Archive for the ‘Beans’ Category

Black Bean Chipotle Dip

Just in time for the Superbowl. This hot bean dip is always a hit. This can be easily doubled for a larger gathering. However, don’t double the vinegar. Add vinegar to taste after the first three tablespoons or it will be a bit overpowering. 

Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine


olive oil

2 medium tomatoes seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons of kosher salt

1 large yellow onion chopped

3 cloves of minced garlic

1 tablespoon of chili powder

2 15 1/2 oz  cans of black beans rinsed and drained

2 canned chipotles en adobo minced (with the sauce that is attached)

3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed)

6 ounces of grated sharp cheddar

6 ounces grated Monterey jack

3/4 cup of chopped cilantro

black pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 1 1/2 to 2 quart baking dish. Place chopped tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and let drain in the sink. Saute the onion in oil along with the other teaspoon of kosher salt until translucent. Add the garlic and chili powder and cook another minute. Add one can of the beans, chipotles, and 3/4 cup of water and bring to a boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat and add vinegar. Mash the mixture with a potato masher or immersion blender until fairly smooth. Place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the beans, the tomatoes, corn and half of each of the cheeses. Add the cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to the greased baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 15 minutes. This can be made in advance and refrigerated just bake a bit longer. Enjoy


Pinto Bean Tostadas

I had kind of a busy week and was unable to post much from my kitchen. I did however acquire a pound of dried pinto beans that I cooked up for dinner Sunday. As a matter of fact I just finished them up today for lunch. It’s been a while since I cooked an entire pound. I actually forgot how many servings it made. I think next time I’ll cut this recipe in half since I’m only cooking for two. Other than the beans the ingredient list I give you will be per four servings to make it easier. I will say one of  the nice things about cooked beans is they do freeze well should you choose to cook an entire pound. You will also notice for the toppings that I call for cabbage and not lettuce. This is something I started doing after several SCUBA trips to Central America. They serve all of their food topped with cabbage instead of lettuce. I’m guessing it started due to the hot climate and the fact that cabbage stays fresh longer. I think once you try it you will be surprised how much better it is than lettuce. Here is what you will need.

Ingredients for the initial cooking of the beans

1 pound of dried pinto beans soaked overnight and drained

2 onions cut in half

3 garlic cloves peeled and left whole

2 celery stalks broken into large chunks

1 small handful of cilantro

6 cups of water

Directions: Place all ingredients into a pressure cooker and cook on high pressure until done. Mine took 10 minutes. Remove all of the vegetables and discard. Drain beans reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Alternately simmer the beans on the stove top covered with 2 inches of water until done. This may take 1 to 1 1/2hrs. You can also use drained and rinsed canned beans just make sure to add 2 cups of water or vegetable broth for the next step. Set beans aside.

Ingredients for the next step.

2 onions chopped fine

3 garlic cloves pressed or chopped

1 poblano pepper chopped fine

2 teaspoons of cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 chipotle en adobo chopped into a paste (easily found in Mexican isle of grocery stores)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican if possible)

salt and pepper to taste.

Directions: Saute the onions, garlic, and poblano until partially soft. Add the salt, pepper and remaining spices and saute for a few minutes until the spices release their fragrance. Add the beans and 2 cups of reserved cooking water and simmer until the beans are very soft (10 to 20 minutes). When soft, mash half of the beans in the pot with a potato masher or immersion blender.

Ingredients for the toppings : (per 4 tostadas) 

1 cup of shredded cabbage

juice of one lime

salt and pepper to taste

1 tomato

1 avocado

3 tablespoons of cilantro

chunky salsa

queso fresco cheese shredded

sour cream 

Directions: Place shredded cabbage in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over the top. Salt and pepper to taste, mix well and set aside. Chop the tomato, avocado and cilantro and place in a bowl. Squeeze the other half of the lime over the top, mix well and set aside.

Putting it all together: Warm tostada shells in a 350 degree oven for 3 minutes. Spread hot beans over the shells. Place 1/4 of the cabbage on top of each shell. Top the cabbage with the chunky salsa. On top of the salsa place 1/4 of the tomato avocado and cilantro mixture. Top with the queso fresco and sour cream. Serve with sides of your choice.

Tuscan Style Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup (Vegetarian and Vegan Friendly)

Originally when I picked up a $1.30 bag of dried cannellini beans a vegetarian dish was the furthest thing from my mind. I had visions of half the bag becoming  Creole white beans and rice simmered with a ham hock, andouille sausage, and ham. The other half would become a Tuscan style bean soup with Italian sausage and chicken broth. I ran the recipes by my wife and she promptly advised me that since starting this site we have been eating a lot more meat than usual. I thought OK, no big deal, I’ll make a vegetarian version of both. I haven’t figured out the Creole beans and rice yet but what follows was an impromptu meeting of myself, a bag of dried beans, and a vegetable drawer.

Cooks Notes: There are several options (in my opinion) of using beans in this dish. I used a pressure cooker which I love. If you don’t have one you need to buy one. Don’t be afraid, the new ones are fool-proof and not dangerous like some of the older models. These beans were done in 16 minutes in the pressure cooker. If I had made them on the stove top they would have taken an hour or more not counting the soup simmer time. Canned beans are always an option to make life a bit easier. I however threw this dish together and have not tried it with canned beans. I’m sure it will be great but now you have my disclaimer. Also for the budget minded people I used 65 cents worth of beans in this dish and it probably makes around 6 to 8 servings. Dried beans are inexpensive! 


8 ounces of dried cannellini beans soaked overnight  (or 2 15oz cans rinsed and drained)

2 onions one diced one cut in half

4 cloves of garlic 2 diced or pressed and 2 peeled and left whole

3 large celery stalks 2 diced and 1 quartered

2 carrots diced

1/4 cup of fresh fennel bulb (white part only)

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I used 1/2 wife said a bit too spicy! I liked it.)

1 quart dark vegetable broth (6 cups if using canned beans)

1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes drained (I like Dei Fratteli)

3 large handfuls of kale about 4 to 5 cups chopped

6 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley chopped

3 tablespoons fresh basil chopped

Beans pressure cooker: Place soaked beans, the halved onion, 2 whole garlic cloves, and the quartered celery stalk into the pressure cooker. Cook  following the directions that came with your model. Mine said 3 1/2 cups water. Cook under high pressure until done 12 to 16 minutes. Remove vegetables and discard. Set beans and cooking liquid aside.

Beans slow simmer method:  Place soaked beans in a dutch oven and cover with about 2 inches of water. Add the above listed vegetables and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hrs or until soft adding water if necessary. Remove vegetables and discard. Set aside the beans and their cooking water.

Canned beans: Drain, rinse, and set aside along with the 2 extra cups of vegetable broth.

Directions for putting it all together: Place 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot. Saute the onion, carrots, celery, and fennel bulb for about 5 minutes or until partially soft. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes more.  Add drained tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper. Simmer for about 5 more minutes to thicken the tomato liquid. Add the beans and broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chopped kale, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the parsley and simmer 10 more minutes or until the kale is soft. Add the basil and stir. Serve and enjoy.

%d bloggers like this: