Never Been to Peru Potato and Bean Stew

In the bookstore the other day I could hardly contain my excitement.  I found a used copy of Mollie Katzen’s 2013 cookbook The Heart of the Plate for six dollars!  Middle and Early Boomers might remember  her Moosewood cookbook.  I still have a copy of that cookbook in my collection.  There are a few recipes from The Heart of the Plate I want to try.  The first one was Peruvian Potato-Bean Stew.  But immediately I saw a problem.

There are over 4,000 edible varieties of potato, mostly found in the Andes of South America.!

“If you can’t get blue potatoes…”

I’m not in Peru.  4000 to pick from and the recipe calls for the blue one.  Since I wasn’t going to find blue potatoes I figured I might as well just mess with the rest of the recipe too.  So here’s my version inspired by Mollie.

Adapted from The Heart of Plate by Mollie Katzen

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground red chili
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
  • 3 cups cooked Mayocabo beans with cooking liquid
  • 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and onion
  • freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add oil, onions, chili powder, ground chili, oregano and cumin .  Gently saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the bell pepper,  garlic, and salt.  Saute for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes.. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the bean cooking liquid, canned tomatoes, cover again, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the beans, reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are warmed through.
  6. Season individual servings with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Yum

Random Thoughts

If you like chili you’ll like this recipe.  It’s basically a potato and bean chili, no meat.  If you cannot find Mayocabo beans use pintos.  It won’t taste the same but will still be excellent, kind of like using yellow potatoes instead of the blue ones.  Pinto beans will hold their shape better whereas the Mayocabo is creamier and tends to fall apart with prolonged cooking.

For the beans I used a pound dried, rinsed multiple times and soaked overnight.  The next day I tossed the beans into a pot, added water to one inch above the beans with about a teaspoon each of cumin, Mexican oregano, garlic powder and a bay leaf.






Sweet Potato and White Bean Hummus

  • 1 large sweet potato, baked
  • 3 small whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 can Great Northern White Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini, organic, unsalted
  • 1 and 1/2 large lemons, juiced
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • Salt to taste

The Office Christmas party is at the house this year.  I was asked to make some hummus for the event.  Since I was going to dirty up the juicer and the food processor I decided to try something different.  I made more hummus.  There was a leftover baked sweet potato in the fridge.  A quick Google search turned up this recipe which I’ll credit as my inspiration.

  1. Bake the sweet potato for around 75 minutes or until soft to the touch.  I actually had my potato in the oven for 2 hours at 425F because I forgot about it.  Allow to cool and set aside.
  2. Process the garlic first.
  3. Toss everything else in the pool and process until smooth and creamy.
  4. Did you take the skin off the potato?
  5. Find some pita bread or crackers STAT.

The first thing is to avoid any arguments about whether or not you can call this dip hummus.  It has no chickpeas so technically it’s not hummus.   Google “is hummus without chickpeas really hummus” and take a side.  The second thing you have to get used to is the color.

Pink.  The dip comes out pink.

Serving Suggestions

Put this hummus out at a party and tell everyone it’s a salmon dip.

Have your smartphone cameras ready for your guests’ reactions.



Wing and Leg Navy Bean Soup

I survived another Thanksgiving and managed to gain just 2/10th of a pound.  But I was unable to escape Texas without leftovers.

In the fridge there was a gallon size baggie with some white, some dark, one leg and one wing from the bird.  Thanksgiving was two days ago.  I had to do something or this would become cold turkey sandwiches (boring).  After a few minutes of anguish I had an idea…soup.

I almost called this recipe “A Wing and a Prayer” because I never put turkey in navy bean soup before.  But since it’s my basic navy bean soup recipe with some roasted turkey parts tossed in the pot I’m sure the soup will turn out fine.


  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 qt low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 lb dried navy beans
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cooked turkey leg
  • 1 cooked turkey wing
  1. Soak the beans overnight in water.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.  Saute until the vegetables are softened.  Add the thyme and saute an additional minute until the herb is fragrant.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans.  Add to the pot along with the vegetable broth, bay leaf, and turkey parts.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 2 hours or until the beans are soft.
  5. Remove the wing and leg.  Allow to cool and remove the meat from the bones.  Discard the bones.  Dice the turkey meat and return to the pot.  Correct your seasonings.
  6. Yum.

