Gourmet Veggie Mama

Tag Archives: Beans

Taco Night, Vegetarian-Style

One of my favorite meals as a kid was fried white bean tacos. I hadn’t thought about them in ages, until I suddenly got a craving for them the other day.* So, I set about searching all of my cookbooks and scouring the internets for a recipe… but to no avail. It’s like no one had ever heard of these things! There were a few recipes out there for white bean tacos, but nothing really like what I remembered. So I had to wing it.

* Pregnancy is weird.

That’s okay. Winging it can be fun, and it yielded delicious results, very similar to what I remembered, and it actually wasn’t all that much work.

white bean tacos

I started with dried white beans, but you could easily use canned if you don’t have time for that. I made a big batch of tacos and froze the leftovers (pre-frying), so hopefully that’ll provide another, even quicker meal for us some rainy day. With a baby on the way, there are sure to be some of those days in our future!

White Bean Tacos
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 lb white beans (Great Northern or similar), cooked and drained (or 2 cans)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder (to taste)
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 2-3 Tbs canola oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the beans, mashing with a potato masher, and stir until heated through. Add the cumin and chili powder and stir to combine. Stir in the black olives and sunflower seeds. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat each corn tortilla on a griddle until soft and pliable. Stuff with the white bean mixture, fold in half, and secure with a toothpick. Continue with additional tortillas until all filling is used.
  4. Heat a thin layer of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a batch of tacos and fry on one side until golden brown. Flip and fry on the other side until golden brown. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and continue, working in batches. Serve with sour cream and hot sauce, if desired.

 

Mexican White Bean Soup

A cold front moved in overnight, and, with it being late February and all, I’ll take advantage of soup weather while we still have it! Hop on over to Cooking Planit for my guest post today about some of my favorite soups, including one of my old standbys, a hearty and spicy black bean soup.

But let’s try on a new soup for size today, shall we? We had some rainy weather last week, and Mexican White Bean Soup was just the ticket.

Mexican White Bean Soup

It was hearty, creamy, just a little spicy and absolutely perfect served with the last quarter of Cloverleaf French Bread from the freezer. Man oh man has that bread paid dividends — time to make another batch!

I hadn’t planned ahead far enough to soak the beans overnight, so I did a quick soak instead (cover with water, bring to a boil, and then remove from the heat and cover and let stand for an hour or two). I also happened to have a couple of bags of frozen hatch green chiles ready to use, so I used a couple of them in the soup rather than the canned green chiles called for by the recipe.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Mexican White Bean Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dried white beans
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 can chopped green chiles (or 2-3 fresh roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped green chiles)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • sour cream, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cover the beans with water and add the lemon juice. Soak overnight, or do a quick soak (bring to a rapid boil, then remove from heat, cover and let sit for at least an hour or two).
  2. Drain and rinse the beans and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 5 to 10 minutes, and then turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook until tender, about an hour. Drain the beans in a colander and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and sauté the onions and carrots until the onions are translucent and the carrots and tender.
  4. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, then stir in the chopped chiles, cumin, smoked paprika and salt. Sauté for a few more minutes, until the flavors are well blended.
  5. Add the drained beans and the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Cool slightly, and then use an immersion blender to blend about half of the soup (or transfer half of the soup to a blender, blend until smooth, and then return to the pot). Taste for seasoning, and serve warm topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of smoked paprika, if desired.

 

LiveMom: Slow Cooker Black Bean Ragout

I have a newfound romance with my crock pot, now that I’ve learned how to cook dried beans to perfection in it. I mean, it has always been a handy tool for busy days, but this expands my horizons quite a bit.

Someone recently requested more slow cooker recipes on my Facebook page, and I’ll be working on a round-up, so stay tuned for that… but in the meantime, head over to LiveMom to check out my latest post and get a yummy recipe for slow cooker black bean ragout.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Ragout

I promise it’s delicious and easy to make, and it is even Nora-approved! Click the clicky!

