Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Turkey Pot Pie II

A hearty, delicious use of leftover holiday turkey. Also can easily be made vegetarian if you so desire (or if you're out of turkey!)

2 potatoes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp all purpose flour
3 1/2 oz carrots, pureed (babyfood)
1 cup water
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp gravy master
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup frozen lima beans (if not included in mixed vegetable blend)
16 oz frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup cooked turkey or chicken
2 prepared pie crusts (one bottom and one top)


Cook potatoes (bake or boil). Remove peel and dice. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Stir until bubbly. Add baby food carrots, water and seasonings. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently until thickened.

Add frozen vegetables. Simmer on medium heat until veggies are warm and tender. Add potato and turkey.

Place into unbaked pie shell. Cover with with an additional pie crust. Crimp and trim edges. Make several slices in top crust to vent.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown. Allow to stand for ten minutes before serving.

For vegetarian pie, omit turkey.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 200.7g (1/8th of pie)Calories 292, Calories from Fat 118, Total Fat 13.1g, Saturated Fat 4.0g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 13mg, Sodium 318mg, Total Carbohydrates 33.7g, Dietary Fiber 4.6g, Sugars 4.0g, Protein 9.5g, Vitamin A 63%, Vitamin C 23%, Calcium 4%, Iron 12%

Monday, October 18, 2010

Corn Chowder

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed (weight after peeling)
3 tbsp smart balance buttery spread
1 pound carrots, grated
1 cup water
3 cups fat free milk
3 cups plain soy milk
3 cans creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper


Boil potatoes until tender. Set aside.

Melt 3 Tbps Smart Balance buttery spread in large pot. Saute grated carrots for several minutes. Add water. Simmer until carrots are tender.

Add milk, soy milk, creamed corn, canned corn, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Add about two-thirds of the cooked potatoes. Puree or whip the rest, and add to thicken soup.

Simmer until soup is warm and creamy.

Nutrition Facts: (about 14, 2 cup servings) Serving Size 377.7g, Calories 244,
Total Fat 3.0g, Saturated Fat 0.6g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium
573mg, Total Carbohydrates 50.8g, Dietary Fiber 4.9g, Sugars 11.5g, Protein
8.1g, Vitamin A 115%, Vitamin C 25%, Calcium 10%, Iron 8%

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Apple Pie Pizza

Much of the flavor of apple pie, but lower in fat.



3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp Smart Balance oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/8 cup water

4 apples, peeled and sliced


1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup quick oats
1 tsp ground flax seed (optional)
2 tbsp Smart Balance buttery spread
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp fat free milk


Combine first seven ingredients together in a bread machine following manufacturer's instructions. Run on dough cycle. Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread dough onto pizza pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Allow to rise for 30-60 minutes.

Peel and cut apples. (I use McIntosh) Spread evenly onto dough. Bake for 10 minutes. While crust and apples are baking, mix wheat flour, brown sugar, oats, Smart Balance, flax seed, and cinnamon to form a crumbly topping. Sprinkle over apples. Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until apples are soft and crust is golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool.

Combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, and just enough milk to form a glaze. Drizzle over top.

Nutrition Facts: (16 servings)Serving Size 91.9g, Calories 166, Calories from Fat 15, Total Fat 1.7g, Saturated Fat 0.3g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 196mg, Total Carbohydrates 34.4g, Dietary Fiber 2.0g, Sugars 10.3g, Protein 3.4g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 3%, Calcium 1%, Iron 8%

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Apple Spice Cake

A moist, delicious cake made with--you guessed it--beans. My adaptation of the pinto bean cake


1 (15 1/2 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 Omega-3 egg
1/4 cup smart balance buttery spread
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
2 cups apple, peeled and sliced


Puree pinto beans in a blender or food processor with the egg.

In a large mixing bowl, beat smart balance and sugar. Add bean mixture and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients except apples.

Stir in apples by hand.

