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Entries in Black Bean (5)


Sweet Potato & Black Bean Soup

Sunday's have quickly turned into fresh bread and soup days. I'm not sure what I am going to do when it gets too warm out for soup because it is now routine. Friday's are often DIY pizza nights and Sunday's are for soup. I wake up on Sunday's and make the dough for bread and english muffins. I let it rise all day and by the evening, I've baked a fresh loaf of bread and a batch of English muffins that get it us through the week. While bread isn't a ton of work, I most definitely attribute the increase in homemade bread to the Kitchen Aid we got at Christmas. It makes bread-making incredibly simple and easy, so easy in fact that you don't do any kneading; the dough hook does it all for you. Anyways, I digress. The point is, what goes better with fresh bread than soup. So soup it is, at least for now. This week was black bean and sweet potato soup, pureed into a thick and tasty soup, topped with fresh avocado and cheddar cheese, and served alongside a piping hot piece of bread. Life doesn't get much better, does it?

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Soup

Servings: 4-6

  • 28 oz black beans
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 ancho chili
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 avocado
  • Fresh grated cheddar cheese
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot.
  2. Add garlic and onion and sautee until translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add sweet potato cubes and stir. Let cook for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes begin to brown.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and let cook on low-medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Check to ensure sweet potatoes are thoroughly cooked. If they are not, continue to let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of water at a time, continuing to blend until the soup has reached your desired consistency.
  7. Top soup with thinly sliced avocado and freshly grated cheddar cheese.

Tomatillo Black Bean Enchiladas

I won't go out to eat at cheap, Mexican restaurants. It's not that I have anything against cheap, good food. Promise. It's just that a) I don't really like Mexican food and b) I always leave with a stomach ache. Really good, tasty mexcian food. Well that's a whole other story. So is homemade Mexican food. With my new(ish) found love for black beans, I am always looking for a good excuse to whip something up that incorporates them in the main portion of the meal. These tomatillo enchiladas were the perfect solution. I could make some chicken for those who wanted to eat meat and I could stuff mine full to the brim with zesty black beans and onion. The tomatillos proved to be the perfect ingredient for a spicy salsa verde. Add homemade whole-wheat tortillas to the mix, sprinkle some cheese on top and bam, an inexpensive dinner in under 30 minutes.

Tomatillo Black Bean Enchiladas

Servings: 8 enchiladas

  • Homemade whole-wheat tortillas, 1-2 per person
  • 8 medium tomatillos
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 14 ounces black beans, (if canned, drain and rinse; if fresh, cook according to package instructions)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 chicken breasts, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp and 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup of shredded monterrey jack or cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium sautee pan, heat black beans (cooked or canned) with 1/2 of the chopped onion. Add 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp cayenne pepper and a dash of salt. Sautee for 10 minutes. Drain excess liquid and place mixture in a bowl to cool. 
  3. To make the tomatillo salsa, remove husks from the tomatillos and cut the tomatillos into quarters.
  4. Finely chop the cilantro. Set 1/3 of it aside.
  5. Place the tomatillos, jalapeno, garlic and 2/3 of the cilantro in a food processor. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. Puree for 10-15 seconds. You want the salsa to have texture to it but you also want all of the ingredients to be thoroughly incorporated. Puree for another 5-10 seconds if necessary. Taste and season as desired. If you want it spicier, add another tsp of cayenne pepper or another jalapeno. If you like the flavor of lime juice, add another 1 tbsp of lime juice.
  6. Pour the salsa into a bowl and set aside.
  7. If you are using chicken, cut the chicken breasts into pieces. Place the cooked chicken in the food processor (don't worry about cleaning it after making the salsa). Add the remaining 1/3 of chopped cilantro, 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp cayenne pepper. Puree for 5-10 seconds or until finely chopped to look like ground chicken. 
  8. Take a 9x13 casserole dish and lightly coat the bottom with the tomatillo salsa (roughly 1/4 cup of salsa).
  9. Place a tortilla in and fill the middle with either beans, chicken or a bean/chicken mixture. You want to use about 1/4-1/3 cup of filling. Roll tortilla and place it seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, placing finished enchiladas tightly in the casserole dish.
  10. Top rolled enchiladas with tomatillo salsa and shredded cheese.
  11. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until enchiladas are crispy and cheese is melted.
  12. Serve hot with fresh cilantro for garnish and a side tomatillo salsa.

Black Bean and Tomato Soup

I came across a fabulous book at the library the other day, entitled Soup of the Day. It had endless possibilities for hot soups, cold soups, vegetarian soups, broths, pureed soups, etc. It's that time of year when one can never have too many soup recipes up their sleeve. They are easy and most can be done in a crock pot. This one is no different. You can use the freshest ingredients or all canned ones, which is exactly what I did when I decided on Sunday evening, after a long day of christmas shopping, that we needed to have soup for dinner. J picked up a fresh loaf of bread on his way home from the gym and I put a pot of this on, cranked up the christmas tunes and got to present wrapping. An hour later we were ready to rock-and-roll. I was surprised by the fresh, citrus taste that this dish carries with it. I tweaked the recipe out of Soup of the Day and you could do the same. If you don't have all the herbs, just go with it - don't let that hinder your desire to create a new fresh recipe for you or your family. As is normal, I froze my leftovers to enjoy on a not-so-distant day when there just isn't time to cook a new meal. 

