Category Archives: beans

a better nacho

This summer at Camp Endeavor I will be leading a lot of cooking classes and I couldn’t be more excited! Last year we made Spring Rolls and they were a big hit, I love seeing kids try new foods and enjoy things they don’t think they will. I wanted to test out some new recipes before camp starts and this one is so delicious I had to share!

After watching Food Revolution, I was really inspired by Jamie’s addition of vegetables in everyday dishes like sloppy joes and nachos. In a quest for healthier alternatives to kid favorites I thought that nachos would be a great meal to have the kids at camp prepare as well as a recipe that they could then prepare for their families once they returned home.

The mission: Make nachos into a healthy meal and include as many vegetables as possible.

The result: A filling, well-rounded meal that is stuffed with vegetables and enjoyed by everyone – kids and adults.

Beef & Veggie Nachos – 4 servings

  • 16 oz grassfed beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can fiesta corn, drained
  • seasonings: cumin, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper
  • tortilla chips
  • shredded cheese
  • toppings: chopped tomatoes, green onions, black olives, lettuce, salsa and sour cream
  • 1 can refried black beans

Heat large pan. Add beef and onions to pan, cooking for about 4 minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and seasonings. Let simmer until no pink meat remains, about 4-5 minutes.

Heat can of refried beans or black beans and turn on broiler. Layer tortilla chips on pan. Top with beans, beef mixture and top with a sprinkle of cheese. Broil until the cheese has melted, about 3-4 minutes.

Serve nachos with additional toppings and napkins. 🙂



Filed under beans, cheese, eating experiment, great meals, lose weight, protein, Recipes, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains


The trip to Colorado was a wonderful one! The taster and I walked around Denver so much that my legs actually hurt! (Sedentary job much?) The food was fantastic, some interesting drinks were had (a cucumber mojito that will have to be re-created) and I love that flip flops and a fleece are totally acceptable for pretty much everything! I’ll spare you every last detail and get right to my favorites:

Dinner at Rioja was amazing to say the least. It was recommended to us by friends and we would have gone back every night if not for the sake of variety. My favorite was the paella gnocchi: “rice crusted saffron gnocchi, PEI mussels, Hawaiin blue prawn, calamari, orange scented chicken sausage, artichoke hearts, smoked paprika tomato broth.” Could be a strong contender for the best thing I ever ate.

Daily trips to Larimer Square (Mary Beth I thought you would like the anthro-like banners in the street)

Rockies Game

Pictures around Denver

Day trip to Estes Park

Fondue & Flowers in Boulder, which I’m convinced is the hippiest city ever, in addition to being the home of many of my favorite food brands: Justin’s Nut Butter, Simply Boulder Sauces, Skinny Crisps, Celestial Seasonings, etc…

Red Rocks Amphitheater and some very necessary stair-climbing.


The Denver Art Museum


Filed under bacon, beans, eating local, great meals, restaurants, travel, Uncategorized, wine

roasted garlic hummus

Considering that I make hummus at least a few times a month, I can’t believe that I’ve never shared my recipe with you before! I love having hummus in the house at all times because, let’s face it, it is pretty much the best dip, spread, topping and straight-from-the-spoon there is. And once you make it yourself, hummus from the store just won’t cut it. I will admit that having a food processor makes the entire hummus process a very easy one.  I personally have never had good luck using a blender, but I know it is possible!

Hummus makes an appearance with veggies on a regular basis for snacks, in wraps, sandwiches, and as a wonderful topping for salads. I like to serve mine with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (or about 1.5 cup prepared beans)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 420° F. Wrap garlic cloves in a foil packet and roast for about 30 minutes. Remove from packet and squeeze garlic out of the shell. Add all ingredients to food processor and process until desired consistency.

Do you like your hummus plain or flavored? I generally prefer plain, but once in a while, some add-ins are a nice change of pace!


Filed under appetizers, beans, Recipes, vegan, whole foods


Home-made falafel has been on my list of things to make for quite some time. In fact, as I was cleaning out my cupboards, I tossed out a boxed mix that had been expired for, oh, a year or so. It is so easy that I’m really not sure why it had taken so long – essentially it is a ball of hummus and considering that I make hummus on a regular basis I really have no excuse.