Bake in tube pan at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely before attempting to remove from pan

Nutrition Facts: Makes 12 servings. Serving Size 87.5g, Calories 259, Calories from Fat 53, Total Fat 5.9g, Saturated Fat 0.9g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 18mg, Sodium 240mg, Total Carbohydrates 43.2g, Dietary Fiber 6.8g, Sugars 19.4g, Protein 9.8g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 6%, Calcium 5%, Iron 12%

Friday, March 19, 2010

Green Bean Bake

Ok, I have to admit, this does not taste quite as good as green bean casserole. However it is light, quick, easy, and onion and garlic free.


2 (14.5oz) cans No-Salt-Added French Style Green Beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp smart balance buttery spread
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil


In a small baking dish, combine green beans, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper.

Melt smart balance in a small bowl. Toss in remaining ingredients. Stir to form a topping. Sprinkle on top of green bean mixture.

Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for half an hour, or until beans are warm and topping is golden.

Nutrition Facts: Makes 6 servings. Serving Size 103.4g, Calories 91, Total Fat 6.2g, Saturated Fat 1.2g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 2mg, Sodium 172mg, Total Carbohydrates 7.4g, Dietary Fiber 1.9g, Sugars 1.0g, Protein 2.3g, Vitamin A 8%, Vitamin C 7%, Calcium 5%, Iron 7%

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

My daughter Elizabeth came up with this oven-baked sweet potato 'fry' recipe. Not fond of sweet potatoes, I put off trying it. I shouldn't have. It's very good!


1 yam (ours was 365 grams)
1 Tbsp smart balance
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


Cut 1 yam into fries. (Elizabeth's were cut like thick potato chips)

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until soft enough to be cut easily with a spatula.

Toss fries with melted Smart Balance, sugar, and cinnamon. Bake for an additional five minutes.

Nutrition Facts: Makes 3 servings, Serving Size 130.7g, Calories 182, Total Fat 3.2g, Saturated Fat 0.9g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 40mg, Total Carbohydrates 37.4g, Dietary Fiber 6.0g, Sugars 2.8g, Protein 1.9g, Vitamin A 6%, Vitamin C 25%,Calcium 4%,Iron 4%

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pepperjack Potatoes Au Gratin

A spicier version of au gratin potatoes. Onion-free for those sensitive to alliums.


4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup smart balance buttery spread
2 1/2 oz carrots, pureed (baby food)
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups fat free milk
2 pounds potatoes
1/4 cup bread crumbs


Melt Smart Balance in a small sauce pan. Add carrots and heat on medium heat. Whisk in flour, celery salt and pepper and heat until bubbly. Add milk and three-fourths of the cheese. Heat until boiling. Boil one minute, stirring constantly.

Peel and slice potatoes. Place in a baking dish. Cover with cheese sauce. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for one hour.

Mix bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Sprinkle on top. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts: Makes 8 servings. Serving Size 223.7g, Calories 255, Total Fat 12.1g, Saturated Fat, 6.9g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 31mg, Sodium 281mg, Total Carbohydrates 25.7g, Dietary Fiber 3.2g, Sugars 5.1g, Protein 11.7g, Vitamin A 43%, Vitamin C 38%, Calcium 30%, Iron 6%

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mexican Bean and Potato Casserole

Layered like lasagna, using corn tortillas and Mexican seasoning.


2 envelopes taco seasoning
29 oz tomato puree
2 tbsp olive oil
14 oz potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (10 oz) package corn tortillas (12-six inch tortillas)
1 (15 1/2 oz) can pinto beans, drained
1 (15 1/4 oz) can corn, drained
12 oz (2 cups) educed fat cheddar cheese


Mix taco seasoning with one 29 oz can tomato puree.

In a large frying pan, heat two tbsp olive oil. Add diced potatoes and fry until tender. Add beans, corn, and one cup of seasoned tomato sauce. Heat thoroughly

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce on bottom.

Cut tortillas in half. Layer 4 tortillas to cover bottom of pan. Layer 1/2 cup sauce and 1/2 cup cheese.

