Ultimate Bean Recipe!

Here is our family’s favorite way of preparing beans. We usually make this recipe once a month and then freeze the leftovers to use in a variety of recipes, such as in our black bean tortillas with mango lime salsa recipe. Beans are a relatively cheap protein and easy to store in bulk. To save extra money, we typically buy them in bulk from Azure Standard or Amazon.

Ultimate Bean Recipe!**

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups black turtle beans
  • 1 cup of black-eyed peas
  • warm water
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 8 cloves of fresh garlic, mashed or chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • Optional: 2 lbs of hamburger meat, cooked

Step One: Soak the beans. Place 3 cups of the black turtle beans and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice in a bowl and cover with warm water. In a separate bowl, place one cup of black-eyed peas in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let the beans soak for 12 to 24 hours.

Step Two: After 12 to 24 hours has passed, drain and rinse the beans. Mix the two types of beans together and place in a large pot. Cover with water and cook on high heat. When beans begin to boil, scoop any foam off the top of the water. Reduce the heat and add onions, garlic, and optional hamburger meat. Season with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you prefer*. Cook for six to eight hours on low heat. Enjoy!

*Remember, if  you are intending to use these beans for other recipes be sure not to add in any seasonings that will adversely affect the flavor of those other recipes.
**Recipe adapted from Basic Beans Recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Black Bean Tortillas with Mango Lime Salsa!

As I have shared in previous posts, our family loves beans. At least once a month, I make a huge pot of beans and then freeze them to use over the course of the month. Then, when I need a quick or low-stress dinner I just pull the already prepared beans out of our freezer and viola! I have got a meal that is pretty much ready to go. One way we love to use beans is by eating them in place of meat in tortillas. One of our favorite meals is black bean tortillas with mango lime salsa. Since the beans are usually already made, I just make the tortillas and salsa and then our meal is ready to go! Here’s the recipe:

Tortilla Recipe (5 – 6 Tortillas)

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of lard or coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of boiling water
  • Olive oil

Mix flour, lard/coconut oil, baking powder and salt together till crumbly. Then, add water slowly and mix (mixing usually works best in this recipe if it is done by hand). Add the water (usually around 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water) slowly till a soft dough forms. Knead a few times and shape into a ball. Pour or brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Divide into five or six golf-ball size balls and roll into size and thickness preferred on a lightly floured surface. Cook in an ungreased skilled over medium heat until the top is slightly bubbly. Flip to the opposite side and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove and enjoy!

Mango Lime Salsa Recipe

  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados, chopped
  • 2  tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons (or more to taste) of lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Mix all ingredients together!

Black Bean Tortillas with Mango Lime Salsa:

  • Tortillas
  • Black beans
  • Mango lime salsa
  • Optional: Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Top tortilla with black beans, mango lime salsa and optional Monterey Jack cheese. Enjoy!

Tip: I usually prepare the tortillas and salsa early in the day when I have a free moment so by the time dinner rolls around the only thing I need to do is heat the beans. This makes for a very low-stress, but oh-so-tasty dinner!

Tomato Season!

Delicious tomatoes are now at their peak! Stock up now at your local farmer's market! Image courtesy of public-domain-image.com

Tis the season for tomatoes! Our local market has an overabundance of ripe, tasty tomatoes that are fresh off the vine! Last year we bought 20 pounds of tomatoes at peak season (e.g. cheapest) and make a very large batch of homemade salsa, which we then gave away to family and friends. This year I am not as ambitious. With a toddler and infant now, I have decided to simply chop and freeze the pounds and pounds of tomatoes we will be getting at the market this weekend. Then, I can use the frozen, diced tomatoes to make sauces and other delicious tomato based meals throughout the winter. Tomatoes are rich in nutrients too, especially vitamin C. Check out the chart below for nutritional information.

Freezing tomatoes is a simple process. First, plunge each tomato in boiling water for about 10 seconds. This makes the skin easy to peel off. Then, peel the tomato skin off the tomato. Finally, dice up the tomatoes and put in a freezer bag (I usually freeze tomatoes in 2 to 4 cup increments). Then, just put them in the freezer! Instead of dicing up the tomatoes by hand, I sometimes puree the tomatoes using my food processor and then put the tomato puree in freezer bags and freeze the tomatoes that way- this is excellent for sauce recipes. So, there you have it- a quick and easy way of storing tomatoes!

Here’s a delicious recipe for a warm tomato dip! It’s easy and excellent for an appetizer when guests are over!

Warm Italian Chevre Dip

Ingredients

  • 3 cups tomatoes, diced (fresh, canned or thawed (from frozen state))
  • 1/2 to 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 log of goat cheese (size depends on how “cheesy” you’d like the dip to be. I usually go for the larger size goat cheese log- this is typically found in the fancy cheese section of a grocery store or from a vendor at your local farmer’s market)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch pan. Mix the olives, oregano, tomatoes, basil and garlic powder in a medium size bowl. Place the goat cheese in the 8×8 inch pan. Top with the tomato mixture. Heat in oven until cheese is warmed through – about twenty to thirty minutes. Serve warm with crackers or baguette slices.

*This post is shared on Real Food Wednesdays and Homemaking Link-Up.