container; it will keep for roughly a year.

I now use this toasted flour for thickening gravy, as it magically dissolves into the liquid — even hot — without clumping, and the making of a roux is not necessary!

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