Layer 4 tortillas, 1/2 cup sauce, and the potato and bean mixture.

Layer remaining 4 tortillas, rest of sauce, and remaining cheese.

Bake covered in pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover. Bake for 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Nutrition Facts: 12 servings, Serving Size 231.6g, Calories 370, Total Fat 9.8g, Saturated Fat 3.8g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 19mg, Sodium 406mg, Total Carbohydrates 54.3g, Dietary Fiber 10.8g, Sugars 6.8g, Protein 19.8g, Vitamin A 25%, Vitamin C 25%, Calcium 30%, Iron 22%

Taco Seasoning, Onion and Garlic-Free

A good substitute to prepared seasoning blends for those with allium sensitivity.


1 tsp ancho chili pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp flour
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


Mix all ingredients together. May be stored ahead in small glass jelly jars.

If making tacos with ground meat, brown the meat. Add seasoning mix and 1/2 cup water. Continue to heat until most of the water is evaporated.

If chili powder is used, recipe is not allium free. McCormick and Penzey's make Ancho Chili Pepper, which is basically dried and ground chili peppers, and I use it in place of chili powder in all my recipes.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 3.2g, Calories 9, Total Fat 0.3g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 199mg, Total Carbohydrates 1.7g, Dietary Fiber 0.5g, Sugars 0.1g, Protein 0.3g, Vitamin A 9%, Vitamin C 1%, Calcium 1%, Iron 3%

Monday, February 22, 2010

Potluck Cheese Lasagna

Nicely fills a half tray for an aluminum steam pan. While not low cal, it is vegetarian and made with fat free ricotta, and is onion and garlic free when made using the Crockpot Pasta Sauce recipe.


9 lasagna sheets (The lasagna sheets I used were fresh, and I did not boil them ahead of time. I used nine sheets--approx 9 1/2 by 5 3/4 inches.)
1 quart pasta sauce (I used Crockpot Pasta Sauce)
2 (15 oz) tubs fat free ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
16 oz mozzarella


In a medium bowl, mix two containers of fat free ricotta, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and herbs. Set aside.

Spray an aluminum pan (1/2 steam tray) with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom. Top with 1 1/2 sheets lasagna (cut one sheet lengthwise).

Layer 1/2 cup sauce, half of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1 1/2 sheets lasagna.

Layer 1/2 cups sauce, 3 Tbsp Parmesan, one cup mozzarella, and 2 sheets lasagna.

Layer 1/2 cups sauce, second half of the ricotta cheese mixture, and 2 sheets lasagna.

Layer 1/2 cups sauce, 3 Tbsp Parmesan, one cup mozzarella, and 2 sheets lasagna.

Layer remaining sauce, remaining Parmesan, and remaining two cups of mozzarella.

Cover with heavy duty foil sprayed with cooking spray.

Place aluminum pan on a cookie sheet, then bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 80-90 minutes minutes.

Place in steam tray until ready to serve. Cut into 16 pieces and serve with additional sauce.

I do not make this ahead of time because sauce and aluminum do not mix. :)

Nutrition Facts: Makes 16 servings, Serving Size 180.8g, Calories 281, Total Fat 8.8g, Saturated Fat 4.8g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 53mg, Sodium 464mg, Total Carbohydrates 29.2g, Dietary Fiber 1.5g, Sugars 5.0g, Protein 16.0g, Vitamin A 9%, Vitamin C 5%, Calcium 40%, Iron 6%

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Crockpot Pasta Sauce (Onion and Garlic Free)

Alton Brown saved my life.

When I developed an intolerance to onions and garlic, I thought I'd never be able to eat Italian foods again. But thanks to Brown's educational and entertaining show, "Good Eats," I learned all about aromatics, and soon developed this recipe for a spicy, sweet pasta sauce that uses grated carrots and green peppers instead.

