Tag Archives: Beans

Mixed Baked Beans


Summertime is usually the time when folks make baked beans for every picnic, bar-b-que (yes, there is a difference between the two) or outdoor kids birthday party. But, we like to have baked beans year round because they taste so darn good. Plus, baked beans pair well with a lot of different meats like hot dogs, kielbasa, hot sausages and burgers. The list goes on and on.


Now that I have said how wonderful baked beans can be I think I should add that they sometimes need to be “doctored up”. I came up with Mixed Baked Beans because I wanted to make a slightly different side dish to go with some oven baked spare ribs I was fixing for dinner. I had a shelf full of a variety of beans so I decided to mix them all together to see how it would taste. If I do say so myself, they tasted absolutely delicious. The flavors of the cannellini, black beans and the homestyle baked beans blended together very well and were fantastic with the ribs.


The next time I tried making Mixed Baked Beans  I added some kielbasa and andouille sausage to the beans to kick up the flavors even more. Imagine all those wonderful flavors mixing together all in one simple dish. Hmmm…. I think I know what we are having for dinner tonight. Mixed Baked Beans with a few added surprises. Excellent!


Mixed Baked Beans

1 15 oz can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can homestyle baked beans
1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced green pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
½ tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp black pepper
½ diced jalapeno pepper

2 slices of bacon diced
kielbalsa sausage
andouille sausage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients into the casserole dish. Stir to mix well. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until hot and bubbly.

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Comfort Stew


Comfort food comes in many shapes, flavors and categories. Some are hot and some are cold. Comfort foods can also be seasonal. During the summer months my comfort foods are homemade potato salad, hand churned ice cream and my mom’s apple pie. In the cooler and down right cold months my comfort foods tend to be homemade soups and stews.


Just recently my hubby added a new dish I made to his comfort foods list. I think because it was a hearty stew packed with protein, veggies and fiber in the form of beans. Two kinds of beans to be exact. Beans are very rich in fiber as well as protein. I used black beans ( 15 g of fiber in 1 cup) and small white beans (19 g of fiber in 1 cup) to help fill my family up and to provide them with as much nutrition as possible in one dish. That is the great thing about stews. They can be a one pot dish which means easy clean up. At least my son thinks so because he usually does the dishes.


This Comfort Stew is even better the day after you make it. In my humble opinion, letting a dish sit overnight allows the seasonings and other ingredients to meld together and create an explosion of flavor. Because beans are so filling you will probably have leftovers so you can bet on enjoying another delicious bowl of Comfort Stew the next day. We sure did!




Comfort Stew

2 lbs ground turkey (93% lean)
2 14 oz cans small white beans with liquid
1 14 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with sauce
3 scallions sliced
1 onion diced
1 red pepper diced
1 small Napa cabbage shredded
½ green pepper diced
½ cup celery diced
½ cup water

1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil

Brown ground turkey on medium high heat in a large pot. Season meat with salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Add scallions, red and green peppers. Stir and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 3 -5 minutes. Add tomatoes, cabbage, water, beans and remaining seasonings. Stir and lower heat slightly. Simmer for 20 minutes.

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Pork and White Bean Stew


I spotted some nice country style ribs at the grocer while shopping this week. They looked so good and were on sale so I couldn’t pass them up. I was sure I could come up with a new recipe to include the country style ribs so they landed in my cart.


Country style ribs are thick and meaty and are great in chili, stew or all by themselves. I am not sure if I should classify my Pork and White Bean Stew as a stew or a chili dish. I will leave that up to others. For now I will call it a stew. I just liked the idea of the pork with white beans and a few fresh veggies. Plus, one pot dishes are at the top of my list when it comes to cooking. Who wants to clean a lot of pots and pans when you can toss everything into one pot? Definitely, not me. In the case of my Pork and White Bean Stew I did use two pots. I used a pressure cooker to speed up the process of making the pork nice and tender. If you are not comfortable using a pressure cooker I would stick to cooking the pork a little longer to make sure it is tender. Just don’t over cook the meat or it will be dry and chewy.


The flavors of the pork were amazing with the white beans. At the last minute, I decided to throw some fresh chopped tomatoes from our garden into the pot to give the dish a pop of color. The smell of the home grown tomatoes hit my nose before I could even take a bite of the stew. Wow, what a difference between home grown tomatoes and hot house tomatoes. Home grown beats out store bought tomatoes every time.


Stew or chili? I am still not sure which one describes this dish the best. Whatever you decide to call it, I know you will like it.


