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.

Tips

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.

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Beans May Help With Weight Loss

 ‘Pulses’ like these may help dieters feel fuller and reduce food cravings, new analysis shows

Source: Beans, Chickpeas May Help With Weight Loss

I have two bean stories.  I’ll start with my second favorite memory of beans.

I moved from NJ to Texas at the age of 25.  Talk about culture shock.  It was a big brand new world to explore.  And if you enjoy ethnic cuisine you try to eat whatever the locals ate.  I wasn’t quite sure what Texas cuisine was besides smoked brisket.  On one day of exploration I passed a rather cheap and gaudy looking fast food joint that probably no longer exists.

“I wonder what this is?”

So I stopped, went in, stared at the menu and had absolutely no idea what anything was.  So I ordered a bean burrito.  It was your typical fast food burrito, thick brown paste, a little cheese, a little chili sauce, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla.  This happened so long ago the only remaining memory was that I liked it.  A lot.

So ends my second favorite bean story.

 

 

 

Chickpeas Potatoes and Tomatoes

Chickpeas Potatoes and Tomatoes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large red onion, chopped
3 red potatoes, peeled & diced
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. dried red chili pepper flakes
3 C cooked chickpeas (or 2 (15oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed & drained)
1 C diced tomatoes with chipotle, drained
1/2 cup organic vegetable stock (water is OK too)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (use dried, if fresh not available)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

1.) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat.
2.) Add the onion, & cook until wilted, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
3.) Add the potatoes, carrots, garlic, red chili flakes and coriander. Saute for 5 more minutes.
4.) Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, stock, salt, & a few grinds of pepper.
5.) Cover & gently simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 – 20 mins.
6.) Stir in the cilantro and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning.

This dish started out as a lot of dishes start out.  I had some fresh cilantro that I originally bought for guacamole.  I was in the mood for chickpeas.  Last week I ate the last portion of my homemade bean soup supply from the freezer and needed another bean dish for quick lunches.      I went to my cookbook shelf and opened Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone in search of a chickpea recipe. This is what I found.

The changes I made to the original recipe were made to accommodate some ingredients I had in the pantry.  The only diced tomatoes I had on hand consisted of one tiny 10 ounce container that included chipotle.  Into the pool.  Red pepper chili flakes were added for a little more heat and flavor.  Organic vegetable stock replaced water from the original recipe to add depth of flavor.

White Chicken Chili

“I’m not dressed.  Could you water the front patio plants?”

“Yes dear.”

It was rather cool outside this morning.  Fall is definitely in the air and the morning chill made me think of chili.  Since I had just finished breakfast, chili was not an option this morning.  We were leaving on a short road trip in about an hour.  No time to make chili.

I decided to add another chili recipe to the blog!  For years I’ve made a white chili culled from two different recipes.  One recipe definitely came from the NY Times while the source of the second is unknown.  One recipe called for tomatoes; the other recipe didn’t.  So in my grand tradition of never following recipes exactly I have had to pull out two separate recipes to make this chili.  Fading memories instruct me on what to put in and what to leave out.  Fearing the worst, I figured I better write this down before I forget.

Tips:

This chili tastes better without tomatoes but if you like tomatoes in your chili, add a can of diced tomatoes.  It won’t be white anymore.  It will be pink.  Pink chili???

I prefer boneless thighs to boneless breasts but either works well.  If you’re using fresh cilantro, add it as a condiment at serving time.

This chili, like most chili dishes, tastes better the second day.

This chili also tastes better when you drink a good craft beer while cooking it.

I’m serious.

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs boneless chicken cubed
  • 1/4 C seasoned flour (salt pepper)
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
  • 1 green pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 Tsp dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • red pepper flakes, dash
  • Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce, to taste (optional)
  • 1 16 oz can organic white kidney or Great Northern beans, drained
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Combine flour and salt, and pepper in a gallon size plastic baggie.  Add the chicken, close the bag, and shake well until all of the chicken pieces are well coated with the flour mixture.
  2. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large stock pot over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.  Lower the heat to medium high to avoid burning the chicken.  You will get pieces of flour and chicken stuck on the bottom of the pan.  This is OK.  Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add 1 T olive oil, onion, garlic green pepper, cilantro, cumin, and oregano.  Saute 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth and scrape the brown pieces from the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add chicken, green chilies and simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes.  If the mixture starts to get too thick, thin out with more chicken stock.
  6. Five minutes prior to serving, add the beans.  Simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the beans are warmed through.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with your favorite hot sauce, peppers, grated cheese, etc.