Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘Garbanzo beans’

Artichoke Chicken and Chickpea Pasta

Posted by terrepruitt on April 2, 2018

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI have been out of town the last two weekends.  So our fridge is looking pretty bare.  I didn’t know what to cook for dinner tonight.  I didn’t want to go out to get something from the store.  I was thinking I could use chicken and add it to rice or pasta.  I was thinking I had a jar of sauce, but when I looked in the pantry I didn’t see one.  But I did see a jar of artichoke hearts.  I was thinking I would add them to the chicken.  Then I thought I would also use a can of chickpeas.  I love the richness that chickpeas adds.  So sometimes out of necessity you come up with an easy recipe of things you have on hand.

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Artichoke Chicken and Chickpea Pasta

1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 can of chicken
1 1/2 cups chopped artichoke hearts
3/4 teaspoon Nutritional yeast
Salt
Pepper
Garlic salt
Cheese*
Butter
Pasta

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitDrain the chickpeas.  Rinse off the chickpeas.  Put the chickpeas in a large pan.  Turn the heat up somewhat high and let the chickpeas start to dry off.  When they start cooking sprinkle them with salt. Keep the chickpeas moving so that they start to get evenly toasted.  Add a teaspoon of butter.  Keep cooking the chickpeas.  Add a little more salt.  Let them cook more.  Then add some butter.  The chickpeas should be browning a little bit.  Cook the chickpeas to your desired doneness . . . I like them browned and starting to get a crunch.

Drain the chicken, then add it to the pan.  Sprinkle the chicken with garlic salt. Stir up the mixture and cook the chicken a bit.  Canned chicken is already cooked so it doesn’t need that long in the pan, or that high of a heat.  At this point I turned the heat down.

Add the chopped artichoke hearts.  Cook everything until it is hot.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhile the chicken is cooking boil the water for the pasta.  Cook the pasta.  I used linguine because that is what I like.

Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain it, then put it on a plate with some butter.  Sprinkle 3/4 of a teaspoon of Nutritional yeast on the pasta.  Then put the chicken mixture on top of the pasta.  Add pepper if you would like and more garlic salt if you feel it needs it.  Grate a small amount of cheese on top.

*I would have liked to have used Parmesan, but all I had was a Cheddar Monterey Jack blend.

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I think this was pretty good.  It is very rich with the beans and the artichokes.  It is super easy.  It was nice because the artichokes gave it a flavor that we don’t always have.  So it was a bit different for us.  I really liked it.

I was going to add some Kalamata olives, but I decided not to.  What do you think?  What kind of pasta would you use?  Now what do I do with the rest of the jar of artichoke hearts?

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Not All Beans Are Created Equal

Posted by terrepruitt on March 6, 2014

You might know from my various posts that I don’t really like beans.  Beans, the legume, the protein-fiber-rich nutrient.  Not my favorite thing.  I like green beans.  And I am ok with garbanzo beans.  I will eat kidney beans but only in two things, the two bean salad (click here for recipe) or my Sausage, Beans, and Rice adaptation (click here for recipe).  But otherwise I don’t eat beans.  You may also know that I bought some dried garbanzo beans in bulk once.  Since I didn’t know what to do with them I turned to the internet for some education.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe internet said there were two ways to get the beans ready for a recipe: one was a “quick soak” idea, it requires cooking and doesn’t seem quick to me at all.  The other was a soak-over-night way.  I tried them both.  I didn’t really feel there was a different outcome to the two methods, but obviously the methods themselves were different.  I preferred the overnight soak because it doesn’t require any real time that I have to be in the kitchen.  Rinse the beans, fill the bowl with water, let them soak, changing the water a few times as they soak.  Since I haven’t taught a Nia class in the area of San Jose where I bought the last dried beans, I decided to buy some organic dried garbanzo beans online.  To get them ready for cooking I opted for the let-it-set method.  I didn’t time the soak because I had done it before and I know that overnight is good enough.  I know I let them set from one morning, until the next afternoon.  Then I rinsed them and put them on the pan to roast.  Apparently not all beans can just be soaked for about 30 hours.  Apparently some HAVE to be cooked — as in boiled.  These beans did not come out well just soaking.  I didn’t know that until I was already roasting them.

I had a huge bowl soaking so when I did the roasting I had only used about half.  So I figured that if I let the remaining beans soak longer they would be fine.  So I left them soaking until the next day.  Throughout this soaking period I had drained the water and refilled.  I even took them all out of the bowl, rinsed them, then put them back in the bowl with fresh water.  So — again, I figured they had soaked enough they would be fine.  Again, part way through cooking when I had a taste they were NOT good.  I hadn’t tasted before I added all of my other ingredients so dinner was almost going to be REALLY gross.  But I just added water and let them cook and dinner was salvaged.

But now I know.  Apparently these beans HAVE to be cooked in order for them to be edible.  When not cooked they are really HARD and they taste like a green seed.  No good.  Not the creamy mush you expect from a garbanzo bean.  Also . . . these beans, while they have not popped as the other ones I soaked did, they are letting off a very large and stinky amount of gas!  Whew!  Again my kitchen smells of bean gas.  They are gassy beans!  I have yet to cook the rest.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaSo . . . here I am again, just sharing things I learn.  Maybe I can save someone’s dinner if they are like me and think that all dried beans can just be soaked without the cooking.  I was fortunate in that what I was cooking was ok with me just adding water and letting it all cook a bit longer than I had planned.  But somethings you can’t do that to.  So if you are like me and you like the soaking method, try it on a small batch first to see if that will be sufficient.

Please understand I am not saying there is anything wrong with these beans or the brand.  I am just saying that I learned not all garbanzo beans can JUST be soaked.  Apparently some need to be cooked too!

Do you have a recipe that you use garbanzo beans in?  Care to share?

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Time For Thyme

Posted by terrepruitt on October 10, 2013

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaJust this week I was cooking dinner and my husband walked in the house and asked what smelled so good.  I had cooked some pasta for dinner a few days or so earlier.  Having been in a rush I didn’t measure or think, I just dumped the remainder of the pasta into the pot and cooked it.  I ended up with a lot of pasta!  We have been eating it for days!  For a couple of the meals I added meat and vegetables.  But one day I hadn’t defrosted any meat so I needed something.  You know how I like to have something quick to cook after teaching a class whether it is Nia or Gentle Yoga.  I often pair up beans and rice — as you know my favorite recipe is Red Beans and Rice.  But I had never put beans with pasta, but I thought, “Why not?”  So I added a bell pepper and some garbanzo beans to the pasta.  When cooking my primary spices are onions and garlic, I decided since we had been eating pasta for days I needed to change up the flavor a bit.  I normally save thyme for marinades and the aforementioned recipe.  By “save” I don’t really mean I keep it just for those things, I really mean I don’t even think about it except when making those things.  I use it when a recipe calls for it, but I don’t think to just put it in what I am cooking.  So, I think what my husband was smelling was the thyme.  It was a different type of yummy aroma.  Of course, I wanted to learn more about thyme.

According to Wiki the Greeks thought it was a source of courage.  And the Egyptians used it for embalming.  Also, Wiki states it is thought that the Romans were responsible for the spread of thyme throughout Europe by using it “to purify their rooms and to ‘give an aromatic flavor to cheese and liqueurs’.”

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaI think of it as being “twiggy” or leaves so recently when I received some ground I was surprised.  I know the leaves, especially fresh, are more flavorful, but I sometimes do not like to have the leaves in my food.  So I was happy to have the ground thyme to include in my pasta dish.  I just put the past in a pan to warm it up, added the garbanzo beans, cheese, and some green bell pepper.  As it was warming I sprinkled on some thyme and salt.  I was actually surprised at the flavor.  It was really good.  Whenever I learn something or get surprised I think to post about it.  I mean, I didn’t know.  I never thought to just put thyme in my pasta.  I also never thought to put garbanzo beans with my pasta.  I know many people use thyme frequently and with confidence, but I hadn’t until now!

If you consume thyme by the tablespoon you’ll receive a good dose of vitamin K and iron.  Per tablespoon 30% of the Daily Value and about 9.5% of the DV respectively.

Turns out that thyme oil or at least a component of it is an antiseptic and it is used in mouthwashes.  It also has antibiotic properties and helps fight fungal infections.

The leaves can be made into a tea to help with coughs and bronchitis.

The World’s Healthiest Foods’ website says there are “about sixty different varieties including French (common) thyme, lemon thyme, orange thyme and silver thyme”.  Seems like I need to get to using thyme more so that I work my way through all the varieties.

How about you?  Do you cook with thyme often?  Did you know there were so many varieties?

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Hummus With Sweet Potato

Posted by terrepruitt on August 24, 2013

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

I have mentioned before that I have fantastic Nia students.  Well, I also have fabulous students in my gentle yoga class.  When I posted about green beans being the only beans I like, except garbanzo beans in a couple of recipes, one of my students commented asking if I liked hummus.  Turns out she just made some with sweet potato.  I asked if she wanted to guest post or give me the recipe so that I could post it.  Just as I say about recipes she used the original recipe as a guide and made it her own.  She gave me kinda what she did (pictured). In addition to bringing me the recipe she actually brought me some hummus.  In a little baggie!  So cute.  So sweet of her.  It was a perfect addition to our dinner that night because I hadn’t really planned a well-rounded meal since I spent a good portion of the day at the vet’s office with my cat.  You know that all medications have side effects and one of hers had a big one so we are now on a different plan on how to handle her issue in order to deal with the issue that came up as a side effect.  I had my very first Thursday morning Nia class that will be Thursdays at 8:30 am the same day.  So being at the vet for hours then coming home and having to get some stuff done before having to leave for Gentle Yoga didn’t leave me time to think about dinner in detail.  So having the sweet potato hummus to serve with a raw bell pepper helped a lot.  And it was delicious.  I modified it only by roasting the sweet potatoes and adding more water.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaHummus With Sweet Potato:

Ingredients (pictured)

1 cup peeled and chopped up roasted sweet potato* (I measured it AFTER I roasted it)
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup Tahini
7 garlic cloves, roasted (or raw)**
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water (not pictured)

Peel and chop a sweet potato.  Roast it in the oven (at about 450° F with garlic salt and olive oil).  Until it is cooked to your liking.***

Put all ingredients in the blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.****  You can start with less water than 1/4 cup and add as you see fit.*****

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Recipe notes

*I measured the sweet potato AFTER I roasted it

**I used roasted garlic

***I roasted the sweet potato less than I would have if I were eating it

****I don’t have a food processor, I used my blender and I had to scrape and pulse quite a lot.  I did not drizzle with oil or sprinkle with paprika.

*****I will use the “bean water” next time.  (I forgot that I needed water at all otherwise I would have saved the bean water to use.)

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As you can see there are two different colored spreads in the picture.  I think we might have used different colored sweet potatoes because I can’t imagine a sprinkle of paprika or her + of cumin would change the color that much.  Can you?

Either way they both were delicious.  Hers was more sweet.  Again not sure if it is because of different potatoes or not.  Could be the roasting.

Either way . . . this recipe is just a guide.  A place to start.  Something to look at to say, “Ok, someone has put sweet potato in a hummus and they thought it was good, now what can I do to make it my own?”

Right?  So . . . . go make it and report back!  🙂

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Beans I Like

Posted by terrepruitt on August 20, 2013

I recently received green beans in the organic produce box we get.  I made Green Beans, Walnuts, and Onions.  LOVE THAT.  So this past weekend I bought some green beans at our Farmers Market.  I plan to make that again.  It is so good.  My husband even mentioned after I made it that he doesn’t care for green beans nor walnuts, but he loves that . . . what did I tell you?  I like green beans.  I don’t make them often because . . . well, you know.  Sometimes, if I am not making the previously mentioned recipe, it is probably because I don’t have walnuts, so I just sauté the green beans.  I don’t typically boil vegetables.  I just sauté them cooking them only slightly.  I like them to still have crunch when I bite into them.  I don’t like soggy beans.  I cook them basically the same as if I am cooking them for the recipe. Green beans are good healthy vegetable.

Most vegetables lose some nutrients in the cooking process.  Also for most vegetables the less they are cooked the better.  According to several sources on the internet one cup (100 grams) of raw green beans yields:

31 caloriesDance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo

12.20 mg of Vitamin C
14.40 mcg of Vitamin K
690.00 IU of Vitamin A
0.14 mg of Vitamin B6

211.00 mg of potassium
2.70 g of Fiber
33.00 mcg of folate
37.00 mg of Calcium
1.83 g of protein
0.07 g of omega-3 fats

Green beans are a great source of anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C and Beta-carotene.  In addition to the anti-oxidants; Vitamin C and Beta-carotene, the rich color of green beans provide phytonutrients like carotenoids, another anti-oxidant.  As a reminder antioxidants help the body reduce the inflammation.  More and more studies are linking disease with chronic inflammation.  You know my theory . . . food that can help our body reduce inflammation is something we want to add to our diet.

Green beans can be eaten raw.  Just munch on them like you would a carrot or a slice of bell pepper.  Green beans also make a great addition to a salad.  Cut them up and throw them in a green salad or a pasta.  I love vegetables that can be eaten cooked or raw.  When they can be eaten both ways it is almost as if they will be eaten more often because of the variety in which they can be eaten.  I would eat them a lot more if my husband liked them.  I don’t really like to make him eat stuff he doesn’t like even though it is good for him.

It really is funny because these used to be the only kind of beans I like.  Now I somewhat like garbanzo beans, and I eat kidney beans in certain recipes like my bean salad or red beans and rice (For Bean Salad recipe click here / For Red Beans and Rice recipe click here).

So do you like green beans?  Do you like to eat them raw?  How do you like to cook them?  Have you tried the Green Beans, Walnuts, and Onions?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Quick Soak Beans

Posted by terrepruitt on May 11, 2013

As you might know, I purchased some dried garbanzo beans.  I thought I would go the dried bean route and try to avoid the canned because of the stuff they say is in the can that you should avoid.  But then I didn’t know how to process them.  A quick search on the internet said I needed to soak them for at least 4 hours or that I could do a “Quick” Soak Method.  Well, I did the soaking method a few weeks ago and I have been meaning to do the “Quick” Soak Method but I have not had time.  I mean, honestly, putting beans in a bowl and letting them soak for however long—until I am ready to use them—seems so much easier than boiling them on the stove.  Well when I finally went to do the “Quick” Soak Method I looked it up again and one blog said to boil them, rinse them, let them set for an hour, then boil them again, rinse them, let them set for an hour . . . . I was failing to see the QUICK in that method at all.  Then I found one that said boil them until they had little bubbles then let them set for an hour then rinse them. Ok, that is more like it, but still, I had to be in the kitchen to watch for the bubbles.  In the “long” soak method, I left them to soak unsupervised.  I am thinking that the “Quick” Soak Method might be quicker, but to me it is not easier.

So I followed the directions I found on About.com:

Rinse beans in cold water. Put them in a large pot and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Bring almost to a boil (small bubbles appear around the edges of the pot), cover, and remove from heat. Let sit for 1 hour. Drain. The beans will be “soaked” and ready to cook.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI actually let them sit for TWO hours because when I poked them they didn’t seem very soft.  What I have been seeing articles say is that if the beans looked shriveled to begin with they will not get soft.  Well, one of the reasons I don’t like beans is because of the texture.  I don’t like soft and mushy.  So I really think I like the dried beans because they don’t get that soft.

This time I managed to NOT burn them when I cooked them.  I like the roasted chickpeas crunchy.  So I really like this dried bean route.  I think I will use them from now on.  I will have a few cans on hand in case I don’t remember to soak them in advance, but really if I don’t remember to soak my beans in advance the “Quick Soak Method” is not going to help me.  It doesn’t really save that much time.  I mean, if the “long” soak method only requires four hours and most “Quick” soaks require at least 90 minutes . . . . I think I can plan ahead.  I might even try freezing some that I have soaked.

Anyway . . . the end result to me, is that either soaking method results in about the same type of textured bean and the “Quick” Soak is not quick or easier enough for me.  I like the put-them-in-a-bowl-full-of-water-and forget-about-them-method better.

Now I need to try it with other beans, right?  Since the only other bean I eat is kidney beans, I will try it with them . . . . eventually.  But I will skip the “Quick Soak Method” and just use the overnight one.

How about you?  Do you have a preferred method for soaking your beans?   

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Dried Garbanzo Beans

Posted by terrepruitt on April 27, 2013

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaYou might have gathered from my posts that I am not a fan of beans.  Beans are great for fiber and protein, but I just don’t like them all that much.  I was sometimes ok with garbanzo beans/chickpeas, but that was it.  I didn’t like any other type of bean, but I went to a friend’s house and she had this yummy two bean salad.  So I decided that I am ok with red kidney beans and garbanzo beans in this salad.  Then I came across a recipe that had kidney beans it in and I decided to use half kidney beans and half garbanzo beans.  This recipe is one of my husband’s and mine favorites.  I also like roasted garbanzo beans.  Recently I was in the area – after teaching a Nia class as a sub in south San Jose –  of a store that I have been hearing a lot about.  It is called Sprouts.  The name is “Sprouts Farmers Market: Healthy, Natural & Organic Grocery Stores”, which I don’t really understand, as it is NOT a farmer’s market and not everything is natural nor organic.  They have the produce section kind of set up like you might imagine a market on an actual farm in that nothing is in nice neat rows and it seems kinda hodgey-podgely put together . . . but that is it.  Their organic section of fruits and vegetables was no larger than the one at my “regular” grocery store.  But whatever, I digress (WHAT? ME?  NO!) . . . my post is actually about that fact that I bought some dried garbanzo beans.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaWhen I first discovered the Red Beans and Rice recipe my friend and I were talking about dried beans and we wondered if we could buy dried garbanzo beans.  Later she reported back that she had seen some in the store.  I had asked my chef friend about them and she gave me some advice on how to process them.  And of course I forgot what she said.  But anyway . . . I finally was in a store that had them when I remembered to look.  So I bought some.

When you look up how to process dried beans on the internet you will probably come across two different methods.  There is the long soak and then the quick soak.  My idea was to do both and then report the results on my blog in one post.  But funny as it sounds, I have not had time — more accurately, I have not made time — to do the quick soak method.  I know, you would think that would be the easiest and fastest one to do.  But to me it was much easier to throw the beans in a bowl and let them soak for 13 hours and 45 minutes.  I’ve read they should soak for at least 4 hours.  Mine just turned into 13 hours plus.

Since I have not yet gotten around to doing the quick soak method I will report on what I found with the long soak method and then when I do the other one I will post about that.

The “long soak” method has no cooking involved.  I was interested in not cooking the beans.  Everything I read said that they double in size.  I don’t recall that happening.  NOTHING I read told me they would pop!  I kept hearing this odd sound and wondering what it was.  If you have a pet you might do as I do and the first thing I do when I hear something unfamiliar is I blame my pet and find her first to see if she was responsible.  But when I heard the pop she was right next to me.  So, I kept thinking it was coming from outside. Finally it dawned on me that it might be the beans and I stood by the bowl until I heard one!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI had decided to split the bag in between the two methods.  So I got a huge bowl and put half of my beans in it.  Then I filled it with water.  I did this at 11:00 am on a Friday.  I changed the water twice.  I rinsed the beans both times.  My report is that beans themselves have gas.  My kitchen smelled gassy the whole time the beans were soaking.  I kept lighting a candle.  I drained the beans at 12:45 pm on Saturday.  I decided I was going to roast them.  So I drained them to let them start to dry out.

