Archive for the 'TexMex' category

Spicy Tomato, Cabbage, and Pinto Stew

July 15, 2013 10:00 am

What could I call this soup? Cabbage soup? Blah. Bean and Cabbage soup? Double blah.

cabbage chili 1Highlighting the tomatoes and spice? Sure. That will work.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a very precise recipe for you on this nutritious and delicious way of using up a smallish sad, unwanted CSA cabbage. But, here’s a play-by-play of what I did.

In the pre-market days, I used a adaptation of this recipe for my cabbage stew, using rotel for picante, lightlife soy crumbles for beef, and water for beef broth. I figured I’d use it as a rough guideline, but needed a way to replace “ranch-style beans”. What are ranch style beans anyways? For that, we ask an expert. After reading through homesick texan’s recipe, I remembered that I had an enchilada sauce sitting in the freezer which tasted strongly of ancho chilies… so strongly that I used it once for chilaquiles and never again! Time to shine again, baby. So, in the future, I may follow homesick texan’s recipe more closely, but for now, here’s how I made the beans.

The Beans

On Saturday, I cooked 1.5 c of dry pinto beans. Having never cooked dry pinto beans, I had no idea about the specifics. Soak or not? Salt or not? Simmer forever or a 30 minute boil? It turns out that pinto beans are more like lentils than black beans. I couldn’t have soaked for more than an hour, and it was probably too much. I will still soak them, but for no more than 30 minutes in the future. I didn’t salt them, but I probably could have. Then, I let them boil away for IDK how long (I know, super useful). But they couldn’t have taken more than 2 hours to cook, and probably were done in 1, again with not a ton of soaking. They were probably done earlier, since mine were mushy when they came off the stove. Then, I stirred in a few tablespoons of my enchilada sauce, added some brown sugar and chile vinegar (Savory Accents!).

The Cabbage

From there, I took a simple approach to the stew. My beans were already overcooked, so I just need to cook my cabbage to the texture I wanted and add in the beans. I sauteed an onion and some garlic and added two cans of tomatoes (leftover from the old days, a jar of salsa would have been a nice substitute), some chili powder, cumin, and oregano to taste, and the cabbage. I simmered until the cabbage was all wilty and buttery and just the way I like it.

Add the beans in, added more chili powder and salt to taste and voila! A spicy, but fairly light, cabbage and bean stew!

I hesitate to give nutritional info on this, since I measured almost nothing. But, beans are a great lean source of protein and are the only contributors of carbs, and the only fat is the oil for the onion (and in my case, the oil in the enchilada sauce). That makes this a filling but very low calorie meal. We each ate a big bowl of it, so I think this will make 4 servings for us. If we’d added meat, it would have easily been 6 servings. So, where did the beef/soy go?, you might ask. I toyed with adding some ground beef or lamb. Neither of us felt like eating meat this week, so I did not. But perhaps next time, now that we know it is a success!

Black Bean & Pepper Jack Quesadillas

June 18, 2013 2:32 pm

This will be a quick one, since it is delayed!

black bean quesadilla

I wish you could really see the gooey cheesy goodness of this…

Black beans (from Flyte family farm) cooked with bay leaf, garlic, and cumin + pepper jack (from Farmer John’s) = a spicy delicious quesadilla filling when its all mashed together and pan fried in a tortilla!

We ate these with lettuce (from our CSA farm), the rest of the garlic chipotle lime salsa (from Chip Magnet), and a little bit of sour cream mixed with yogurt (from Sugar River Dairy) (well, I did, Glenn doesn’t like sour cream).

Localicious! 😀

Black Bean & Lemon Rice Burritos with Garlic Chipotle Salsa

June 10, 2013 7:00 pm

Sounds fancy, doesn’t it?


It’s not. Ha! I made some yummy black beans (cooked down with garlic, oregano, chili vinegar, and a little bit of brown sugar), but that was about the end of the actual cooking. Tonight’s burritos were made with market tortillas, lettuce, and the star of the show – the Garlic Chipotle Lime salsa from “Chip Magnet”! We also used up some non-local cheddar that’s been open since we started our challenge. Oh, and the lemon rice? That’s a funny story.

I wanted to make lime rice, since that’s what goes on black bean burritos, right? Alas, I had no lime and did not want to go to the store just for one measly lime. So, I thought, why not do lemon rice?

Oh, lemon rice. If my mom were here she’d laugh. Lemon rice is a south indian dish that I used to LOVE as a kid. I mean really love. One day, my mom and I were looking through old crafts from my early childhood (because at some point, you have to throw all of that out!) And we came across a “cookbook” written by my preschool class, which included every kid’s favorite dish. On my page? Lemon rice: Get some rice, add some lemon, sprinkle on the peanuts. Ta-da!

Oh little minds. Did I really think lemon + rice would make lemon rice?