Kale and White Bean Soup with Mozzarella Toasts

I have been a mess as far as meal planning goes this week. When nap time rolled around the other day, I hadn’t a clue what I was going to cook for dinner. That’s an issue because, for clingy toddler reasons, I generally prepare as much of the meal during nap time as I can, and then finish it off right before we’re ready to eat.

I did a little quick thinking. Something I’ve had posted on my board to try for a while is some variation of kale and white bean soup. We have kale growing like weeds in the garden, and I always try to keep dried white beans on hand, so the staples were there. I found this recipe on Epicurious, which calls for a quick soak of the beans (which only takes an hour) rather than an overnight soak.* Perfect!

kale and white bean soup

Dinner is served.

*Of course, you can always just do a quick soak instead, but I never seem to think of it.

I put the beans in to soak, but before I knew it, nap time (such as it was that particular day, which never seems to be great these days) was over. So, I ended up making the soup in fits and starts as toddler mood swings (which tend to be dramatic in the absence of a good nap, I fear) would allow. Good thing it’s a fairly non-demanding recipe.

For the effort expended, this is definitely a keeper. The toasts are a must, since they really elevate this to hearty meal status.

Kale and White Bean Soup with Mozzarella Toasts
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
 
Ingredients
For soup:
  • ½ lb dried cannellini or other white beans
  • 1 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 (3- by 2-inch) piece parmesan rind**
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 small bunch kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely torn
For toasts:
  • 4 thick slices rustic Italian bread
  • 4 oz shredded mozzarella
Instructions
For soup:
  1. Cover the beans with water by 2 inches in a large pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for an hour. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse.
  2. Wipe out the pot and heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the drained beans, vegetable stock, 2 cups of water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are just tender, about 50 minutes. If the liquid level drops too low, add additional water.
  3. Stir the carrots into the soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the kale and the remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
For toasts:
  1. Meanwhile, make the toasts. Preheat the broiler and Set the slices of bread on a baking sheet about 4 inches from the heat. Toast until golden, about 1 minute, and remove. Turn the slices over and sprinkle with the cheese. Broil until the cheese is a little browned and hubby, about 1 minute more, and serve with the soup.
Notes
** I always keep a couple of these in the fridge when I've grated them down to the rind. They're great to throw into a tomato sauce, or they come in handy in a recipe every now and then.

 

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The Peaceful Mom

White Bean Ragout with Toast

This is one of those recipes that is, as I am perhaps overly fond of saying, more than the sum of its parts. I mean, it’s basically beans on toast — not so interesting. But it is! The soffrito (a combination of onions and sweet peppers cooked slowly in olive oil with garlic and tomato paste) makes the whole thing, and the hubby, who is a huge fan of croutons in any context, went wild for the toasted Italian bread with parmesan.

White bean ragout

Sublime.

Now that the family is eating dinner together at an earlier hour, I am always looking for meals that can largely be made ahead. This fit the bill, since I was able to make the soffrito during Nora’s nap time, and everything else came together in just a few minutes at dinnertime.

Good thing — somebody was hungry!

Everyone loved it, especially the hubby, who couldn’t stop raving. Good thing there was enough for leftovers the next day! I served it with a salad, which included the very first baby kale from our garden, and the ragout included some of our Sun Gold tomatoes. Just about nothing makes me happier than using the fruits of our labor in the backyard garden in our meals!

White Bean Ragout with Toast
Adapted from a recipe published in Bon Appétit, May 2012

3 small onions, peeled and quartered
1 large or 2 small sweet peppers, stemmed, halved and seeded
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, divided
2 tsp tomato paste
4-6 1″-thick slices ciabatta or rustic Italian bread
8-10 Tbs finely grated Parmesan, divided
2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley

Pulse the onions in a food processor until finely chopped but not puréed. Transfer to a medium bowl. Pulse the sweet peppers in the food processor until finely chopped but not puréed. Add the peppers to the bowl with the onions and mix well.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring often, until the vegetables are completely softened, about 30 minutes. Mince or press 3 cloves of the garlic and add it and the tomato paste to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until tomato paste begins to turn deep red, about 3 minutes. Remove the soffritto from the heat and let cool completely, uncovered. Cover and store in refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°. Cut the remaining garlic clove in half and rub the bread slices with the cut sides. Sprinkle each slice of bread with Parmesan and place on the oven rack to toast, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Heat the soffritto and beans in same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Simmer, scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid is slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer until tender, 3-4 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbs Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the bread slices among bowls. Top with a generous scoop of the bean mixture and broth. Garnish with Parmesan and parsley.

The Peaceful Mom

Best ever veggie chili

I am still settling into the new cooking rhythm around our house, now that the hubby and I are trying to eat dinner with Nora most nights. Yesterday, I planned on making a batch of my crock pot veggie chili for dinner. Nap time is prime meal preparation time nowadays, but once it rolled around, I had gotten tied up in other projects.*

* Yeah, I really needed to start painting the master bedroom. We picked a color more than a month ago, and the paint has just been sitting in the garage, mocking me, since then.

So, I figured I’d pop in a Signing Time and let Nora watch it while I sliced and diced. She was cool with that for the first few minutes, but then she wanted me to come and sit with her (which I happily did while the onions sautéed for a little bit), and she didn’t want me to get up. Then the video was over, and I needed to rescue those onions, but it was nearly impossible with a toddler clamped to my leg. In case you couldn’t tell, she was feeling a little clingy.

In any case, I made it work, but by the time all was said and done, the chili was into the crock pot much later than I had planned, and with a little less prep. That’s okay — we’re flexible around here. I cranked the crock pot to high and hoped for the best.

Fingers crossed.

As it turns out, the best is what I got! By the time dinner rolled around, the chili was perfect. I was so pleasantly surprised with the result that I just may never make it the old way again! Nora heartily approved, too.

Myyyyyyyy chili.

Of course, there is no better way to enjoy a hearty bowl of chili on a brisk fall evening than with a nice cold beer.

Yes, please.

I chose a Sierra Nevada Tumbler, their fall seasonal brew, and it was delicious. Next time, I may even substitute a beer for the water in this chili — I think that could lead to even more greatness!

Vegetarian Chili
Based on this recipe

2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbs canola oil
1 large or 2-3 small sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1-3 summer squash (depending on size), chopped
1 to 2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of refried black beans
1 10-oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes, with liquid
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
salt to taste

In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the canola oil until soft and translucent. Add the chopped peppers, squash, chili powder, and cumin. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes.

Transfer to slow cooker. Add the beans, tomatoes, rice, and 2 cups of water. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. Season to taste with salt and serve warm topped with cheese and/or sour cream and with plenty of warm tortillas or tortilla chips alongside.

The Peaceful Mom

Black Bean Soup

My mom came over one evening this week to get her Nora fix, and to have dinner with us. Nora is getting her 2-year molars,* and she had been feeling extra-cranky that afternoon. As often happens on such occasions, I just didn’t feel like making dinner. I was spent from several hours of trying to comfort a weepy toddler, and having her wipe popsicle and snot all over me in exchange for my efforts. Yeah… sometimes it’s super-glamorous being a mom.

* Ugh… can teething please be over already??

I suggested that we get takeout, since all that drama didn’t exactly leave me in the mood to cook a nice meal. However, after some welcome distraction from her Grandmommy and her Daddy, plus a dose of Children’s Advil, Nora was feeling better, and by the time bath time was over and the hubby took her back to her room to get her ready for bed, I was talking myself back into cooking. We are trying to stick to a budget more nowadays, and an extra night of takeout just wasn’t in the plan for this week.

