BLACK BEAN CHILI

With the number of chili recipes on this blog, I realized I never seem to make chili the same way each time.  Guess I love playing with flavors, textures of food, lol, and chili offers a perfect opportunity to do just that.  This chili was simple to put together, yet there is definite complex flavors going on.  In this recipe you can certainly play around with different peppers depending on the heat you like.  We always do mild, but this chili offers a nice "smokey" flavor with the extra cilantro added.

1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 lb. ground beef (I like to mix my ground beef - 1/2 lb. lean, 1/2 lbs. extra lean)

1 medium onion chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped

1/4 of a red pepper, diced

1/2 of a green pepper, diced

1 small can, 5.5 oz. of tomato paste, plus 1 can of water

1 can tomatoes and green chilis like Rotel

salt to taste, 1 Tblsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. dried rubbed oregano

one 14 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed

huge handful of chopped fresh cilantro

grated cheddar cheese

tortilla chips, on the side

Heat up a dutch oven on low medium heat with the EVOO.  Add in the onion, garlic, peppers, celery saute for 5 minutes.  Then add in the ground beef, breaking up with a spoon to brown well - about another 5-6 minutes.  Sprinkle in the seasonings, then pour in the can of tomatoes with green chili, tomato paste with water, stirring well to combine.

Add the drained/rinsed black beans, and fresh cilantro.  Lid on, turn down to a low simmer, cooking for for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Check for seasons and adjust if necessary, serve topped with cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips on the side.

This stew was full of flavor, marrying chicken, smoked sausage and spices, served over a bed of rice - great comfort food that will be even better the next day.

4 skin on bone in chicken thighs

4 smoked chicken sausages - any smoked sausage will work nicely

2 Tblsp. EVOO

1/4 green pepper, 1/4 red pepper, chopped

1 large shallot sliced

1 celery stalk with leaves diced

1 large minced garlic clove

1 big tsp. thyme, 1 large bay leaf, 1 tsp. dried parsley, 1 tsp. garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

1 Tblsp. potato starch

28 oz. can whole tomatoes (chop tomatoes in a bowl into small pieces) and add in the Worcestershire sauce stirring to combine

2 cups chicken stock

1 Tblsp. Gluten Free Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

Heat up a dutch oven on medium heat with the EVOO.  Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and a sprinkling of garlic powder.  Add to the dutch oven, and cook skin side down for 8-9 min, then turn over and cook another 4 minutes.  Remove chicken to a bowl, and drain off some of the oil leaving a little bit.  Add in the sliced smoke sausage, sauteing about 4-5 minutes. Then add the sausage to a bowl and set aside.

Turn the heat to medium low and add in the red and green pepper, shallot, celery, garlic and saute for 5 min.  Sprinkle in the potato starch and stir frequently for 5 minutes.  Pour in the chopped tomatoes with Worcestershire sauce scraping up any brown bits.  Season with Thyme, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper and add in the Bay leaf. Return the chicken and the sausage to the pan and continue to cook for 1 hour.

At the 45 minute mark, add in the green beans to cook through and remove the lid, simmering for the last 15 minutes - should be on low but still simmering. At this stage you can remove the chicken to a plate, and remove/discard the skin, and leave whole, or shred the chicken returning to the pot when the beans are cooked through.  Serve over Basmati or other long grain rice.

This is an easy pasta dish to put together, and is lovely for lunch or dinner.  With a leftover bowl the next day it can also easily be turned into a pasta salad with some chopped spinach added in.

8 ounces small pasta shells

1 small shallot sliced

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

6 asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces

5 Tblsp. fresh pesto

1/4 - 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

Parmesan cheese

Heat up a pot of water to cook the pasta.  While pasta is cooking, heat up a large pan with the EVOO, on low medium heat.  Add in the shallot and asparagus, sauteing about 5 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes and continue to saute.

Pour in 1/4 cup pasta water, season with salt and pepper and add the drained cooked pasta, tossing to coat.  Remove from the heat, and add the pesto, and grated Parmesan cheese, mix well.

Serve along side any main dish, or have as a meal on it's own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curry potato salad offers up a nice change to regular potato salad and goes well with most other main dishes.  These past few years we have been fortunate to buy organic potatoes from a local farm - such a difference in flavor and texture.  If you are able to get organic potatoes this salad will delight.

2  1/2 lbs. potatoes - red or yukon gold preferably

2 large hard boiled eggs

1/2 cup frozen, thawed green peas

1/4 cup diced green onion

1/4 cup finely diced celery

cilantro garnish (optional)

Dressing:

1/2 cup mayonnaise plus 3 Tblsp.

1/4 plain yogurt

2 teaspoons mustard

3 teaspoons Madras Curry Powder

Salt to taste

lemon juice from a 1/4 size lemon wedge

Paprika

Scrub the potato skins, cook whole until tender, drain and allow to completely cool.  Cook the eggs and allow to cool.

Once potatoes are cooked, peel off the skins, and chop to cube size. Place into a medium/large sized bowl

Peel eggs and mash with a fork, then add to the potatoes.  Add the green onions, celery, peas to the potatoes and eggs.

