Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Zesty Black Bean Soup

It's a challenge to make a spicy black bean soup that doesn't taste like chili! Ease up on the chili powder, as a little extra broth, break out the crock pot and get ready to enjoy a soup that works great as a main dish or a side.

-  1.5 pounds dried black beans rinsed and soaked overnight in water (makes approximately 9 cups once soaked)
- 2 cups corn kernels
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cups tomatoes, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 TBSP chili powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 TBSP olive oil

How To Cook It
1) Put beans, corn, garlic, broth, tomatoes, and spices into your crock pot.
2) Meanwhile, heat a skillet, add the olive oil, and sauté onions until they're translucent and lightly browned.
3) Add the cooked onions to the crock pot with the other ingredients.
4) Cook the soup mixture on low for 8 hours.
5) Garnish individual bowls with your fav. homemade guacamole and fresh cilantro. Guac makes the soup smooth and creamy (not to mention extra delicious) when stirred in, so enjoy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Salmon and Lentils

Okay, so from a vegetarian perspective this recipe could totally be Lentils and Salmon. I ate the lentils as a main dish, and had the salmon ready as a "side" for the much-loved omnivores in my life. I'm no expert when it comes to meat, but all in all this dish turned out pretty well. The original recipe is from the Good Housekeeping cookbook- I didn't have fresh tarragon on hand and used dried rosemary instead without any problems.

- 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked through
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 pieces (6 ounces each) salmon fillet with skin
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1  lemon
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

How To Cook It
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In 2-quart saucepan, combine lentils, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.
2) Meanwhile, grease 13-inch by 9-inch baking dish. With tweezers, remove any bones from salmon. Arrange fillets in single layer in prepared baking dish. Rub with 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake until fish is just opaque throughout, 15 to 20 minutes.
3) While salmon is baking, prepare dressing: From lemon, grate 1/2 teaspoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. In small bowl, with wire whisk, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gradually whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then stir in 2 teaspoons tarragon.
4) In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in lentils, lemon peel, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and remaining 2 teaspoons tarragon. Spread lentil mixture on platter. Arrange salmon on top of lentils and spoon dressing over salmon.