My Healthy Black Bean Burger

Black Bean Burger


Miley's GraduationThis morning I was in the kitchen making my healthy black bean burgers, enjoying the company of my son Gabriel, and reflecting on how different things will be once he goes into the Coast Guard. As a student, he was able to come home during summer and over the winter holiday break. I’m afraid that being in the service will make it more difficult for him to get home. At least I can enjoy his presence until March… and there is always Skype. What a great invention!

It’s been a big week for us, and my healthy black bean burger was just a small part of it. My brother, sister-in-law Mary, and nephew Brandon came out from California to see their daughter and sister, Miley, graduate from the Phoenix Fire Academy and officially join the ranks of the Scottsdale Fire Department. This is no small feat, especially considering that Miley just turned 20-years old in October, and she and 9 males were chosen from the 1400 who applied. You can imagine how happy we all are for her. She is focused and determined and she earned her place.

So what did I make for dinner graduation night? Black Bean Burgers? No. It was jambalaya—a great party food because it’s simple to make and it everyone loves it. Black bean burgers are easy too, but you would probably want to make them ahead of time and then just re-heat the patties. But I did enjoy a burger for lunch this afternoon.  It is vegan and has no saturated fat like beef burgers do. For a heart healthy meal omit the salt. There is still plenty of great flavor.

My Healthy Black Bean Burger


  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, plus extra as needed
  • 1 cup fresh corn (or frozen and thawed)
  • 3 cups ( or 2 14-ounce cans) cooked black beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • Olive oil for cooking


  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet, add then add the onions and sauté until they start to look translucent. Add the garlic, the red bell peppers and the chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until they are tender.
  2. Place the beans in a large bowl and add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, bread crumbs and stir well. Add the bread crumbs, the corn, and the onion mixture and combine well.
  3. Process half of the mixture in the food processor, or mix with your hands squeezing the mixture tightly to break up the beans so the ingredients make a paste, and then place it back in the bowl with the add the whole beans. Stir again.
  4. Pack the black bean mix into a ½-cup measure and then shape into flat burger patties. Dip each side of the patty into corn meal.
  5. Heat a skillet on medium high with 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot lower the flame to medium and cook the burgers, tuning when the first side is golden, to finish cooking on the other side.
  6. Serve with your favorite burger fixings. Here are some suggestions: lettuce or sprouts, sliced tomato, sliced red onion, pickles, mustard, and your favorite type mayo.

Black Bean Burger 2
















This recipe is posted at Hearth and Soul, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show, Simple Supper Tuesday,  Full Plate Thursdays, What Did You Do This Week-end?


Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

 You’ll find plenty of texture and a warm dense flavor in this slow cooker vegan chili.

Your meat eater won’t even miss the meat!


This month the challenge for The Recipe ReDux blog group is to make something creative using a slow cooker (aka Crock-pot – which is a brand name). But you may be scratching your head wondering what The Recipe ReDux group is. It’s a group of bloggers, many of them registered dietitians, dedicated to creating or modifying a recipe to make it healthier, yet flavorful. It must be tasty; this is a rule. The aim is also to make at least one change to add fiber, lower saturated fat, and/or increase mono or poly unsaturated fats, reduce the amount of sugar, and/or sodium. The recipe should also star one of the healthy food groups like: vegetables, legumes, fish, whole-grains, fruits, fat-free and low-fat dairy products.

It’s been quite a long time since I used a slow cooker. My preference for many years has been the pressure cooker.  I’ve developed some outstanding recipes for the pressure cooker too: wicked vegan white beans, cornucopia cassoulet, and chickpeas with tomato and tuna fish to name a few.

And because I haven’t used the slow cooker for ages, my gut feeling told me to go slow and sure rather that crazy and creative. Someone else can use it to make soap, candles, or applesauce; anyway, I haven’t had chili in a long time and the weather in Arizona is beautiful now for warm foods.

Maria and Josh at Two Peas and Their Pod have a lovely recipe for vegetarian quinoa chili which is a quick chili made from canned beans. I wanted something like that with vegetables and quinoa. I made several modifications to the recipe, but the major differences are that my recipe is an all day slow cooking chili, and it is made with beans from scratch. I also have to give credit to Angela at Oh She Glows for the idea of using cocoa powder in the chili. You can’t taste the cocoa powder, but it does add depth to the flavor. Thanks Angela! (The recipe below may sound like it has a lot of ingredients, and it probably does, but it is easy to put together.)

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili

Prep Time: PTpre-soak 12H

Cook Time: PTAprox. 8H

Total Time: 20 hours

12 Servings

Slow Cooker Vegan Chili


  • 8 ounces dry black beans
  • 8 ounces dry red kidney beans
  • 1-½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 14 ounce can organic corn
  • 2 -14 ounce canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar, or apple vinegar, or lime juice
  • 1 cup liquid from beans
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ½ Serrano chili, minced
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Garnishing:
  • The following are some suggestions for topping on your chili: cilantro, corn bread, chopped onion, avocado, and/or Greek yogurt.


  1. Pre-soak the beans overnight. Get out two large bowls and place the red beans in one bowl and the black beans in the second bowl. Fill the bowls with water, covering the beans with 3 to 4 inches of water.
  2. The next morning strain the beans and discard the soaking liquid. Next, boil the red beans for 10 to 15 minutes, and then add the black beans to the pot and boil for another 10 to 15 minutes. As the beans boil you can start to sauté the vegetables as per step three.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and then add the chopped bell peppers and the carrots, sauté for 3 minutes and then add the chopped onion, celery, minced garlic, and Serrano chili.
  4. While the vegetables are sautéing, place the tomatoes and the tomato paste in a blender and process until smooth, it should be about 20 seconds.
  5. Strain the beans, reserving 2 cups of liquid. Place the beans in the slow cooker along with 1 cup of the reserved bean liquid (you will use the second cup only if necessary later on). Add the tomato liquid, wine, and vinegar.
  6. Add the sautéed vegetables to the cooker, along with the corn.
  7. In a small bowl, mix together the chili power, cumin and cocoa powder and add the mixture to the slow cooker. Stir the beans well, cover the pot and cook about 8 hours on high. *Note – the time it takes to cook will depend on your cooker. This is an approximation; it may take more, or less time. Please read the instructions on your slow cooker.
  8. Make the quinoa in the last half hour of cooking. Bring 1-1/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons of olive oil to a boil. Rinse ½ cup quinoa under cool running water and then add it to the boiling water along with ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook the quinoa until the water is all absorbed and then add it to the chili. Check the seasonings and add salt to taste.

**This recipe is for those people who are do not have time to be standing over the pot and adding ingredients during the day. If you are at home and are able to add ingredients as the day goes on, you might want to add the sautéed vegetables in the last 3 hours, and the corn in the last 2 hours; in this way the will be more noticeable in the final product.

This recipe is also posted at Tuesday Talent Show, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and the Pincentive Blog Hop.

Edamame with Spicy Pepper and Garlic

Edamame with Spicy Pepper and Garlic

Edamame with Spicy Pepper and Garlic


Edamame is the funny sounding food chosen for this week’s 38 Power Foods blog group. I had been calling it “eda-meem” for at least a year before realizing that it’s pronounced more like “Etta Mom-eh” —eh-dah-ma-meh (e-də-‘mä-mā). This legume is as new to me as it may be to some of you. It has been in the supermarkets for some time now, but somehow it has escaped the fate of my cooking pots. Like peas, it comes in a pod, and some people eat the pod shell as well. It tastes like a cross between a pea and a lima bean, but with a firm bite. You can find edamame in the produce and frozen sections of the grocery market.

You may already know that edamame is the fresh version of a soybean, but you might be wondering, “What makes this legume so good that I should make it a part of my healthy eating habits?” Edamame, or soybeans, contain all the essential animo acids making it a great meat substitute. George Mateljan at WorldsHealthiestFoods says it is considered “meat without bones.” It’s high in protein, iron, tryptophan, omega-3’s, fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, and vitamin B2, as well as other key nutrients.

The evidence isn’t yet in regarding its cancer prevention benefits, and the downside of soy is that 90% of the soybean production in the United States is GMO (genetically modified organism), but you can find non-gmo in the market. Overall it can be intriguing new addition to the dinner table served steamed and sautéed, or added to salads or casseroles. You might really like edamame with spicy pepper and garlic, in the recipe below.


Yield: 4 servings       Prep Time: 4 minutes     Cook Time: 6-8 minutes



2 cups edamame, fresh or frozen

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon minced garlic

¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, (depending on your tolerance for heat)

1-½ Tablespoons lemon juice

Salt to taste



1. Place the edamame in the top portion of a double boiler and sprinkle it with ¼ teaspoon of salt, and stir it in well. Place it over the bottom portion of a double boiler filled with water about 1-1/2 inches high. Cover the boiler and cook the edamame 6-8 minutes, or until it is tender.

2. About two minutes before the legumes are ready, get out an 8-inch frying pan and heat the pan to medium high. Add the olive oil and when it is hot enough, add the garlic and cook it for 1 minute, without letting it burn. Add the cayenne and stir it in well, and then add the lemon juice and the edamame. Stir it well, check seasonings and serve it up.

Serving Suggestion: as a side dish to accompany chicken, pork or beef.



Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients

The World’s Healthiest Foods


If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at) for details.



Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!  Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots,  Casey –SweetSav  Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living,  Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits

This posted can be seen at  Simply Indulgent TuesdayFull Plate Thursday and Pennywise Platter



Quick Red Pepper Hummus

Quick Red Pepper Hummus

Quick Red Pepper Hummus


This is the last reminder that a new blog group has formed, and each Friday, beginning this Friday June 15th, we will blog a recipe from Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients —a book from Martha Stewart and the editors of Whole Living Magazine (Dec 28, 2010). Blog about your own recipe, or choose one from the book. If you are interested, contact me at Mireya(at) Join us for the fun! (This is the correct address.)

This week for The Food Matters Project, the host chose Braised Chickpea Fritters with Vegetables from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook. Being here in Arizona with 110°, it sounded too much like a winter dish, so I decided to do quick red pepper hummus. Not too long ago I was over at my brother’s house for dinner and I watched him make a quick hummus from powdered chickpeas. He bought it at his local food coop and it had some spices already mixed in. He just had to add olive oil and lemon juice. As you can imagine, the flavor was not as good as hummus made from scratch, but I thought it could be improved upon. It is a good alternative, and a quick way to make hummus without resorting to canned beans. Sunflower Market in Tempe carries a similar dried chickpea mix in the bulk section of the store, and you should be able to find a product in your area. It didn’t come with instructions, so I experimented my way through the recipe. After mixing one part water to one part mix I quickly realize it would take twice the amount of liquid, and with a few more flavoring ingredients the result was quite tasty. The recipe below is the final result of my little experiment. Note* – The texture improves if you allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. Don’t forget to check out Lena’s site at MrsGarlicHead where you will find Mark Bittman’s original recipe for braised chickpea fritters with vegetables.


Servings: 4 to 6

Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Yield: 2-1/2 to 3 cups


1-1/2 cups water

1 cup hummus mix (available in bulk at many health food stores)

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 tablespoons tahini

2 cloves garlic

1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3/4 to 1 whole roasted red bell pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Place the garlic and the red pepper flakes in the food processor and process until the garlic is finely minced.

2. Add the 1 cup chickpea hummus powder,  1-1/2 cup water, 3  tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1-1/2 tablespoon tahini, the roasted pepper, salt, and process until it is smooth. Add more lemon juice or water if necessary.

To Serve: cut up some veggies and pita bread and place them on a plate surrounding the serving bowl.


This recipe is also posted at the Pennywise Platter.

Updated June 11th to correct the amount of water.

Chickpea Stew with Tomato and Tuna Fish

Chickpeas with Tuna Fish

Chickpeas with Tuna Fish


Last year was the second year that my husband took a group of Arizona State University students on a summer abroad program, to his hometown of León, Spain. Lucky me, I went along, although separate from the program. The students have an incredible time learning about the Spanish language, food, architecture, art, and people. They are immersed in the culture because they live with Spanish families who care for them, and the program organizes activities for them to make the study abroad a meaningful experience.

