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Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

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This recipe is the seventh in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

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This is one of my more recent “favorite recipe” discoveries. I love squash and chili, so even though this is a meatless (and vegan) recipe I knew I wanted to try it when I spotted it. I think Steve and I were both a little bit nervous, as I added non-meat ingredients to the pot, that it wouldn’t satisfy us. The chili smelled SO good while it was simmer on the stove, and once I tasted it I was not disappointed.

This chili works so well because there is good flavor and lots of textures, just like any other great chili. There’s a good amount of chopping and dicing involved, but then everything just simmers on the stove for a while. I think of squash as something that takes a long time to cook, but in this case it really doesn’t take more than 30 minutes or so. A super flavorful chili in under an hour? Sounds good to me!

This recipe is from Cookie + Kate and I’ve hardly modified it (and I, somehow, tend to modify even the best recipes, so this is really saying something!). I’ve changed very little about the flavors, mostly just the ratios of different ingredients. Red peppers are crazy expensive here, and I can never find a squash as small as the recipe calls for, so I add more squash and less red pepper. I tend to increase the amount of onion, too, because we just love onions. Don’t skip the crispy tortilla strips!!! I typically cut up 2 tortillas, when the chili is almost done, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and put them in the toaster oven until crispy. It really adds a nice dynamic to the taste of the whole bowl of chili.

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Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

Recipe Source: Cookie + Kate

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 butternut squash (in the 2 lb. range), peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (I’ve also subbed in about 2 t garlic powder)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced (add more or less to taste)
  • 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes (liquid included)
  • 3 c cooked black beans (or 2 cans)
  • 14 oz vegetable broth (my preference is 2 c water + 2 tsp better than bouillon)
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado, diced

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot (dutch oven, stock pot, etc.).
  2. When the oil is warm add the diced veggies: red onion, red bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic. Cook, stirring every minute or two, just until the onions start to soften.
  3. Add the cumin, chipotle pepper, tomatoes, black beans, and broth. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat (basically, a simmer) and cover. The chili is done when the butternut squash is soft and tender.
  4. As the chili is nearing being done, make the tortilla strips. Spray each tortilla with olive oil spray and spinkle with salt. Cut into strips. Bake at 350° F for about 12 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown (I use my toasted oven for this).
  5. Serve chili with the tortilla strips and the diced avocado.

Mashed Black Bean Fajitas with Grilled Corn, Avocado, and Cabbage

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Black bean, vegetarian fajitas packed with veggies. Easily made gluten free using corn tortillas. Cooks up in under 30 minutes!

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Last week I shared a method for cooking your own dry beans. It takes a while, but the effort is minimal. Once the beans are cooked they are as effortless to use as canned beans. I generally store mine in Ziploc bags in the freezer. Just thaw and use! If you store cooked beans in the refrigerator then there’s one less step (just remember that your beans will last longer in the freezer, so use them up before they go bad if you store them in the fridge!). With no prep required, beans make an excellent last minute meal!

Which is exactly how these fajitas started. I had meat in the house, but none that wasn’t frozen. There was a bunch of random stuff in the refrigerator, which I’m sure everyone reading this who is also a human being understands. Why is it that despite my best intentions, there are always odds and ends left in the refrigerator? I do my best to combat it. I look in the refrigerator and freezer before making a meal plan or grocery list. I open it when going to eat a snack. I try to utilize everything in there, but inevitably, there are still odds and ends.

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So, I gathered all my odds and ends from the refrigerator and prepared them while I sauteed some onions and black beans. The bean and onion mixture seemed bland so I added some lime juice and fajita seasoning. I used one of my new found favorite spices, Penzey’s Fajita Seasoning. I only found and had the chance to visit my first Penzey’s a few months ago and I am already a convert. Their spices make all my food taste amazing! What I love is that there is so much flavor in their spice blends. I can use less to get a great taste, and many don’t even have salt in them (although, I do love the 4S Smoky Salt). Of course, there are other fajita seasonings on the market, so just sub in whatever variety you can find and/or enjoy. In a pinch, taco seasoning will work!

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Even though there is some dicing and chopping required, this is easily a 30 minute dinner. A healthy 30 minute dinner, at that! To make things even quicker you could use frozen or canned corn – also a great option for when you don’t want to grill in the winter! If you totally love cooking, there’s a variation for you, too! Try making your own tortillas. When I want something quick and convenient I use store bought corn tortillas, but there’s nothing quite like Mexican food with homemade tortillas. There’s a link in the recipe below with directions on how to make your own tortilla.

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Save this recipe, and next time you’re in a pinch and need a quick, healthy, dinner, give these fajitas a try! I know that to some of you no gluten and no meat may sound like a drag, but I bet by the end of the meal you won’t be missing either!

 Mashed Black Bean Fajitas with Grilled Corn, Avocado, and Cabbage

Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil (or any oil that you regularly use)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can rinsed and drained, or 2 c cooked black beans
  • 2 tsp fajita seasoning (I use Penzey’s)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs lime juice (or juice from 1 lime)
  • 1 ear corn
  • 1/2 c diced red cabbage
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10 corn tortillas (here’s a recipe to make your own corn tortillas)
Directions
  1. Preheat the grill. Husk the corn, and lay it on the grill in direct heat. Turn it every 2 to 3 minutes, until charred on all sides.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is warm, add the onions. Stir frequently, until the onions are softened.
  4. Stir in the beans.
  5. Add the lime juice and fajita seasoning. Stir to combine. Using a fork, gently mash the beans.
  6. Serve hot with the cabbage, avocado, and cheese. If using store bought corn tortillas, microwave a small stack (3 – 5) of tortillas for about 30 seconds to soften them.

 Serve this with

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays hosted by Gluten Free Easily, Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, and Gluten Free Homemaker. Check it out! Tons of recipes there!

Black Bean Burrito Bowls

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I posted a picture of these burrito bowls in one of my Daniel Fast updates. Last week I shared my personal favorite version of Cilantro Lime Rice. Now, here’s an entire-meal application for that rice!

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These burrito bowls are healthy and delicious. I’m thinking as I’m typing this that I rarely believe it when other bloggers say that same thing. A bunch of vegetables usually tastes like a bunch of vegetables. The pictures always look nice but that doesn’t mean I’m actually going to want to go chow down on a big bowl of vegetables. The difference (for me at least) between these burritos and other health foods is that they are seasoned very well. I usually love to put taco sauce and cheese on anything Mexican-ish but I wasn’t missing either of those in this bowl. The seasoned black beans and the cilantro lime rice together in one mouthful was plenty of flavor! And thinking about it, that’s why I add all the cheese and taco sauce to a regular burrito – because I’m trying to pack in more flavor.

As is, this dinner is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free (I think – PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong!!), nut free, vegetarian, and vegan (again, I think – If I’m wrong let me know)! Everything in this recipe is a whole food or spice. Don’t you love knowing that you are putting real food into your body? I know I do.

My half-eaten bowl.

My half-eaten bowl.

Of course, depending on your preferences you could add any number of things to these bowls. Tomatoes or green onions, broken up tortillas chips for some crunch, shredded cheese, hot sauce, etc. You could even add lettuce for a taco salad. The options are endless!

Black Bean Burrito Bowl 1

Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 16 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1 c frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 recipe Cilantro Lime Rice
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. When the oil is hot add the onion and cook until softened.
  2. While the onion is cooking, mix the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, and salt.
  3. Add the black beans into the skillet. Stir in the seasoning mix and water. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the beans are heated through.
  4. To serve, fill bowls with rice. Top with some of the black bean/onion mixture, corn, and avocado.

Black Bean Quesadillas with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

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These tasty quesadillas are easy to transport, very filling, and totally appetizing hot or cold. They are perfect for an on-the-go snack or lunch, and a quick vegetarian dinner option, too!

This is a really busy time of year for everyone. It seems to be parties, church events, and travel keeping me busy this year. A couple years ago I was on the road for work every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is not so simple for people on a gluten free diet to stop by the drive thru for lunch in the midst of shopping for Christmas gifts or eat your fills worth at a holiday party. There is more planning required.

I love these quesadillas for busy days. Once you’ve made the black bean mixture and the sauce it takes just a couple of minutes to cook them. Since they are self contained, kind of like a tortilla sandwich, they travel so easily. You don’t need to remember to bring a fork with you, or even need to heat these up in the microwave. Sometimes I cook the whole batch of these all at one time and keep them on hand in the fridge for a really quick and easy meal to bring with me when I will be out all day. Other times, I make the bean mixture ahead of time and then cook 3 or 4 tortillas worth of quesadillas at a time.

