Tomato and Asparagus Soup with White Beans

This is a tangy and rich soup that will use up some of those tomatoes you canned. You can make it vegan by using veggie stock. It’s an easy soup to whip up from common pantry items.

28 oz canned tomatoes, diced or crushed
28 oz stock, veggie or chicken
1/2 cup red wine
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 TB olive oil
1 1/2 C cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
1 stalk asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces

Place all the ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes until veggies are tender and beans are flavored with broth. Serve as is or sprinkle on some cheese!


Warm Quinoa and White Bean Salad

Quinoa is used in many Latin influenced dishes. This is more of a Mediterranean flavor inspired dish. It’s also very quick and easy. It’s a budget friendly dish that would be great to serve at a luncheon. It’s also low fat, high protein, and high fiber.

I used garlic stuffed olives!

1 1/2 C dry quinoa
3 C water or stock
12 oz white beans, cooked, drained & rinsed
1 pint grape tomates
1 small spanish onion, chopped
1/3 C vinaigrette (your favorite home made or farmer’s market blend will work great)

salad greens and olives for serving

In a large stock pot or chef’s pan, add everything and heat on medium-low. Stir well to incorporate all ingredients one time. Cover. Keep covered. After 20 minutes, remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve over greens. Garnish with olives.

You can also make this in a rice cooker!

*** You can use any Italian vinaigrette you have on hand or make a simple one using

1 C vinegar
2 C olive oil
3 TB dried Italian seasoning blend (or make your own unique mix of oregano, marjoram, parsley, basil, dried garlic, red pepper flakes, saffron)
1 TB sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper

Pick-a-Filling Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a great make ahead meal. They are always good left overs. Everyone likes them. This is a versatile recipe that can be filled with just about anything.

Served with Guac and Sour Cream!

For the Sauce:

1/3 Cup minced yellow onion (1 small)
3+ cloves minced garlic
1 Cup veggie or chicken stock
1 Cup tomato puree
1 TB cumin
1 TB oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp mexican saffron
dash turmeric

To taste: salt, hot sauce– I add my demon sauce to this for a very intense multi-chile flavor.

Add all ingredients to a sauce pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. This can be made ahead: up to 10 days in the fridge or frozen for weeks. This makes enough sauce to cover about 8 enchiladas. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for feeding large crowds.

Filling for 8 enchiladas:

1 lb ground chicken, beef, or turkey
8 oz chopped mushrooms and 1 Cup refried beans
your family’s fav taco/ burrito filling

seasoned with 2-3 TB taco seasoning, depending on your taste for heat.

CHEESE! Sprinkle in queso blanco, monterrey jack, pepper jack, cheddar, or a blend of cheeses as you roll your enchiladas. If you are making just cheese enchiladas, a blend is best. 1 Cup of cheese should fill 8 enchiladas when mixed with another filling. For cheese only, you’ll need about 3 Cups.

8 Corn or gluten-free tortillas, 6-8 inch size.

Spread a few tablespoons of sauce over the bottom of a casserole dish. This will keep the enchiladas from sticking to the pan. Fill tortillas with your filling mixture and roll them. Lay them carefully in the casserole dish, squeezing them together to hold the roll closed. An 8×8 inch pan usually holds 6 enchiladas.

Top with shredded cheese.

Pour sauce evenly over rolled enchiladas. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with guacamole, sour cream, or you favorite veggie salad.

** For a vegan meal, stuff with veggies, tempeh, and vegan cheese. Commercial steak sauces are often vegan and can add a real kick to sauteed mushrooms, peppers, and onions.

7 Layer Dip

Everyone likes layer dip. It’s easy to make for any party. It’s great to make the day before and let rest in the fridge over night for more intense flavor.

We started eating it and forgot to photograph it... again!

1 Cup cooked pinto beans
3 TB taco seasoning (recipe follows)
4 oz chopped green chilies
2 avocados, sliced thin
lime juice
1/2 Cup chopped black olives
8 oz salsa
8 oz sour cream
8 oz shredded cheddar or Monterrey jack

Layer 1: Place pintos and taco seasoning in your food processor. Blend to creamy. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a little lime juice to thin it out.

Layer 2: Spread chopped green chilies over beans.

Layer 3: Arrange avocado slices over chilies. Sprinkle with salt and lime juice.

Layer 4: Add black olives over avocado.

Layer 5: Spread out salsa

Layer 6: Spread out sour cream

Layer 7: Sprinkle over shredded cheese

Serve with chips, crackers, veggies, or anything that will scoop this out. Like a spoon!

