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Archive for the ‘beans’ Category

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Well, hello. Did you think I had completely forgotten what I use to do over here on these pages? That I no longer remembered how wonderful it is to share food with all of you? That I forgot how to type out a recipe?

Well, almost. It was back in March of 2013, after all, when I shared my last recipe- rustic blueberry biscuits! What??!!! And, while I’m not quite certain how much it’s actually going to happen, here’s a start to the return of recipe sharing. This one…it’s a good one too. Yummy and simple- the adjectives that I hope you use to describe the food I share here.

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Chicken and Four Bean Chili

Ingredients
4 cups chicken broth
1 can black eyed peas
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can cannellini beans
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 medium onion
5 garlic cloves
2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound total)

Open all 4 cans of beans, pour into a colander, and rinse under cold water. Dump the beans along with the chicken broth, tomato sauce, spices, onion, and garlic into your slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Place chicken breasts on top of bean mixture. Cook on low heat setting for 8 hours.

When cooking is complete, shred the chicken with a fork and stir into chili.
Top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and serve over quinoa or brown rice, or alone aside some tortilla chips or a crusty sourdough bread.

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I’m pretty sure that I don’t have to tell you how much I LOVE kale. I mean, I really LOVE it. Like I could eat it twice a day, every day for the rest of my life kind of love. Admittedly, the love is not exclusive to kale, it applies to all leafy greens really. There’s just something about their bitterness and versatility that seems to make every meal complete for me.

Kale appears a lot on this blog in vegetable pies, sweet potato quesadillas, minestrone soup, mixed greens and chickpeas, green smoothies, and tomato Florentine soup. It’s also the star ingredient in what appears to be one of my most popular recipes- the one I hear the most about from all of you dear readers- marinated citrusy kale and black bean tostadas . This is one of my most favorite dinners and this particular recipe has inspired many more dinners of a similar sort featuring kale and beans and tortillas.

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The meal is so easy to put together and it tastes a bit different every time, depending on what you have on hand to use. For tonight’s kale and bean topped tortilla, I used:
1 pound mixed beans and barley
10 ounces kale, roughly chopped
5 flour tortillas
sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 jalapeños, minced
salsa verde
lime

I slow cooked the beans for 8 hours on the low heat setting of my slow cooker. This time, I used a bag of 18 bean and barley mix from Trader Joe’s which was quite good. I cooked it in the slow cooker with 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water and a few minced garlic cloves. (More slow cooked bean recipes can be found here and here).

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Once the beans are finished cooking, here’s how I assembled the dinner, it’s not so much of a recipe as a method:
Sauté a few cloves of minced garlic in a large skillet with a good glug of olive oil. Once garlic is fragrant, add minced fresh jalapeño (about 2 medium with seeds removed) and kale (about 10 ounces) and sauté until wilted- about 4 or 5 minutes.
Brush tortillas lightly with olive oil and place in toaster oven or oven, on 200 degrees for about 5 minutes or until browned.
Put tortillas on plates and top with kale, a large spoonful of beans and barley from the slow cookers, a drizzle of salsa verde, and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Squeeze the juice from a lime wedge atop the mixture and eat with a fork and knife.

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This chili is nothing to look at. I’ve made it many times and have been wanting to share, just waiting to get a good picture of it, but I’ve never been successful! Finally, I threw my hands up and decided you deserve to have the recipe despite having a good picture to go along with it.

The chili is green and dreary, but trust me what it lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in taste! It has a nice spice from the peppers, jalapeños, and green chiles, yet it is not overly spicy- even Jack likes it and he only has a preference for mildly spiced foods. The edamame provides a unique twist from the typical chili recipe and also some good crunchy texture. The addition of spinach, avocado, and lime at the end is important. These ingredients are essential to balancing the chili and providing a freshness that other bowls of chili seem to lack.

I’ve served this chili with whole grain couscous, brown rice, and orzo pasta and all have been good. But, our preference is to eat a big scoop of it poured over cheese grits. I use stone ground grits from Logan Turnpike Mill, which is about an hour outside of Atlanta, Georgia. There is just no substitution for real southern grits, so I still have family or friends bring them to me when they come to visit! We stir in freshly shredded white sharp cheddar cheese when the grits have about 5 minutes left to cook. The combination of green chili and cheese grits is really amazing, but if grits aren’t your thing, any grain will do!

Edamame Green Chili
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, October 2011

a large glug of olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 large red peppers, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 12-oz bags shelled frozen edamame
2 5-oz cans chopped green chiles
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups salsa verde
6 cups fresh spinach
avocados, peeled, pitted, and chopped
sour cream
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
lime wedges

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the green onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the peppers and celery, and cook 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Stir in the garlic, cumin, chile powder, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until fragrant about one minute. Add the edamame and green chiles and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the broth and salsa verde, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until you are ready for dinner but at least 15 minutes.

Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Ladle into bowls on too of grain of your choice, and top with avocado, sour cream, and/or cheese. Serve with lime wedges.

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Oh, you MUST make this dish. I’m serious. Scroll straight down to the recipe, hurry out to the market to gather your ingredients, and put it on your table tonight. You and your family will be so happy that you did. It is so good. So, so good…

Despite the lack of ingredients, this is one of those dinners that clings to your taste buds making them sing and dance, awakening them with it’s full flavors. After every bite, you will continue to be surprised by the citrusy freshness of the kale, the incredible flavor of the beans, the way the feta cheese provides just enough tanginess, and the impeccable crunch of the tostada.

This meal is sort of like a healthy pizza. If you aren’t too familiar with tostadas (David wasn’t), then you should know tostada is a Spanish word meaning “toasted”. In Mexico, tostada refers to an open faced, flat, rigid tortilla spread with cheese, beans, sour cream, chopped lettuce, sliced onion, and salsa. Most of the time, the tortilla is deep fried to attain that toasted crunch, but I baked them in this meal and the result was crunchy perfection.

I’m excited to hear what you think about them, so please share! I know they are being added to our regular rotation, especially since we can’t seem to eat or drink enough kale these days (we are adding it by the handful to our morning smoothies- recipes and pictures I promise to share soon).

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Citrusy Kale and Black Bean Tostada
adapted minimally from Not Without Salt

Tostada
4 flour tortillas
2 teaspoons olive oil

Brush 4 tortillas with olive oil, sprinkle with salt then bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or until completely crisp. Be careful not to burn!

Kale Marinade
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups kale, thick ribs removed and roughly chopped

Mix ingredients in a large bowl, toss to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Black Beans
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 shallot, finely chopped
pinch of salt
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (I know…I didn’t have any in my freezer and I really wanted to make this dish! The can ones here work just fine, no need for the slow cooked ones unless you already have some made.)

In a small sauce pan saute garlic and shallots in olive oil over medium heat until just fragrant. Add beans and simmer about 5-7 minutes, until soft and warmed through.

Assemble
1 avocado, roughly cut
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Place baked tortilla on a plate, top with warm beans, marinated kale, chunks of avocado and crumbled feta cheese.

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