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Spicy Vegetarian Chili

17 Mar

This is a new version of the Best Vegetarian Chili and it may be even better than the original. You could make it in the crock pot or on the stove – either way, it’s delish!

Start with these ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pepper, any color, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato (or regular potato), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) spicy black beans
  • 3 Tbsp quinoa, any color
  • 1/4 cup lentils, any color
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Muir Glen diced tomatoes – Fire roasted with medium green chilis
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 packet vegetarian chili seasoning mix
  • water
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Then get down to business:

  1. Put a bit (maybe a Tbsp) of olive oil in a large soup pan and heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Let cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped pepper, carrots, jalapeno and sweet potato to the pot.
  3. Add the two cans of tomatoes and stir well. Fill one of the cans with water and add that as well.
  4. Rinse the spicy black beans just a bit and add them to the mixture. Add the quinoa and lentils.
  5. Next add the can of tomato paste and stir well.  Tomato paste can be sticky so make sure to get it distributed throughout the mixture.
  6. Toss in the chili seasoning mix.
  7. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  8. Add the cup of frozen corn, stir, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  9. Top with shredded cheese and enjoy.

You could easily make this in the crock pot – just omit the olive oil at the beginning and pile everything in the crock pot, stir, and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, adding the corn in just about 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat.

What’s great about this chili is that it’s so flexible – I’ve added or omitted vegetables depending on what I have on hand and I’ve used sprouted legumes or chickpeas instead of lentils. Any version is great!

Spicy Veggie Chili

Chickpea Salad

21 Apr

Whole Foods has a delicious “Mediterranean Crunch Salad” at the cold bar. We wanted to recreate it at home, but a google search for the recipe didn’t exactly match the ingredient list that had been included with the salad at the bar. So we kind of used the recipe online as a guide and added some other ingredients to make it more fabulous.


2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cucumber, chopped small
1/2 head broccoli, chopped small
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 carrot, chopped small
3 leaves kale, tough stems removed, chopped small
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme


Combine the chickpeas, cucumber, carrot, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, onion, parsley and thyme in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk well. Poor the liquid mixture into the vegetable/bean mixture and stir well. Chill at least one hour before serving. Enjoy!

chickpea salad

Herbed Polenta with Tomato Bean Sauce

17 Feb

We’re not doing so great on our one recipe a week challenge, but we are trying some new recipes, just not nearly one a week. Oh well. Here’s our latest new adventure: Herbed polenta with an amazing tomato sauce topping.

We wanted to make polenta and I found this recipe on Care2, a website which aims to “make it easy for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle and impact the causes they care about most.” We made a few small changes to the recipe and, while it was pretty easy to make and the sauce was incredibly delicious, the polenta was kind of bland and not nearly as creamy and fluffy as the polenta at our favorite restaurant down the street. I know we’ll make the sauce again, but we’ll be on the lookout for a recipe that promises creamier polenta.


For the polenta:
1½ cups polenta (coarse yellow cornmeal)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons parsley
4 cups hot water
Olive oil for greasing
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

For the tomato sauce topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chopped onion
3 cups chopped Swiss chard, kale, or spinach, or a combination (we used kale)
1 28-ounce can of chopped or diced tomatoes with basil
1 15-ounce can navy beans
Salt and pepper, to taste


In a 3-quart pot, combine the polenta, salt, parsley, and water, making sure there are no lumps. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, 30 minutes or until the polenta is thick and comes away easily from the sides of the pot.

Next grease a large sheet of aluminum foil with the oil and place it on a baking sheet. With a rubber spatula or with wet hands, slide the polenta onto the baking sheet, guiding it into a rectangle measuring approximately 8 inches by 12 inches. Make the corners as square as possible. Lay a second sheet of aluminum foil of top and allow the polenta to set for at least 30 minutes.

While the polenta is setting, you can begin the sauce topping. In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and saute until it turns golden. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent. Add the greens and stir until wilted. Add in the can of tomatoes with their juice, then add the beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Polenta 045
Cut the polenta in to four equal rectangles and then cut each rectangle into four triangles. Place the triangles on oiled aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 5 to 6 minutes. Flip over the triangles and bake for another 5 to 6 minutes or until they start to become brown.


Put two triangles on a plate and add some shredded parmesan cheese on top. Ladle the bean mixture on top and add a bit more cheese if you’d like. Enjoy!

Herbed Polenta with tomato and bean topping

Zucchini and Chickpea Soup

5 Jan

One day while driving back from visiting my family in Rhode Island, we caught an interview on NPR with a cookbook author about her new book, Bean by Bean. She sounded awesome and had the most random name – Crescent Dragonwagon. (Of course we googled and read a really good story as to how she got that name.) We went to Porter Square Books soon after and bought Bean by Bean and this was the first recipe we tried. We used some of her suggestions and variations and came up with something that we love and have already made a few times. Give it a try!