Of course, if I were a real foodie, I guess I would use fresh tomatoes and herbs, but this is quick and easy, and can be cooked in a crockpot all day.


1 pound carrots, grated
2 green peppers, finely chopped
56 ounces crushed tomatoes (2-28 oz cans)
29 ounces tomato puree (1-29 oz can)
1 tbsp oregano
2 tsp basil
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cayenne pepper sauce


Place all ingredients in a crockpot. Cook on high for five hours, or low for 8-10.

If sauce is too chunky for your taste, puree it in a blender (after it cools!)

Nutrition Facts: Makes 24 half cup servings. Serving Size 129.9g, Calories 51, Total Fat 0.2g, Saturated Fat 0.1g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 201mg, Total Carbohydrates 10.9g, Dietary Fiber 3.6g, Sugars 6.5g, Protein 2.5g, Vitamin A 83%, Vitamin C 30%, Calcium 5%, Iron 10%

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Orange Cranberry Oatmeal

This reminds me a little of my favorite orange-cranberry oatmeal cookies.


2/3 cup vanilla soymilk
1/4 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground flax seed
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup quick oats


Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. While it is heating, add orange zest, juice, sugar, flax seed, salt, and cranberries.

When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and add oatmeal. Allow to cook for at least a minute.

Nutrition Facts: Makes one serving. Serving Size 276.2g, Calories 325, Total Fat 6.2g, Saturated Fat 0.9g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 358mg, Total Carbohydrates 58.1g, Dietary Fiber 6.7g, Sugars 25.5g, Protein 10.2g, Vitamin A 8%, Vitamin C 32%, Calcium 23%, Iron 15%

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Herb Roasted Potatoes

An easy side dish. A little high in fat, but it all comes from healthy olive oil.


1/3 cup olive oil
4 large baking potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil


Pour olive oil into glass baking dish. Cut potatoes, leaving skins on, into large, bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with seasonings, then toss until evenly coated.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 2 hours, or until potatoes are tender. (Cooking time will depend on the size of your potatoes.)

Nutrition Facts: Makes 6 servings. Serving Size 212.6g, Calories 293, Calories from Fat 111, Total Fat 12.3g, Saturated Fat 1.7g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 214mg, Total Carbohydrates 42.6g, Dietary Fiber 4.6g, Sugars 2.4g, Protein 5.1g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 32%, Calcium 3%, Iron 13%

Iced Cafe Mocha

I find chocolate soymilk a little too rich for me. This is just right.


1 tsp decaffeinated instant coffee
2 tsp sugar
1 cup water
1 cup chocolate soymilk
2 cups ice cubes


Add one cup boiling water to instant coffee and sugar. Allow to cool slightly.

Fill a one quart glass canning jar with ice cubes. Pour coffee over ice cubes. Add soymilk and stir.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size 961.2g, Calories 176, Calories from Fat 27, Total Fat 3.0g, Saturated Fat 0.5g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 122mg, Total Carbohydrates 32.2g, Dietary Fiber 2.0g, Sugars 27.4g, Protein 5.2g, Vitamin A 10%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 32%, Iron 8%

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Makes two servings, but I have to admit, I eat the whole thing...


1 apple, peeled and diced
1 cup vanilla soymilk
1 tsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup quick oats


Peel and dice apple. Cook in a small saucepan over medium heat, until apple begins to get more tender.

Add soymilk. Bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for at least a minute.

Nutrition Facts: Makes two servings. Serving Size 234.5g, Calories 259, Calories from Fat 40, Total Fat 4.4g, Saturated Fat 0.7g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 198mg, Total Carbohydrates 48.7g, Dietary Fiber 5.9g, Sugars 23.6g, Protein 7.5g, Vitamin A 6%, Vitamin C 5%, Calcium 18%, Iron 11%

Monday, February 15, 2010

Banana-Walnut Oatmeal

I was playing around to see if I could get more phyto-estrogens into my banana bread oatmeal recipe. Here's what I came up with. And it's yummy.

A delicious, filling breakfast packed with fiber and extra protein.


