I promised you healthy recipes so here they come. I am happy to say my fridge is packed with plenty of fresh veggies and fruit. The problem is that in the winter, I want hot, creamy, comforting type foods especially with the cold rainy weather we’ve been having. No problem, though. Here are two recipes that are hearty, healthy and comforting. And they both start with a few cans of beans.
Beans are so healthy, it is ridiculous. They are packed with fiber, protein and vitamins. They are low in calories and high in antioxidants. You know what they say about beans. Beans, beans….they’re good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you…..well you know how it goes. Every time I cook with beans, I remember my two younger brothers chanting this as kids. Does anyone else remember that chant?
My first recipe today is black bean soup. I decided to roast a head of garlic and use half for the soup and the other half for hummus. Roasted garlic gives everything so much flavor and makes the house smell great. Just remember to keep some extra mints on hand because the breath won’t smell so great. Click here for my post on roasting garlic.
I made my black bean soup with chicken broth and added some lean ham. This made the soup hearty enough for dinner. I also added some red wine for extra flavor. This recipe can easily be adapted to vegetarian style by using vegetable broth and omitting the ham. I pureed the soup after adding one can of beans but feel free to make it as smooth or chunky as you’d like.
I love having hummus in the fridge because it serves as a great snack or can be eaten with other things for lunch. I chose to eat my hummus with mini pitas and veggies for lunch today. It is also good in a wrap or with tortilla chips. This healthier version gets a lot of flavor from the roasted garlic and fresh herbs.
I really feel good now that I started my healthy eating again. I can just picture the string bikini I will be wearing in June. Okay, I’m lying! That is far fetched but it is always fun to dream, right?
One more thing. My daughter started an adorable blog so please take a peek and leave a comment if you’d like. She is very excited about Nikki Nacks and is working on some great ideas for it. Have a great week!
Smoky Black Bean Soup
1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded, cored and diced
32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
1/2 head roasted garlic
3 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup red wine
3/4 cup chopped smoked lean ham
handful fresh chopped cilantro
salt and pepper
grated cheese of your choice (I used Parmesan)
In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium and saute onions and jalapenos. Cook for 7 minutes or until onions start to brown. Add broth and garlic and mix well. Add one can of beans and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes then process with a hand blender until smooth. Add remaining beans and ham and simmer uncovered for 35 minutes. Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Roasted Garlic Hummus
2 cans (15 oz) chick peas, rinsed and drained
1/2 head roasted garlic
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS water
a handful of chives
a handful of parsley
salt and pepper to taste (I used cayenne because I like spicy)
Add beans, roasted garlic, olive oil and water to a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the juice and zest from the lemon along with the chives and parsley. Puree until everything is blended well. Add salt and pepper to taste.