Tag Archive: Beans

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Creamy Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Dip

The best way to be a better cook is find recipes you like and learn to make them your own way. Some months I get lazy and never make anything new–I don’t mind the same lunch every day of the week. But reading blogs help me find recipes good enough to break me out of my rut.

This recipe from Mississippi Kitchen looked too good to pass up. I never buy as much spinach and salad mixins as I should so instead I wanted to take the same flavors and put them in a dip. This has a ton of savory, salty flavor and surprisingly healthy ingredients. You could serve this at a party and they’d never know it’s a bean dip!

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Seasoning should be the last step of this recipe. There’s no right amount of salt–you’ll need to taste it and figure out how much to add based on how salty your ingredients are.

Always taste a sauce or dip with whatever you’re using for dipping; if you’re using vegetables you’ll want the dip to be on the saltier side, while if you’re using seasoned crackers keep it on the bland side.   

Creamy Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 servings):

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 4oz feta, crumbled

  • Salt to taste

  • Vegetables for dipping 

Method:

  1. Add the beans to a food processor and pulse until smooth.

  2. Add in the tomatoes, sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and feta and process.

  3. Slowly add more buttermilk to get the dip to the right consistency while processing. Only add as much as you’d like to make it the right thickness.

  4. When done, season to taste with salt.

  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator when not enjoying. 

How To Cook Nachos At Home

How To Cook Nachos At Home

Happy seis de Mayo!

Nachos are my favorite bad food. You can get them anywhere(and I have), especially anywhere worth going. After a few drinks there’s nothing else I’d rather have–not even Reese’s cup brownies.

Making them at home, though, has never been as simple as it out to be. You can’t put them in the microwave or the chips get soggy. I’ve literally set a pan on fire in the oven not understanding how a burner works. Bad bad bad.

Skillet Nachos

These are the most satisfying nachos I’ve made at home. They’re warm and melty on top while the chips stay hot and crisp–not soggy. It’s easy to make and you can eat it from the pan so you don’t have to dirty dishes. What could be better?

Skillet Nachos

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

  • 1-2 Tablespoons oil
  • 4 handfuls of tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese*
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup guacamole

*Make sure to use a cheese that melts well since you don’t want this on the burner for too long. Avoid processed shredded cheeses with lots of added ingredients and stabilizers.

Method:

  1. Rub a pan with a cover with oil to make sure the tortillas won’t stick or burn.
  2. Add the chips into the pan. Add the beans and cheese around on top evenly.
  3. Turn the burner onto a medium heat and cover immediately with a pan cover.
  4. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the cheese has melted and remove from the burner immediately.
  5. Add the salsa, sour cream, and guacamole and enjoy.

Packed Lunch: Rice & Bean Bowl

Homemade rice and bean bowls for a healthy and affordable packed lunch

I’m one of those people at the office who brings in lunch every day. The same lunch every single day. The Huffington Post wrote an article about us.

Sure packing a lunch every day can get tiresome, but it’s cheaper and healthier to do it yourself. It’s hard to argue with that.

If you’re on board the lunch-packing train, even just a few days a week, this lunch will definitely keep you satisfied. It’s just as good as a Chipotle bowl but costs about $2 or less. It’s also perfect for packing on a Sunday night to have later in the week since you don’t have to worry about sogging bread or spoiling meat.

For a simple step-by-step photo guide, scroll below the recipe.

Rice & Bean Bowl

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 4 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 lunch):

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup(1/2 can) black beans
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen vegetables
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Method:

  1. In a microwavable bowl, layer the rice, beans, vegetables, salsa, and cheese in that order.
  2. Cover tight with a lid. Don’t keep at room temperature for more than 6 hours.
  3. When ready, microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes.

An easy, healthy and affordable meal you can pack for lunch every day

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar

My favorite recipes all have two things in common: They’re easy and they’re delicious. This one’s both.

This dip’s about as easy as it comes. There’s no cooking or processing. Just mix all the ingredients and voila! (Or whatever the Mexican equivalent of voila is.)

Make sure to soak the onions before adding them to the dip. Soaking them takes away the sharp bite that raw onions have so they don’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. You can add some diced avocado in as well for an added touch.

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Serves about 6 people):

  • 1/2 large red or white onion
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Dice the onion with a sharp knife.
  2. Soak the diced onion in cold water for 5 minutes to remove the raw onion bite.
  3. While the onion’s soaking, mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Strain the water from the onion and add it to the mixture.
  5. Mix well. Serve at room temperature.

