Monday, April 20, 2009


I like to have a ton of beans on hand. I store my dried beans in 5 gallon buckets. I also have a lot of canned beans on hand. Plus, beans are cheap, full of protien and yummy! Here are some of my favorite recipes involving beans.

Tig’s Black Bean Chili
(Incredible, low-fat, 1-hour chili)(From the Sonlight forum)

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1-lb ground turkey (I omit this and use extra beans, instead)
1 16-oz can chicken broth
1 T. chili powder
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
¾ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 (15-oz) cans black beans (I use dried beans that I have soaked and cooked for 2 hours)
1 (10-oz) can chopped tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
1 (14-oz) can plain diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can Kidney beans (I use dried beans that I have soaked/cooked for 2 hours)
2 T. cornmeal, plus extra
6 T. chopped, fresh cilantro
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer Cabot’s Extra Sharp)

In a large soup pot, brown the ground turkey in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chopped onion and chopped bell pepper. Sauté and stir until the onions are clear. Add spices (except for fresh cilantro, which is an herb anyway), tomatoes, beans, and broth. Simmer covered for about 1 hour. Thicken by sprinkling and stirring in cornmeal. Add enough cornmeal to achieve desired thickness. It is not really necessary to measure; but, it will take at least 2 tablespoons to keep the base from being watery. When ready to serve, top each bowl with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and cheddar. Now, I prefer to add the cilantro directly to the pot and then to have extra for people to use in their bowls. We also like to provide lime or lemon slices for people to use if they wish to squirt some over their individual serving. A dollop of cream fraiche or sour cream is nice, too, on top of each serving (of course, that adds fat, which makes it no longer a low fat dish, as does the cheese).
I got this recipe from a forum I frequent...

1-Hour Ham and Bean Soup

2 Tbsp veg oil
1 C diced or sliced carrot
1 C diced celery
1 C chopped onion
2 C diced ham
1/2 tsp minced garlic
3 1/2 C ham stock or chicken broth (water can be substituted)
2 (15 1/2 oz) cans great northern beans, not drained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
pepper to taste

Heat oil in soup pot. Add carrots, celery and onion. Saute for about 4 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add ham, saute for 2 mins. Add garlic, saute one more minute. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a low boil, cover and simmer 30 mins stirring once or twice.
Another recipe for black beans. I use canned black beans and they work just fine in this recipe. It also takes less time to prepare as well. Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup from Dairy Hollow House Cookbook
(From my friend KayKay)

Bring to a boil 2 1/2 quarts water or vegetable stock (I use vegetable stock)

Stir into it:
2 cups black beans
2 bay leaves

Let simmer for a couple of hours until the beans start to get tender.

Heat 1/2 cup (you can use less) olive oil and cook in it until tender but not browned:
2 onions chopped
2 green peppers chopped (I use one red and one green)
1 fresh jalapeno pepper chopped (or more or none)
4-6 cloves garlic

Stir this mixture into the black beans and let cook until quite tender and flavorful. Add salt to taste at this point. If the soup is made a day ahead it is even better. We like to puree half of it and mix it all together. Serve over rice with a dollop of sourcream.

This freezes well, too.
Bethany’s Pinto Beans
(from the Sonlight Forum)

1 onion, peeled and halved
3 c. dried pinto beans
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 T. minced garlic
5 t. salt
1 3/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. cumin
9 c. water

Combine all ingredients in crockpot; stir. Cook on high for 8 hours. Strain, reserving liquid. Remove onion halves. Mash beans, adding reserved liquid to desired consistency.

Notes: Use this recipe as a starting point and tweak to your liking. It freezes well. I always double it, but make sure your crockpot is big enough first. There are several options with this dish. Beans - all pinto, half pinto & half black. Jalapenos - none, one, half diced & half intact, all diced. Water - all water, half water & half chicken or veggie broth (use less salt if you add broth!!). Onion - all diced, half diced & half intact. Cumin - as directed or way more. I don't measure the water either. Instead I just make sure the beans are submerged in liquid, adding more water if/when necessary. I also freeze the extra liquid and use it when making rice. If you choose to use it in rice, then add a little more water to your rice than normal because the bean liquid is partly solid.