Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Simmered black beans with red and white quinoa, toasted cumin, onions, tomatoes, New Mexico and poblano chiles, garlic, oregano and wedges of avocado, all served up in baked corn tortilla shells..

Black Bean Chili

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Soak dried black beans and quinoa in filtered water overnight.  Drain, rinse and cook in vegetable stock until just done.

Sauté cumin seeds, chopped chiles, garlic and onions in a heavy skillet over medium heat until browned and fragrant.  Add chopped tomatoes and poblano peppers and cook 5 minutes.

Add garlic, Mexican oregano, 1/4 teaspoon each cloves, allspice and cinnamon, cooked beans and quinoa and simmer 20 minutes; keep moist by adding bean-cooking liquid as needed.  Adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.

Meanwhile, lightly coat small corn tortillas with oil and press into the wells of a jumbo muffin pan.  Bake at 400 degrees until crisp and browned.

To serve, spoon chili into tortillas shells and garnish with avocado wedges, a squeeze of fresh lime and hot sauce.

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Huevos Rancheros, Salsa de Aji Mirasol Asado

If you’ve never made roasted salsa from scratch before, you owe it to yourself to try it – you just can’t buy anything this good in a store at any price.  This dish is easy and inexpensive enough to feed the whole gang.

Fresh, pastured eggs poached in roasted tomato salsa with fresh tortillas.  Garlic, cumin, Aji Mirasol (this Peruvian chile’s name means looking at the sun), onions and cilantro..

Huevos Rancheros, Salsa de Aji Mirasol Asado

Huevos Rancheros, Salsa de Aji Mirasol Asado

Coarsely chop tomatoes, tomatillos, red & green onions, garlic, jalapeño peppers, cumin and Aji Mirasol chiles.  Season lightly with sea salt and smoked pepper and roast in a 450 degree oven until blistered, about 15 minutes.

Working in batches if necessary, transfer the roasted vegetables to the bowl of a food processor and pulse to a semi-coarse texture.

Pour the salsa into a skillet and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

With the back of a large spoon, form a well in the just-bubbling salsa then crack an egg into the well.  You can prepare as many as a dozen eggs at once, depending on the size of your pan and the quantity of salsa that you’ve made.

Cover the pan and cook eggs to your liking, about 3-4 minutes for runny yolks.

Meanwhile, heat fresh tortillas (corn tortillas are traditional for this dish) in a lightly greased comal or skillet.

To serve, nestle an egg inside a tortilla and spoon some of the salsa around the edges.  Dress with a squeeze of lime.

This post is part of the Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet

Turkish Roast Eggplant with Bulgur Pilaf

Posted in support of Meatless Monday..

Bulgur is an ancient cereal, usually made from durum wheat. Common in Turkish and Middle Eastern dishes, nutty-tasting whole grain bulgur is more nutritious than rice or couscous.  Overnight soaking helps to break down the phytic acid, making it more easily digested..

Roasted Eggplant and Bulgur Pilaf

Roasted Eggplant and Bulgur Pilaf

Soak medium-grain bulgur overnight in filtered water.

Split eggplant in half lengthwise through the stem and soak in cold, filtered salt water for at least 30 minutes to reduce the bitter taste.  Drain, scoop out and chop the insides and set aside.

Pour 1/2 cup boiling water over 1 cup soaked and drained bulgur. Let stand 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy pan over medium heat.

Sauté half a chopped onion until lightly browned, then add 1 teaspoon each tomato paste and red pepper paste and cook several minutes until the oil separates.

Add 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, the reserved chopped insides of the eggplant, 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon sumac, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint. Stir to combine.

Add bulgur and stir to combine.

Lightly coat eggplant halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Fill eggplant with bulgur mixture and roast at 350 degrees until eggplant is tender, about 25 minutes.

Garnish with diced raw tomatoes, mint and scallions.

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Raw Cheese Queso and Fried Tortilla Chips

All local ingredients, including goat milk, raw cheddar, fresh jalapeños, herbs, vine-ripened tomatoes and toasted spices..


Gather jalapeños, tomatoes, green onions, garlic and cilantro from your backyard (or CSA, farmers’ market or co-op), grab some fresh cream-top goat milk and raw milk cheddar from the fridge and whole cumin, coriander, sea salt, pepper, chili powder and Mexican oregano from the pantry.

Toast the seeds in a dry pan over moderate heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add oregano, garlic, chili powder and milk and simmer for a few minutes.

Stirring briskly, add peppers, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lots of shredded cheese.  Continue to stir until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened, perhaps 5 minutes (do not let the mixture boil, or you will lose valuable nutritional value and risk curdling the sauce).  Add a little more milk if too thick, a little more cheese if too thin.  Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat a scant amount of rendered pork fat in a comal or skillet over medium heat.  Fry freshly made tortillas for about 2 minutes, flip and fry 1 minute more.  Allow to drain briefly on paper towels before cutting into triangles; they should turn out flaky-crisp, not greasy.

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays

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Smoked Knuckle Bean Soup

Dried beans are a great source of fiber, protein, B vitamins including folic acid and essential minerals.  Rounded out with fresh vegetables and a smoked pork knuckle in a healing bone broth, it becomes transcendent..


Rinse, pick over and soak dried heirloom beans in filtered water overnight.  If sprouting your beans first, allow 3 days for the beans to produce 1/4″ sprouts.

Bring chicken bone broth, water, knuckle and beans to a boil, then skim and discard the scum.  Lower the heat to medium and let cook until a second layer of foam forms, then skim and discard it.

Add chopped onions, celery, mustard seeds, bay leaf and black pepper.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender, about 4 hours.

Remove the knuckle and allow to cool enough to handle.  Trim away the excess fat, then dice the remaining meat and crisp in a pan as you would bacon.  Add the meat, chopped tomatoes and tender lima beans to the soup and simmer another 20 minutes before serving.

Posted as part of Real Food Wednesdays