Chipotle-Spiced Bean Tacos

I don't always make tacos for Taco Tuesday, but when I do, I make sure they're absolutely this tasty!

I came up with this recipe about a year ago when I was nearly starving and thought I was out of food in the kitchen. Luckily I was able to appease my hunger after finding a couple tortillas, eggs, and a wedge of queso fresco in the refrigerator as well as some beans and canned chipotle chilies in the pantry. The result was fantastic.

I've since revised the recipe to be even more pleasing to the palate! Before I microwaved the filling in a bowl and then fried the eggs to make for a quick 7-minute meal. That recipe was awesome - and you could easily do the same with these ingredients with a terrific result. But if you want to spruce things up a little more, just spend just a few more minutes building flavors over the stove and fry your tortillas instead. Soooo good!

The recipe is still as quick as ever! In fact, it's so easy, it makes for a perfect outdoor recipe as well! Check out the step-by-step pictures that I took of the Chipotle Tacos on my outdoor excursion for Alite's Outdoor 101. 

Chipotle-Spiced Vegetarian Tacos

Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
Extra Virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans
2 whole canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced, reserving 1 tbsp adobo sauce
1/3 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1/3 cup cilantro, stemmed, roughly chopped
2 tsp Chipotle Tabasco
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 corn tortillas
8 large eggs
1 spring onion, whites and greens finely chopped
1 lime cut into wedges

Directions
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kidney beans, chipotles chilies, reserved adobo sauce, and stir occasionally until warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in queso fresco, 1/3 cup cilantro, and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.

In a medium skillet, add enough olive oil to liberally coat the bottom of the pan. Heat oil to medium-high heat and add tortillas, one at a time, cooking for 30-60 seconds on each side until crisp. Blot tortillas on paper towels and keep warm.

To the same skillet or a small egg pan, crack 1-2 eggs into the pan at a time, spooning oil over the whites. Fry until the whites are firm, but the yolks are still runny. Transfer eggs to a large plate and keep warm.

Serve tortillas on plates, topping with kidney bean mixture followed by spring onions and additional cilantro and queso fresco if desired. Squeeze over with lime wedges and top each taco with a fried egg!


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Slow-Cooked Adzuki Beans with Indian Spices, Rajmah-Style

Slow-Cooked Adzuki Beans with Indian Spices, a.k.a Rajmah! This is such a delicious vegan dish and the prep is super easy. While some say beans are a magical fruit, I tend to think they’re magical for many other reasons, from their antioxidant properties to being rich in several vitamins and minerals, like folate, potassium, and iron. The complex carbs, high fiber, and protein content also help to keep me feeling full throughout my day. Plus slow-cooker recipes are the easiest ever, right? 

I was in need of a good slow cooker dish to begin in the morning and free me up to hang out with friends last night, so I scoured my pantry for legumes that I tend to buy on a whim and found a bag of adzuki beans. Knowing that Indian food is AMAZING in the slow-cooker, I did a little googling of traditional Indian recipes with red beans and put together this delicious one. I garnished with some sour cream, lime, and tomato, which isn’t very traditional, and served it with naan, instead of rice, because I felt like it is even better with a little crunch! 

Slow-Cooked Adzuki Beans with Indian Spices, Rajmah-Style

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 8 Hours & 20 Minutes
Serves 8

Ingredients
3 cups dried red adzuki beans or kidney beans, rinsed and sorted
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2  tbsp garlic, chopped
6-8 serrano chilis, chopped (less for mild)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp Kosher salt
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dried coriander
1 pinch asafoetida (hing) - optional
1 tsp kasuri methi leaves, crushed (optional)
4 tbsp olive oil
10 cups water

To Garnish
1 roma tomato, chopped
8 tbsp sour cream
1 large lime, cut into 8 wedges
4 tbsp fresh cilantro
4 pieces of naan

Directions
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add adzuki beans and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and add to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients (except for those to garnish) to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Ladle beans into bowls and garnish with tomato, sour cream, a squeeze of lime, and cilantro. Serve immediately with naan. 

