Burrito with Beans and Greens

Beans 'n Greens Burritos

Burritos with Beans 'n Greens


Yay! I love a good burrito from time to time, so I was happy when Jacqui, the host this week for the Food Matters Project, chose Beans ‘n Greens Burritos from Mark Bittaman’s book The Food Matters Cookbook. You’ll find the original recipe at Jacqui’s page.

If you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods Market you may have noticed that in the produce section, they use the ANDI rating system so the customer can see how a particular produce item rates for its “aggregate nutrient density index.” Scores are calculated by “evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities.” The scores range from 1 to 1000. A peach, for example, has a score for 73, Brussels sprouts 672, and mustard greens a whopping 1000. The ANDI rating system is a good thing to have in mind when you’re shopping for nutrient dense, healthy foods. Check it out next time you’re in the produce section at Whole Foods.

The flavor of the mustard greens is akin to radish, or horseradish. I chose to use these greens for the burrito because the leaves have a strong spicy flavor, and also because of their high ANDI score. When my husband tried the burrito he asked what spice I used. It wasn’t spice he was tasting, it was the mustard greens. For my taste, the flavor is too strong to be used as the main ingredient in a salad, but they were great in this burrito with beans and greens!



4 large or 8 small whole wheat flour tortillas

1 pound dried pinto beans

1 head garlic

1 large bay leaf

1 bunch mustard greens

½ to ¾ cup feta cheese or queso fresco

2 to 3 cups tomato salsa  (also known as pico de gallo)




1) Soak the beans overnight and when you are ready to cook them place the beans in a colander and wash them.

2) Place the beans in a large pot and cover with water 2 inches above the line of the beans. Rub the outer skin off the garlic and then cut off the pointed end to expose the garlic teeth. Add the garlic head to the pot along with the bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Add about 1-1/2 teaspooons to 2 teaspoons salt.

If you are using a pressure cooker, once the pressure cooker begins to hiss, cook for 25 minutes.

3) Shred a few leaves of the mustard greens so you have about 4 cups shredded greens. Toss the greens with a bit of olive oil, vinegar and salt. Set it aside.

To Assemble:

Lay a tortilla on a flat surface and put about ½ cup of beans on the third closest to you. Top the beans with some of the mustard greens, and then some of the salsa and cheese. Fold the tortilla over from the bottom to cover the beans and greens, and then fold the 2 sides in toward the center and finish rolling the burrito. Leave it seam side down on the plate. Serve with tomato salsa on the side.






This recipe has also been posted at Whole Food Wednesday


Tomato Salsa

homemade salsa

homemade salsa


Did you have a nice Cinco de Mayo week-end? Well, in case you didn’t get enough of that delicious Mexican food, today’s dish is homemade salsa. Members of The Food Matters Project blogging group are making and blogging about the salsas from Mark Bittman’s book the Food Matters Cookbook. He gives five salsa suggestions: tomato salsa, green apple-cucumber, peach, tomatillo-black bean, and corn. I went with tomato because it’s important that you have a good recipe for fresh salsa—mine is great. It’s slightly adapted from Mark’s; he uses a little less garlic, and more cilantro.

Later on this summer when peaches are ripe and sweet you can be sure that I’ll do something with peach salsa. (I’ve had a couple of people tell me that they made my recipe for ono with mango salsa and loved it.) Really, how can you go wrong with a good salsa?

Alissa at BigEatsTinyKitchen is the host this week and you will find the original recipe for one of the above mentioned salsas at her site. Check this link for the schedule.

Salsa Ingredients

Salsa Ingredients



2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/3 cup white or red onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic, or to taste

½ to 1 serrano pepper, seeded or minced to taste  (not shown in the picture)

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

Salt to taste



1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, taste, and adjust the seasoning.

2. Let the mixture rest for 15 to 30 minutes if possible to allow the flavors to meld.

Serve along with a plate of your favorite corn chips, other type of chip, or lettuce cups if you are trying to avoid the starch.


This recipe is also posted at Whole Food Wednesday.

Quesadilla de Camarones – 50 Women Game Changers – Ree Drummond


Quesadilla de Camarones

Quesadilla de Camarones


This week I contacted Mary Berger at One Perfect Bite and joined her and a group of bloggers who are highlighting the “50 Women Game Changers,” written about in Gourmet Live Blog. The idea is to profile one woman each week and to create a modified version of one of their recipes. I am getting with the action a bit late, as this week 21 of this blog fest, but I will take part for the remaining 29 weeks.

Though I had never heard of Ree Drummond, it seems like I should have. She shot to the stars quickly with her blog, The Pioneer Woman.  Her two books are both bestsellers, and she now has a show on Food Network. All this because one day back in 2006 while she was at home alone on her Oklahoma ranch, she decided to do something a bit different from her regular blog, so she took pictures of the steak she was preparing for her husband, her Marlboro man, as she calls him. The rest is history. You can read more about Ree in this article from Huffington Post.

I love quesadillas and I love shrimp, so today I’m making a version of Ree’s Quesadillas de Camarones (shrimp quesadillas). In her recipe, as in most quesadilla recipes, she fries them in butter after filling them. I wanted to do a healthy recipe version, so instead of frying them in butter, I toast them in the oven. She also uses a can of spicy tomato sauce with the shrimp, and those of you who have been following my blog know that I try to avoid using canned foods. Rather than using canned sauce, I cooked the shrimp with garlic and then added spicy pimentón, or Spanish paprika. You can use your favorite hot sauce if you don’t have pimentón. Try this healthy recipe for Quesadilla de Camarones. It’s pretty tasty, and it works well as an appetizer, or, for lunch or dinner accompanied with soup or salad.


Yield: 3 8-inch quesadillas

Servings: 4 to 6

Preparation Time:  30 minutes



1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

¾ cup Manchego cheese, or your favorite Colby, or Cheddar cheese

1/2 teaspoon pimentón (Spanish paprika), or your favorite hot sauce as needed

1/4 teaspoon salt

15 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 multi-grain, medium flour tortillas (I used the Mission brand)


Procedure:  Pre-heat the oven to 400°

1)  Slice the red and green bell peppers into 1/3-inch strips and begin to cook them in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until they are tender. Stir as needed.

2)  Cut the onion into 1/3-inch strips and set them aside.

3)  Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and then place a large cookie rack over the cookie sheet. (You will be placing the prepared quesadillas on the cookie rack and then baking them. The reason for placing them on the rack is so they don’t become soggy on the cookie sheet.)

4)  Add the onions to the pepper when the peppers are halfway cooked. Continue stirring the pepper mixture.

5)  When the peppers are just about done, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan. Add the garlic to the oil and cook 2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the shrimp and cook them just until they turn white on both sides, and then add the pimentón and cook another minute, stirring until it is well blended with the shrimp.

6)  Place the shrimp on a cutting board and roughly chop it, and then place the shrimp back into the pan. Add the peppers to the shrimp pan along with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and swirl the peppers around well to pick up the flavors from the pan.

7)  Assemble the quesadillas: Place a tortilla on a cutting board and place some filling over it, top with 1/3 of the cheese and then cover with another tortilla.

8)  Place the quesadillas on the cookie rack. You will only be able to bake 2 quesadillas at a time. Bake approximately 5-7 minutes, until they are slightly toasted and the cheese has melted. (The picture to the left was taken before they went in the oven.)

Quesdilla for the Oven

Quesdilla for the Oven

To Serve – Slice the quesadillas into wedges and accompany with guacamole, and, or light sour cream.


The following is a list of bloggers who are also participating in this blog fest writing about the “50 Women Game Changers.” Please check out their sites to see what stomach growling recipes they’ve come up with:

Val – More Than Burnt Toast, Joanne – Eats Well With Others, Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed,

Susan – The Spice Garden, Claudia – A Seasonal Cook in Turkey, Heather – girlichef,

Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette – Healthy Living, April – Abby Sweet ,

Katie –Making  Michael Pollan Proud, Mary – One Perfect Bite, Kathleen –Bake Away with Me

Viola – The Life is Good Kitchen, Sue – The View from Great Island, Barbara – Movable Feasts,

Kathleen – Gonna Want Seconds, Amy – Beloved Green, Jeanette – Healthy Living

Linda –  Ciao Chow Linda, Linda A – There and Back Again Martha – Lines from Linderhof,

Nancy – Picadillo, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits, Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen

Recipe: Black Bean Tostadas

Mini Black Bean Tostadas

Mini Black Bean Tostadas

A black bean tostada makes a quick, nutritious and delicious lunch. And with the right lunchbox it can easily be assembled at work. You just need to pre-toast the tortilla and take a lunchbox that has various compartments. Tostadas have always been my favorite Mexican-American food. I love the tactile feel in my mouth with the beans, the tortilla, the lettuce and the toppings. Each ingredient gives a different flavor and texture. And then there is also the factor of hot beans mixed with cold salad that feels interesting in the mouth.


Full Size Tostada

Full Size Tostada



The nice thing about a tostada, like a hamburger, is that you can build it to your liking. You choose as much or as little as you want, for the toppings. Whether at home or at work, as long as you have the beans on hand, black bean tostadas can be a quick and easy to make. And they also make great party food, or fiesta food. They’re attractive, tasty, and the mini tostadas can be eaten in one bite. So go ahead and bite in.

Yield: 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes



1 ½ cups pre-cooked black beans

1 tablespoons cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander

salt to taste

4 Corn Tortillas ( 1 to 2 per person)

1 cup non-fat plain yogurt (Vegans will omit this)

3 cups shredded romaine lettuce

2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves

Your favorite hot sauce

*Optional additions – chopped black olives,  or sliced avocado


1)  Place the tortillas on a cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes, turning them over after the first 5 minutes.