What's your favorite soup? Do you like them year round or just in the colder months?

Black Bean and Tomato Soup

Servings: 6-8

  • 1-28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2-15 oz cans of black beans
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-15 oz can chicken or vegetable stock (broth will work fine too, low sodium of course)
  1. Place olive oil into large pan and let heat.
  2. Sautee onions and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add tomatoes (and their juice) and stir.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  5. Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium and let simmer, stirring occassionaly for 45-90 minutes depending on your schedule.
  6. Serve hot with freshly grated cheese.

Black Bean Cakes with Sweet Tomato and Onion Salsa

Told ya I had more bean dishes up my sleeves. Here is a simple, incredibly healthy and really tasty dinner. It is definitely a vegetarian dish but don't knock it until you have tried it. I would have been the first to give this two thumbs down until I actually tried it. Now it is most definitely a two thumbs up kind of dish. An added bonus? The hubby loved it. As in, he ate it for leftovers multiple days in a row. As a nice aside, it is also a really cheap dish to make - Under $5 per person, including the salsa (Remember how cheap beans are? $0.88 per can and even cheaper if you use dried ones). You don't need anything else fancy to make this, though having garbanzo bean flour is a plus as it does make a difference in overall taste, but it is not entirely necessary to have (it is found in the baking aisle at your grocery store). Oh, and as if you needed any more convincing to try this...you can't mess it up. It just isn't possible. I served it with this sweet tomato and onion salsa but you could swap that out for a nice side salad too.

Black Bean Cakes

Servings: 8-12 bean cakes

  • 2-14oz cans black beans, drained (or 3 cups cooked black beans)

  • 2 egs

  • 1/4 cup grated white cheese (I used an aged white cheddar but mozarella would work fine)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 yellow sweet onion, chopped

  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped (I used baby bellas)

  • 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (you could swap it out for all-purpose flour but the garbanzo bean flour really adds to the taste)

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Place the onions, mushroom, and garlic in a food processor. Puree until very fine.

  2. Place 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the pureed vegetable and saute for 5-6 minutes.

  3. Place the drained black beans in the food processor. Puree for 5 seconds at a time. You don't want the beans to be a mush. You want there to be chunks of black beans intermixed with the ones that are fully pureed. You may need to puree in 5 second chunks 3 or 4 times.

  4. Place the pureed beans into a medium bowl. Add the vegetable mixture and stir.

  5. Add in the cheese, remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, and the other dry ingredients. Stir well. At this point, if it is too runny, add flour 1 tbsp at a time until it is a bit thicker. You should not have to add more than 2-3 tbsp of flour.

  6. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

  7. Using a spoon and your hands, shape the mixture into bean patties and place on cookie sheet. They do not have to be perfectly formed. Mine actually looked a bit like globs of the mixture but they turned out just fine. They should form roughly 8-12 cakes.

  8. Place in oven and bake until cooked through, roughly 25-30 minutes. Serve hot with this sweet tomato and onion salsa.


Zesty Lime Black Bean Soup

I must admit, I am on a bit of a bean rampage. There is something incredibly daredevilish and exciting about eating beans. Sure, you can roll your eyes but if you really think about it, you'll soon realize that the first few times you tried a new type of bean you felt like you were crossing into a new world, a more "grown-up" world (maybe?).  Just this weekend I had 5 types of beans - edamame, garbanzo, kidney, pinto and black. Each has a unique and distinct taste, texture, color, and well, that's about it. I don't know when I had this bean epiphany - the moment when I realized I did in fact like beans - actually the moment when I began to crave (yes, you read that correctly, I crave beans) beans. Rather than fight it, I embraced it. I took a deep breath and put aside some preconceived notion that beans are a gross food, so gross in fact that they elicited a silly, childish "beans, beans they're good for your heart...the more you eat the more you fart" song. Instead, I'm running with this new found love. Get ready for a wild ride, a streak of recipes all centered around beans. Some whole beans, some pureed beans, some bean dips, maybe we will even get a bit risque and try beans in a dessert (NOT! Who am I trying to kid...certainly not you all. Clearly dessert calls for the standards - chocolate, peanut butter and more chocolate).

As the cool weather approaches, or even on a warmer night, take a deep breath and try some of this zesty lime black bean soup. Push aside your fear of beans and just embrace it. Its the perfect mix of southwestern spice, zesty lime, black bean, home comfort.

Zesty Lime Black Bean Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Serving Size: 1.25 cups

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 sweet yellow onion, diced

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 3 tbsp lime juice (fresh or bottled)

  • 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 3-4 cups water

  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Grated cheddar or white cheddar cheese


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat (I used this 6 Qt Dutch Oven as opposed to your traditional pot/pan. The dutch ovens tend to allow the food to cook more evenly and food definitely sticks less. You can get them for really good prices at Home Goods or TJ Max).

  2. Add diced onions and saute for 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Stir and let cook for one minute.

  4. Stir in the drained and rinsed black beans, along with the diced tomatoes and lime juice.

  5. Add in the water. I used 3 cups but I prefer soups that have more substance and less broth. If you favor a soup with more broth, go ahead and use 4 cups of water.

  6. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes.

  7. Serve hot with fresh grated cheese and homemade biscuits for good measure.