Nutritional Info per serving (excluding naan): 375 Calories, 11g fat, 57g Carbs, 11g Fiber, 17g protein  

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Lamb Stew with Kidney Beans, Fenugreek, and Green Onions (Gormeh Sabzi)

 

It’s been a while since my last post, and that’s because I was off the grid on vacation in Central America and wasn’t cooking a darned thing!

Now that Adrian and I are back from our Panamanian adventures, we’re super ready to cook up some amazing meals. For our first home-cooked dish, we were craving some serious comfort food. For us, comfort food is this lamb stew, the recipe being passed down from Adrian’s dad’s side of the family. Adrian’s aunt taught us how to make a few of his grandma’s stews, and we are forever indebted to her for that, because his grandma was an amazing home chef. According to Adrian’s dad, we make her food just right, which is a very very nice compliment coming from him and considering the talents of his mother.

I can see some readers pondering this dish and wondering if it can be made with beef instead, and it can! I’ve also heard that chicken fares well too. As an additional tip: Fenugreek can be purchased easily online if you don’t have it already. It’s a necessary ingredient to bring everything together: it’s mapley and imbues the lamb with wonderful flavor. Lastly, if you like beef stew or any other lamb stew, this will top them all. It’s even a little healthier with the beans and all of the herbs. So go ahead and make this one! Then let me know what you think.

 

Lamb Stew with Kidney Beans, Fenugreek, and Green Onions (Gormeh Sabzi)

Time: 1 Hour
Serves: 4

Ingredients
3/4 cup canola oil, divided
1 medium-large onion, sliced thin
1 lb lamb leg or lamb stew meat
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. turmeric
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Steamed basmati rice, to serve

Sabzi (Herb & Vegetable platter)
1 bunch radishes
1 bunch tarragon
1 small bunch green onions
1 bunch mint

Directions
Heat 1/2 cup canola oil in a large pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, sautéing them until golden-brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add lamb, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Stir the ingredients and keep on high heat until the lamb is a pinkish brown. Then cover the mixture with water, a little below lamb level. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Cover with lid.

While the lamb mixture is simmering, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a small frying pan. Add green onions and fry until the oil has coated the green onions generously, but do not let get too soft, about 1 minute. Add to the pot with the lamb mixture when done and replace lid while pot is still boiling.

In the same frying pan, sauté parsley for about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon of dried fenugreek, stir, and add to lamb mixture and replace lid. Keep on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

Once the lamb-mixture has cooked for ten minutes (or until the lamb is tender to taste), remove the lid and add kidney beans and lemon juice to the pot and keep on medium-low heat for ten minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice with a platter of radishes and herbs.

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Poached Black Cod with Butter Beans and Brussels Sprouts

 

For those of us who love to cook, weekday meals are usually a bit quicker than those on the weekend. Because of that, we sometimes miss out on delicious flavors that take time to develop. Not so with this meal!

Whether you’ve had a hum-drum Monday at work or stayed late on a Thursday to finish up your busy day, you will have time to make this healthy omega-3 packed recipe. The fish broth that develops in ten minutes from poaching the fish is so delicate that you’ll feel as if you’re eating like royalty at a high-end restaurant, when in fact, you’ve saved a few dollars, and you’re sitting comfortably at your dinner table, which is no doubt one of the best places you can be!

 

Poached Black Cod with Butter Beans and Brussels Sprouts

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp lemon zest
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp minced chives
4 6-oz black cod fillets
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
30 Brussels sprouts, quartered and cored
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can butter beans

Directions
In a small bowl, make a gremolata by stirring together lemon zest, garlic, and chives.

Pat the fillets dry and season with salt and pepper and half of the gremolata.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute for 1 minute. Add the Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and sautee until brussels sprouts turn bright green, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Carefully ladle fillets into broth. Cover the skillet and cook until fish is cooked through and the sprouts are tender, about 10 minutes.

While fish poaches, heat beans in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute. Lightly mash beans with the back of a fork and divide between deep plates or bowls. Serve fish over beans in a deep plate or bowl, and ladle in broth. Garnish with gremolata and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.