My husband, Carlos used to participate in a program in which the students lived in dorms, or apartment/hotels. One of the things that we really notice in the new setting is that students really appreciate Spanish food. From day one, they eat the mid-day main meal with the family. They observe that life in a small town of 150,000 virtually shuts down for a couple of hours while everyone goes home to eat the main meal and rest before heading back to work. They eat things that many of them have never eaten, or have eaten little of. Spaniards frequently eat fish, occasionally, squid and octopus, and they like cured meats, and freshly baked bread daily.

León, Spain: el mercado de la Plaza Mayor

León, Spain: el mercado de la Plaza Mayor

The family “mom” may take the student to the outdoor vegetable market for their produce. In most homes, the students learn what real food, or slow food, is about. It’s real food, bought locally, and prepared at home, and in most cases tastes delicious (every country has their bad cooks).

Today’s recipe is dedicated to Samantha Velez, who keenly observed that regarding food, in Spain “there is a time and a place.” Samantha loves garbanzo beans (Spanish word for chickpeas), tomatoes and tuna, so I thought she’d love this recipe, too.


Servings: 8

Cook Time: 30 minutes in a pressure cooker, or 1 hour 15 minutes on the stove.

Total Time: 9 hours and 15 minutes (this includes pre-soaking the beans)


1 pound dried chickpeas

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

½ teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika (optional), or ¼ teaspoon Saffron (also optional)

2 cans tuna fish (7 ounces), drained; or, 10 to 12 ounces fresh tuna, chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 tablespoons minced flatleaf parsley

Salt to taste



1. Pre-soak the beans overnight, or at least 8 hours

2. Heat the olive oil in large pot and begin to sauté the onions. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the Spanish paprika, if you are using it, and the tomatoes and let it cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the pre-soaked chickpeas, the tuna fish, and 2 tablespoons of the minced parsley. Reserve the remaining parsley for garnish. Add enough water to cover the beans by and inch and cook until the beans are tender. You may need to add water from time to time. When they are close to being done, add salt to taste.

*Note – If you are using a pressure cooker, they will take about 30 minutes on Medium to medium-low heat.

To serve – ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley.


This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Cornucopia Cassoulet

Cornucopia Cassoulet

Cornucopia Cassoulet


Surprise! That’s what I feel I get each week participating in The Food Matter’s Project. A group member chooses a recipe from The Food Matter’s Cookbook by Mark Bittman, and all of the group members make the recipe that week. I’m surprised every time. I’m learning that Mark Bittman really is more than a famous food critic for the New York Times; he’s a good cook. Sometimes his recipes sound strange, like combing pasta with Brussels sprouts, figs, and blue cheese; or, hummus served hot, but they are unexpectedly tasty. This week’s host Keely Marie chose the recipe “Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables” (p. 392). But, unlike some of the other recipes it didn’t sound strange, in fact it sounded pretty good. The surprise this time though was that it was not only delicious, it was superb! I did make some adjustments to the recipe, like using beans from scratch—and more of them, more leeks, less tomatoes, and less meat, but I credit Bittman for coming up with such a compendium of delicious flavors. This is why I call the dish Cornucopia Cassoulet. I’m sure you’ll love this dish, and don’t worry if you can’t finish it all. You can store them in the refrigerator for several days; or you could even freeze them. Enjoy!

You may want to check the schedule for upcoming recipes and cook along with us.

Servings: 10

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours

Additional Time: 8 to 12 hours to presoak the beans


2 tablespoons olive oil

12 ounces sausage (I used Aidells Cajun Style Andouille)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 leeks, white part only, well rinsed

2 carrots, sliced into ¼-inch coins

3 celery stalks, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 zucchini, sliced into ½ inch coins

1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and black pepper to taste

3 medium-large tomatoes, chopped and with the juice (about 2-1/2 cups)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried

2 bay leaves

12 ounces dry navy beans, or great northern; or, 5 cups canned beans

Cooking liquid as needed: stock, dry white wine, bean cooking liquid, or water


1. Prep (Here’s a good trick for getting quick and evenly chopped leeks.) After you have rinsed the white of the leeks well, slice them in half lengthwise without cutting through the ends. Give the leek stalks a quarter turn, and then slice it again along the length. Rinse them again under the faucet to remove all the dirt. Place on of the leeks horizontally on the cutting board in front of you. Make 1/3-inch slices until you reach the end of the leek. You should now have one evenly chopped leek. Discard the root end, and repeat with the other 2 leeks.