Well, why not? Why not fry a little cooked rice and add some lemon? That’s what I would do for lime rice, right? So I did. (Yeah, not even close to real lemon rice :).) Guess I was wrong about that recipe, but it made a pretty good burrito filler.

Anyways, this was delicious, but we did not care for the expensive local tortillas. I think we will feel really good about including yummy local cheddar and salsa next time, since the kraft doesn’t measure up and the Chip Magnet salsa was probably the best salsa I’ve ever had. (And I’m picky!) Now that I’m out of black beans, we’ll buy some dried black turtle beans on Saturday at the Westside market for next time. But, we’ll probably just buy our tortillas from the store. I’m okay with that.

Swiss Chard and Black Bean Soft Tacos

May 30, 2013 7:58 pm

Our market visits this week have really reminded me that the smaller markets are their own little community. If you have a chance to stay and chat for a while, you can learn so much! We went to two markets yesterday, Hilldale and Downtown. At Hilldale, we finally got up the nerve to ask what I felt was sort of a “stupid question”, what is kettle corn, really? Is it just corn popped in a kettle? Or is it specifically that salty sweet goodness that I think of when I hear the phrase “kettle corn”? According to our new friend at Chippy’s popcorn, it is the latter! Everything else is just popcorn 🙂 So he tells us this, and then proceeds to tell us all about how his popcorn is made, how typically movie theater popcorn is made, and all about his different varieties (stories which include samples, of course)! I just can’t get over how friendly he was, much like our encounter with the honey lady yesterday. See, small markets have their charm, too!

So, what did we buy? This!

Market bounty!

Market bounty!

After talking to the popcorn guy, of course we had to buy cheddar popcorn! This big bag was $6. We also bought two tomatoes (one regular, one very large blemished one for cooking) for $4, a large cuke for $1, a little more than 3/4 lb of our dearly beloved smoked gouda ($6.25) and a little less than 1/2 lb of gorgonzola ($4.75), and a plate of peanut butter cookies ($3), just for fun!

The un-blemished tomato, cuke, and gorgonzola are going in my salads the rest of this week and the smoked gouda went into a ridiculously yummy gouda-and-ham sammy that Glenn had for lunch. I’d have been jealous if I hadn’t made a gorgonzola dressing for my salad *whew*. Perhaps I’ll get around to posting a picture tomorrow :).

Enough about lunch. Here’s dinner:

Swiss Chard and Black Bean Taco

I know, it doesn’t look like much, and the swiss chard and tomatoes got cooked down so much that they’re hard to see here. Honestly, it wasn’t our favorite meal. Glenn gave it a 6.5 out of 10. Which is basically a “good, but needs work”. The big success here was making my own tortillas (yay!).

Homemade Tortillas
1 c flour (I think you could pretty much use any flour, but I used bread flour bc it was in arm’s reach!)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (needed more salt!)
1 tbsp butter or ghee, cold
1/2 c hot water (added slowly)

Mix the dry ingredients in a large-ish bowl. Then, add the butter/ghee/lard, whatever. Mix it in with your fingers, until sort of crumbly. (Mine wasn’t super crumbly, but maybe could have been better). Then, add your hot (but not boiling) water. Add it slowly! I didn’t use quite 1/2 cup of water. The dough should be soft, not sticky. My neighbor Deep said it should be like playdough, and I agree – a dry-ish playdough. Let dough sit for 10 minutes.

Then, split the dough into 6 pieces, and roll them out as thin as you can. I tried my best to get to an 8-in round. Heat a non-stick skillet at medium/medium high heat and grease it a little. (I melted a little ghee in mine for the first one, and then didn’t add any more to the pan. I’m not sure it really needed any fat.) When you see little bubbles on top, flip it.

We had a few leftover, so I cut them up and fried them (the triangles in the picture). As delicious as any salty fried dough would be!

Swiss Chard with Black Beans and Tomatoes
I’m not going to give you a recipe for this one, just a summary, since it wasn’t great.
1. I boiled a bit more than 1 c of dried black beans, early in the day. I salted them and stored them in the fridge for later.
2. I diced three cloves of garlic, cut up one big tomato, and de-stemmed and chopped up a bunch of swiss chard.
3. Heated a tsp of olive oil, added a couple shakes of red pepper flakes, and garlic. I sauteed the swiss chard. When it was tender, I added the tomatoes and black beans.
4. Juiced half a lime into it, and added salt, pepper, and chili vinegar to taste!

The original recipe called for pinto beans and adding dots of goat cheese and baking the whole thing. I didn’t find goat cheese at the market, so I just stuffed a tortilla or two with this stuff and a little white rice and some cheddar we had laying around. Not super fancy, but a good use of ingredients, I think.

I wasn’t very exact in the preparation of this recipe, so I don’t have nutritional info for you on this one. But, it was low in fat, high in fiber, and chock full of nutritious chard 🙂