Pork and White Bean Stew

4 – 6 thick country style ribs cubed
2 15oz cans cannellini beans (do not rinse/drain)
1 can green chiles
2 small tomatoes large dice
1 small onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
1 clove garlic minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1tbsp cilantro
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp parsley chopped
½ tsp cayenne (optional)
1 pkg whit chicken chili dry mix

Place pork in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne. Toss until well coated. If comfortable with using a pressure cooker, place pork in pressure cooker with water and cook for 30 minutes to tenderize meat. Then place pork and remaining ingredients in a large pot along with 1 cup of juice from pressure cooker. Skim off grease. Cook for 1 hour. If not comfortable with using a pressure cooker, place all ingredients in a large pot and cook for 2 hours over medium high heat until meat is tender.

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Cannellini and Kale


Many moons ago when I was single and purchased my first home I lived next door to a wonderful elderly Italian couple. Ernie and John B. welcomed me into the neighborhood and into their home with open arms. I quickly became part of their extended family and was blessed with many delicious Italian treats Ernie always liked to share.


Ernie was a great cook and I looked forward to her knock on my door to say she had something extra she wanted to me to try. Besides Ernie’s holiday pizzelles there was one treat I looked forward to eating. It was a simple cannellini bean and garlic dish made with olive oil and Italian seasonings. Simple but delicious. Probably the most important ingredient Ernie added was love. I have always said that food prepared with love is the best food in the world.


I have since moved from the old neighborhood and my extended Italian family has passed on. I have fond memories of Ernie and John and only recently remembered her cannellini and bean recipe. In honor of Ernie, I decide to create my own version of her dish. I souped up the cannellini and garlic by adding fresh chopped kale and red pepper slices for color. The creaminess of the beans, the sweetness of the red peppers and slight crunch of the kale ( I like it al dente in some recipes) created a ping pong of textures in my mouth. Throw in nice Italian seasonings and you have a fantastic side dish or meal.


I think Ernie would be proud of my version of her delicious beans and would give me a big hug for honoring her memory.


Cannellini and Kale

2 cups chopped kale
2 15oz cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic sliced
½ red pepper seeded and sliced thin
½ cup chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp oregano
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan. Add kale and saute until slightly wilted (cook longer if you do not like kale al dente) for 3 – 5 minutes. Add garlic, sliced red pepper and seasonings. Stir then add chicken broth and beans. Stir to mix beans with kale and peppers. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

Chili Nachos


Get ready to get messy and grab a fork! I just made chili nachos and they were wonderful. I first made Tex-Mex chili using ground turkey instead of beef but feel free to use any meat you prefer to make chili. I liked the idea of a Tex-Mex chili because the flavors are bolder (in my opinion) than regular chili. Because I planned to use the chili as a topping for nachos I did not add all of the veggies I sometimes use in my chili. I kept this one simple by using only onions instead of adding various peppers and shredded carrots.


Long ago I made all kinds of nacho dishes for the family usually when I was fixed for time to get dinner on the table. I would search the refrigerator for leftovers I could use as a topping for nachos that would not make my hubby and kids look at me like I had two heads.


The idea of combining chili and nachos came to mind while watching a food show about restaurants and their specialties. There was one restaurant that served chili nachos but piled so much stuff on the nachos that you forgot there were nachos some where in the giant mound of food sitting on the table. I liked the concept but not all of the stuff!


Chili Nachos are made to be messy as I said in the beginning. So, if nobody is looking, you can eat them with your fingers. Just let the juices and cheese drip down your fingers. If you aren’t into flavorful fingers, grab a fork and scoop up the chili and nachos without missing a drop. I personally like eating chili and nachos using both my fingers and a fork to make sure I don’t miss anything on my plate … or fingers!


Chili Nachos


2 lbs ground turkey
1 15 oz can black beans (undrained)
1 15 oz can small white beans (undrained)
1 15 oz can small kidney beans (undrained)
1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 pkg Tex Mex chili seasoning
½ onion diced
½ cup water
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp Adobo seasoning
½ tbsp cilantro
½ tsp nutmeg
10 dashes hot sauce

Nachos/ Toppings:
1 bag Tostitos Nacho Chips
2 plum tomatoes seeded and sliced into strips
1 small pkg Velveeta cheese cubed1 small jar salsa (hot or mild)
1 small jar sliced jalapeno peppers
1 avocado sliced
½ cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
¼ cup sliced olives

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Season turkey with salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce over medium high heat and drain. Add beans, remaining seasonings, hot sauce, fired roasted tomatoes and water to a large pot. Let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add browned turkey to the pot and stir. Simmer and additional 15 minutes.

Add cubed Velveeta cheese and ½ cup of salsa to a microwave safe bowl. Place in microwave for 2 minutes then stir to mix salsa and cheese. Microwave for an additional 1 ½ minutes until bubbly.

Layer an aluminum pie tin or an oven safe plate with nacho chips. Using a slotted spoon scoop chili over nachos then layer with Velveeta mixture. Add a little more chili, jalapeno peppers, fresh tomatoes, olives and shredded cheese. Place in oven until cheese melts. Top with sliced avocados.


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Layered Bean Dip


I have been in a Tex-Mex mood ever since my son said I needed some “diverse” recipes. My latest recipe is Layered Bean Dip. I tested this one on some Super Bowl fans to see how well it would go over at a party. Just in case it sat in the dish untouched I made a traditional dip as a backup. Well, the Layered Bean Dip went like hot cakes. By the time the Super Bowl was over there was only one small scoop of Layered Bean Dip left. My hubby ate that with his lunch the next day.


I have to give credit to one of our good neighbors across the street for giving me the idea of making a Layered Bean Dip. She brought it over to a picnic a while ago and I never forgot how delicious if tasted. I just had to figure out how to create my own version. As with any recipe, all you need to do to make it your own is play with the ingredients. Experiment with the seasonings and see which flavors compliment each other.


Layered Bean Dip can quickly become one of your signature dishes for parties or any time you want to treat yourself, family or friends.


Layered Bean Dip

1 16 oz can refried beans
1 16 oz jar salsa ( Serrano)
1 14 oz can black beans drained
1 small can black olives drained
8 oz sour cream
4 oz cream cheese
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup shredded taco or Mexican cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 green onions sliced
½ cup fresh salsa
¼ cup pickled jalapeno peppers
½ tsp cumin
1 deep dish pie plate

Combine refried beans, taco seasoning and cumin. Spread refried beans evenly in the bottom of pie dish. Blend together sour cream and cream cheese until smooth. Spread over refried beans. Layer regular salsa, black beans, green onion, pickled jalapeno peppers, fresh salsa, lettuce, and cheese. Sprinkle with black olives. Chill for 1 hour or overnight.

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Seafood Gumbo D. Marie Style


I have only been to New Orleans once but that was enough to make me a fan of good down home Louisiana seafood gumbo. Nothing truly compares to the gumbo you get from the folks who created this delicious goodness. Although I have tried gumbo in several restaurants in the North East, I have not found one that can top the real down home version. Not even mine. However, my recipe will still make you want to go for a second bowl.


Rich with seafood, spicy and filling my gumbo may remind you of soft jazz and hot summer nights. That is what I remember from my trip to New Orleans.


Soft jazz, funky jazz, Cajun music and Zydeco flowed from every venue as we walked up and down the streets. The smells coming from the restaurants!?! What can I say except that my mouth was watering all day long.


If you ever have an opportunity to experience the culture and foods of New Orleans, take it. I am sure the trip will be memorable whether it’s because of the food, the music or the friendly “Nawlins” people. No matter what, you will remember…..


Seafood Gumbo D. Marie Style

3 tilapia fillets cut into bite size pieces
1 lb lump crabmeat (remove shells)
1 lb langostinos
1 lb large sea scallops cut in half
2 lbs ex-large shrimp peeled and deveined
1 12 oz bottle of good Beer
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil

¾ cup celery chopped
1 cup red pepper finely chopped
1 cup green pepper finely chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper seeded chopped
½ cup minced shallots
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 small onion chopped
½ cup fresh parsley chopped
1 15 oz can black beans rinsed
1 15 oz can small white beans rinsed

1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ small cans tomato paste
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf

1 cup of Okra is optional. If adding okra to the dish, trim off only the stem. Do not cut off the top of the okra or it will become slimy. Add along with seafood and gently stir into the Gumbo.

In a heavy pot heat oil over medium heat until hot. Saute red pepper, green pepper, celery, shallots, onions and garlic until onions are soft. Slowly stir in beer and chicken broth. Add Worcestershire, parsley, seasonings and tomato paste. Whisk until well blended. Add beans, fish, crabmeat, langostinos and scallops, . Place lid on pot and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Lay shrimp on top of mixture 15 minutes prior to serving and cook until they turn pink. Gently stir shrimp into gumbo mixture.

Grab a piece of crusty bread or cornbread and eat up!



Turkey Bean Burritos


Mmmm… I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at how good my Turkey Bean Burritos were on the first try. Like I have said on other occasions, keep it simple and stick to the basics. Since tortillas have become a staple in my pantry I thought I would try a few new recipes using tortillas. I had made chicken enchiladas and figured burritos would not be to much of a stretch to make.


Burritos like tacos are part of the “Tex-Mex” cuisine which is a culinary tradition of both Southwestern USA and Northern Mexico. Depending on if you are in the US or in Mexico the fillings you find in Burritos are different. In the US we tend to add a lot of ingredients to Burritos such as rice, beans, lettuce, cheese and avocado. In Mexico Burritos can be much simpler filled with only meat and refried beans.


I like the US version of Burritos so I fill mine up with several ingredients. Be careful not to over fill them or you will never be able to roll up the Burritos. Depending on your audience you can make every Burrito different based on their tastes.


However you decide to fill up your Burritos, have fun with it and make it your own.


