February 19, 2012
My favorite roommate from college was Kaitlin D. For over half of the semester, we ate little other than her Mexican Black Bean Soup. She’d make a big pot of it and we’d just stand over the stove, eating it out of the ladle. It’s fucking amazing. If we were eating it out of bowls, we’d add a dollop of sour cream and mix it in. So tasty.
So this is her exact recipe. There are some notes of mine below it:
Kaitlin’s Black Bean Magic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced/smashed
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2-3 tomatoes chopped
- 2 med potatoes chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper minced
- 2 cans black beans
- 1 can corn (optional but makes it hella bomb)
- as much cilantro as you want
- 1-2 tablespoons cumin
- 6 cups water or broth
- 2 tablespoons lime juice or to taste
1. Heat olive oil in soup pot, add onions, garlic and jalapeno pepper and fry a couple minutes. Add tomatoes and potatoes and continue to fry until the mixture becomes saucy (not sassy).
2. Dump in beans, corn and water/broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add cumin, lime juice, salt and pepper, and cilantro. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese, sour cream and chips.
- If you use dry beans, soak them the night before then boil them either in the soup or before using them for a good 4-5 hours, until they soften. I like to make the entire soup then leave it on Low to simmer while I go climb trees or go to the gym or whatever. If you live in an apartment where the management comes in ALL THE FUCKING TIME to spray for bugs and change the filters and make sure you don’t have pets and shit, then don’t leave it simmering while you’re at work all day because they’ll think you’re trying to burn the place down or something. I haven’t done this yet, but this is why I can only make this soup on the weekends. Or I could use canned beans, whatever. This is a long note.
- This recipe is meant for a big soup tureen. I’m talking like 3-4 days’ worth of soup for two people. If you’re making it in a small pot, use common sense and cut it down to half or so.
- I like to add a chopped carrot and two sticks of celery or all the tops from a bunch of celery plus one celery stick. And a sliced zucchini.
- Chicken works well in this, too.
- It’s a soup; adjust it as you please.
- It’s twice as good the next day.
September 2, 2011
I never order lettuce wraps because lots of cheapskate restaurants think iceberg counts as lettuce — and I don’t really relish the idea of something like that falling apart. Here are some “lettuce” wraps I make using Swiss Chard, which is somewhere between baby spinach and bok choy. Like other dark, leafy greens, chard gives the most nutrients if you wilt it before eating, but raw it has a great texture and just enough strength to hold a small amount of vegetables easily.
Quick “Lettuce” Wraps
PER wrap (2 wraps are a light lunch for 1 average-sized female):
- 1 leaf of fresh raw Swiss Chard, washed, shaken out, and halved lengthwise along the spine
- 1 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
- 1-2 Tbsp spicy hummus (see below)
- About 2 Tbsp (or 1/6 of 1 large) carrot, shaved in thin strips using a vegetable peeler or chopped super thin
- 1/2 tomato, chopped fairly small (the chard is thick, so it’s ok if this looks a little wet)
- optional items: sliced olives; 1 very-thin slice red onion or sweet yellow onion; small pinch of black pepper
Spread cheese and hummus halfway along chard leaf. Arrange veggies on top. Roll inward, from leaf edge toward leaf spine. Optional: affix wrap to itself with a toothpick and an olive.
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can uncooked or pre-cooked black beans (I use the Cuban style ones from Trader Joe’s)
1/4+ c sunflower butter
1/4 c olive oil
1/8 c fresh lemon juice
1/8 – 1/4 c light vinegar such as rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or both together
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp dried cilantro
1/2 – 1 tsp chili powder
1/2 – 1 tsp cumin
1/2 – 1 tsp Mexican hot sauce
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse, scraping frequently, until fully combined.
As necessary, while mixing:
Add in up to 1/8 cup water – adjust until hummus reaches preferred texture.
Add salt and extra garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and spices to taste. Note: the garlic and hot sauce can increase slightly in spiciness as the hummus is stored in the fridge, so do not start out overwhelmingly spicy.
August 23, 2011
Simple and filling but light. Matt’s mom makes these. Adapted from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. Serves: 4.
Summer Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper, and Corn Enchiladas
- 1 c lowfat cottage cheese, pureed until perfectly smooth
(I just use ricotta instead)
- 1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out
using a serving spoon and a strainer or colander
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 c frozen corn, thawed (1 small can, or a jar of the roasted stuff from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 7-oz jar roasted red peppers, patted dry and diced (about 1 c diced)
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp fresh (or 2 tsp from-a-jar) jalapeno pepper, minced superfine (optional)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Butter for greasing dish
- 8 8-in wheat flour tortillas
- 1 1/4 c mild or medium salsa
- 1/2 c heavy cream or half-and-half
- 1/4 c milk (for thicker sauce, replace the cream and milk with 1/4 c ricotta + 1/2 c water. Add more water if necessary to get it about the consistency of a salad dressing – closer to Thousand Island than to Italian)
- 1 1/4 c grated Monterey Jack cheese (use up to 2 c if necessary. I do half some other cheese – cheddar, Pepper Jack, whatever’s around)
Scrape ricotta / pureed cottage cheese into a medium bowl. Place spinach in a strainer and press out all its liquid. Set spinach aside.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute ~10 min, stirring frequently, until golden-edged and soft. OPTIONAL: Add corn at the same time as onion, and set the heat a little high so both will cook together and the corn will blacken up a bit. When onion is cooked fairly well, add cumin and cook 2 min, stirring, until toasted.
Stir in spinach and cook 2 more min, tossing and stirring. Let mix cool, then stir in cottage cheese along with remaining filling ingredients (filling can be prepared and chilled 24 hours in advance).
Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9 x 13-in baking dish, or 2 smaller similar baking dishes. If tortillas seem dry, use a pastry brush to dampen edges with water. Divide spinach mix into 8 portions; place a portion along the bottom edge of each tortilla, and roll tightly. Place each enchilada on the counter as you complete it.
To make the sauce, combine salsa, cream, and milk in a small, 2+ c bowl. Spoon a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Carefully, to avoid spilling filling, place the enchiladas in the dish, then spoon on the remaining sauce. Sprinkle some cheese along each enchilada (may be prepared to this point up to 8 hours in advance Cover and chill if longer than 1 hour, and bring to room temp before baking). Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 min. Remove the cover and bake 5 more minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let sit 5 min before serving.