I roasted them.  They were gorgeous.  I like them because they seem less “mushy” than the canned beans.  And for me “mushy” is part of the reason I don’t like beans.  So I really liked this dried/soaking method.  I left the beans in the oven a tad bit too long.  I was doing too many things at once and when I took them out to check them I forgot to put the timer on when I put them back in.  I realized my error when I smelled burning beans.  So . . . . they are ok, but not as I would have liked them.

The verdict in regards to soaking beans is good.  I am going to do that.  I have a feeling that soaking them will turn out to be easier than the quick soak method.  We will see.

The questions I have been thinking about though is . . . . the canned beans I buy say “Organic” whereas the dried ones I bought did not.  So really which are better?  I will look for organic dried beans, but I am not sure where to find them.  I know I didn’t see them at the “Farmers Market” that claims to have healthy, natural, and organic food.  🙂  Well, at least I didn’t see a sign that claimed the dried beans were organic.

Do you used canned beans or dried?

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Beef, Beans, Mushrooms, Zucchini, And Cheesy Tortillas

Posted by terrepruitt on April 9, 2013

My cat has been on a “bland diet” of beef and sweet potatoes.  I keep thinking “today is the day” — meaning, today will be the last day, but until “things” have gotten back to normal I am not comfortable putting her back on her cat food.  Part of the prescription of the bland diet was “very lean” beef.  So I am feeding my cat lean beef.  One day I was about to cook two dinners.  One for my cat and one for my hubby and I.  Then I realized I could just cook one.  So I put away what I had originally planned for my hubby and I and just cooked up some beef for us too.  As I was cooking the meat I was thinking of what veggies I had in my fridge . . . yeah, my door note does not always get updated.  Of course I couldn’t remember but when I opened the door I spotted the mushrooms . . . cool, I decided to put the meat on/in tiny tortillas with some mushrooms and cheese.  Then, I decided that in addition to mushrooms I would add some garbanzo beans.  As I was putting something in the fridge I spotted the zucchini and I decided to grate some of that into our mushrooms.  I was making this dinner up as I was cooking it!  (I can do that when I don’t have a Nia class.)

I have to cook the cat’s meat without flavoring, so I figured I would just salt the meat after and put some raw onions on it.  I figured that would be enough flavor.  But then I took hers out to prepare it and I left ours in the pan and I added cumin and garlic salt.  I am starting to add cumin to different things now.  Ever since I used it in my adjusted version of Bobby Deen’s Red Beans and Rice recipe.  It was not a spice I was accustomed to cooking with.  I like it.

We ended up with a pretty tasty dinner, I think.  I think the raw onions on the topping it all off really gave it the perfect finishing touch.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaBeef, Beans, Mushrooms, Zucchini, And Cheesy Tortillas

small wedge of onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
four shakes of garlic salt
half of a zucchini, grated
four shakes of garlic salt
1 can of garbanzo beans
four shakes of garlic salt
1/4 of a pound beef
four shakes of cumin
four shakes of garlic salt
10 small thin slices of cheese
five tiny corn tortillas

Heat the oil and onion (save some for garnish), then put the mushrooms in, add garlic salt.  Cook them until they are almost done, then put the grated zucchini in, add garlic salt.  Cook until it looks done almost done, then add the beans and the garlic salt. In a different pan, cook the beef with the cumin and garlic salt.

When the mushroom mixture and beef are almost done, heat the tortillas, melt the cheese on the tortillas.  Spoon the beef onto four of the cheesy tortilla, then spoon the mushroom bean mixture.  Top with raw onions.  (One tortilla was meatless!)

I had to cook the meat separate because of my cat, but if I were just making this for us I would cook the mushrooms first . . . I like my mushrooms caramelized, then I would add the beef . . . and I would use more so that it would work for all five tortillas.  I would add the cumin to the meat.  Then I would add the zucchini, then the beans.  I don’t like the beans to get to cooked so I add them last.  With each ingredient I would add garlic salt.