You can use store bought taco seasoning, but it may contain gluten, fillers, chemicals, or non-food ingredients. Weird!

Taco Seasoning

2 parts chili powder

1 part cumin

1 part oregano

1 part garlic powder

1 part onion powder

1 part paprika

1/2 part salt

(1/2 part cayenne for HOT taco mix)

Shake together in a jar and store in a cool, dry, and dark place. Seasonings keep for 4 months.

Red Beans and Rice

This is a great way to feed tons of people. It’s a phenomenal dish to make ahead because it gets more delicious when it sits in the fridge. The beans can also be made in a crock pot– just transfer the sauteed veggies and simmer on low.

Red Beans over Rice

1 lb dry red beans, soaked, drained, and cooked in filtered water

1 Cup diced celery
1 Cup diced carrot
1 1/2 Cups diced yellow onion
4+ cloves garlic, minced
3 TB evoo
2 TB dried thyme
1 tsp salt

Saute chopped veggies, oil, and seasoning while beans finish cooking. Heating the dried herbs with fat helps develop the flavor. The salt will help the onions sweat and release their moisture, preventing sticking or burning. Let the veggies cook until the onions are translucent and soft.

Add 3/4 lb cajun sausage (andouille is great, I have local pork chorizo that I love!), chopped or crumbled. For a vegan or vegetarian version, use a meatless sausage the crumbles well.

Saute over medium heat to render fat. The veggies will develop a nice orangey glow. If making a non-meat version, add 2-3 TB additional evoo.

Drain cooked beans. Gently add them to veggies and sausage. (Or if you are making this in a crock pot, transfer everything to the crock pot now.)

1 Cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 1/2 Cups tomato puree
2 TB cajun seasoning blend

Simmer covered on low for 20-30 minutes until flavors marry. Serve over rice.

**Quick tip: Use canned red beans. Find BPA free canned beans at:

Thanksgiving Leftovers Fiesta Pizzas

Yet another installment of what to do with your Turkey-Day leftovers: Have a Latin Fiesta!

Many of us will be watching the sports team of our choice over the holiday, and this could lead to hungry sports fans. Whether your team is the reigning National Champion (Go Heels!) or you watch football, the following Mexi Pizzas are for you.

Chipotle Pizza Sauce

In a food processor

1 chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce from a can) seeded plus 1 tsp sauce, you can use more depending on your taste
1 12oz can diced tomatoes drained (reserve liquid)
2 TBSP paprika
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
2 TBSP red wine vinegar

Heat on stovetop until bubbly. This recipe makes enough for about 10 8in pizzas. It freezes well.

Chipotle Turkey and Avocado Pizzas

1. Spread pizza sauce over 8 inch tortilla
2. Top with shredded cheddar or cojita cheese
3. Heat together in a sauté pan 1 ½ cups shredded turkey and half the reserved tomato juice until meat ‘absorbs’ the juice and is hot. Arrange turkey over pizzas.
4. Top with cubed avocados and more cheese.

Wild Mayan Pizzas
1. Mash leftover sweet potatoes with reserved tomato juice in a sauce pot on medium heat.
2. Spread mashed sweet potatoes on 8 inch tortillas
3. Top sweet potatoes with chipotle pizza sauce
4. Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Sprinkle over pizza. If you have left over corn, add some kernels!
5. Top with shredded cheddar or cojita cheese (or soy cheese)

Bake all pizzas at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and tortilla crisps up. Slice them into 6ths. Serve them with a lime wedge and sour cream. This makes awesome hors d’oeuvre both vegetarian and meat-tastic for your whole family.

Grits Rancheros

Breakfast burritos are delicious. A warm bowl of grits is divine on a cold morning. Now if those two could just get together and … oh we have a dish that isn’t just for Sunday Brunch.

Serious breakfast!

Here are the layers, bottom up:

Pepper Jack Cheese Grits

Refried Black Beans

Poached Free Range Eggs

Tangy Ranchero Sauce

Sour Cream and Tex-Mex toppings


For the Grits:

1 Cup stone ground yellow corn grits (NOT instant grits. The bulk section of your co-op has them CHEAP!)

3 Cups broth (veggie or chicken stock according to your diet)

Whisk together on med-low heat until grits begin to bubble. Use a pan with a lid. As the grits near their peak of deliciousness, they sputter and become like napalm. That cute kitchen apron has a purpose: grits. Reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally to break up lumps. These take about 25-30 minutes to reach a soft creamy texture.

Whisk in 2 TB butter, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1+ Cup shredded pepper jack cheese until smooth and uniform.


Refried Black Beans:

1, 14 oz can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 Cup diced onion

1+ clove minced garlic

1 TB butter

2 tsp taco seasoning (Recipe here)


Place everything in a sauce pot on medium heat. When onions sweat and become translucent, mash beans with a potato masher or transfer to food processor. Add a little water for thinner textured beans.


To Poach Eggs: Add 3 TB white vinegar to 3 Cups cooking water. Bring to a boil. Crack eggs into a bowl first. Gently slide them into the boiling water. This prevents broken yolks and kitchen injuries.


Ranchero Sauce:

1, 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies

2 TB red wine vinegar

2 tsp taco seasoning

your favorite hot sauce to taste

Place all ingredients in your food processor then transfer to a sauce pan. Heat through.


All the components but the eggs can be prepared in advance and reheated for a quick-serve meal. Top with olives, cilantro, fresh squeezed lime, avocado chunks, or jalapenos!


White Bean & Kale Soup

I use the all beef uncured chorrizo for this soup that I find at the farmer’s market. It crumbles apart beautifully, and releases all it’s fatty goodness.  Make sure you wash the kale really well. Sand kind of ruins the soup. 😉

1/2 Cup chorrizo sausage

1 bunch of kale washed well, ribs removed (save for doggie stew!), and well chopped

2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp ground rosemary

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

32 oz chicken or veggie stock

2 Cups water

Render sausage. If using vegetarian sausage, dice is fine and add a little evoo. Saute chopped kale in the rendered sausage until soft and dark, about 12 minutes. Stir in herbs and spices. Stir in water and beans. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Add stock and cover. Simmer 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with parmesan or romano cheese to serve.

Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Adobo Nachos

This is a recipe for lazy people who are having a party and want their guests to think they slaved away. Think “Super Bowl Party meets Pretentious Food Critic” that’s ready in 7 minutes. The speed of this recipe is dependent on how fast you can open packages. Yup. And it’s sooooo goooood… mmmm…

Nachos with Olive Chips

Nachos with Olive Chips

Layer 1: Chips! I used sweet potato tortilla chips and olive tortilla chips I bought from the natural food aisle at the grocery. Easy.

Layer 2: Adobo Beans

1 can of pinto beans

1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes in adobo sauce (muir glen sure makes a nice one)

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed (remove the seeds, even if you think you like hot food, seriously) and diced

1 tsp adobo sauce from the pepper can

1 cup diced purple onion

3 cloves garlic

Organic Pinto Beans

Organic Pinto Beans

Sweat onions and garlic over medium heat. Stir in diced chipotle, adobo sauce, and tomatoes. Once the pot bubbles, stir in drained and rinsed pinto beans. Heat through.

Makes the whole house smell great!

Makes the whole house smell great!

Layer 3:

12 oz nitrate and nitrite free chorizo sausage sliced into rounds



Saute in dry pan til brown.

Layer 4:

Chopped cilantro

Diced avocado

Shredded sharp cheddar (raw is best!)

Sour cream

To make vegetarian, omit the sausage.

Nachos with Sweet Potato Chips

Nachos with Sweet Potato Chips

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Coconut Rice with Pigeon Peas and Jerk Tempeh – Vegan Caribbean

From my sustainable table to yours.

1 1/2 Cups white rice

1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)

14 oz can coconut milk, unsweetened

12 oz water

14 oz can Pigeon peas

2 packages Tempeh (most come in 12 ounce package)

Jerk Seasoning (recipe follows)

For Rice

Toast rice in dry pan on high for 3 minutes stirring constantly. If desired, drizzle in sesame oil and stir rapidly to coat each grain. Pour in water and coconut milk. Stir well. turn heat to low and cover. Let rice simmer 15 minutes just before tender. In last 4 minutes of cooking, drain pigeon peas, reserve 2 tablespoons of liquid. Add peas and liquid to rice. Fold to incorporate. Simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest covered.

Rice may absorb liquid quickly depending on the type of pan used or it may escape the lid. Add additional water 2 tablespoons at a time during cooking if necessary.

Slice tempeh in strips and toss in dry jerk seasoning to coat evenly. Grill over medium high heat or in grill pan until grill marks form, about 3 minutes. Turn and grill until tempeh reaches desired char level.

Jerk Dry Rub

1 part all spice

1 part granulated garlic

1/2 part ground ginger

1 part black pepper

1 part cayenne

2 parts brown sugar

1 part salt

1 part thyme

1/4 part ground cloves

1 part onion powder

Shake together. Store in air tight jar in cool dry place. Spice mixes do well in the dark, not on a shelf near the window.

Published in: on August 29, 2009 at 1:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: