Tag Archives: black beans

Happy Accidents

Had I known the chore of cleaning out the fridge would provide such a delicious meal, I probably would not have put it off all weekend long!  Typically, when I have fresh veggies in need of use, my go-to dish is a curry concoction.  Since my cabinets were lacking coconut milk, I had to come up with something else.

Last winter, while I was canning soups, I had also planned on canning some of my dried beans.  Well, I never got around to it but I did end up freezing some after over estimating and cooking up way too many for another recipe.  After taking inventory of some use-’em-or-lose-’em fridge items, I began creating what I call a happy accident!

Tortilla Lasagna

6 fajita-sized tortillas (I used a mix of multi grain and whole wheat)

1-1/2 pints Tomatillo Salsa

4 cups ready-to-use black beans

3 carrots, chopped

2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a quart of canned)

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 pkg Daiya Cheddar Cheese shreds

Ground Cumin, Salt, & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9×13″ baking dish with olive oil and place a layer of tomatillo salsa on the bottom.  Place two tortillas on top the salsa; add half the carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and beans and season lightly with cumin, salt, and pepper.

Sprinkle on a bit of cheese and cover with two more tortillas.  Add the remaining carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and beans, season again and add another layer of tomatillo salsa.  Place the remaining tortillas on the top of the “lasagna” and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Cover dish with tinfoil and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes.  Remove tinfoil, sprinkle on more cheese, and place back in the oven until cheese is melted and begins to brown, approximately 10 minutes.  Allow lasagna to rest for 10 minutes, this will help the layers stay together when serving!

This recipe yielded me about 10 servings, most of which were placed in the freezer for work-week lunches.  I was pleased to find it freezes really well!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.


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Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

There is something magical that happens when you pair black beans along side sweet potatoes.  It’s like they are truly meant to go together!  So when the December issue of Vegetarian Times featured a drool-worthy enchilada recipe combining those two ingredients, it jumped to the front of the menu line!  Making only minimal changes to incorporate what I had on-hand in my canning pantry, along with a few vegan substitutions, the dish turned out absolutely delicious!

Since the recipe can be made the night before, it’s a great go-to potluck dish!  And because it makes several servings, it is the perfect take-to-work-lunch.  I simply portion out and freeze single servings, then pack my fresh garnish the morning of.

(Despite my less than appetizing photograph, they really do taste better than they look!)

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

For the Sauce

1 15-oz can of tomato sauce

1-3/4 cup vegetable stock

1 tsp cayenne powder

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried oregano

For the Filling

olive oil

1 small onion, diced

3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 quart canned tomatoes, chopped

1 pint salsa

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups cooked black beans

1 ancho chili pepper, minced

8 oz daiya cheddar style shreds

1/2 cup water

For the Enchiladas

olive oil for brushing the baking dish

16 whole wheat tortillas (I used the fajita size)

2 limes cut into wedges, for garnish

1 avocado, sliced for garnish

1/2 cup tofutti sour supreme

cilantro sprigs for garnish

To make Sauce: Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk to combine, then remove from heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make Filling: Heat oil in a separate sauce pan over medium heat.  Add onion, and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.  Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, salsa, garlic, chili, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30-40 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.  Mash mixture with a potato masher until combined.  Add black beans, and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in half of the cheddar shreds and remove from  heat.

To assemble Enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350°F.  Brush a 9×13-inch baking dish with oil.  Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in bottom of dish.  Fill tortillas with filling.  Roll and pack close together seam-side down in baking dish.  (My baking dish only held 10 enchiladas, so I placed the rest of the filling in a container and ate it as is.)  Top with remaining sauce and cheddar shreds.  Bake 15 minutes.

Adjust oven to broil.  Broil enchiladas 5 minutes or until cheddar shreds begin to brown.  Let rest 10 minutes before serving.  Garnish with lime wedges, avocado slices, sour supreme, and cilantro if desired.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Dec 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times.


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Cajun Stuffed Summer Squash

This year I grew zucchini patisson strie, which are beautifully striped scalloped squash.  When fully grown their skins are quite tough, so it is recommended that you eat them when they are small; however, their bold colors do not develop ’til just before maturity.  Do you see where I am going with this?  Having grown them specifically for their aesthetic qualities, I needed to find a way to enjoy them when fully grown.

I’ve seen several recipes for stuffed winter squash, so I thought I would put my spin on it with this tough-skinned cousin!

Cajun Stuffed Summer Squash

4 med scalloped summer squash

1/2 cup dried black beans

1/2 cup dried kidney beans

1/2 cups dried northern beans

4-1/2 cups water

2 tbsp olive oil

1 med onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 purple beauty pepper, chopped (any bell pepper variety will do)

For the Cajun seasoning I used equal parts salt, pepper, oregano, red pepper (hot), garlic powder, and chili powder to one part smoked paprika.

Place squash in a very large pot with about an inch of water, cover and bring to a boil.  I had to use foil to cover mine.  Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until squash skins can be pierced with a fork.  Remove from pot and allow to cool so that you may touch them.

While squash is cooling rinse beans and place in a pressure cooker with water and olive oil.  Cook for 25 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure.  Quick-cool beans by running pressure cooker under cold water, drain, rinse, and set aside.  If you do not have a pressure cooker (get one) soak beans overnight, then bring to a boil; boil hard for an hour (adding water as needed), check for doneness.  If beans are still hard, continue boiling ’til soft.  Like I said, get a pressure cooker, life with dried beans is so much easier! 😉

Once squash has cooled to the touch, slice off the top and scoop out seeds.  With an ice cream scoop carefully remove cooked squash leaving approximately 1/4-inch flesh on the inside.  Chop the cooked squash into chunks and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large pot sauté onion, celery, and pepper over med-high heat for about 5 minutes; add garlic, squash, and seasonings, stir well to incorporate and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add beans, cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Place the squash shells into a large baking dish and stuff them with bean mixture.  Don’t be afraid to pack them full!  If any stuffing is left over it can be piled into the baking dish between the shells.  Bake stuffed squash for 20 minutes, or until the tops start to brown.

Since I have so many of these squash, I’m going to make more of the stuffing and use it as a burrito filling.  I’ll just add a bit of cheese to each tortilla, roll them up, and wrap each one individually and then freeze them.  This way when I am short on time I can just defrost and reheat!

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Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

Batch cooking is something I tend to do a lot of, especially when I know I am going to be short on time.  Harvest season is definitely a race against time and these burgers are a quick fix when you need to silence those pesky hunger pangs!  Just pull your anticipated meals from the freezer and place in the fridge.  Then, when you are ready to eat, just re-heat in a skillet or in the microwave!

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers (this recipe makes a lot!)

2 cups rehydrated & cooked black beans (one 15oz can, drained, will work as well)

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cup veg stock or water

5 med carrots, shredded (I used my food processor)

3 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup wheat gluten

**The following measurements are only approximates of what I used.  When cooking, I tend to take the tasting approach; I add spices, taste, add more spices, then taste again, etc.  Feel free to adjust for your own personal tastes!  Cooking is all about experimenting with flavors!

2 Tbsp cumin

2 Tbsp paprika (smoked paprika is a nice addition too)

2 Tbsp onion powder

2 Tsp cayenne powder

2 Tsp salt (if using canned beans I would omit the salt since they already contain sodium)

1 Tbsp pepper

olive oil

Cook beans using your preferred method: overnight soak, quick-soak, or pressure cooked.  If using canned beans, heat on the stove over med-high ’til hot throughout, drain, then set aside.  Place quinoa in a small sauce pan with veg stock; bring to a boil, then simmer ’til liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 minutes.  Stir often to keep the bottom from sticking and burning.  Remove from heat.  While quinoa is cooking, shred carrots and mince garlic.  Place black beans in a large shallow bowl and mash with a potato masher or place in a food processor (several scoops at a time) and give them a quick pulse to break them up a bit.  In a large bowl combine mashed beans, quinoa, garlic, shredded carrots, and spices; mix well.  Stir in wheat gluten.

Pour a touch of olive oil into your skillet and turn the burner to med-low heat.  Shape burger mixture into patties and cook each side ’til browned and crisp, approximately 5 minutes per side.  Sandwich burgers between fresh-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuits, toasted whole grain bread, or place on a bed of crisp lettuce.  Top it off with a few sun-dried tomatoes, a bit of onion, and some cheese.

One word of caution, they may fall apart.  Even with the added wheat gluten, I still have problems when it comes to keeping my bean burgers together!  At least they taste AWESOME!!!


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