Black Bean Brownies

In trying to get more beans and fiber in our diet, I tried this Black Bean Brownies recipe. It is an adaptation from the book, “Spilling the Beans.” It got a thumbs up from the family and you’d have no idea there were beans in it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c rinsed & drained canned black beansbrownies
  • 1 1/4 c chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/3 c flour (used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, if desired

Put it Together:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Rinse the beans and spread them out between some paper towels to absorb the excess moisture.
  3. Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and put in oven to toast lightly (5-7 minutes). Watch them carefully. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a small pan, melt the chocolate and butter being careful not to scorch. Mix to combine and set aside to cool a few minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and cinnamon.
  6. Place beans and cooled butter/chocolate mixture in a food processor and combine until smooth. Add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Pulse processor until combined. Add mixture to the flour/salt combining lightly.
  7. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and pecans. Do not over mix.
  8. Pour into a greased (I used butter) 8×8″ baking pan. Bake at 350º F for 28-30 minutes. It is done when batter no longer jiggles and is slightly firm. A toothpick inserted comes out very moist & “chocolatey.”
  9. Cool completely before cutting unless you want to eat this with a spoon. When cooled it is very moist and delicious!!
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Broccoli Soup

There are a lot of Broccoli Soup recipes out there and many of there are delicious. I’ve made a number of variations myself over the years. Here’s one I made today that went over well.

Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped broccoli (I used frozen and the amount is pretty much a guesstimate)

    broccoli-soup

    Broccoli Soup

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup half and half or cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (Parmesan would work well too)
  • 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 15 oz. can of white beans, drained and well rinsed (just about any kind work or use a couple cups of freshly cooked beans).
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Put it Together

  • Heat olive oil in a soup pot and then saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
  • Add the broccoli, red pepper flakes, and chicken stock. Heat til just boiling and simmer until broccoli is done (6-8 minutes)
  • Add the white beans and heat a few more minutes. Remove from burner and let cool a few minutes.
  • With an immersion blender, puree the soup. You can also puree in a regular blender and work in batches.
  • Add the cheese and cream. Heat a couple more minutes and then serve with crackers, crusty bread or toasted garlic bread. A salad on the side can complete the meal or serve as a side with a main dish.

Refried Beans

There are numerous ways of preparing refried beans and we all probably feel our way is the best. I used to have a recipe given to me by my sister several years ago that I can no longer find. I searched the Internet and none seemed quite what my sister made, so I decided to wing it. I think my rendition turned out pretty well so figured I’d better write it down before I forgot…

I initially soaked the beans and then started cooking them. Unfortunately, I didn’t turn the heat down and they burned in my nice stainless steel pot and left a black bottom. (BTW,  boiling water with a healthy dose of Dawn Dish Detergent for 5-10 minutes really made this easy to clean!) Not wanting to do this again and it being later in the evening,  I took more pinto beans, washed them and put them in a crock pot with water, salt and several cloves of garlic. Set it on high for a couple hours and then low before I went to bed. Wonderful perfectly cooked pinto beans in the morning!!!

Refried Beans

Ingredients

  • 4 cups dried Pinto Beans
  • 6-8 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • Sea Salt to taste (I used a generous teaspoon)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 4 Tbsp. oil (mixture of olive oil, safflower oil, or canola oil. Actually bacon grease drippings makes this extra good if that’s your want or you have bacon around)

Put it Together

  1. Rinse the beans and pick them over, taking the odd wrinkled ones out.

    refried-beans

    Refried Beans ready to be served with tortillas or as a side dish.

  2. Put in a large crock pot with 10-12 cups of warm water.  Add a generous teaspoon or so of salt and the garlic. Put the crock pot on high for a couple hours and then on low overnight. I start this early in the evening.
  3. The next morning, drain off most of the liquid, leaving enough to make it a thick soupy mixture.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute the onions, jalapenos, carrot, and another clove or two of garlic if desired.
  5. Add the beans, tomato paste, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly and heat through stirring constantly for a couple minutes.
  6. Mash the beans with a potato masher or use an immersion blender (that’s what I did) pureeing until as smooth or chunky as you want it. Season with more salt if desired.
  7. Serve with tortillas, salsa, lettuce & shredded cheese. I also serve as a side dish with shredded cheese and/or salsa.

White Bean Dip

I got the recommend of this recipe from my sister who found it on Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks.com web site. Made a few changes such as more beans and less olive oil… upped the garlic and rosemary also. It is an awesome recipe!!

White Bean Dip

  • 2 – 15 oz. cans white beans (I’ve used Cannellini & Great Northern) or cook the dry beans and use 3 1/2 cups of cooked beans.
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced

    White Bean Dip

    White Bean Dip

  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 5 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 – 3/4 cup water

Put it Together:

  1. In small saucepan, heat olive oil and add rosemary and garlic. Cook on low sizzle for 2-3 minutes and then remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Pour through a strainer and set aside the olive oil.
  2. Rinse beans and put in medium size bowl.
  3. Add approximately 2/3 of the almonds to the beans along with the lemon juice, salt, 1/4 cup water and 4 Tbsp. Olive Oil.
  4. Puree the bean mixture adding additional water as needed to make a creamy paste to your desired consistency.
  5. Put the bean mixture in a serving dish (I use an oval shaped dish). Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top, add the lemon zest and the remaining toasted almonds.
  6. Serve with whole grain crackers, pita crackers, or veggies and enjoy!

White Bean Chicken Chili

I’ve never made white bean chili, but I’ve tasted a few variations. The weather is cold and windy, and it seemed like a good time for a new recipe. This one comes together pretty fast. It is based on several recipes I found and the ingredients I had on hand. We all thought it was pretty good and will make it again.

White Bean Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    white bean chili

    White Bean Chicken Chili

  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 – 32 oz. box chicken stock (4 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cups cooked chicken, diced (preferably the white meat)
  • 5 cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese – Monterey Jack, white Cheddar, Pepper Jack. May also use sour cream instead.
Put it Together:
  1. Heat olive oil in large pot. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until slightly cooked – 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add broth, water, and chicken. Cook a few minutes until slow boil.
  4. Remove 1-2 cups liquid and pure two cans of drained, rinsed beans with an immersion blender or food processor. Add to soup.
  5. Add remaining 3 cans rinsed, drained beans and cook mixture 30 minutes or so to blend flavors.
  6. Stir in cilantro.
  7. Serve and top with cheese or sour cream.