So, I reverted to my original meal plan: Black bean soup. This is an old favorite of ours, and it makes a tasty and quick weeknight meal. Pair it with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh tortillas, and it’s dinner.

Time for dinner… and not a moment too soon!

I had time to sit on the back porch with my mom and enjoy the evening for a bit while the hubby picked up lumber for this weekend’s project (another garden box, yay!), and dinner was still ready to go by 8:30. Gotta love that.

Black Bean Soup
Based on this recipe I found on LiveJournal back in the day

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 bulb of garlic
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 jalapeños, minced
1 sweet pepper,** chopped
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp oregano
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of one lime

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and sauté until softened. Using a garlic press, press the garlic cloves over the pot and sauté for a couple of minutes longer. Add the tomatoes, jalapeños, and sweet pepper and stir for another minute or two, until softened. Stir in the beans, spices, and vegetable stock.

Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and cooked. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Stir in the cilantro and remove the soup from the heat immediately. Puree the soup in batches in a blender, or use an immersion blender to puree it in the pot.

Stir the lime juice into the pureed soup. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro on top, and tortillas or tortilla chips on the side.

** Or substitute a roasted and peeled Hatch green chile, as the hubby suggested we do. Mmm.

Happy blogiversary to me!

It has been a year since my first post. How time flies! But, at the same time, it seems like I’ve been writing this blog forever. Funny, that’s just about how I felt on Nora’s first birthday. I simultaneously couldn’t believe she was already a year old, and felt like I had been her mommy forever and couldn’t imagine life without her.

Not that I’m likening my child to my blog… Well, maybe just a little bit. Taking care of both of them has become a labor of love. Nora, and writing about food and life with Nora and other miscellany, have both brought richer meaning to my life.

In honor of my first blogiversary, I am making a list, in no particular order, of my 10 favorite posts from the past year. Enjoy, and please let me know if you’ve tried any of the recipes out — I’m always looking for creative feedback.

1. Black bean burgers — finally!

I have to include this one, solely because it took so long to puzzle out what I think is the perfect recipe. Who needs frozen Gardenburgers when you’ve got these babies… and even quinoa burgers for a change of pace now and then.

2. 10 Easy Salad Ideas. This has been a really popular post, and I’m happy that people seem to have found inspiration for lunches here. Kudos to my friend Melissa for making a special request for this post, and for test-driving several of the recipes.

3. Pasta with Sun Gold tomatoes.

I don’t know what it is about this pasta, but it is just about my favorite tomato dish ever. The Sun Gold tomatoes (which grow like crazy in our back yard) have the sweetest, mildest flavor, and the sauce is so silky and delicious.

4. Grilled pizzas.

I’m psyched that my whole wheat dough came out well, and I love being creative with toppings. Grilled pizzas just may be my favorite meal!

5. Vanilla jasmine martini.Of all the drinks I’ve tried over the past year (and with Cocktail Thursday, there have been a lot!) this is my favorite. It’s such a lovely, elegant flavor.

6. Vegetarian cassoulet.

I just like that this is a classic dish, vegetarianized… and not in a way that leaves you missing the meat. I also love that it’s winter comfort food, and that it takes a long time (but most of it non-active time) to make.

7. On Choosing. I have to include this one for sentimental reasons. I spoke from the heart, and I’m glad that my daughter will someday be able to look back and know how I came to live this particular part of my life the way I have.

8. Pumpkin pancakes.

So good. Such excellent, excellent breakfast-y goodness. I can’t wait until it’s fall again.

9. Grown-up mac and cheese.

I am a noted mac-and-cheese enthusiast, and this is my favorite. It’s all grown up… and delicious. I have to mention, as an aside, that Nora has started asking for “mac” by name, at least a couple of times a day. She truly is my daughter.

10. Broccoli cheddar bites.

I haven’t made a batch of these in a while, but I really should. Nora loves them, and I love to sneak a couple off her plate, too! They’re super-simple, freezeable, and one of my most popular recipes.