  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight, or 2 cans of chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut and sliced thin
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp basmati rice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • juice of 2 lemons


  • If using dried chickpeas, after soaking them overnight, put them in a large soup pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat and simmer, covered, until the chickpeas are tender, about 1 and 1/2 hours (but cooking time can be as long as 3 or more hours). If using canned chickpeas, add them, with their liquid, plus 2 cans of water to a soup pan and begin to simmer.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrot and saute, until the onions are soft, 6-8 minutes.
  • Lower heat and add garlic and cayenne, letting that cook for a few minutes, until the garlic becomes really fragrant.
  • Add the onion mixture from the skillet into the chickpeas in the soup pot. Then add in the cumin, allspice, tomato paste, zucchini and rice.
  • Cover and cook for 45 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the parsley and cook for another 15 minutes.


Add in the juice of 2 lemons, stir well and serve. We ate the soup with toasted pitas, which were crunchy and delicious.


The Best Vegetarian Chili

26 Nov

I found a recipe for crockpot vegetarian chili on The Lazy Vegetarian and have been adding some different vegetables and spices to it ever since. I think I’ve come up with the perfect combination for this easy and incredibly tasty cold winter day chili.


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small summer squash
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) each black beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans (you can use whichever kinds of beans you like and you can, of course, you dried beans rather than canned)
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Muir Glen diced tomotoes – Fire roasted with medium green chilis
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 packet chili seasoning mix – I like Simply Organic or Casa Fiesta

I think the real kicker in this chili recipe is the can of Muir Glen tomatoes with green chilis. I’ve made this chili with and without it and with it is SO MUCH BETTER.

The recipe is incredibly easy:

  1. Chop all the vegetables (except the corn) and add them to the crock pot. The corn will be added later, since it takes much less time to cook.
  2. Rinse beans and add them to the crock pot
  3. Add the cans of tomatoes and tomato paste, along with the chopped garlic and chili seasoning mix to the crock pot
  4. Add the cup of water and stir well
  5. Heat for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low
  6. About 15-20 minutes before serving, add the cup of frozen corn and stir well
  7. Enjoy!

Black Bean Burgers

15 Aug

We’ve kind of been on a burger kick recently. First the chickpea burgers, then quinoa burgers (post coming soon!), and now black bean burgers. Of all three, the black bean burgers held together the best and we were able to make them on the grill, which is such a plus since it’s been so hot and humid. I got the recipe from All Recipes; they are a touch spicy, but nothing too crazy. Next time you fire up the grill, give them a try!


  • 1 16-oz can black beans
  • 1/2 pepper (I used a yellow pepper because I had it on hand, but you can use whichever you like)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs


Drain and rinse the black beans, put them in a bowl, and mash them with a potato masher. Put the pepper, onion, and garlic into your (new! yay!)  food processor and chop. It was super chopped in a matter of seconds, so be careful! Add the pepper mixture to the mashed black beans and stir together. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, chili powder, cumin and srirach until smooth-ish. Add the liquid mixture into the black beans and then add the bread crumbs. Stir together until mixed well.

Form into four patties. Place the patties on a piece of aluminum foil on the grill (not directly onto the grill slats).

We topped ours with some quick guacamole, spring mix lettuce, and tomato. Yum!

Amazing Chickpea Burgers

28 Jul

I got the idea to make chickpea burgers from one of my favorite eating healthy blogs, Two Blue Lemons. I didn’t have all the right ingredients and really wanted guacamole so I came up with something a little different. So easy to make and completely delicious. Enjoy!



1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped spinach
4 stalks green onions, chopped
zest of 1/4 lemon
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Super easy guacamole:

1 avocado
1/2 tomato
1/4 red onion
juice of 1/2 lime


Place the rinsed chickpeas in a large bowl and add the eggs, salt, chopped spinach, green onions, lemon zest, bread crumbs,  a bit of thyme, and olive oil. We started mashing the mixture with a potato masher, but that didn’t work so well, so we switched to a mixer. If you have a food processor I think that would work perfectly. But, alas, I don’t have one, and the mixer worked just fine.

Once the chickpeas are mashed to a lumpy paste, you can make them into burgers. We made four from this recipe. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a pan and add the patties. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, or until brownish.

While the burgers are cooking, you can  make the super easy guacamole. Dice up the avocado, tomato and red onion and mix well with some cilantro. Top with the juice of 1/2 lime and mix well. Easy! Place the cooked burgers on a slice of toast, and top with the guacamole. Add spinach, tomatoes, red onion – whatever you’d like!

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