1 cup vanilla soymilk
2 tsp ground flax seed (optional)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup quick oats
2 bananas, peeled and mashed

1/4 cup ground walnuts
4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon


Bring soymilk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. While it is heating, add flax seed, salt, cinnamon, and 3 Tbsp sugar.

When mixture comes to a boil, add the oats. Reduce heat to low and cook for at least one minute. Add mashed bananas, and allow to reheat.

Mix topping from ground walnuts, 4 tsp sugar and cinnamon. Pour oatmeal into bowls, and sprinkle walnut mixture on top.

(For fewer calories, this could easily be split into three servings.)

Nutrition Facts: Makes two servings. Serving Size 315.1g, Calories 488, Total Fat 14.4g, Saturated Fat 1.3g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 199mg, Total Carbohydrates 82.8g, Dietary Fiber 8.7g, Sugars 45.7g, Protein 12.6g, Vitamin A 7%, Vitamin C 18%, Calcium 19%, Iron 16%

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Carrot-Butter Bean Bread with Lemon Glaze

Yes, I'm still trying recipes with hidden beans. This carrot bread is moist and delicious, and very nutritious.


1 1/2 cup butter beans (one can)
1/3 cup Silk vanilla soymilk
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Smart Balance oil
1 egg
1 egg white
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1/3 cup soy flour
3/4 cup bread flour


1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar


Puree the butter beans and vanilla soymilk in a blender or food processor.

In a large mixing bowl, combine carrots, sugar, oil, egg and egg whites, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and flax seed. Mix in bean mixture and flour. Mix well.

Pour into a large, greased loaf pan. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clear.

Allow loaf to cool completely.

In a small bowl mix lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir in enough of the powdered sugar to make a glaze consistency. Drizzle over top of loaf.

Nutrition Facts: Makes 12 servings. Calories 216, Calories from Fat 67, Total Fat 7.4g,Saturated Fat 0.7g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 179mg, Total Carbohydrates 34.6g, Dietary Fiber 2.1g, Sugars 23.3g,Protein 4.5g, Vitamin A 52%, Vitamin C 10%, Calcium 3%, Iron 7%

Monday, January 25, 2010

Warm Apple Topping Recipe

I put this on cinnamon chip pancakes, and it was a winner. I think it would also be good on ice cream and oatmeal.

3 apples, peeled and sliced (I used MacIntosh)
2 Tbsp Smart Balance buttery spread
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

Melt the Smart Balance in a small saucepan. Add apples and cinnamon, and cook until they reach desired texture. Add brown sugar. Stir, and serve.

Yeah, maybe not a diet recipe, but apples are a phytoestrogen, and this is marginally more nutritious than syrup.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Banana-Butter Bean Bread

I was able to hide a whole can of beans in a delicious banana bread.


1 1/2 cups butter beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup Silk vanilla soymilk
1/3 cup Smart Balance buttery spread
1 cup sugar
2 bananas, peeled
1 egg
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt


Rinse and drain a can of butter beans (or limas), and puree with the soymilk in a blender.

In a mixing bowl, mix smart balance and sugar. Add the bean mixture and remaining ingredients.

Spray the bottom of a large loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter in, and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for one hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Nutrition Facts: Makes 12 servings. Serving Size 92.8g Calories 216, Calories from Fat 55, Total Fat 6.1g, Saturated Fat 1.1g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 16mg, Sodium 202mg, Total Carbohydrates 36.8g, Dietary Fiber 2.3g, Sugars 19.7g, Protein 4.9g, Vitamin A 6%, Vitamin C 11%, Calcium 3%, Iron 9%

Beans, Glorious Beans

The sad truth is, I hate beans.

Always have, and probably always will.

I was the kid picking them out of my chili.

I have since tried baked beans (can't stand them), refried beans (ick), and bean soups and salads (ew!) There is something about the texture of beans--the way they leave you with a mouth of stringy fiber mixed with a starchy mush.