Turkey Bean Burritos

6 – 8 tortillas
1 lb ground turkey
1 14 oz can refried beans
1 10 oz black beans rinsed
1 packet taco seasoning
1 jar taco sauce
½ cup water
½ cup fresh salsa
½ cup Mexican cheese or pepper jack cheese
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp Adobo seasoning
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cumin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Warm refried beans in a small sauce pan stirring occasionally. Brown turkey. Pour off excess fat. Season meat with salt, pepper, onion powder, cumin, cinnamon and worcestershire sauce. Add water and taco seasoning. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat.

Spread refried beans on a tortilla. Add 2 – 3 tbsp of meat on one end of the tortilla. Top with black beans, salsa and cheese. Fold sides of the tortilla towards the middle. Roll the end of the tortilla forward and tuck in the sides. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle taco sauce over the tortilla and top with a sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 10 15 minutes until the cheese melts.

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Red Beans and Sausage with Rice


I promised my friend Girlie Girl that I would come up with a red beans and rice recipe she could make. I try to keep my promises although I have broken a few in my lifetime. Most of the promises were to myself but still I try to keep promises whether to myself or someone else.


That being said, I did come up with a red beans and sausage recipe I think she and her hubby will enjoy. Like most of my recipes this one is made to tweak however you want. This can be a strictly meatless dish but I thought I would take it to another level by adding both andouille sausage and smoked sausage. Other Louisiana style recipes I have seen also include sausage or some type of ham. Since my family likes spice and lots of heat in my dishes I added the andouille sausage.


Girlie Girl is from the mid west but I sometimes think she has the heart of a southerner. She enjoys down home cooking and seems adventurous when it comes to trying different foods. Truth be told I think her hubby does most of the cooking but she likes to eat which I appreciate.


Red beans and sausage with rice is a great dish that becomes a great meal when you add a little corn bread on the side. Next time your family asks you what’s for dinner tell them red beans and sausage. They won’t be disappointed.


Red Beans with Sausage and Rice

1 lb andouille sausage sliced
1 lb smoked sausage sliced
1 smoked turkey leg or 2 smoked turkey wings
2 14 oz cans pinto beans undrained
2 14 oz cans pink beans undrained
1 medium onion diced
1 small green pepper diced
2 stalks celery sliced
4 cups chicken broth

1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp Adobo seasoning
1 tsp Cajun seasoning (optional)
1 tbsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 6 oz can tomato paste
4 slices of lemon (seeds removed)
½ jalapeno pepper diced

Place smoked turkey in a pressure cooker and cover with water. Add ½ of a onion sliced. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes to tenderize the turkey. If you are not comfortable using a pressure cooker, cook the smoked turkey in a large pot for 1 to ½ hours until the turkey is tender. Cool the turkey then pull the meat off the bone. Set aside and reserve broth from the turkey to add to the beans.

Add beans, veggies, seasonings, 4 cups of the smoked turkey broth, lemon slices and sausage to a crock pot. Add the turkey meat then stir to combine all of the ingredients. Cook on high for 2 to 3 hrs until the beans are tender and the sausage is cooked. Stir in tomato paste ½ way through cooking.

This dish can also be prepared in a large pot using the same steps as above. Beans and sausage will cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until tender.

Serve with brown or white rice.


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Tortilla Soup


For me and my family, soup is always a good go to comfort food. I can eat soup any time of the year while others only like it during the cold weather months. The type of soup I eat may depend on the time of year. I like thick creamy soups when the weather is cold and lighter soups like Chicken Corn Chowder when the weather is warm.


Some of the soups I create are based on what is in season at the time I have a desire to make a big pot of soup. Tortilla soup, I think, is one you can make any time of the year because is light yet filling. In the summer, you can use corn fresh off the cob or carrots out of your own garden. In the winter, you can use canned corn and you can still get fresh carrots from the grocer.


Soups like any other dish can be dressed up or dressed down. The first time I made Tortilla Soup I dressed it up by adding chicken to turn it into a meal. On other occasions I have used only beans and vegetables in the soup so that it was more of an appetizer or side dish.


However you decide to make Tortilla soup, I am sure you will find it full of flavor if you follow my basic recipe. Top it off with homemade cheese tortilla strips and you will definitely have another winning dish to add to your cooking repertoire.

Tortilla Soup

1 lb cooked chicken breast cubed
1 medium jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
1 14 oz can corn drained
2 14 oz cans black beans rinsed
1 14 oz diced tomatoes
1 12 oz container of fresh salsa (hot or mild)
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp fajita seasoning
½ medium white onion diced
½ medium red onion diced
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp Adobo seasoning
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp parsley

Place all ingredients in a large pot and cook on medium high heat for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 more minutes. Turn off heat. Top with mozzarella cheese, pepper jack cheese or toasted sliced tortilla strips.

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