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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

I saw an article in our local newspaper showcasing Coronation Salad.  Having never heard of this recipe I discovered there are many versions of Coronation Salad, a salad that has layers of flavors, and a salad that is versatile in how you want to present it.  This is my version, which really is 2 salads in 1.  A rice and vegetable salad topped with the curry chicken salad.

Rice Salad:

1 cup Basmati rice rinsed well and cooked

2 chopped green onions

3/4 cup diced peeled cucumber

1/4 of a small yellow pepper, diced

1 celery stalk with leaves diced

2 seeded roma tomatoes, diced

2/3 rounded cup frozen peas

handful of chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

salt and pepper to taste

juice of 1/2 a large lemon

4 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Once your rice is cooked, set aside to cool.  Prepare all the chopped vegetables and measure out the frozen peas.  Once the rice is cooled add in the vegetables, peas, parsley and toss with a spoon.  Pour in the lemon juice, EVOO, and season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Curry Salad:

3 chicken breasts - I cooked them in the air fryer, but use your preferred method of cooking

1 1/2 Tblsp. plain low fat yogurt

3 rounded Tblsp. mayonnaise

1 1/2 tsp. marmalade

3 1/2 rounded tsp. Madras curry powder - or more to taste

juice from a fresh wedge of lemon

chopped almonds

steamed fresh asparagus to plate on the side

Once your chicken is cooked and cooled, cut into small cube size pieces, and set aside.  In a bowl, combine the rest of the ingredient except the almonds.  Whisk well.  Add the chicken pieces to the curry dressing and mix well.  Sprinkle the top with chopped almonds.

To assemble the Coronation Salad, add the rice salad to a bowl, then place a generous amount of the chicken curry in the middle of the rice salad with fresh steamed asparagus on the side.  A salad packed full of flavor, making a great lunch or dinner.

 

 

 

Each night I ask...what to cook tonight??  We had tacos the night before, with this recipe here.  There was about 1 cups worth of taco meat sauce left in the fridge.  With the high costs of groceries, well truthfully inflation overall everywhere, I refuse to throw away good food.  With a few pantry/fridge staples this recipe came together easily enough and was mighty tasty.

Quite often I will cook enough for 4 (there are 2 of us in our household now) and have the leftovers the next night.  This recipe here, worked perfectly for 2.

By the way, with the black beans, I froze the remainder in the canned sauced/water they came in, in an airtight container to use another day.  This made a great dinner, but would be lovely for lunch too and came together in about 30 minutes.

1/4 stalk celery, with leaves finely diced

good handful of fresh cilantro minced with the stems

2/3 cup black beans, rinsed well, separate in half in a bowl and mash one half of beans with a fork

398 can diced tomatoes drained, but reserve liquid

1 cup leftover taco meat sauce

1/4 cup frozen organic corn

1 tsp. chili powder, salt and pepper to taste

grated cheddar cheese

slices of avocado

corn chips

To a sauce pan, add the drained tomatoes with 1/3 cup of juice, celery, corn, cilantro, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Bring to a lite simmer, with lid on and simmer 15 minutes.

Add the beans and meat sauce plus 2-3 Tablespoons of reserved tomato liquid.  Mix well and simmer on low for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve with a topping of grated cheddar cheese, and avocado and corn chips on the side.

 

 

This was a healthy, mighty flavorful vegan/vegetarian stew.  There are a lot of options you could use with this recipe in terms of vegetables: carrots, broccoli, peas, red pepper, cauliflower, spinach to name a few.  I used what I had on hand so by all means adjust this recipe to suit your own needs/tastes.

While we made this Vegan/Vegetarian it could easily be made with chicken stock and cut up chicken breasts - again lots of flavor.  Plus the added tumeric with the ginger gives a good immune boost especially when in the depths of freezing winter.  There is nothing better than a good curry during winter.  Any way you make it, a hearty, healthy lunch or dinner.

2 Tblsp. Avocado oil

1 small onion, diced

2 minced garlic cloves

1 tsp. finely minced ginger

1/4 cup diced green pepper

1 stalk of celery, sliced on diagonal, and add minced leaves

3 small swiss chard leaves and stalk, finely sliced in ribbons

2-3 roma tomatoes, diced

3/4 lb. diced potatoes, we used red fingerling - any potato that holds up well steamed/simmered

1 cup vegetable stock, divided

1/2 tsp. tumeric, 3 tsp. Madras curry powder, salt to taste

big handfull of finely chopped fresh cilantro, and fresh basil

400 ml can full fat organic coconut milk - guar gum, sugar free (we use this brand)

398 ml. can organic chick peas, drained and rinsed well

1 Tblsp. potato starch

Heat up a large pan/braiser with the Avocado oil on low medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger, green pepper and celery to the pan.  Saute until fragrant and the onions are translucent - about 4 minutes.  Then add the swiss chard, tomatoes, tumeric, and Madras curry powder, salt and continue to saute until the swiss chard starts to welt.  Pour in 3/4 cup vegetable stock, potatoes and stir to combine.  Turn down to low and lid on keep on a low simmer stirring occasionally for the next 15-18 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.

Next add in the fresh cilantro and basil, and drained chick peas mixing well.  To the remainder 1/4 cup of stock add 1 Tblsp. potato starch stirring to incorporate.  Add to the curry dish stirring well, then pour in the coconut milk, again stirring well until it begins to thicken.

Keep on a low simmer for 5-10 minutes stirring throughout, and serve hot over cooked rice.

 

 

 

This simple dish is a great way to use up some pantry ingredients as well as providing a hearty lunch or dinner.  We usually do 2-3 vegetarian dinners each week to maintain overall health, and it helps with the costs too!

1-1/2 Tblsp. Avocado oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1/2 a stalk of celery with leaves, finely diced

1/2 cup diced red and or green pepper

14 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice

1 Tblsp. tomato paste

14 oz. can drained and rinsed pinto beans

1 Tblsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

grated aged cheddar cheese

chopped green onion

cooked rice

Heat up a 3 quart frying pan, dutch oven or braiser on low medium heat with the Avocado oil.  Add in the onions, green/red peppers, celery and leaves sauteing for 5 minutes.  Pour in the tomatoes, apple cider vinegar and add all the seasonings, bay leaf,  stirring well.

Bring to a good simmer, and after 5 minutes add in the tomato paste, stir well and cover with a lid.  Turn down to minimum and simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add in the drained pinto beans, lid on and heat through another 5-10 min.

Serve over rice with a topping of grated cheddar cheese and a sprinkling of green onion.

 

 

Air Fryer spaghetti squash could not get any easier.  We love to have spaghetti squash with Meatballs and Marinara sauce, or under a serving of chili.  Spaghetti squash is a nutritious and filling squash any way you decide to serve it.

Cut the stem end off of the spaghetti squash, then place on cut end and cut the squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Drizzle a small amount of Avocado Oil in each squash and spread throughout with you hand.  Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the Air Fryer at 375 degrees for 5 minutes.  Open the basket and add a splash of water to the bottom of the fryer - no need to remove the tray.

Place the Spaghetti Squash cut side up into the basket and cook.  Depending on the size of you squash cooking time will be anywhere from 23-30 minutes.  Carefully remove the cooked squash with tongs and allow to cool a bit before using a fork to scrape out the strands of squash.  Serve along side any main dish.

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