Black Bean and Corn Soup

This is my new favourite soup recipe –  hot sauce makes it a little spicy, corn adds a little sweetness, and a there’s a ton of flavour in here.  Some of the soup is pureed, but there’s lots of colour from the remaining vegetables.  Topped off with a little yogurt, it tastes decadent.

What you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

1 – 398 mL can of diced tomatoes

5 cups black beans, cooked (about 1 & 1/2 cups dry)

6 cups vegetable broth

2 – 341 mL cans of corn

salt and pepper

hot sauce

plain yogurt

1 lime

What you do:

1. If you are cooking your own beans, place them in a pot of boiling water, bring back to a boil and cook for a few minutes.  Turn heat off and soak for about two hours.  I like to drain in the middle of the soaking time and bring back to a boil – this helps ward of the gas causing properties beans can have.  The last step is to rinse, then bring the beans back to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until soft.  This shouldn’t take too long.

2.  Heat the olive oil and add the onions, garlic, peppers and carrots.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.

3.  Add the oregano, cumin, beans, tomatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about half an hour.

4.  Puree about a third of the soup.  I just put my immersion blender in and blended until I thought it looked good.

5.  Add the corn, along with its juice, and cook just long enough to heat through.

6.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

7.  Top with a big dollop of yogurt and some hot sauce.  Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze on top.

Ground Turkey, Veg & Brown Rice Dish

This is an all-in-one type meal, with lots of veggies, some lean ground turkey, and nutritious brown rice.  It takes a bit longer to cook brown rice, but you can put it on to cook while you prepare the veggies and start cooking them with the turkey.

What you need:

brown rice, 3/4 cup uncooked (I use Lundberg whole grain)

some lean ground turkey (or not, for a veggie option)

one large onion, preferably sweet

red bell pepper

carrot

olive oil

salt and pepper

optional: one can sweet corn, balsamic vinegar

What you do:

1.  Start with the brown rice:  bring rice and 1 & 1/2 cups of water to a boil.  Cover, lower heat and simmer 45 minutes.  After that remove from heat and let sit, with the lid on, for 10 minutes.

2.  While the rice is cooking, get started on the veggies.  This won’t take the whole 55 minutes, so you can do other things for a while, then spend 20 or so minutes on the rest of the recipe.  First slice the onion into strips that are just less than 1cm wide.  In a large frying pan, heat the oil on medium high, then add onions and cook them until they are slightly browned.

3.  Cut peppers into strips similar in size to the onions.  Add to the onions and cook for a few minutes.

4.  Grate the carrot and add to the other veggies.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the onions are quite brown.

5.  Place the veggies in a bowl, then cook the ground turkey until it’s not pink any more.

6.  Add the cooked rice to the turkey and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, for several minutes.  Now add the veggies (and optional corn) and cook until they are reheated.  Season with salt and lots of pepper (and add optional balsamic vinegar).

7.  Voila, you’ve got your one-bowl dinner, which is great reheated the next day(s) for leftovers.

I use cast iron frying pans because they are naturally non-stick.  As well, I don’t have to worry about scratching their surface, or the possible health risks that may be associated with Teflon.   To clean them, I make sure I scrape them while they are still hot, then scrub them  later.  I don’t use any soap on them.  From time to time I heat the pan up, then add some canola oil and rub it in with a paper towel.  This helps keep up that natural non-stick coating.

The handle can get hot, so I have a “Banana Handle,” which is made by Fred.

http://www.worldwidefred.com/bananahandle.htm