There is no better accompaniment to falafel then some tzatziki and a greek salad. The Greek way – no lettuce, just cucumbers, tomato, red onion, kalamata olives, feta, olive oil and salt & pepper. Simple and a salad stand-by in my house.

Falafel – makes about 3-4 servings

  • 2 cups garbanzo beans (I cooked my own, reserving some of the cooking liquid)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • herbamare, coriander, cumin, parsley, salt & pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Process beans, onions, garlic and spices until smooth and incorporated together. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in large pan. Roll falafel into 2 inch patties and place in hot oil. Lightly flatten with spatula and cook for a few minutes, until light brown. Flip over and cook other side for 2-3 more minutes.

Confession: This did not work. As I sampled a bite after my photo shoot (normal), the taste was off, not to mention it was a bit mushy and not really sticking together. Then I realized that I forgot to add the salt and we decided we needed some binding power with an egg.

So an egg, salt and more seasonings later we re-fried the falafel – this time resulting in a much tastier little round. Not all kitchen experiments turn out as well as you hope 😉


Filed under beans, herbs, protein, Recipes, salad, tomatoes, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods

toasted chickpeas & chorizo over spinach

I swear this man can make anything sound good. I love his down-to-earth, yet exciting recipes like the lentils with curried tarka I made a while back. I actually can’t believe I don’t have “How To Cook Everything” yet, but the vegetarian version is on my Amazon wish-list. I paged through a copy and loved the sound of the recipes as well as the idea of eating “vegan until 6:00 pm.” I strive to follow a similar mantra.

With that said, this recipe needed a major make-over. A bed of fried spinach topped with fried chickpeas and chorizo? Mark, please. I know that it may have never been your intention to claim this as a “healthy” recipe, but drenching everything in oil, does not a good dinner make. So I worked my nutritionist magic and revised the recipe to a bed of wilted spinach and red pepper topped with toasted chickpeas and chorizo. Just as flavorful and so much healthier. I promise.

Toasted Chickpeas & Chorizo over Spinach adapted from Mark Bittman at The New York Times

  • 2 links chorizo, sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 bag of spinach (5 oz), roughly chopped
  • cilantro (optional)

Heat pan and add chorizo. Cook until lightly browned and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to pan and add chickpeas, cooking until lightly toasted. Set aside with chorizo. Add last 1/2 Tbsp olive oil to pan and add pepper and spinach. Take off heat once spinach has wilted. Season with salt & pepper and serve chickpea and chorizo mixture over spinach. Top with cilantro if desired.


Filed under article, beans, fats, gluten-free, great meals, herbs, protein, Recipes, vegetables, whole foods

caramelized onion & bean dip

Caramelized onions are quickly making their way to my ever-growing list of favorite foods. They are good with goat cheese, fabulous on crostini and amazing in dips. I recently brought some bean dip to a friends house but wanted to add something to make it a little bit different and figured that caramelized onions would be the way to go. It added an almost smokey element and a little texture to the dip.

Caramelized Onion & Bean Dip

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can navy beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • salt & pepper

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in pan and add onions, stirring occasionally until onions are turning dark and caramelizing. Pulse beans with other Tbsp olive oil and season with salt & pepper in food processor to desired consistency. Add onions and pulse to combine. Serve with crudites, crackers, bread, etc.


Filed under appetizers, beans, protein, Recipes, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetables, whole foods

salmon & white bean puree

This was a meal that was perfect on all levels. The salmon tasted like butter (without adding any), the bean puree was amazing (essentially like eating bean dip with a fork) and it included all of the components for a well-balanced meal: vegetable, protein, fiber and healthy fats – and a few cloves of garlic for good measure.

I can’t really take credit for the fish – that was all the taster, but we both loved how the salt and pepper formed an almost crust. It was crunchy and perfectly cooked. I have some wonderful recipes for salmon but never want to add too much seasoning to salmon – it is so good on it’s own!

White Bean Puree

  • 1 1/2 cups white beans, hot
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Puree all ingredients until desired consistency.

Seared Salmon

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 16 oz salmon filet
  • salt & pepper

Season filet with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in large pan. When oil is hot place fish in pan, skin side up and sear for about 5 minutes. Flip over and heat until cooked through.

What is your favorite way to prepare salmon?


Filed under beans, fats, great meals, protein, Recipes, seafood, vegetables, whole foods