Beans, Mexican, Vegan

Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce

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Just good food, from Oh She Glows.  That is all.

The recipe below says it’ll make 4 enchiladas, so I doubled it and came out with a full 9×13 dish of enchiladas.


  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, chopped (or zucchini)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 handfuls spinach, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Enchilada sauce (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 4 whole grain tortilla wraps (I used Food for Life Ezekiel)
  • Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce, to pour on top (recipe below)
  • Green onion & chopped cilantro, to garnish
Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce


  • 1 & 1/4 cup avocado flesh
  • 2 Tablespoon water, or more as needed to thin out
  • 2-3 Tablespoon lime juice, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste

Directions for Sauce:

1. In a food processor, process the avocado flesh and water until creamy. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth and well blended. Use immediately for best results.

Directions for Enchiladas:

Pre-heat oven to 350*

  1. Pre-cook the sweet potato, by simmering it in a small pot of water for about 5-10 minutes until just tender. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet or pot, add 1 Tablespoon oil and bring to medium to low heat. Add in the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Add in garlic and reduce heat to low and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the chopped pepper, pre-cooked sweet potato, drained black beans, and chopped spinach. Cook for about 5-7 more minutes on medium-low heat.
  3. Add in your enchilada or pasta sauce. Stir well, and add in your seasonings: nutritional yeast, cumin, fresh lime juice, salt, garlic powder, chili powder – all to taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir well.
  4. Scoop about 3/4-1 cup of the mixture onto the bottom of your casserole dish and spread out in a thin layer. Scoop about 1/2-3/4 cup of the mixture onto each tortilla and wrap, placing the fold down on the casserole dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas and leave a bit of filling left to spread over the top.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile, make your Cilantro cream sauce. When enchiladas are cooked, remove from oven and pour the sauce over top. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onion.

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Beans, Chicken

Southwestern Chicken Barley Chili


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A friend of mine is recovering from major surgery and I promised to bring a meal over to her the other night.  The universe, however, had different plans and I was stuck in appointments for the better portion of the afternoon and into the evening.  Competing with traffic is always an issue and I knew I wouldn’t get home in time to prepare the meal.  I called home and my nearly-fourteen-year-old daughter came to the rescue!  I gave her a few basic instruction to get her started on the recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Café, told her to read the instructions carefully and crossed my fingers.

Huge success!  It came out as well as I’d hoped.  Flavorful, hearty and a LOT of leftovers.


  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, un-drained
  • 16 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup medium barley (not quick cooking)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • dash cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

Garnishes: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, tortilla chips


  1. In a large pot (about 6-quarts), combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, barley, water, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano and cayenne (if using). Stir well.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and add the chicken. Stir to combine.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer the chili for 40 minutes, until the barley is tender and chewy and the chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Stir occasionally, while it simmers to prevent sticking and to make sure it stays at a steady simmer.
  5. After 40 minutes, add the beans and corn. Stir to combine and simmer for five more minutes. Serve the chili with optional garnishes, if desired.
Beans, Turkey

Fresh-Lime Turkey Chili

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This chili adapted from the recipe at  Pink Parsley, is the perfect way to start cooking for the cooler season that has finally made its way here in South Texas.  With a fresh hint of lime, this still plays at flavors of summer but the hearty, meaty chili definitely says fall!  I shredded cheese on top and served with a big helping of cornbread.

Be sure to give yourself enough time to prepare this recipe; it takes about 30 minutes to prepare and two to three hours to cook.


  • 1 slice sandwich bread, torn into pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more for serving

Options for serving:

  • fresh cilantro
  • Pepper Jack cheese
  • sliced avocados


1.  Mash the bread and milk into a paste in a large bowl using a fork.  Mix in the ground turkey.

2.  Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno, and cook until they are softened, 5-7 minutes.  Add the chili powder, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook an additional 3-5 minutes.

3.  Stir in the turkey and cook, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato sauce, scraping up any browned bits.

4.  Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, beans, 3 tablespoons of water, soy sauce and honey.  Cover and cook on low 2-3 hours.

5. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and (optional) cilantro.

Beans, Beef

Cowboy Dinner


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I was very skeptical about this recipe found at Mel’s Kitchen Café because ground beef casseroles generally all taste the same and offer very little flavor or variety.  Seriously simple though, the recipe called for me to pull it together and give it a shot and I’m so glad I did.  Surprisingly, there was a lot of different flavors throughout this dish and the corn bread topping pulled the entire thing together so well.  It made a lot of food and could easily serve 6 adults.

Since we were given a huge portion of a grass-fed cow I don’t feel so bad eating all this ground beef…and we have a lot of it to get through!



  • 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 12 oz. salsa
  • 1 15 oz. can black, pinto or white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread Topping

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup milk


Preheat the oven to 375

  1. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion, adding the salt and pepper, over medium-high heat until the beef is no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Stir in the corn, salsa, and beans. Pour the beef mixture into the prepared 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  3. For the cornbread, combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, beaten eggs and milk. Whisk together until just moistened and no dry spots remain.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese over the beef mixture and pour the cornbread batter over the cheese and beef mixture. Gently spread the cornbread to the edges of the pan, evening it out over the top of the casserole.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges are bubbly and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Beans, Turkey

Jerk Turkey Chili


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When I found this recipe for jerked chicken at Smells Like Home I knew I wanted to try it out with the turkey breasts I had leftover from Thanksgiving.  I wasn’t even sure what jerked meat was, but it sounded too good not to try and I couldn’t pass up having access to another chili recipe.  Not only did it cook up quick, but the ingredients were inexpensive and easy to find.  Except one.  Pickled Jalapenos.  Seriously?  I’ve never heard of them and I didn’t see them in the grocery store so I improvised and bought a single, lonely, jalapeno which worked out great in the recipe.  I only used half which, turned out to have enough flavor of the spiciness, but no actual heat on the tongue.  Add the entire thing if you like it hot, like me, minus the kids!

As a side note, the original recipe called for a rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded (about six cups worth).  As fabulous as that must be, saying Jerk Turkey is just kind of fun.

Ok, as much as I dislike rambling on and on before I get to the actual recipe I felt very strongly that I had to tell you a secret that I kept from the kids.  I put the onion, bell pepper, and diced tomatoes in the food processor before cooking.  Why?  Because they like to think they don’t like these things when they’ve been cooked and I get tired of the “what’s this?” face.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 large turkey breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes (I bought the no salt added)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, un-drained (reduced sodium please)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) great northern white beans, undrained
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon cornmeal or 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (optional for thickening)


1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Add chili powder, thyme, cinnamon, and allspice. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Add chicken and stir to coat with spices. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and jalapenos, bring to a boil, cover partially, reduce heat, and simmer to blend flavors, about 20 minutes.

5. Stir in garlic, cilantro, chocolate, and either cornmeal or cornstarch/water slurry if desired.  If you add the cornstarch slurry, bring the heat up to medium-high and allow the chili to thicken.  Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


White Chicken Chili


DSC_8464 copyThis was really good and I love how simple it was!  Looks a little … meh … doesn’t it?  It tastes much better than it looks though!  I’ve recently begun cooking with fresh beans.  Is that how they’re referred to?  Fresh?  Well, the kind in a bag that you soak overnight then cook is what I’ve been using to cut back on unnecessary sodium and it’s extremely simple.  Yes, obviously it takes more time but really worth it when I looked at how often I was using beans in all my recipes!

I was disappointed to read the label of the chilies after I’d opened them to use in this recipe – 120 mg of sodium in that teeny tiny little can.  Well, maybe next time I’ll grab a few chilies in the produce department!  I did use both cans and the entire 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper and yes, it was pretty kicky.  My kids ate all of it without any complaint, which makes me VERY happy because I want them to like spicy foods.  I don’t know why.  It just seems like something a kid should be able to eat without being a crybaby about it.

I used abouuuuuut 2 cans worth of beans – I just eyeballed it and you can too!

Source: My Kitchen Cafe

10 chicken tenders
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil
(About 2 cans worth of) Cooked Great Northern beans – OR 2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) rinsed and drained
14 1/2 oz. can chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz. each) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

In a large saucepan, sauté chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately.

Beans, Vegetarian

Vegetarian Chili

DSC_6622 copyAdapted from Bread & Honey
This is without a doubt the best chili I’ve ever had.  It’s just the right consistency, the flavors are perfect together and I’m definitely adding this to a regular dish at our house!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (save a few slices for topping)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) crushed or diced tomatoes (I prefer crushed)
  • 2 15 oz. cans of beans, drained – black, garbanzos, kidney, and/or pinto (I used kidney and pinto)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (kids don’t do spicy, but I wanted a little kick)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 cups vegetable stock depending on how thick you like it (I used 2 cups)


  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high in a large pot or saucepan.
  2. Add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil and add chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper, and stock. Stir well.
  4. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Serve topped with your favorite chili toppings. I used onions, grated cheese & sour cream.
Beans, Grilling, Vegetarian

Black Bean Burgers

DSC_6487 copySource:  Allrecipes
Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian, not Vegan and certainly not Freegan is the theme here since these burgers contain eggs and cheese.  The eggs are meant to help the everything stick together.  However, if you want to go all Vegan, and since it’s recommended that you drain the peppers very well before mixing, you could just drain them a little less to retain some of the liquid to help meld everything together.
If you’re lucky enough to have a food processor, you’ll want to pull it out for this recipe and finely chop the bell pepper, onion, and garlic.  If not, a good old-fashioned sharp knife will do!


  • 2 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced & drained well of liquid
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2  tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 cup seasoned croutons, crushed
  • cheese for topping (optional)


  1. If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork or potato masher until thick and pasty.  Add egg, chili powder, and cumin.  Mix well.
  3. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into patties.
  4. If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side, adding cheese the last few minutes to melt. If baking, place patties on baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

Makes approximately eight, 5-inch burgers (I’m not any good at measurements, don’t hold me to that!)

Beans, Mexican, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian


DSC_6508 copyAdapted from:  Bread & Honey (Love this site)

Ok, seriously? I was like, ‘Uh I’m not gonna eat this without dressing.  No. Way.’  But then I tried it and it was without a doubt the best tostada stuff.  Ever.  Don’t argue with me.  And it was WITHOUT all the fattening dressing!


  • Crunchy corn tortillas
  • 3 avocados, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can whole pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cucumber, diced1 lime, sliced in half (seeds removed)
  • Bag of Spring Salad Mix


  1. Heat beans through in a small skillet.  Remove beans and set aside.
  2. In same skillet toss onions & red peppers in for 2-3 minutes on med-high heat to warm through and brown slightly.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Place tortillas on a plate and pile high with lots of the Spring Mix.  Generously squeeze and sprinkle lime juice over lettuce then proceed to top with all the other healthy fixins!  Good stuff!
Beans, Rice, Sausage

Red Beans & Rice


DSC_6482 copySource Elly Says Opa

  • 1/2 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced (I threw in a few chopped celery leaves for flavor)
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper(s)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning, divided
  • 14 oz. turkey smoked sausage
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet (something that has a lid) over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and 1/2 Tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning.  Sauté until vegetables are tender.

Add the sausage, tomato paste, parsley, bay leaves and rice.  Add the chicken broth, and beans. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until rice is done (approximately 55-60 minutes).  Fluff with a fork and serve.

Serves two adults, three kids and at least enough for three more adult meals.