Slow-Cooked Fresh Black Beans & Rice

I’ll admit it. While tomatoes, corn and mushrooms can all be purchased at the Farmer’s Market mine came from Meijer. I was in Pennsylvania last week and had to pick up groceries mid-week because my fridge was fairly barren, so I cheated. However, had I not been prowling Meijer’s produce I never would have stumbled upon the package of fresh black beans and felt compelled to try and do something with it eventually leading to the existence of this recipe.

Slow-Cooked Black Beans & Rice

6 oz fresh black beans
1.5 cups rice
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (green tomatoes would work great as well)
1 cup diced portabella mushrooms
1 cup corn niblets
20 oz water
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp tsp cayenne pepper

Note: I used fresh black beans, so I didn’t need to soak them. I got them from the produce section of my local Meijer by the sprouts & tofu. Feel free to substitute canned or dried beans, just pre-soak the dried ones.

Toss all ingredients into your crock-pot. Cook at medium heat for 3-3.5 hours.

Summer Veggie Empanadas

Empanadas (at least from my American experiences with them) are like baby versions of what I refer to as pasties. In fact, now that I think on it, this recipe is really like a variation on the pasties that I shared several months back. Anyway, I wanted to do something with kohlrabi and saw some reference to it being in an empanada which reminded me of making Panamanean Empanadas in college and led to this recipe. I meant to post it earlier this week, but the record highs kept me from being very kitchen motivated.

Summer Veggie Empanadas

1 1/2 cups diced kohlrabi
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup diced summer squash
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced radishes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tbsp butter
3 cups flour
2 tbsp water
3/4 cup margarine

Mix together flour, water and margarine for pocket dough. You can also buy pie crust to use if you don’t wish to make your own. Set aside in the refrigerator (esp if it’s warm in the kitchen). Now clean and dice your veggies.

Mix together died veggies with salt, pepper and ginger.

Pull out dough and roll into circles of 5-6 inches. Fill with a spoon & a half of veggie mix, add a dab of butter, fold and crease edge.

Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.

Also, this recipe is linked in The Healthy Hop July Edition:

Baked Swiss Chard & Spaghetti

Since I wasn’t home to cook this past week, this week will feature a double serving starting with my first foray into swiss chard. My intention is to give green kohlrabi a try next. We’ll see how that goes.

Baked Swiss Chard & Spaghetti

3.5 cups chopped swiss chard
1/4 cup chopped Viadlia onion
14 oz diced tomatoes
8 oz canned tomato sauce or paste
1/2 lb spaghetti
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Garlic powder
Olive Oil

Using a large frying pan, set chopped onions to brown. Once those are started place swiss chard in a saucepan with just enough water to be even with their level. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

Pour contents of the saucepan into the frying pan with the onions (being careful not to splash yourself). Add tomatoes & canned tomato sauce or paste. Mix together along a dash of clove, salt, fresh ground pepper and a tsp or so of garlic. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

I made my sauce the night before and refrigerated it to give the flavors more time to mingle, but you can also just proceed.

Partially cook your spaghetti noodles. I boiled them for about 5 minutes to be a little on the hard side of al dente, but I don’t like my noodles too soft.

Drain noodles and pour into an 8×8 pan along with sauce. Mix together well and top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 for 1/2 an hour or until cheese is beginning to brown.

Stewed Venison & Tomatoes

I really wasn’t sure what to call this recipe. I was thinking gumbo, but then I looked it up and it means ‘thickened with okra’. I don’t have anything against okra, but I haven’t had any in the kitchen of late so obviously that wouldn’t work. Feel free to give suggestions if you have a better idea of a classification.

Stewed Venison & Tomatoes

1 1/2 cups diced venison summer sausage
1 small to medium Viadlia onion chopped large
14 oz stewed tomatoes
1 cup water
3/4 cup roasted corn (or one ear cored)

Rinse and chop as necessary. Empty all ingredients into your crockpot and allow to simmer overnight or about 8 hours. My crockpot only has one setting so it would be at whatever the average setting is.

I chose to serve mine over rice which worked quite well, but I plan to experiment with pasta, gnocchi, etc. Also, feel free to add other vegetables and such the first time I made it on the stovetop with chopped zucchini (from the farmer’s market) and it was good as well.

Caffeinated Pork & Peaches

I know I already put a recipe up this week, but this one has been waiting to see the light of day and I thought that FaveDiet’s Blog Hop was the perfect excuse to give it that chance. Of course, I only realized after posting the link that the theme is deli salads and I am in non-compliance :\ Die hard hoppers, please forgive this first-timers mistake.

As to the recipe itself, several months ago I saw a sign for coffee encrusted pork (loin I think) and it intrigued me, so here’s my twist on the idea.

Caffeinated Pork & Peaches

3 thinly sliced boneless pork chops
2 tbsp regular coffee grounds
1/2 can peaches in light sauce
1/8 tsp clove
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Mix together the coffee grounds, clove, cinnamon & salt then spread thinly across a plate or other flat food preparation space. Rinse your pork and lay out over the spices. Press and flip.

Transfer into a glass dish and fill in spaces with pieces of peach. Pour in sauce around the chops.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Makes approximately 3 servings at 195 calories a serving.