Whisk up the dressing in a separate bowl.

Pour over the potato/eggs and toss/mix to evenly coat.  Check for salt.  Then add a sprinkling of paprika over the top.

 

This is a lovely rice and potato side dish that pairs well with most any main dish.  Here we had it with Air Fryer Tandoori Chicken.

 

3/4 cup basmati rice, well rinsed, set aside in the sieve to dry

3 medium organic Yukon gold potatoes, or 1 1/2 cups, peeled, diced to 1 inch size, rinsed, dry with paper towel

1 small shallot sliced

1/4 tsp. saffron, or a good sized pinch

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1 1/2 cups chicken bone broth

minced fresh chives

Heat up a dutch oven with a good drizzle of Olive oil on medium low heat - make sure it comes to temperature at least 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and saute about 8 minutes, then remove to a bowl.

Add another drizzle of Olive oil to the pan, then the shallots and saute 2 minutes.  Add the saffron and continue to saute 2 minutes.  Add the rice and saute about 4 minutes, then poor in the chicken bone broth stirring well.  Raise the heat to medium high to bring to a good simmer, then lid on lower the heat to minimum, stirring with a fork until it is a light simmer.  Simmer for 18-20 min. lid on, then take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff rice and potatoes with a fork, sprinkle on the minced chives.

With this recipe, we used a 3 quart slow cooker.  Each slow cooker seems to have it's own unique heat.  In determining the cook time, I would recommend using a 3 quart slow cooker.  This lovely side dish was cooked in 2 hrs. and 15 minutes.  It makes a nice lunch with a salad, or a lovely side dish to any Mexican flavoured main dishes.  Adding sliced avocados, salsa, plain yogurt are nice accompaniments.

2 tblsp. Avocado oil

3/4 cup long grain basmati rice, well rinsed

1 small shallot, diced

1/4 of a green pepper, diced

2/3 cup diced tomato

14 oz can of black beans rinsed well

1-2 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tblsp. warm water

Plug in the slow cooker, and preheat on low.  Heat up a saute pan on low medium heat with the Avocado oil.  Add the vegetables and saute 5 minutes.  Add in the seasonings and rice, and saute for another 3 minutes.  Transfer the rice vegetables to a slow cooker, add in the black beans and pour in the water.  Stir gently lid on and cook on low for 2 hrs. 15 minutes.

 

 

Such a simple recipe to put together one I have been making for years. Great for breakfast, served with whipped cream or a splash of cream on top.

With this dish, ideally a soft crumb gluten free bread works best here - use your favourite gluten free bread.

6 cups cubed soft gluten free bread

3 eggs, whisk well

1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and ginger

1 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract or vanilla extract

1 cup milk, 1 cup half and half cream - we use lactose free, but use your milk of choice

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup raisins

1/2-2/3 cup pure maple syrup (I was generous and used 2/3 cup)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Add the milk and butter to a sauce pan, heat on low until the butter is melted.  Lightly grease a glass baking dish with butter. (mine was 8x11.5 in size)

In a large bowl add the cubed 6 cups of soft gluten free bread. In a separate bowl whisk up the eggs, add the cinnamon, ginger, almond extract, and mix well.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes, tossing well to coat then place evenly into a lightly greased casserole dish. Toss in the raisins throughout on top.  Pour the milk/butter mixture over top evenly.  Then drizzle the maple syrup over the bread pudding - be fairly generous.

Bake for 45 minutes and serve warm with cream.

If you read my blog, you will know that using a crock pot, slow cooker is not my usual preferred method of cooking.  I never really got good results in the past, hence the few slow cooker recipes on this blog.  This one?  It is a keeper.  15 minutes of prep time, load the crock pot, set the temperature, and dinner is done and on the table 5 1/2 hours later.  When a recipe works the time saving convenience of a crock pot is wonderful.

5-6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

1/2 Tblsp. Italian Seasoning

1 Bay leaf

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 1/2 Tblsp. Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tblsp. soy sauce

1 Tblsp. white balsamic vinegar

fresh cracked pepper

2 big Tblsp. tomato paste

2 Tblsp. corn starch

1 cup water

1/2 of a large green pepper, sliced

1 large garlic clove, sliced in half

2/3 cup chopped carrots, 1 tblsp. finely diced celery leaves and celery

hand full of chopped leeks, optional

2 cups potatoes, cut into 1 1/2  inch pieces

We use a small 2-3 litre sized Crock Pot Slow Cooker.  For this recipe you will want to preheat the crock pot on high for 15 minutes while prepping vegetables etc., then add the ingredients, keeping on high for another 15 minutes, then turn down to low heat for 5 1/2 hours. (total preheat time on high, 30 min.)

Add the chopped potatoes to the bottom of the crock pot, followed by the carrots, celery and leaves, garlic clove, green peppers and bay leaf.

In a bowl whisk up the Worcestershire Sauce, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, corn starch and water, then set aside.

Add the chicken thighs on top, sprinkle with Italian seasoning, fresh cracked pepper, then pour the sauce over the top.  After the crock pot has heated on high for the 15 minutes with the ingredients added, turn the crock pot to low and cook 5 1/2 hours.

 

 

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