It has been quite a year, and going back through these posts has really brought it all back. Thanks for coming on this journey with me, and here’s to more years to come!

Black bean and cabbage tacos with avocado

Do you ever have one of those evenings when you really, really don’t want to cook? Well, I do. Even though I love cooking, sometimes the day-to-day drudgery gets to me, and I just have nothing left by the time dinner time rolls around.

It happened to me the other day. I had planned to make cabbage rolls for dinner, but, by the time the hubby made it home, I hadn’t even looked up recipes or come up with a solid plan. It just wasn’t gonna happen. I suggested takeout, but neither of us was really feeling it, so the hubby volunteered to throw something together. Instead of cabbage rolls, we ended up with black bean and cabbage tacos.

Taco night!

I thought the idea of a cabbage taco was kind of wacky, but once I started thinking of it like a fish-less fish taco, it made more sense. The spicy, tangy dressing and the creaminess of the avocado make the tacos delicious, and it’s a super-quick meal to throw together — even better if you can get someone else to do it!

We topped them with sour cream and some blender salsa leftover from the last time I made tacos,* and it made a nice, hearty meal. Better yet, it used up a head of cabbage and some carrots that had been languishing in the fridge. Win-win.

* I just strained out the extra moisture, canned it, and have been enjoying it ever since!

Black Bean and Cabbage Tacos with Avocado
Loosely based on this recipe

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed
juice of one lime
1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
1 small onion, chopped
1 head of cabbage, cored and shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
whole wheat tortillas
sour cream and salsa for topping

Place the black beans, avocados, lime juice, garlic, and onion in a medium bowl and toss. Add salt to taste. Place the shredded cabbage, carrot, cilantro, and serrano in another bowl. Add the oil and vinegar and salt to taste and toss to combine.

Build your tacos by adding a generous spoonful of the black bean mixture to a tortilla, then topping with the cabbage mixture. Top with sour cream and salsa, and enjoy!

Mushroom and poblano tacos with goat cheese

This is another recipe I’ve been kicking around for a while, and with lovely poblano peppers on offer at the farmer’s market last weekend, the time was right for some tacos.

Who could say no?

This is a pretty flexible recipe, so you could easily add other summer veggies like corn, adapt the salsa to the veggies you have on hand (try a green salsa if you have tomatillos, for instance), or use sour cream or a different cheese in place of the goat cheese. I roasted my veggies over a flame* to give the salsa and poblanos a smoky flavor, but you could easily skip that step, or just put them under the broiler for a few minutes instead.

* Another great perk of having a gas stove!

No matter which way you go, this is a great base to start from, and I can pretty much guarantee taco night will be a hit!

Mushroom and Poblano Tacos with Goat Cheese
Loosely based on this recipe From Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 small red onions
2 Tbs olive oil
2-3 poblano peppers (depending on size), roasted, stemmed and seeded, and sliced
2-3 tomatoes (depending on size)
2 cloves of garlic
handful of cilantro
1 jalapeno, stemmed and sliced
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 can of black beans
1/2 tsp cumin
salt to taste
flour tortillas
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the mushrooms until they begin to soften and release their juices. Slice one of the onions into half moons and add it to the pan along with the poblanos. Saute for a few more minutes, until the onions and peppers are tender.

Meanwhile, roast the tomatoes over a flame or under the broiler** until the skin begins to blister and brown. Remove the core and seeds and throw the tomatoes into the blender. Add the other onion, quartered, along with the garlic cloves, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice. Blend well and season to taste with salt and additional lime juice.

Once the onions and peppers are tender, drain and rinse the black beans and add them to the skillet. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the salsa to the pan along with the cumin and stir to coat. Simmer for a couple more minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add salt to taste, and serve in tortillas with goat cheese crumbled on top, and pass the additional salsa alongside.

** You can omit this step if you are short on time, or even substitute a can of roasted crushed tomatoes for the fresh ones.

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