2. Cooking with a stockpot (about 1-1/2 to 2 hours) Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into an 8-quart stockpot. Add the sausage and begin to brown it; add the leeks and the garlic, and stir until they are tender. Add the pre-soaked beans and the bay leaves, and enough liquid to cover 2 inches above the line of the beans. Cook over medium heat, stirring as needed. When the beans are beginning to become tender, add the remaining ingredients: carrots, celery, zucchini, parsley, thyme, salt and black pepper, and more liquid as needed. Cook until all the beans and vegetables are tender. Season the beans with the salt and pepper.


2. Cooking with a Pressure cooker (about 1 hour and 5 minutes) Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into an 8-quart stockpot. Add the sausage and begin to brown it, and then add the leeks and the garlic and stir until they are tender. Add the pre-soaked beans and the bay leaves, and enough liquid to cover 2 inches above the line of the beans.  Cover with the lid and pressure cook according to manufacturer’s directions. After the pressure cooker has reached the top pressure and it begins to hiss, lower the flame on the stove to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes. After this time, cool the pressure cooker under cold water, and then remove the lid. Add the remaining ingredients: carrots, celery, zucchini, parsley, thyme, salt and black pepper, and more liquid as needed. Cook until all the beans and vegetables are tender. Season the beans with the salt and black pepper.


This recipe is also posted at Full Plate Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, and the Pennywise Platter

Grow Your Own – bean sprouts that is

Home Grown Sprouts

Home Grown Sprouts

Not too long ago I was over looking at Norma’s blog Garden to Wok —Norma by the way, has a nice blog about Chinese food— and I found that she grew mung bean sprouts in a colander set out on the kitchen counter. Looking on the internet a little more I discovered that many people are growing sprouts: Chef In You, How Stuff Works, Simple Green Frugal;  I also found a nice how-to YouTube video by a happy couple who grow theirs in a jar.

Since I don’t have a green thumb I thought…, why not grown my own bean sprouts? I bought a cup of organic mung beans and followed Norma’s instructions. I felt the wonder of a 10 year-old every time I came back to check on the sprouts to see how much they had grown. One cup of mung beans made 1-3/4 gallons —amazing! I made yeasted sprouted whole wheat bread, sandwiches, and a couple of stir-frys that called for a lot of sprouts. I really I don’t need that many sprouts, so next time I’ll just use 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup. The sprouts only last 2 to 3 days once they are harvested.

Following Norma’s method, you’ll need a colander, cheese cloth or a paper towel, a four cup bowl, and a sieve.

1) Place the seeds in the bowl and cover them with water. Swish the water well, and then strain the water out of the bowl through the sieve so you don’t lose any beans.

2) Place all the beans back in the back in the bowl and cover with 2-1/2 times the water. Let them soak for 8 hours.

3) Line a colander with a paper towel or cheese cloth. Drain the water off of the beans and place the beans in the colander. Rinse the seeds once more while they are in the colander. Place the colander on the kitchen counter in a dark corner.

Seeds after 24 hours

Seeds after 24 hours

4) Rinse the seeds every 8 to 12 hours for 4 to 5 days.

Sprouts after 2 days

Sprouts after 2 days










5) After 4 to 5 days it’s harvest time. Remove the sprouts from the colander and cut off the bottom ends to remove the paper towel. Store the sprouts in the refrigerator.

Sprouts after 3 days

Sprouts after 3 days

Use the sprouts in salads and soups.

Bean Sprouts day 5

Bean Sprouts day 5









Use sprouts in Vietnamese springs rolls, or to make sprouted wheat bread. Be creative. Have fun with it!


