black bean chili with root veggies

I love BBQ's and summer salads, but there is something about this time of year that gets me excited about being in the kitchen. The Fall season brings out so many yummy dishes that I'm not even sad to say goodbye to grilled chicken, burgers and coleslaw. I've got several cozy recipes in the queue to try over the next couple of weeks and I'll be sure to share them with y'all.

Last night I made a black bean chili with fall root vegetables from the Autumn 2011 LCBO Food & Drink magazine. In true "me" fashion I didn't have all of the ingredients, but a girl can improvise right? It was delicious and I've got enough for lunch today!

This version is totally veggie, but when I make it again the Hubs has requested I add a little ground beef or ground turkey. I agreed that it would give it some added bulk. Since we're on the gluten free train and couldn't enjoy our bowls of chili with a delicious, soft piece of bread we sopped up the bottoms of our bowls with corn tortilla chips.

Feeling inspired?

You'll need (this is my version):

  • 1 can black beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (approx. one onion)
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic (approx. two cloves)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped (approx. four large carrots)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (approx. two large sweet potatoes)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (for garnish)

Then you:

  1. Heat olive oil in large pot on medium/high heat, add onion and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook for 30 seconds, then add spices (cumin, oregano, chili, and paprika) and saute for a minute.
  3. (If using ground turkey or ground beef this is where I would add it, but if you're going veggie skip this step.)
  4. Add carrots and stir until coated in spices.
  5. Add dices tomatoes, veg stock and water and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn heat to medium/low and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until carrots are beginning to soften.
  7. Add sweet potatoes and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetable are tender and flavours are combined.

That's it! Serve in bowls garnished with lots of cheddar cheese and corn tortilla chips for dipping.



breakfast bean cookies

Image source

Being a new mom with a 5 week old I'm finding it difficult to eat (not good) so I've been on the hunt for a recipe high in protein and not too fattening. My usual go-to - Peanut Butter Power Bars - is great but I was in need of an alternative. Enter Breakfast Bean Cookies from my fave cookbook Grazing: Portable Snacks and Finger Food for Anytime, Anywhere""by Julie Van Rosendaal. Now this might sound gross, but one of the main ingredients is white kidney beans (gag)! At first glance I flipped the page, but then went back and thought it can't be that bad. The Hubs thinks they vaguely taste like burritos, but he's been eating them like crazy. These cookies are delicious, they're moist and you wouldn't even know there are white kidney beans in them. Go out on a limb and give these healthy cookies a try (3.4 g of protein and 3.2 g of fat per cookie). You will be going back for more.

Here's what you need:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 14oz can of white kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cranberries (you can also use raisins, but I don't like raisins)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed (optional)

What you do is:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Pulse oats in food processor until it resembles coarse flour. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Transfer to large bowl.
  3. Pulse kidney beans in food processor until smooth, then add butter and pulse until well blended. Add brown sugar, egg, and vanilla and pulse until smooth.
  4. Pour bean mixture into dry mixture and stir by hand until almost combined; add chocolate chips, cranberries, walnuts and flax seed (if using) and stir until blended.
  5. Drop large spoonfuls on a greased cookies sheet and flatten with your fingers (these cookies don't spread while baking). Bake for 15 minutes, until pale and golden around the edges.

Yum and enjoy!