Healthy Black Bean Quesadilla

October 13th 003

The saddest thing about moving to a new city besides leaving behind friends and family is always leaving behind good restaurants. There are always a few dished you just can’t find anywhere else and you don’t know what to do about it.

Last time I was in Providence I had huevos rancheros with a black bean quesadilla, ancho-chili sauce and home fries for brunch. It was delicious and something I probably won’t find anytime soon, so this has been the closest I’ve come to tasting it again. If you’re staying in on a weekend morning and need something to hit the spot this might be as good as you’ll get without ordering takeout.

October 13th 010

This recipe for quesadillas is a little different from what you’d normally get since it uses corn tortillas instead of flour ones keeping it gluten-free. The ingredients are also a little healthier than others; for a more traditional recipe use twice as much cheese and half as much beans.

Black Bean Corn Quesadilla

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole

October 13th 007

Method:

  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Warm the tortillas in the frying pan in a little oil to keep them from sticking.
  3. Move the tortillas to a plate.
  4. Heat the black beans in the pan with a little oil to take out some of the moisture. Season them with salt or spices if desired.
  5. Add the cheese in with the black beans and keep moving them to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
  6. When the cheese starts melting, move the black beans onto one of the tortillas. Place the other one on top.
  7. Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and any other toppings you’d like.

7 Favorite Summer Recipes

VegetarianGrillingOnGrill_thumb

Summer is an appetite killer. I can’t be the only one who has a hard time being creative in the kitchen and thinking of perfect flavors to mix for dinner when it’s 90 degrees outside and humid. I’d rather take out the ice cream and call it a night.

Mashed potatoes and gravy aside, there are still plenty of healthy and not so healthy foods you can make with a little forethought that’ll have you hungry even in the Summer. Here are some of my favorites to make when the temperatures climb.

Drinks

TequilaSunrise_thumb

Tequila sunrises are a perfect Summer drink with only 3 ingredients and the refreshing taste of orange juice. A less complicated drink means more time having fun outside and socializing.

Appetizers

Firecracker-Guacamole-dip_thumb

Firecracker guacamole has a nice spicy kick to wake up your taste buds. And of course it has a fresher taste than store-bought guacamole because it’s all homemade. It’s a winner for hosting a party or bringing to a party.

If you’re grilling, perfect grilled potatoes are the way to go. They’re similar to a thick-cut oven fry but instead get an added smoky flavor from the grill, and a cinch to make while you’re grilling up dinner.

Entrees

Caramelized-Onion-and-Balsamic-Vinegar-Bean-Salad_thumb

Hot or cold, caramelized onion and balsamic vinegar bean salad makes for a tasty dinner with sweet and savory flavors. You can make a big batch on the weekend and have it any night you feel like a home-cooked meal without the effort.

Easy black bean salad is the dish to make if you only have 5 minutes or don’t feel like turning the stove on. It’s a one-pot winner with a slightly spicy kick and and simple ingredients.

Dessert

Chubby-Hubby-Cheesecake_thumb

Chubby hubby cheesecake lives up to all the expectations the Ben & Jerry’s flavor brings. The pretzel crust, peanut butter cream cheese filling, and chocolate ganache are always a hit. It’s a great ice-box dessert recipe to bring to the picnic.

If you’re a fan of s’mores stuck without a campfire, no-bake peanut butter s’mores bars are the perfect fix for a sweet treat. They’re easily portioned, too, so make them for a crowd and watch them fly off the plate.

Black Bean Mole Sauce

Black Bean Mole Sauce

Every now and then I find an old recipe on this  from a couple of years ago, poorly written with even worse photos. Especially when it’s one I loved I’m always tempted to make it again and give it the recognition it should have.

This recipe’s a one food-processor wonder. The ingredient list is a little long, but all you have to do is throw it together, blend it up, and heat to serve—that’s it. It’s also remarkably creamy and flavorful with a sauce for no fat or animal products in it, so it makes a great, healthy crowd-pleaser.

Black Bean Mole Sauce Yield

The finished sauce should be slightly spicy with a cool finish. You can adjust it by adding more or less cayenne and chili powder and as always season it to taste.

Black Bean Mole Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 1 1/4 cups):

  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon mustard seed
  • ~1/4 cup water

Black Bean Mole Sauce Beans

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the water into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Slowly add the water while blending until the sauce reaches a fluid yet thick consistency.
  3. Heat up before serving. Scoop a generous amount over protein like tofu, tempeh, or chicken.

Black Bean Mole Sauce Tofu

3 Favorite Dips

The funny thing about being a food blogger is that you make recipes for 4 or 8 or 12 and sometimes end up eating them all by yourself. That’s not a problem when the recipe’s good at least.

All of these dips I can say I’ve eaten half to entire portions of(not in one sitting… usually) and yet I keep making them again and again. They tend to get a lot of hits from Pinterest or Facebook because of how quick and easy they are—two things I always look for in recipes, too—so I thought I’d share them again because you can never have too much of a good thing.

fruity-peanut-butter-yogurt-dip-yield

Fruity Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip—Is it yogurt? Is it a spread? It’s somewhere in between; it’s a dip and a tasty one at that. But my favorite thing about this recipe isn’t how easy it is. It’s how many different ways you can make it. I’ve had this with strawberry yogurt, vanilla yogurt, and plain yogurt with nutella and each time it comes out equally good. But as fun as it is as a dip it’s usually always better with a spoon so keep that in mind.

Mar-2nd-044

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus—Out of all the times I’ve put beans into a dessert, this is probably the weirdest but also the tastiest. The texture and flavor is a lot like raw cookie dough except without all of the flour, refined sugars, and raw eggs. I’ve been obsessed lately with using this in place of peanut butter in pb&j sandwiches; if you’ve never tried something like this you’d be surprised how much you’ll love it.

Vegetarian-Buffalo-Chicken-Dip1

Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip—Finally something savory. I made this dip for Superbowl Sunday and have wanted to make it every weekend since. It’s creamy, spicy, and a little tangy all at once. If you’re a new vegetarian or still love eating meat you won’t know the chicken is gone at all. The next day put the leftovers into some warm tortillas and you’ll have a whole new meal.

Enjoy! I hope you’ll find one you like.

Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip

I’ve never been a vegetarian who claims he doesn’t miss certain food. I used to love buffalo chicken dip; what’s a Superbowl party without it? This year I finally got fed up with being dip-less and decided to make my own.

Too often the impulse for making meat-free dishes is to reach for something with tofu or the name “fak’n” in front of it. Beans are a great substitute that are also cheap, tasty, and something everyone can recognize.

Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip Hot Sauce

To lighten this dip up slightly you can use a reduced fat cream cheese instead of full-fat. I would avoid fat-free because the taste and texture would be off. Similarly you can swap in reduced fat cheese as well.

Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients(Serves 8-12 people):

  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 8oz shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese, divided
  • 1 15oz can white beans, rinsed and drained

Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip Uncooked

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the hot sauce, cream cheese, and 6 ounces(about 1 1/2 cups) of shredded until mixed.
  3. Fold in the beans, adding a little bit of water if necessary until fully incorporated.
  4. Scoop the dip into an oven-safe bowl and spread out the remaining cheese on top to cover it.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese begins to brown and the center is hot.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve hot with crudité and nachos. 

Vegetarian Buffalo Chicken Dip Cooked

You will not miss the chicken; I swear it.

Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Bean Salad

Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Bean Salad

I really love baked beans. Who doesn’t? What I don’t love is spending hours cooking them in a hot kitchen when it’s already 80 degrees outside. Why can’t people appreciate baked beans more in the winter when we’re all freezing? It’s a mystery.

Last week on the 4th I needed a vegetarian dish that could sit in a cooler all day. Immediately my mind jumped to baked beans, but as soon as I ruled out cooking those for 4 hours I remembered this old favorite.

Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Bean Salad Collage

I first posted this recipe over a year ago. The photos weren’t that good, the recipe wasn’t very clearly written, and my readership was drastically lower than what it is today, so I figured it’d be best to just give it a whole new post. And it definitely deserves one.

You can use three cans of any type of beans; I think the ones listed have the most neutral flavor so they take on the sauce well. To make this completely vegan, you can substitute maple syrup or agave for the honey.

Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Bean Salad

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4-6 servings):

  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas
  • 1 15oz can of pinto bean
  • 1 15oz can of cannellini beans
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for finishing(optional)

Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Bean Salad Onions

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the different beans.
  2. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add in the julienned onions and sauté for about 10-15 minutes until the onion has turned translucent and slightly crusty.
  4. Remove from the heat and add it in with the beans.
  5. Reduce the balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan to about half of its original volume by bringing it to a rolling boil for 5 or so minutes. If it over-reduces and starts to harden into a taffy, remove the pan from the heat and stir in some hot water to thin.
  6. Add the reduced vinegar, honey, salt and extra virgin olive oil if using to the beans and onions.
  7. Mix well until the sauce coats all of the beans. Serve hot or cold.

Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar Bean Salad Yield

20 minutes for a tasty bowl of beans? I’ll take that.