Tag Archives: Black beans

Easy black bean and salsa burritos

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By the amount of Mexican food on this blog, you might think I have some Latin roots. That is, unless you have ever seen me. And especially if you have ever seen me in a Zumba class, which I just happened to be in last week. I’ll just say this: unless we were doing jumping jacks (this happened twice), I was flailing around like I was being chased by a swarm of bees or trying to walk over hot coals. Maybe both. Note to self: find Zumba class with no mirrors. And no windows.

Don’t worry though, I memorized all the “moves”. And I plan to bust them out unceremoniously after 1.5 cocktails at Ling‘s wedding. (Ling: I hereby request a Zumba song).

For now, I’ll stick to my Latin food and save the dance moves for when everyone is blindfolded. Behold: easy weeknight black bean burritos!

Easy Black Bean & Salsa Burritos, serves 2, plus leftovers for lunch
-1 can black beans
-3/4 c salsa (any kind will work)
-1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese (I tried vegan cheese this time, but its not as good as the real stuff!)
-1/2 avocado
-about 5 tortillas
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Heat oven to 325. Drain and rinse your black beans. Add them to a bowl with your salsa.
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Mash the beans with a fork, combining the salsa and beans into this lovely mixture (hey, it ain’t pretty, but it’s good).
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Scoop about 1/2 cup of the bean/salsa mixture into each tortilla, top with a little cheese and avocado, and roll up.
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Repeat for each tortilla.
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Bake for about 15 minutes, and enjoy on the porch with some Mexican beer!
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Vegetarian three-way: Butternut squash and black bean chili over spaghetti squash

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Readers, get your minds out of the gutter. This isn’t that kind of blog and you know it.

DR-Brother-in-Law introduced me to the Cincinnati 3-Way Chili back in the day. He’s famous for his own version. I’ve never attempted it until now.

When we host dinner for non-vegetarians, chili is my go-to meal. Served with some cornbread, it’s so filling that most people don’t even notice its vegetarian. Plus, it’s one of my favorite dinners; I love curling up with a bowl of chili, a blanket, and a football game. My chili “recipe” is hardly a recipe since I always just throw stuff into a pot and cross my fingers, but my favorite versions always have butternut squash, black beans, and corn. I recreated it for my non-vegetarian guests the other night, served over spaghetti squash and topped with cheddar:

Vegetarian 3-way: Butternut squash and black bean chili over spaghetti squash, makes 6-8 servings

-1 butternut squash, or about 2-3 cups pre-cut butternut squash
-4 T canola oil
-2 peppers (I used green and yellow)
-1/2 onion
-2 cans of beans (I used one can black beans, one can kidney beans)
-2 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes
-1 can tomato sauce
-2 c frozen corn kernels
-2 chili spice packets (I either use McCormick or Simply Organic)
-1 t sea salt
-1 large spaghetti squash

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for toppings:
-shredded cheddar cheese
-sour cream
-avocado
-green onions

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Let’s do this:

First thing to do is get your butternut squash cooked. This time I bought the pre-cut butternut squash, tossed it in about 2 T canola oil and roasted it in the oven for about 30 minutes at 375. (keep the oven hot because you’ll use it again for the spaghetti squash)

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While that is cooking, dice the onion and green peppers. Note that onion is left out of the pictures since it doesn’t agree with one of my guests (that’s putting it politely).

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When the butternut squash is almost done, get 2 T of canola oil heating at medium heat in a large pot and add the onion and green pepper. Stir often until softened, about 5 minutes.

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Once the onion and pepper are soft, add just about everything to the pot: the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn kernels, cooked butternut squash,  chili spice packets, and salt.

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Stir and cover. Cook at medium-low heat while your spaghetti squash is cooking (that’s our next step!).

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Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place skin-side up on a cookie sheet. Add about 2-3 T water to the cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 40-45 minutes. During this time, your chili can continue to heat. If you see it simmering, just lower the heat a touch.

When the spaghetti squash is done, you will able to pierce the skin easily with a sharp knife. Remove it from the oven and use a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti” flesh. (see this video for help!)

Add a thin layer of spaghetti squash (about a cup) to the bottom of a bowl or plate. Top with about 1-1 1/2 cups of chili. Serve with your toppings: cheese, avocado, green onion, and sour cream!

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Weekend BBQ, DR-style

Continuing on with my boycott of the stove, I now present you a weekend BBQ menu. This menu makes for an especially fun and relaxed weekend party since you can a few things in advance and just relax until you are ready to eat. Super easy + tasty = DR style. You’ll have plenty of time to go shopping for a new outfit.

Here’s our menu:
Summer Shandys (Fill a glass with 2/3 Pacifico, 1/3 San Pellegrino Limonata)
Black bean & quinoa burgers
Grilled romaine salad
Grilled peaches & vanilla ice cream

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First thing’s first. I made the burgers in advance and kept them in the fridge for a few hours:

Home-made black bean and quinoa burger,
makes about 6 burgers
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can black beans
1 1/2 cups mushrooms
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup nuts or seeds (I used pepitas, but you can use sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, whatever your heart desires)
1 ear corn
2 carrots (I had a bunch of little ones from the farmers market)
1 egg
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne (omit if you don’t like your food spicy)
2 cloves garlic
bread or buns
optional toppings: cheese, avocado, pico de gallo

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Let’s do this:

Cook the quinoa according to package directions (mine is 1 cup water to 1/2 cup quinoa). Meanwhile, shuck your corn and roughly chop your carrots.
In your food processor, process the garlic until minced. Then I added the ingredients in the following order, processing about 10-20 seconds after each addition:
-seeds or nuts
-carrots
-mushrooms
-cumin and cayanne
-half of the corn, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, and half of the black beans (save the other halves!)
-egg
-half of the quinoa

Looks like this:
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Now combine the remaining black beans, quinoa, and corn in a bowl, and add the food processor mixture:
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Form patties and add breadcrumbs as necessary. I ended up adding the entire 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs since the burgers were a little wet. To ensure the burgers didn’t fall apart I grilled them on our grill pan for about 6-7 minutes per side.
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Toast your bread/buns and serve with cheese, avocado, and pico de gallo!