The Next Day

This may be the quickest edit to a post ever.  I forgot to list salt and pepper.  But if this is your first visit to this recipe you wouldn’t know that.    When I corrected the seasonings I tossed in some paprika, dried parsley and a little shake of garlic and onion powders.  The Boss also told me to use up the leftovers so in addition to the leg and wing I added about 4 ounces of breast meat.

During the simmer phase keep an eye on the pot.  As navy beans cook the liquid thickens so don’t let the soup burn.  Add sufficient additional liquid to avoid this calamity.  At first I used water.  Towards the end of the simmer I used some organic chicken broth.  In total I may have added nearly a cup of liquid during the cooking process.

The soup turned out yummy.


Garlic Toast with Balsamic Tomatoes and White Beans

It’s been really interesting getting used to the new ingredient selection and price differences at the grocery stores since moving from New Orleans to Nashville. One major difference is that canned goods at Kroger are almost half the price of the canned goods at the local grocery store that I used to frequent.

Source: Garlic Toast with Balsamic Tomatoes and White Beans

I personally have not tried this recipe but the pictures look awesome and I wanted to “bookmark” the source.  I’ve been following Budget Bytes for some time and Beth does a great job.

Besides the beans, tomatoes and pictures what caught my eye was the comment on the food cost differential by geography.  Why should canned beans be twice the price in one city versus another?  Dynamic pricing and profits.  Simple answer.

Beans are cheap.  And beans are cheaper in Oklahoma too.

Sopa de Frijol con Vegetal

Sopa de Frijol con Vegetal

1/2 pound dried pinto beans
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican variety preferred), crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic (medium), finely chopped
1 can tomatoes, fine dice
2 teaspoons chili powder
pinch salt


1. Pick over the beans carefully and remove any foreign particles. Put the beans in a strainer and rinse under cold running water. Put the beans, bay leaf, oregano, and cumin in a large saucepan with water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the beans are tender and the liquid thickens, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Do not let the beans boil dry. Check the water level during cooking and add hot water, when needed, about 1/4 cup at a time. There should always be about 1/2 inch of water above the level of the beans.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a medium skillet and cook the onion, stirring, until it browns, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and ground chili. Cook, stirring, until the tomato juices evaporate, 2 to 3 minutes. When the beans are tender, add the onion mixture to the beans. Add salt, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes to blend flavors. Remove the bay leaf, and serve hot.

Adapted from the original meatless recipe found in “1,000 Mexican Recipes.” Copyright 2001 by Marge Powe, Wiley Publishing, Inc.


I love pinto beans and found this recipe a long time ago.  When the offspring were little I didn’t fix beans at home.  I got my bean fix when we went out for Tex-Mex and gorged myself on the refried variety.  Nowadays as an Aging Wonder I tend to eat a lot healthier than during my younger days.  Give me a good bowl of beans and I’m a happy camper.

Check back for updates and tips on this soup recipe.  I’ve got beans on the stove and I am absolutely positive I no longer follow the recipe as written.

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Source: Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip | The Pioneer Woman


  • 2 to 3 cups cooked Black-eyed Peas
  • 1/4 whole sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 8 slices Jalapenos
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Salsa
  • Hot Sauce (optional)
  • Garlic powder, a dash or two
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain black-eyed peas and mash, leaving some whole.

Add all other ingredients, stirring to combine.

Spread into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

I stole this recipe.  I did the usual change one or two things but refuse to claim this recipe as an original.  Instead of canned beans I prepared my own from dried beans.  The hot sauce is optional because I forgot to add it and when we started to chow down the dip didn’t really need any more heat.  As far as bean dips go this recipe is a keeper.  There were only six people at the gathering and we ate it all.  So the recipe serves six.

The stuffed mushrooms all got eaten too but that’s another recipe for another day.

Helpful Hints –  This is a Texas thing, black eyed peas for good luck at New Year’s.  So here are a few hints.  Salsa is not optional and I think I used a half cup but since I tossed and didn’t measure it might have been a little less or a little more. Hell on the Red from Telephone Texas.  Use a different salsa but the dip won’t taste the same.  If you like your dip spicy add more jalapenos.  Add hot sauce too but it better be a good Tex-Mexican hot sauce.  Don’t do the sriracha thing that everyone else does or it won’t taste the same.