BL and I were at a wine event in Napa a few months ago and had a black bean soup that was awesome! It took me a bit to figure out what was in it that was so different- chipotle peppers. Smoky, spicy, chipotle peppers pair perfectly with black beans. This looks like a large ingredient list but very simple and easy to throw together.
Black Bean Soup
5 cups black beans, cooked
2 cups vegetable broth
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large pepper, any color, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp. chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (about 3 peppers with sauce)
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and cook until onion is soft. Add the chopped pepper, jalapeño (if using), and keep cooking for another 5 minutes until pepper is soft. Stir garlic in.
In a blender, puree 1 cup vegetable broth, 1 cup black beans, and chipotle peppers. Add this to the soup pot along with the rest of the black beans and the chopped tomato. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook 10-15 minutes. Stir in cilantro just before serving.
Comfort food time! I made this dish a few days ago for dinner and I already want to make it again. Slightly cheesy, full of vegetables and whole grains, this was so delicious. While I usually eat kale raw in salads, I forgot how much I enjoy it cooked as well. Butternut squash is almost vanishing from the grocery stores, so if you can’t find it then substitute another type of squash or carrots.
If you are superwomen, they you can try to make your own gnocci but there are a lot of great grocery store brands that you can purchase. I found whole wheat gnocci at Trader Joe’s, they work perfectly here.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cups of butternut squash, cut into bite size pieces
1 bunch kale, cut into bite size pieces
1 package whole-wheat gnocci
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. thyme
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. Earth Balance butter
2 tbsp. parmasen cheese or soy parmasen
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, sweet potatoes, thyme, nutritional yeast and red pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add the gnocci and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the kale until it just wilts, about 1-2 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Dot with 2 tsp. butter and sprinkle with the parmasen.
Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
Sometimes one of my favorite dinners is a bunch of side dishes. Couscous salad, green beans, beet salad are some of my favorite winter items. Beets have recently become one of my favorite winter vegetables, something that I never really liked until a few years ago. We used to get a lot of beets in our CSA and I finally started learning how to cook them. I prefer them roasted like this or salads.
Whole wheat couscous is one of BL’s favorite side dishes. Whenever I make it for cooking demos, I have to make extra to keep in the fridge for him. He seriously can’t get enough! This is a pretty simple salad highlighting fresh oranges. Enjoy this as is or paired with your favorite protein. We had it with a garbanzo-lentil salad for dinner.
2-way Couscous Salad
1 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup Israeli couscous
1 english cucumber, peeled and finely diced
1/4 cup roasted red/yellow peppers, finely diced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. Kalamata olives, chopped
1 large lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Cook the couscous according to directions. The two couscous varieties do take different cooking time so you can either start the Israeli and then add the whole wheat kind or cook them separately. You can also just use 1 variety.
Place the cooled couscous into a mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, roasted peppers, parsley, and olives. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon and olive oil. Pour onto the couscous and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
Winter Beet Salad
3 large golden beets
3 large red beets
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the beets on a roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. water. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Cook for 50-60 minutes until tender.
Remove from oven, cool and peel. Toss into large chunks and place into a bowl.
Peel the oranges and separate the membranes from the pith. Place into the beet bowl. Squeeze the remaining orange juice from the leftover peel and piths into the bowl. Add the olive oil and a small pinch of salt/pepper. Toss together and serve.
*The leftover beet salad taste great over salad greens the next morning
I was hesitant to post this recipe as it is so simple it really doesn’t constitute as a “recipe”. That being said, I also know that quite a few of my clients consistently say that they would eat more vegetables if they knew how to cook them. Well, no more excuses! This recipe is easy, foolproof and delicious.
Simple Green Beans
1 lb. green beans
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place the green beans and slivered garlic onto a roasting pan. Drizzle with the water and olive oil.
Roast for 20 minutes. Season with salt/pepper and serve.
Seriously, how simple is that?