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Grilled Romaine Salad, serves 4
1 large head romaine lettuce
dressing (I poached this one from Cooking Light and made it in advance)

Let’s do this:
Cut the romaine in half lengthwise:
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Spray or brush both sides with olive oil and place cut side down on the grill for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from grill and cut each half again lengthwise. Serve with dressing.

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Grilled peaches & ice cream dessert, serves 4
4 large peaches
Vanilla ice cream (I used So Delicous Coconut Milk ice cream. If you haven’t tried this, its a must!)

Let’s do this:
Cut your peaches in half and remove the pits.
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Lay them cut side down on a hot grill for about 3-4 minutes. Flip them over and cook for 1-2 minutes. Serve with a scoop of ice cream:
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Summer Salads: Sweet potato & black bean dinner salad

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As soon as the temperature gets over 80 degrees, I develop a strong aversion for the stove. Last summer I really got into grilling. I don’t really know what I’m doing, so I check the grill with the kind of constant back-and-forth typically reserved for a new mom checking in on her one week old baby to make sure its still breathing. The huz tells me this is breaking rule #1 of being a grillmaster. So I won’t quit my day job just yet.

Anyway, I have become something of a grilled veggie salad connoisseur, and this is one of my standbys for a festive summery dinner.

Sweet potato & black bean summer salad, serves 2

Go get:
-Lettuce (romaine or spinach works well)
-Sweet potato, diced (note, they were all out of sweet potatoes at trader joe’s so I bought these packaged ones and they worked well)
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-2 ears of corn
-1 can black beans
-1 mango
-1/2 avocado
-olive oil
-1 t cumin
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Let’s do this:
Toss the sweet potato in about a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of cumin. Throw ’em on the grill using a grill pan (If you don’t have one, then you can roast them too. But grill pans are super fun, you should get one. Mine is from Williams Sonoma).
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Meanwhile, cut the kernels off the corn, rinse your black beans, and cut up mango and avocado. Find someone who likes empty corn cobs:
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When the sweet potatoes are nearly cooked through (about 8 mins), you can add in your black beans and corn:
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Grill these together for 3-5 minutes, tossing them occasionally. Top your lettuce with the mango, avocado, black beans, corn, and sweet potato and enjoy!
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This salad is great with a citrus vinaigrette. If you don’t have one, you can make lazy girl’s citrus vinaigrette:
1 T olive oil
1 T vinegar (I had an orange champagne vinegar from Trader Joe’s)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 t honey
dash salt
dash pepper

Combine all of these in a jar and shake!
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Hey, that looks like a pee sample. It’s not, I swear.

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Incredible edibles

Super-lucky-girl alert: the huz’s coworker has chickens and brought us some eggs!!! I freaked out when I saw them. They. are. adorable.
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Natch, I had to make something special with them. This started out as a frittata. But really, who has the time? It turned into an omelet-foldover-frittata-thingy.

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I threw together:
1/4 c black beans
~1 T fresh cilantro
1/4 c goat cheese crumbles (really, any cheese will work!)
~10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 of an avocado
1/4 c of corn (from the cob)
3 eggs (note these are a little smaller than large eggs from the grosh’)

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Confession: I don’t really know how to make an omelet (heck, I didn’t even know how to spell it right!). I just cracked the eggs in a bowl and stirred them, then sprayed some nonstick spray in a small pan and threw the eggs in until the bottom was cooked. Then I flipped it and threw the remaining ingredients on top, cooked the eggs a little longer and folded it over.

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I feel sorry for you if this wasn’t your breakfast this morning. Maybe you should come over tomorrow morning?

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Margaritaville

I haven’t been cooking too much lately because I had to go to Mexico last week and eat my body weight in tortilla chips. Then I had to drink a pool full of margaritas.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t all hard work.

In the spirit of margaritas and garbage bags full of tortilla chips, I bring you Vegan Taco Salad. We’re quite the taco family (as you might have noticed), and I blame that on DR-mom (DR=DoughingRogue) as she used to make tacos about once a week when I was too young to protest. Now I just can’t help myself.

This is almost an EWM, but I decided that use of the food processor automatically disqualifies a recipe from being categorized as an EWM since the food processor is kind of a biz to clean, if you know what I mean.

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Vegan Taco Salad, inspired by Angela’s Taco Salad for One

Go get:
1 head romaine
1 can black beans (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup walnuts
1 T taco seasoning
1 t olive oil
2 garlic cloves
whatever toppings you like on your taco salad – I used corn, avocado, and salsa, but you can also use tortilla chips, shredded cheese, or sour cream!

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Let’s do this:

Process the garlic in your food processor first so you don’t have to mince it. Add the black beans, olive oil, and taco seasoning and process for about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape the bowl if necessary. Add the walnuts and pulse a few times (I like chunks of walnuts in mine!). The result will look something like this:
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Looks like taco meat, right? Tastes amazeballs, I promise.

Now cut up your romaine and your salad toppings and the bean/walnut mixture. Throw it all in a bowl and serve! I like to use salsa as my dressing but I’m also working on a cilantro vinaigrette, so I’ll post it when its perfected.

Ah, perfect summer meal to eat on the porch and wash down with a pool full of margarita.

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