Baked Chicken & Veggies

Sometimes simple is the best, especially when it involves fresh vegetables. This is one of those recipes. Nothing spectacular, just a simple, easy meal. All of the main ingredients are either from the Farmer’s Market (zucchini & beans) or could be from the Farmer’s Market given the right time period (chicken & potatoes).

Baked Chicken & Veggies

2 thawed chicken legs
1 1/2 cup green beans
1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1 medium red potato sliced thinly
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
Fresh ground lemon pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Place thawed and rinsed chicken legs in a baking dish. Snap beans & chop zucchini. Fill in around the chicken. Sprinkle with lemon pepper.

Thinly slice potato and lay out over the other vegetables. Heat butter and oil to a liquid and pour evenly over the potatoes. Sprinkle with lemon pepper.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are nicely browned.

Servings: 2

Kale & Egg Bake

While the particular bit of kale that I made this recipe with was actually bought at the supermarket, this is the first of the Farmer’s Market Foods posts.

Kale and I got to know each other when I first was introduced to the idea of green smoothies. Largely this was because this leafy green is incredibly healthy, not too bitter and reasonably priced at the supermarket or farmer’s market.

One day I realized that I had bought some kale and *gasp* forgotten it in the veggie drawer. Not wanting to waste this greenery and being short on time the kale & egg bake was born.

Kale & Egg Bake

4 cups kale rinsed & shredded
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
4 slices of bacon, cooked & shredded
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/3 cup panko crumbs

Steam your kale until it is a nice dark green and cook your bacon.

Pour kale straight into a baking dish. I chose to use a loaf pan. Shred your bacon and add it to the kale along with the cheddar, milk and eggs. Mix well and smooth top. Make sure that your egg and milk mixture is enough to be at least partially covering all of the kale.

Mix together flaxseed and panko. Pour them over the top and smooth.

Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour or until browned.

Makes approximately 4 servings at 268 calories a serving.

Parmesan Encrusted Grilled Cheese

I have always been and remain a lover of grilled cheese. As a kid I was quite the connoisseur of grilled cheese offerings at the various restaurants we frequented, so much so I distinctly remember it coming up at a birthday dinner that perhaps I might try something aside from grilled cheese for the occasion.

As an adult viewer of great Food Network programming like ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’, I was introduced to the idea that more could be added to a grilled cheese than just ham or bacon. Thus came the avocado (tomato is good too). I also became aware of the mixed cheese philosophy. Sharp cheddar & swiss go well with the avocado. I enjoy using a monterey jack blend.

Lest the pictures confuse, I used thinly sliced baguette french bread to make my sandwiches while photographing this recipe. Because I then ate them, I made two smaller sandwiches. It can be done with regular bread. I prefer the taste this way.

Parmesan Encrusted Grilled Cheese
(with Avocado)

2 pieces of bread
1/4 cup of a cheese/cheeses of you choice
1/8 cup of sliced avocado
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in pan. Once warm, add Parmesan cheese and cook until it begins to melt together.
While it is heating, butter one side of each slice of bread.

Press bread into the melting Parmesan. Layer on cheese & avocado then enclose with other slice of bread.

Give your cheese a minute or so to melt then flip. The Parmesan should be nicely golden. If it’s too light you can always flip it back.

Once nicely browned; remove from heat, slice and enjoy.

Thank you, Maggie, for sharing this recipe in her grilled cheese post on favedietsblog!

Pasties are a Real Food

Some of you know what I speak. Some of you may have ended up on this post by accident. If you’re looking for exotic ‘accessories’ this is not the place to find them.

So, a few things to note about this recipe.

  • It’s actually a double recipe. So if it looks like a lot of food it is.
  • I used venison when I made this batch, but beef is the usual choice of meat.
  • I also included turnip and apple in mine. This is not the norm. Feel free to substitute potatoes for them.
  • Pasties freeze really well. If you are wondering what a single girl is doing with 20 pasties now you know.

On to the recipe.


2 cups diced rutabaga
1 cup diced turnip
3 1/2 cups diced potato
1 1/2 cups diced fresh onion
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced apple
1 1/2 lbs chopped venison (or ground beef)
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons of butter, chopped

8 cups flour
2 2/3 cups shortening
2 1/4 cups cold water

Mix together flour, shortening and water for dough. Set aside to cool in the fridge.

Slice, dice, etc. all of the ingredients for your filling. Mix together in a large bowl.

Remove your dough from the fridge and pull a ball a little smaller than a baseball. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Don’t roll too thin or it won’t hold up to the filling (those potatoes like to poke holes). I like to roll mine out to about 6 inches in diameter and put in about 1 cup of filling, but that is on the smaller side for pasties.

Place your filling in the center and fold into a half moon. Crimp the edges and vent the top.

Repeat until the filling is gone. I actually ended up with a bit extra of the dough and finished out my last sheet with one blueberry filled crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.

Estimated 20 small/medium sized pasties.

I also decided to try a breakfast size using my muffin pan. It takes a little more dough but turned out really well.

And, of course, there is the blueberry (with cinnamon & a bit of sugar) filled crust.

Check out this link for nutrition information.