Full of beans
Soothing Minestrone Soup
Heat oil over medium heat in a large stockpot. Sauté onion for 5 minutes. Add celery, carrots, and garlic, cooking until soft, about another 5 minutes. Slowly stir in vegetable broth, kidney beans, great northern beans, tomatoes in juice, and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with lid for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add hot water, dry pasta, green beans, zucchini, and spinach. Cover and cook another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Per serving: 1,101 calories, 9 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 1,042 milligrams sodium, 194 grams total carbohydrates,
55 grams fiber, 69 grams protein.
Flourless Black Bean Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. In a food processor or blender, purée black beans, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract for 90 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix with a spatula until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips, then pour batter into greased baking pan and pop in the oven for 30 minutes, until edges start to pull away from the pan. Cool before dusting with powdered sugar and cutting into squares.
Per serving: 361 calories, 11 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated fat), 62 milligrams cholesterol, 92 milligrams sodium, 55 grams total carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 14 grams protein.
Pat dry the garbanzo beans, then place in food processor along with all ingredients except sesame seeds and oil. Pulse until a pasty “dough” forms when rolled into a ball. If mixture crumbles apart, add a tiny bit of water at a time until mixture holds together. Let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Roll mixture into small, 1½-inch balls. Set falafel balls on a plate and return to refrigerator. In a deep, wide skillet, heat 2 cups of oil on medium-high until it reaches 350 F. Drop a small piece of falafel batter into the oil. It should sizzle immediately, then turn golden brown in less than a minute. If oil begins to smoke, turn the heat down. If it doesn’t sizzle, wait a little longer.
Place sesame seeds in a small bowl and roll each falafel ball in the seeds. (This will make the falafel coating crunchier and add a nutty flavor.) Pick up falafel balls with a heat-safe utensil and gently lower into the oil, cooking 3 or 4 at a time. Cook each side until dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, then place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Makes 18 small falafel.
Serve falafel alongside tzatziki sauce or hummus as an appetizer, roll into a pita sandwich, or serve on top of a Greek salad.
Per serving: 870 calories, 24 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 442 milligrams sodium, 129 grams total carbohydrates, 36 grams fiber, 41 grams protein.
Refried Bean and Pickled Cabbage Tostadas
In a large jar with lid, place cabbage, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, black peppercorns, and vinegar. Pour boiling water on top and seal with lid (but not too tight). Swish or shake jar to aid in the salt and sugar dissolving and dispersing. Chill in fridge to pickle for at least half an hour. It’ll keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
In a medium pot, heat olive oil and add diced yellow onion. Cook until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Stir and cook another minute or two. Add pinto beans, chicken stock, jalapeño, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Turn temperature down to medium-low, partially cover with a lid, and continue cooking 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if the beans become too dry. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes before blending in lime juice and pulsing with an immersion blender or food processor.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Generously spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 4 minutes, flip, then bake an additional 4 to 6 minutes, until tortillas are lightly browned and crispy.
Top tortillas with a layer of refried beans, crumbled queso fresco, pickled cabbage, avocado slices, and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately. If there are leftovers, store the elements separately.
Per serving: 1,142 calories, 21 grams fat (6.5 grams saturated fat), 9 milligrams cholesterol, 549 milligrams sodium, 186 grams total carbohydrates, 40 grams fiber, 55 grams protein.