Black Bean Quesadillas

Have I mentioned how filling these are? Something about black beans always fills me up really quickly – anyone else experience that? I find that feeling full is GREAT when I am at a party or somewhere else with tons of food that I cannot eat. It helps me not feel so bad about missing out on all of that great food!

The quesadillas are good on their own, but even more excellent with this spicy dipping sauce. As a former Taco Bell employee I am very familiar with the different sauce. The Baja sauce is my favorite, but their quesadilla sauce is a close second. When I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest I knew I had to try it. I made a few modifications (mainly swapping out the sour cream for greek yogurt), and ended up with a healthier version of that yummy Taco Bell Quesadilla sauce. Yum!

Next time you need to bring a meal with you give this a try! A few of these quesadillas packed up with a dollop of this spicy sauce will keep you full and satisfied!

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P.S. My eBook is now available on Kindle! You can also purchase it for $1 off the Kindle price here. Check it out for your holiday baking!

Black Bean Quesadilla with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients (makes 12 quesadillas and 1/2 c of sauce)

 

For the Spicy Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs jalapeno, roughly chopped (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 4 shakes cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Quesadillas

  • 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onions, finely chopped (about 1/2 c)
  • 1/3 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/2 c shredded mexican cheese blend
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • salt
 
  1. In a blender or food processor combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix until smooth and well combined.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix the first eight quesadilla ingredients.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When it is warm, spray with cooking spray and place a tortilla flat in the pan. Spray the tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Flip the tortillas over using a spatula. Scoop about two tablespoons of the bean mixture onto on half of the tortilla. The amount of mixture you use for each tortilla may be more or less, depending on how large your tortillas are. Using the spatula, fold the tortilla in half over top of the bean mixture and preww the top down with a spatula.
  4. Let the quesadilla cook for a minute or two, until the bottom is brown (just light the edge up a little bit with a spatula to check), then flip and let the other side brown.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining tortillas.
  6. Serve with the spicy yogurt sauce.

Mexican Stroganoff (GF)

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I grew up eating Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff. It was probably one of the first things I ever cooked by myself. I love the warm, creaminess of stroganoff. It’s one of my comfort foods.

So, when I stumbled upon a recipe called “Taco Stroganoff” I needed to try it. In my typical style, I replaced half of the ingredients before even trying the original version and ended up with a very different meal, but still fitting in the themes of “Taco” and “Stroganoff”.

The result of my experimentation was creamy, taco-y, deliciousness. The Mexican flavors in the seasoning (Mexican, as best as I can figure out, anyway) are strong and tasty, but not spicy. The creaminess comes from greek yogurt, so it is guilt free. This was totally unique and totally yummy.

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We ate this with homemade brazilian cheese bread. You know, that squishy stuff made with tapioca starch and cheese?  I used this recipe for the ones in the pictures. I have also used Chebe bread mixes many times and they are very, very similar. If you’re looking for a more normal or less labor intensive starch, this also goes great over top of rice!

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Mexican “Stroganoff”

Main Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 can corn (with peppers and/or chilis)
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 1 small container (about 1/2c) plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2c shredded mexican cheese
  • 1/4c green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tbs cilantro, chopped (optional)
Taco Seasoning Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
Cooking Directions:
  1. Combine all taco seasoning ingredients and set aside. If you’d prefer you could also use a taco seasoning packet.
  2. Add the ground turkey and onion to a large skillet. Heat over medium high heat, breaking up the turkey as it browns.
  3. When turkey is browned drain any excess fat. If you used a very lean ground turkey, don’t be surprised if there isn’t enough liquid to easily drain it out. If that’s the case, your end result won’t be greatly different without draining, so don’t feel like you must drain the fat anyway. Add the water and taco seasoning mix. Stir well, until it is all combined.
  4. Add the corn and black beans and cook a few more minutes, until everything is heated through.
  5. Turn the heat off (but leave the pan on the burner) and add the yogurt and cheese. As your stir these in, the cheese will melt.
  6. Top with green onions and cilantro.
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