Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

Healthy can be delicious. Please like, rate, and leave a comment!


Leave a comment

Black Bean Soup that Boasts with Flavor

I have noticed lately that barely any of the canned soups that I used to like can measure up with the taste of making home-made soups. The inspiration for this soup recipe came from a slow cooker cook book we got for Christmas last year.

The soup is easy to make and is filled not only with lots of flavor but also lots of healthy ingredients.

Ingredients (2-3 servings):
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and chopped
½ small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (or pressed with garlic press)
1 (14-ounce) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can organic diced tomatoes, left undrained
2 cups vegetable stock (2 cups water and 1 veggie bouillon cube), less if thicker consistency desired
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation:
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a 3.5-quart Crock pot, add the beans, tomatoes, and spices. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
3. Remove and discard the bay leaf and taste to adjust the seasonings. To thicken, purée at least 2 cups or up to one half of the soup solids with an immersion blender right in the cooker, or ladle into a regular blender or food processor and return to the cooker. (Puréeing some of the solids gives the soup added flavor and a creamier texture.)
4. Serve hot. Optional: Sprinkle with shredded cheese (suggestion: Mexican cheese mix).

Hearty meal:
* Beans are a great meat alternative. They are high in proteins, while being low in fat and high in fiber.

Note: If you prefer a thicker soup, you may try to use less vegetable broth.
Reheats well the next day.

Adapted from: Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Roberson

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Homemade enchilada sauce

I thought it would be fun to try out to make home-made enchilada sauce. Or maybe it was to impress my mom who came to visit?! And whether it was intended or not, she was impressed. =)

So I went online and got some inspiration on how to make the sauce, see recipe below. For the enchiladas, I modified the recipe for the spinach & black bean enchiladas:  https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/spinach-black-bean-enchiladas/

Ingredients for the enchilada sauce:
1½ cubes veggie bouillon cube (alternatively use 3 cups vegetable broth)
3 cups water
¼ cup salsa
¼ cup organic all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
(Notes: I think next time I will try to use my taco seasoning instead of the spices mentioned above. I am hoping it will give the sauce a bit more heat.)

Preparation of the enchilada sauce:
1. In a small bowl, combine the flour and spices (except salt and pepper).
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the salsa and flour spice mixture. Cook 1 minute at medium heat, whisking continuously. Meanwhile, dissolve the veggie bouillon cubes in the 3 cups of water. (It may be best to slightly heat the water, the veggie cubes will dissolve faster.)
3. Whisk in the vegetable broth, increase the heat, and bring the mixture to a light boil. Reduce to simmer and cook 8 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened. Whisk the sauce occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

 

Ingredients for spinach & black bean enchiladas:
1 pound frozen organic spinach, cut and drained
1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup salsa
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
approximately 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (Note: I use a 13 x 9 inch Pyrex glass dish and fill it with enchiladas until the dish is full)
about 1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese

Preparation of spinach & black bean enchiladas:
1. Defrost spinach and remove as much water as possible. (Hint: I like to place the spinach into a medium-sized bowl and use a bowl one size smaller to press the liquid out from the spinach leaves.)
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the casserole dish with vegetable oil spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, black beans, 1 cup of salsa, cumin, and chili powder. Spoon mixture down the middle of one tortilla (approximately 1-2 tablespoons). (Note: If tortillas are slightly warmed, they will not break when being rolled up. I prefer heating them briefly individually in a non-stick pan on both sides.) Roll the tortilla around the filling and place it seam down in the prepared casserole dish. Repeat process with remaining tortillas.
3. Lastly, pour the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Bake, uncovered, at 350 °F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted. Enjoy. =)

Spinach & black bean enchilada with home-made enchilada sauce

Spinach & black bean enchilada with home-made enchilada sauce


1 Comment

Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas

Yum…enchiladas…maybe our favorite dish at the Mexican restaurant. This recipe combines healthful spinach and black beans. It also stores well and allows for healthy lunches.
(I just noticed that this recipe has no picture…I guess next time I make it, I will have to take a picture)
(Adapted from American Heart Association)

Ingredients:
Several quarts of water
8 cups fresh spinach leaves, stemmed (1 pound)*
Vegetable oil spray, if needed
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups low-sodium salsa, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
14 (6-inch corn) tortillas**
4 ounces shredded nonfat or low-fat Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 cup)
2 Italian plum tomatoes, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced

* Substitute 1 (10-ounce) package of no-salt-added frozen spinach. Defrost spinach and drain completely, then continue with the recipe.
** Heat tortilla one at a time for approx. 30 seconds in microwave to prevent from breaking when rolling. Or place in hot non-stick pan and flip quickly.

Preparation
1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat. While water heats, thoroughly rinse spinach. Add spinach to boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well in a colander. Press out as much liquid as possible with the back of a large spoon.

2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray the casserole dish with vegetable oil spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, black beans, 1 cup of salsa, ½ teaspoon of cumin, and chili powder. Spoon mixture down the middle of one tortilla. Roll the tortilla around the filling and place it seam down in prepared casserole dish. Repeat process with remaining tortillas.

3. Combine remaining 1 cup salsa, tomatoes, and cumin; pour over tortillas. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 25 to 30 min. or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and let stand for 2 min. Place ½ cup lettuce on each individual serving plate. Arrange 2 enchiladas over lettuce on each plate. Top each serving with one tablespoon sour cream.

Tip: This dish freezes well. After rolling the enchiladas, place them in a container and cover tightly with foil or put them in an airtight plastic freezer bag. Increase baking time to 35 to 40 minutes.

Healthful benefits:
* Spinach is a good source of beta carotene, vitamin C, iron, calcium, folate, potassium, and fiber.
* Black beans are rich in protein.
* Corn tortillas are healthier than flour tortillas. Corn tortillas have fewer calories, less fat (also less saturated fats), less sugar, and less sodium than flour tortillas. In addition, corn tortillas have more fiber and magnesium than flour tortillas.