Monday, May 25, 2015

Black Bean Soup

We've been reading the Blue Zone Solution  lately and have been looking for vegetarian meals.  I took the Black Bean soup recipe from that book and updated it to suit my tastes.  Below is the recipe.  We ate it with light whole wheat buns and it was a delicious meal!


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 ribs of celery, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups cooked black beans plus 2 cups of cooking liquid from the black beans
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 can pineapple chunks, liquid drained and dried on paper towels

Warm oil in a large pot, add onion, garlic, celery, bell and jalepeno peppers.  Cook for about 8 minute until soft.    Add tomatoes and cook 3 additional minutes.  Add all the other ingredients except for the pineapple.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

When there are about 10 minutes left, heat a small amount of canola oil in a sauté pan.  Add pineapple chunks that have been dried with a paper towel.  Cook 3 minute on each side or until lightly browned.

Use and immersion blender to partially blend soup.  Serve with pineapple chunks and enjoy!

Sweating the veggies

Finished Soup

Grilled Flank Steak and Mushroom Pizza

During one of our summer cooking clubs, we made grilled pizza.  I really enjoyed the taste so Tim and I tried to recreate the steak and cheese pizza over Memorial Day weekend.  It turned out delicious and was a fun adventure to cook together as well.  (Big thanks to Kim for providing the recipe!)


Pizza Crust - You can use the recipe from the blog located here, or even get a mix from the store, your preference.  Prepare dough according to the directions.

1 pound flank steak
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Pound steak flat, mix other three ingredients and marinate for about an hour
Grill steak medium rare and slice thin across the grain.

16 ounces mushrooms - sliced and saute'd in olive oil

Garlic White Sauce
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter and saute garlic 2-3 minute until tender,  Add flour and whisk to form a roux.  Whisk in milk and simmer for 5 minutes til thickened, then add parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

1 cup smoked gouda cheese
1 cup fontina cheese

Forming the pizza

Roll out the pizza crust and brush with olive oil on both sides.  Have all other ingredients by the grill (steak, mushrooms, garlic white sauce, cheeses).    Grill pizza crust 2-3 minutes on a grill sheet or pizza grill pan until lightly brown.  Take off the grill and flip pizza crust.  Now assemble the pizza - garlic white sauce, steak, mushrooms, and finally the grated cheese.  Grill pizza for 2-3 more minutes, cover to help the cheese melt.  Indirect heat will help to ensure the crust doesn't burn.

Enjoy the pizza!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mexican Chopped Salad

I found the base recipe on the website the and then made my own modifications to suit my family.  The feedback from my family is that it's delicious and could also be used as a sweet salsa (I'd omit the spinach if you choose to do that).


1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1 clove)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste and salt, if desired

Mix all ingredients together and chill in the fridge while you make the rest of the salad

Tortilla strips:

6 6-inch tortillas, corn or flour, your choice
1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut tortillas in half and then cut into thin strips (I used a pizza cutter).
Transfer strips to a baking sheet and drizzle with oil.  Sprinkle with salt and then toss to coat.
Bake 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.  Set aside to cool.


4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 medium red onion, diced
4 roma tomatoes, diced (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
1/2 jicama, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini diced
4 ears of corn, cooked and corn sliced off the cob
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

Mix all salad ingredients.  Add dressing. Stir to coat.  Serve with Tortilla strips and Enjoy!


Finished Salad - Delicious and Fresh!