This post has been shared with My Legume Love Affair #45 Here’s the MLLA host lineup

White Bean Dip – 50 Women Game Changers – Donna Hay #31

White Bean Dip

White Bean Dip


We are now at week #31 profiling the “50 Women Game  Changers” outlined on Gourmet Online. Mary Berger at One Perfect Bite and we fellow bloggers are having a great time learning about these dynamic women chefs, writers, and entrepreneurs. Welcome back.

At 41, Donna Hay is a wife, and a mother of three children. Some would describe her as Australia’s counterpart to Martha Stewart. Donna became interested in cooking at a young age, and by the age of 14 she took over the reign of the kitchen and began cooking meals for the family. At 19, she became food editor at Marie Claire Magazine, where she worked for five years. Not long after that, she convinced Rupert Murdock to finance the Donna Hay Magazine, in exchange she would post her column in his group’s magazine. John Hartigan, her publisher and boss, calls her “one tough cookie.” Like Marta Stewart, she has made business out of her name. She has a television show, a multitude of books she’s written, a Donna Hay kitchen product line, and her magazine reaches 82 countries, and is the top-selling international food magazine in the US, and it has over 384,000 Australian subscribers. You have to be a “one tough cookie” to get that far.

The white bean dip recipe below is a modification of Donna Hay’s recipe. I added lemon juice and smoked Spanish paprika sprinkled over the top of the dip. I also splashed it with a bit of olive oil. I used navy beans instead of canned cannellini beans, feeling that home cooked beans as a healthy choice, and cannellini beans are more difficult to find. It was also necessary to add about 3 tablespoons of cooking liquid so the dip would be creamier and less stiff; water can be used as well.


Servings: 4 to 6

Yield: 2-1/4 cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes


1 – 14 ounce can of white navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander (cilantro), cilantro

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

sea salt and cracked black pepper

1/3 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Cilantro leaves for garnishing


1)  Place all the ingredients in a small food processor and process until smooth. Serve with bread or veggies. Serves 2.

Add whatever herbs or spices you like to create variations of the recipe.

*TIP- You can pre-cook beans and freeze them to have on hand. Thaw time is about 3 hours.

Check out what the other bloggers have come up with for this week. It all sounds so yummy!

Val – More Than Burnt Toast, Joanne – Eats Well With Others, Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan – The Spice Garden, Heather – Girlichef, Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette – Healthy Living,  Mary – One Perfect Bite, Kathleen –Bake Away with Me  Sue – The View from Great Island, Barbara – Movable Feasts, Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds,   Linda A – There and Back Again  Nancy – Picadillo, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits, Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen, Annie – Most Lovely Things,  Claudia –Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce –More Time at the Table

Recipe: Wicked Vegan White Beans


Wicked Vegan White Beans

Wicked Vegan White Beans


Over the weekend we had some friends come over to eat lunch with us, so I made a big pot of wicked vegan white beans. Usually, I add one turkey or chicken sausage to add flavor to the beans, but this time I made vegan beans, and the consensus was that they tasted pretty wicked (good!).


White Beans and Friends

White Beans and Friends

The navy bean is a small creamy white bean that gets its name because they were used as a staple food by the American Navy at the turn of the 20th century. After I saw the nutrition chart at, I could understand why navy beans were chosen as a staple. Just one cup provides you with 64% daily folate needs, and 51% manganese needs; both of these help lower your risk of heart attack.  Also, according to, white beans give you energy while stabilizing your blood sugar levels, and they are a good source of soluble fiber and protein. Hmm…just writing this makes me think I should put on another pot. Keep in mind that legumes are an incomplete protein, so they should be eaten in the company of brown rice, nuts, or whole wheat bread.

Kids like white beans

Kids like white beans


I learned to love white beans in Spain, where my stepmother makes them often in her pressure cooker. The Spanish variety is close in flavor to the navy bean, though it is a bit larger and creamier. I know that some people don’t like to eat beans because they worry they might get gas. If you have this concern try blending them make a puree to avoid that problem. You don’t want to miss out on all the benefits beans these beans offer. Go ahead and give them a try! (Please keep in mind that the beans must be pre-soaked overnight before cooking.)