I have an electric grill/panini press I used for the tortillas.  I grilled them.

This was very good.  I will be making this again.  But since we rarely have ground beef (we are only eating it because the cat is!) I will use our regular ground turkey.

I like cooking with cumin!

I know I don’t come up with very inventive stuff, but we like it and sometimes all you need is an IDEA of what to cook for dinner.  Maybe this will help you.

What do you think?  Any ideas on what you might add?

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Dinner Desperation

Posted by terrepruitt on March 2, 2013

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaFor those of you that cook dinner every night you might understand what I am about to say, “Cooking dinner is difficult.”  Ok, more accurately coming up with ideas of what to cook for dinner is difficult.  I actually have it very easy because my husband would be fine eating the same thing all week then switching to something else the next week.  As long as it was not a vegetarian dish three days in a row.  But I am not happy with that.  As you know if you have read any of my posts about food, I love left overs because they keep me from having to cook or at least keep me from having to start from scratch.  The other night I was really at a loss as to what to prepare for dinner.  It was a Wednesday so I really should have been thinking in terms of cooking for Wednesday so that I could have enough left over for Thursday when I have a late Nia class.  But I couldn’t think “two nights” I just wanted to get through the one night and use the portion of a piece of chicken I had from the night before.  I came up with something that I didn’t even think about being enough for leftovers but it was.  It carried us through two nights.  Asparagus, beans, rice, and chicken.

Another thing you might know about me if you have a read a few of my posts, I LOVE asparagus.  I mean, love, love, love, love.  Once I was asked what food I would want to have given to me free every day and I said asparagus.  But even though I love it, I won’t buy it when it is $8.99 a pound.  I don’t even like to buy it when it is $4.99 a pound.  I might buy it when it is $2.99 a pound, but I like the $1.99 range.  But knowing how much I love it my hubby bought me some recently.  I didn’t ask how much it was.  I just had five pounds of asparagus to eat.  🙂

I often use three servings of meat to make four servings of dinner.  Usually my husband has a serving and I have a good portion of one.  The next night I will use the third serving along with my smaller portion to make another meal.  Well on this night I was using just my left over portion because we had only cooked two servings the night before.  So to me it would be a vegetarian-ish dish.  As it would have way more veggies than meat.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaSo here is my “recipe”

Asparagus, beans, rice, and chicken

—1 tablespoon olive oil
—1/2 of an onion, chopped
—asparagus (2.25 pounds) chopped
—2 teaspoons minced garlic
—1 3/4 cup cooked rice
—2 tablespoons of butter
—3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
—1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
—3/4th of a LARGE chicken breast, cooked and chopped
—Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
—Garlic Salt, to taste

Heat the olive oil and the chopped onion.  Add the asparagus.  Cook only slightly (because the rice takes a while to heat up).  Sprinkle garlic over asparagus.  Stirring it and allowing it to cook.  Add the rice breaking it up and letting it get soft.  Use the butter to help the rice get moist (might need to use a bit of liquid too).  And the cumin.  When the rice is soft, add the can of garbanzo beans.  Then add the chopped up chicken.  Add pepper and garlic salt to taste.

Since asparagus doesn’t take that long to cook and everything else is ok to eat as is, it is really the rice that needs the most amount of time.  If you are using freshly cooked rice then this would take minutes.  As a note the chicken I used had been seasoned when cooked the night before so that is something to keep in mind when flavoring your dish.

For me it is the beans and the cumin that is “new”.  I have done dishes like this before using other meat.  I think this would also be good with left over pork.

I was thinking of the Red Beans and Rice recipe when I did this, using the beans and the cumin.

We liked it.  What do you think?  Sound easy?  Sound like something you would like?