A little while ago, I came across a list of foods that are rich in phytoestrogens. And these foods are good for women of a... certain level of maturity... who are going through the gradual process of aging wherein their natural hormones may... lag a little bit. Because of these lower hormone levels, these women may experience a list of symptoms such as insomnia, breast tenderness, weight gain, hair loss, crushing fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, paralysis, homicidal tendencies, and death.

And of this list of wonder-working phytoestrogen-rich foods, a good 80 percent or so of them are (insert drum roll) You got it--BEANS.

So, I decided to try to get on the bean bandwagon for a few days. I mean, what's worse, a mouthful of mush or staying awake all night plotting a murder? And what do you know? They actually work. I've had four good nights of sleep after a few months of chronic insomnia, and a lot of my other symptoms are waning.

Okay, a few days ago, I posted a recipe for black bean burritos, and then a link to a recipe for black bean brownies.

The brownies were decent, but they got me thinking, what else could you hide beans in? So I've been pulling all the phytoestrogen-rich foods (including the beans) out of my cabinets and concocting recipes. Some need a little more work, like the cherry muffins with kidney beans. Others, like one I just made for Banana-Butter Bean Bread, are almost ready to be posted.

So get ready for some nutritious, but delicious, original recipes. Same bean time, same bean channel.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Spicy Rice and Black Bean Burritos

Quick and easy Mexican fare


Spicy rice, prepared
3 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup salsa
12 Azteca flour tortillas


Prepare spicy rice according to directions.

Drain, rinse, and heat beans.

Layer each tortillas with 1/4 cup rice, 1/4 cups beans, 1/8 cup cheese, and 1 Tbsp salsa. Microwave to melt cheese.

Fold taco style, and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size (2 burritos)414.7g, Calories 645, Calories from Fat 147, Total Fat 16.3g, Saturated Fat 6.2g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 1628mg, Total Carbohydrates 95.9g, Dietary Fiber 6.7g, Sugars 1.3g, Protein 22.9g, Vitamin A 10%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 24%, Iron 15%

For an extra boost of beans, make these for dessert: Black Bean Brownies

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year, and Vegetarian Chili

Okay, so how is the weight loss coming and how have I been? Well, that's a long story involving swine flu, a bout of anemia, and a boatload of Christmas cookies. But it is a new year, and a time of new beginnings. And I'm going to start the year off with renewed dedication to healthy eating and a few changes to this blog. Details forthcoming.

But we'll kick things off with a recipe for a mega-healthy vegetable chili.

Barb's Vegetarian Chili

A spicy blend of tomatoes, peppers, veggies and beans. High in fiber and... oh yes, it tastes good.


2 tbsp olive oil
5 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 pound carrots, grated
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cups water
28 oz crushed tomatoes
28 oz tomato puree
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp ancho chili pepper (or chili powder)
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp oregano
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 3/4 cup (1 can)dark red kidney beans
1 3/4 cup (1 can) light red kidney beans
1 3/4 cup (1 can) cannellini beans
1 3/4 cup (1 can) corn
1 yellow squash, diced


Add oil to a large pot. Saute the finely chopped celery and grated carrots over medium heat until tender. Add chopped peppers. Saute until crisp-tender.

Add water, crushed tomatoes, tomato puree. Heat to a slow simmer on low.

Add bay leaf, chili pepper, paprika, cocoa, and oregano.

Add sliced carrots, two sliced celery stalks, drained beans, and corn. Simmer until flavors are well mingled and vegetables have reached desired texture. (We like ours a little mushier.) Remove bay leaf and serve.

Nutrition Facts: Makes 16 1 cup servings. Calories 204, Total Fat 2.7g, Saturated Fat 0.4g, Trans Fat 0.0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 307mg, Total Carbohydrates 36.6g, Dietary Fiber 12.5g, Sugars 9.1g, Protein 11.0g, Vitamin A 100%, Vitamin C 87%, Calcium 10%, Iron 24%