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes  (for pressure cooker)

Servings: 10 or more


1 1/4 pounds navy white beans, soaked in water overnight

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

5 carrots, peeled and sliced to 1¼-inch thickness

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ½  teaspoons sea salt

1 ¼  teaspoons spicy Spanish paprika,

1 large bay leaf

¾ pound fresh spinach, stalks removed and discarded

Note about soaking beans: for best results, use beans that you know are not old. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with enough water so there are at least 4 inches of water over the level of the beans.  Soak beans overnight so they have a good 20 to 24 hours in water.  You might also add a small pinch of baking soda to act as a tenderizer.

Cooking Beans: You can cook the beans in one on three ways,

1.) Pressure cooker – Cooking time is 25 to 30 minutes on medium-low

2.) Crock pot – 6 hours

3.) Stove top – place in an 8-quart stockpot and cook until tender—approximately

1-1/2 hours.

My personal preference is the pressure cooker as the cooking time is reduced by an hour compared to the stove top method.


1)  Sauté the garlic in the olive oil for one to two minutes without letting it burn. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.

2)  Add the paprika and let it cook with the onions for a minute.

3)  Ad the chopped tomatoes and cook 2 minutes.

4)  Drain the white beans and rinse them well. Add the beans to the onions and then add the add the carrots, and the bay leaf and mix them in well. Cover with enough water to be about 1½ inch over the level of the beans.

4)  Cook the beans according using one of the above methods: pressure cooker, crock pot, or stove top.

5)  When the beans are cooked and they are tender, add the salt and stir well, and then add the spinach and stir just until they are wilted; 1 to 2 minutes.




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Other posts you may like: Why Use a Pressure Cooker, or Chickpeas with Sausage

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Recipe: Lentil Stew

Lentil Stew

Lentil Stew

Umm…lentils. That’s the response most Spanish children will reply after they are told the answer to their question, “What are we going to eat?” Lentil stew is a standard dish in most Spanish households and as beloved to Spaniards as mac ‘n cheese is to Americans.

Over at the Lentilfest site, they post some interesting lore about this legume. It’s said the Egyptians thought that lentils enlightened children’s minds and made them more cheerful and studious. Well, I’d say this rings true for my two boys. At least, as far as being cheerful after eating a bowl  of these legumes. There is also a story in the bible of Esau, who sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of lentils. (See Genesis 25:30 to 25:36.)

Lentils are delicious prepared with sausage, or without it for a vegan dish. Have you ever eaten lentils? If you haven’t, maybe it’s time you try them.

*Tip – For best results soak the lentils overnight. The instructions below are for soaked beans.

Preparation time: 20 minutes          Serves: 8

Cooking time for pressure cooker: 8 minutes.

Cooking time for stove top: 1 hour


1 pound bag of brown lentils (Whole Foods Market sells good organic lentils in bulk)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 sausage, turkey or chicken, sliced crosswise to ¼ inch thickness (Omit for vegans)

4 carrots

3 stalks celery

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika

(Other optional additions: spinach, swiss chard, cabbage, root vegetables)


1.)  Place the lentils in Soak the lentils overnight. When you are ready to use them, strain them and rinse them.

2.)  Heat the olive oil and begin to sauté the garlic. After one minute add the onions and sauté until the are transparent.

3.)  If you are using sausage, add that now and stir with the onions for one to two minutes. (*Omit this step for vegan lentils.)

4.)  Add the paprika, the salt, and the bay leaf. Stir another minute and thenen Cover with 7 cups of water.

For stove top cooking: Cook over medium heat approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Time will vary according to the beans you are using.

For pressure cooker: Place in pressure cooker and cook on high until the loud hissing noise escapes from the top valve, and then lower the heat and cook on medium-low for 8 minutes.  * Note – if the lentils are not quite done after 8 minutes, do not try to pressure cook them again or they will burn. Finish cooking them on the stove without the lid on.

Serve with a big green salad and fresh bread. Enjoy!


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Other recipes you might enjoy: Chickpeas with Sausage, or Indian Spiced Cauliflower

This recipe is linked to linked to Simple Lives Thursday.

Lentils on Foodista