2)  Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic. Cook on medium heat. After 1 to 2 minutes, add the spices to the oil and stir for 20 seconds, and then add the pre-cooked black beans and stir over the heat until they are hot. Add a little hot sauce to taste.

3)  Remove the tortillas from the oven and place each one on a plate.

4)  Layer the ingredients onto the tortillas in the following order from first to last:  Blackbeans, lettuce, yogurt, chopped tomatoes, and then the cilantro and any other optional topppings. Top the tostada with a few drops of hot sauce.

(*Note – For fun, I made the mini appetizer black bean tostadas. I used a two-inch round cookie cutter. This gave me three mini tortillas from each 6-inch tortilla. I placed three at a time in a tortilla warmer and heated them for 20 seconds in the microwave. (You can use a tea towel to warm them if you don’t have a tortilla warmer.) Then, I pushed them into place  in a mini muffin mold.

Baked Mini Tostada Cups

Baked Mini Tostada Cups


I repeated the process until I had all the mini tortillas prepped. After that, I sprayed them lightly with olive oil and baked them about 8 minutes at 350°. I layered the tostadas the same way as a regular size tostada.)




You might also enjoy my recipe for Chicken Enchiladas.

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This recipe is posted at Simple Lives Thursday
Black Bean on Foodista

Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Sauce


Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Chili Sauce

Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Chili Sauce

My cousin Rose has strong feelings about tradition and thought that since her mother had passed on, then the tamale making tradition had to be passed –down to the next generation; so, we had an all day cooking lesson in Rose’s kitchen. She typed up the recipe and provided all the Spanish vocabulary and the translations to English. Her enthusiasm for tamales and family tradition took hold of my brother Frank and his wife Mary, and they have been making Christmas tamales since then, but with a variation. The use turkey meat instead of pork or beef, and instead of using lard in the masa (corn meal filling), they use turkey stock and olive oil. Delicious!

Now, back to the chicken enchiladas with homemade sauce. Last week I had some leftover chicken meat from a roast chicken. I thought that was a good excuse to make enchiladas. But, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like to use canned foods or sauces. I thought Rose’s tamale sauce would work pretty good. I looked at that, and I looked at another recipe from Mexican Foodie, and came up with a variation something in the middle of both of them. The result was as I expected it would be, perfectly scrumptious! The sauce is spicy, slightly sweet, and surprisingly easy to make.

Chilies are great for fighting inflammation as they are loaded with anti-oxidants; however, cheese is not an optimal choice for an anti-inflammation diet. Part of following an anti-inflammation diet is learning to make adjustments. In this case, simply take the cheese off of your portion.

*Note – Double the sauce recipe if you would like to freeze half of it for another occasion.

Preparation time start to finish: 1 hour     Serves 4-6




1-3 ounce package New Mexico Chilies


(Use 1/2 the bag)

1-2 ounce package pasilla chilies

(Use 1/2 the bag)

1 1/2 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 of a large tomato, chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon oregano, or Mexican oregano

12 to 16 ounces of cooked chicken, shredded

12 corn tortillas

*Optional – 1/3 cup low-fat cheese, Mozzarella or Cheddar. Or you may use 1/3 cup chopped black olives.


1.) Use half of each bag of chilies. Pull off, or cut off the tops of the chilies. Tear or slice them open and remove the seeds, and then discard the seeds.

2.) Heat a large skillet and toast the chilies in the skillet just until they start to release their fragrance. Be careful not to overheat them or the smell of chilies will be overpowering.

3.) Throw the chilies, the garlic, the onion, the tomato, the salt and spices, and the olive oil into a 4-quart pot. Cover the mixture with water, approximately 3 1/2 cups, and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes.

4.) Place the cooked chilies in a blender and process until the liquid is very smooth, about 1-½ minutes.

5.) Strain the sauce through a colander to remove any bits of the peel. You should have somewhere about 3 cups of sauce. Add water if necessary.

To Assemble the enchiladas:  Pre-heat the oven to 350°

1.) Spoon 1-1/4 cups sauce evenly in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan.

2.) Place 3 corn tortillas in a tortilla warmer and place in the microwave for 30 seconds. If you don’t have a warmer, wrap the tortillas in a cotton towel to warm.

Tortilla warmer

Tortilla Warmer

3.) The tortillas should now be soft and pliable. Place about 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons of chicken in a tortilla and roll it up and then lay it in the prepared pan. Repeat this procedure until all of the tortillas are rolled and placed in the pan.

4.) Cover the tortillas with the remaining sauce. Top with the optional cheese or olives.

5.) Place the pan in the middle of the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Buen Provecho.


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Other Recipes you may enjoy: Turkey with Cumin for Libido, Celery Puree
Authentic Chicken Enchiladas on Foodista