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A New Recipe To Love – Red Beans and Rice

Posted by terrepruitt on January 15, 2013

For two weeks we didn’t have a working stove or oven.  The oven started beeping one night.  We turned off the circuit breaker and it stopped beeping.  I used it the following night.  But then the day following that it started beeping again.  It beeped and displayed a code.  The code indicated a part was broken.  My husband concluded via internet research and taking the control panel off the appliance that he could order it and replace it himself.  Part of the reason it took two weeks to get fixed was that there was a holiday and a weekend in there.  The part being shipped was delayed because of the Holiday.  By the time we got the part and he was able to put it in, it was the weekend.  The part didn’t clear the error.  Then there were issues in securing a repairman. For those of you that know how much I love my roasted vegetables you might understand having no oven was really difficult for me.  Roasted veggies are not only yummy, but so easy to make.  A few minutes prep then in the oven until they are done leaving you time to do other things.  That is why I love my oven.  During the two weeks we ate take out.  We ordered Chinese Food, which for us equates to a few nights of Chinese Food.  I also used my toaster oven, my electric skillet, my crock pot, and my Cuisinart Grill.  So it was not as if I had no way to cook, it just put a cramp in my cooking a bit.  On the nights I have a Nia class I like to put our dinner in the oven and have it turn on about the time that class is over.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaBy the time I get home whatever is cooking is either done or on its way to being done.  Without that I had to come home and start cooking.  But alas I have a stove and oven again.  YAY!  I missed them.  While I was not being able to use my stove and oven I tortured myself by looking at a cooking magazine.  As soon as my stove was fixed I decided to try a new recipe.

The recipe is from Bobby Deen.  I got it out of the Food Network Magazine.   The name of the recipe is Monday-Night Red Beans and Rice and is on the Food Network website.

Not your typical Red Beans and Rice recipe. I made some adjustments, of course!  I am posting it here as I did made it.  I am calling it something different too!

Sausage, Beans, and Rice

Ingredients:

—Three turns of the pan Olive oil
—3/4 medium onion, finely chopped
—8 turkey sausage patties
—1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
—2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
—1 15 1/2-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
—1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
—1/2 cup chicken broth
—1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
—1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
—1 bay leaf
—Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
—Salt, to taste
—Cooked brown rice
—Chopped scallions, for serving

Directions

Cook the onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage, chopping it up and separating it as it cooks.  Stirring it and moving it around as necessary.  Cook until almost cooked through.  Add the garlic.  Mix the garlic into the onions and meat.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Add the beans, chicken broth, cumin, thyme, bay leaf, green pepper, salt to taste, and pepper to taste.  Stir the ingredients until it is all mixed well.  Reduce heat and cover.  Let cook about 10 minutes.

Serve the mixture over rice.  Top with the scallions.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaThis was so good.  I used my beloved 14 inch pan that I missed for two whole weeks.  Once the beans were added my stirring was gentle as I didn’t want to end up with smashed beans, but I also wanted to make sure the spices were distributed and the bay leaf touched a lot of the ingredients.  So I stirred a lot, but not vigorously.

My typical spices consist of garlic and onions.  I didn’t even have cumin.  I had to buy it with the sausage and onion.  Yeah, I was out of onion.  I have a stock of kidney beans and garbanzo bean.  I have them both for the bean salad I like.  Plus I love to roast the garbanzos.

I actually DID put pepper in this while I was cooking it.  For those of you that know me (either in person or through my blog) you know I don’t like pepper/spicy hot, but the pepper my friend gave me (SMOKED PEPPER) I can handle a little bit of.  So I put a little in the pan while I was cooking.  When I served it to my husband I put a lot of pepper on his.  While he was eating it he kept saying he was surprised I could eat it.  He thought it was too hot for me.  I had him taste mine . . . . which had NO extra pepper and he said the flavor was a little different.  So maybe the pepper brings out a different flavor.

Either way, we both loved it and I can see this becoming one of those meals I cook often.  I can see experiments with different sausages and no meat at all.

I can also see me cooking more with cumin.

Do you like red kidney beans?  Do you like garbanzo beans?  Doesn’t this sound tasty?

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