Pinto Bean Burgers

I keep a well-stocked pantry. I almost always have a variety of canned beans on hand for quick meals. One can easily prepare bean burgers using canned beans in about 30 minutes. Bean burgers can be made with almost any type of beans (I’ve made them with black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black eyed peas, lentils, and pintos). By switching up the type of beans, condiments, spices, and additions, bean burger variations are limitless. You will never be bored with this vegetarian meal.

Pinto Bean Burgers

1 15.5 ounce can pinto beans, drained
1/2 small onion, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten
1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs

butter

hamburger buns
condiments and toppings of choice

In a bowl, coarsely mash the pinto beans with a fork or potato masher. Add the onion, jalapeno, BBQ sauce, spices, and beaten egg. Mix well. Add the bread crumbs, a little at a time, until the mixture can be shaped into a patty. You don’t want it to be too moist, but you don’t want it falling apart. Divide the mixture into 4 – 6 equal portions, depending on how hearty you want the pinto bean burger to be. Shape each portion into a patty (roll mixture into a ball and then press down gently with fingers, turning to ensure evenness, to flatten).

Melt some butter (about 2 tablespoons) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pinto bean burger patties and cook for about 3 – 4 minutes on each side. Melt a slice of cheese on the tops of the burgers, if you wish. Serve the burgers with toasted hamburger buns and condiments and toppings of your choice.

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Minestrone Soup with Ravioletti

Minestrone Soup with Ravioletti

This is a riff on my Minestrone recipe. I bought some ravioletti (mini ravioli) on clearance at Aldi for 74¢ and thought it would be a nice, hearty substitution for pasta. I adore it. I have also made this soup using tortellini.

Ravioletti

If you want a brothier soup, feel free to add some additional vegetable broth or water.

Minestrone Soup with Ravioletti

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
8 cups vegetable stock
1 can (15.5 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 – 3 tsp. dried basil
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes and their juices
2 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 package ravioletti (mini ravioli), your choice of filling
salt and black pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they start to soften 3 to 4 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook until tender, another 4 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic, sauté for a minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook yet another minute. Add veggie stock, kidney beans, basil, and diced tomatoes. Raise heat and bring the soup to a boil. Add the zucchini and ravioletti; return the soup to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until the zucchini and ravioletti are tender. Stir in the spinach and season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Take off the heat and serve.


Crockpot Chicken and White Bean Chili

chicken-and-white-bean-chili2

This is a nice change from a heavier, spicier beef chili. I like this dish a little more on the soupy side. If you like a thicker chili, add less chicken broth and definitely add the masa harina to help thicken. Serve the Crockpot Chicken and White Bean Chili with cornbread or fresh tortillas.

I think this could easily be made into a crockpot freezer meal. Add all of the ingredients except for the canned beans and masa harina to a gallon-sized freezer bag. Freeze flat. You could make several at one time and have them on hand for easy crockpot meals. The day before cooking, place the frozen bag in the refrigerator to defrost. Place the defrosted contents of the bag in the crockpot with the drained canned white beans and cook 6 – 8 hours on low or 3 – 4 hours on high. Stir in the masa harina/water slurry 30 minutes before serving.

chicken-and-white-bean-chili

Crockpot Chicken and White Bean Chili

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large breasts)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne (or to taste)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, stems and seeds removed and finely chopped
1 4 ounce can roasted chopped green chiles, drained (or the equivalent of chiles you roasted yourself)
2 15.5 ounce cans white beans (Great Northern, Cannellini, Navy), drained
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons Masa Harina mixed with enough water to make a slurry

Possible toppings:
fresh cilantro, chopped
cheese, shredded (Monterrey jack, pepper jack are great options)
avocado, sliced
lime wedges
serranos, sliced

Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle the cumin, coriander, paprika, Mexican oregano, cayenne, and salt over the chicken. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, jalapenos, roasted chiles, white beans, corn, and chicken broth. Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or on high 3 -4 hours.

30 minutes before serving, remove the chicken breasts and shred with a fork. Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot. Stir in the masa harina/water slurry and continue to cook 30 minutes until the chili is thickened.

Serve and let each person customize their toppings.


Black Bean Dip

Black Bean Dip

I haven’t had much luck with black bean dips until now. This one is excellent. I served it at a small get-together recently and it disappeared quickly. I think the recipe can be easily doubled, if need be. I adapted this recipe from one for Black Bean Hummus with Queso Fresco found in the April 2015 issue of Cooking Light.

Black Bean Dip

For the dip:
1 15.5 ounce can black beans, drained (set aside about a tablespoon of the black beans for topping)
3 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Toppings:
goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 tablespoon)
red onion, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 tablespoon)

Serve with:
tortilla chips  (or pita chips)
fresh crudités (carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc…)

Process all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the dip to a serving dish and top with the reserved whole black beans, crumbled goat cheese, chopped red onion, and fresh cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips and/or fresh crudités.

 


Crockpot Black Bean and Barley Chili with Mushrooms and Kale

Crockpot Black Bean and Barley Chili with Mushrooms and Kale

I’m catching up on some blogging.  I have dozens of half-written blog posts that are just waiting to be finished and published. In addition, I have several recipes written on scraps of paper that need to be typed up and hundreds of food picture that need to be sorted and edited. I’m not short on content, just time.  I love blogging about what I am cooking, though. I love that I have created my own digital cookbook and I am happy I can share it.

This is a little something I cooked up this past winter. With this chili, I set out to make one thing and ended up with something totally different. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I ended up with a nutritious and hearty vegan chili that tasted great. I was happy with the results.

Crockpot Black Bean and Barley Chili with Mushrooms and Kale

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained
1/2 cup barley
4 cups vegetable broth (I used 4 cups water and 2 Knorr Vegetable Bouillon cubes)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste (I used 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
4 cups kale, chopped

Add all the ingredients to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.


Collards and Chickpeas Soup with Sausage

Collards and Chickpeas Soup with Sausage

We are three weeks into the new CSA season and I’m so happy to be getting the box of fresh produce each week again. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to blog about what I’ve been cooking with the wonderful vegetables (and strawberries) from Pinckney’s Produce.

For lunch today, I made this easy Portuguese-inspired soup using collards from my CSA box. The simple combination of ingredients made for a very flavorful soup.

Collards and Chickpeas Soup with Sausage

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 large potatoes (Russet are good), peeled and diced
1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained
8 cups chicken broth
1 bunch collards, center stem removed and then thinly sliced
8 ounces fully cooked sausage link, sliced (I used Eckrich Smoked Sausage)
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
salt and black pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until tender. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more. Add the remaining ingredients, increase the heat, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.


Carrot Hummus

Carrot Hummus

I let my 5 year old pull the remainder of the carrots in the garden to make room for something else. I decided to use them to make carrot hummus. My carrots were lighter orange than the ones you typically find in a grocery store. My hummus is not as vibrant of an orange color as I assume using more deeply colored carrots would produce.  No matter, the overall result is a tasty variation of hummus and would be a colorful addition to any table of food.

Carrots

I adapted this recipe from one found in the April 2015 issue of Cooking Light. This issue has 7 variations of hummus and they all look interesting.

Carrot Hummus

1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
shredded carrots
sliced almonds (optional)
paprika

Place the chopped carrots in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the carrots are very tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Save the water to add to the hummus.

In a food processor, add the chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, kosher salt, cumin, and cooked carrots. Add about 3 tablespoons of the water the carrots cooked in and process, stopping to scrape down the sides from time to time, until smooth. This may take up to 5 minutes. Spread carrot hummus in the serving dish and top with shredded carrots and sliced almonds (if using). Sprinkle with paprika.