Spicy vegetarian chili

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Betsy’s spicy vegetarian chili

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups black beans, cooked
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa, medium
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup canned corn niblet

Heat oil in a large pot, saute onions, peppers and garilc for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add remaining ingredients except corn.
Increase heat to high to bring to a boil.
Decrease heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in corn, simmer until heated through.
Makes about 10 cups or 6-7 servings of 1 1/2 cups.

Tostaditas with Black Bean & Scallop Ceviche

Tostaditas with Black Bean & Scallop Ceviche
(sadly, no picture available since we ate it all up!)


For the black bean spread:

original Joelen recipe
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro
3 tablespoons light sour cream
salt & pepper to taste

In a bowl, mash black beans to paste, leaving it slightly chunky for texture.
Add remaining ingredients and fold in until combined and incorporated; set aside.

For the ceviche:
adapted ceviche recipe courtesy of Food Network
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cilantro
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 pound fresh diver-harvested sea scallops or any other fresh scallop of high quality
1/4 cup diced red or yellow onion
1/2 minced, seeded jalapeno
1 plum tomato, seeded, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine lime zest, juice, and spices. Set mixture aside. Clean and wash the scallops, then cut each 1 in 1/2 lengthwise. Add scallops to lime juice mixture, stir well and set aside in cooler. Add the vegetables and cilantro to the scallop mixture. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

To prepare & assemble the Tostaditas:
prepared black bean spread
prepared scallop ceviche above
tortilla chips
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 tablespoons water

Spread black bean spread on a tortilla chip.
Top with scallop ceviche.
Combine sour cream and water in a small bowl and drizzle over the top of the tostadita.
Serve immediately or have guests make them as they eat.

Black Bean Soup

The following recipe was shared at my Caribbean dinner event. You can read about it and get additional Caribbean recipes from the event HERE.

Black Bean Soup
shared at the event by Tricia & Barney
recipe HERE


10 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheddar, for garnish

Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, pick off all the thick stems from the cilantro. Wash it and shake dry. Chop the cilantro coarsely and stir it into the soup when it has been simmering 10 minutes. cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the garnishes.

Cajun Caviar

The following recipe was prepared for my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting New Orleans chefs. You can read about it and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Cajun Caviar
shared at the event by Ruth
recipe can be found here


1 (10 1/2 ounce) can black eyed peas, drained
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped (I use a mixture of red and yellow peppers)
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced (large)
1/3 cup pickled jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oill

Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.
Keep chilled until ready to serve with tortilla chips, corn chips or crackers.

Just Grill It!

It’s a gorgeous Saturday here in Chicago and we’re taking advantage of our grill. For lunch, I made this Dijon Tarragon Grilled Chicken which used up some random ingredients I had on hand. I served this with a portabello mushroom & spinach pilaf too!
Here’s the recipe for Dijon Tarragon Grilled Chicken:

1/3 cup chopped fresh (or dried) tarragon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Chicken pieces or boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine first 5 ingredients in processor. Process until smooth. Place chicken pieces in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Pour tarragon-mustard mixture over chicken; toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate 2 to 4 hours, turning occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place chicken on barbecue. Cover and grill until chicken is almost cooked through, turning every 5 minutes and basting with marinade, about 30 minutes. Grill without basting until chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes longer. Serve chicken hot, warm, or at room temperature.

I’m also submitting this to the Eat Healthy: Protein Rich blogging event, hosted by Sangeeth. Check out her blog for some great recipes too!

The hubby is off to work this afternoon so I’m flying solo for dinner. Since it’s just me, rather than having a full meal I’m snacking. One of my favorite snacks are nachos… or anything crunchy & salty that I can dip into something preferably cheesy.

I had some leftover ingredients from yesterday’s corn & black bean salad, as well as a package of Trader Joe’s guacamole. In my pantry I had a tub of On The Border Cheese. My random snack/dinner? A five layer dip w/chips!

3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup guacamole
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup shredded cheese or prepared nacho cheese
1/4 cup pico de gallo salsa

In a pie plate, layer the above ingredients in order, with the sour cream on the bottom.
Enjoy with tortilla chips & a margarita!

Leftover Lasagna Fiesta!

Finally, the cooler weather has set in! I’ve dug up some leftovers from my freezer and found a chicken & black bean filling waiting to be used up. This filling was initially made for my previous Calzone/Ravioli party a few weeks ago. It includes shredded chicken, sliced bell peppers (green, red & yellow), onions, garlic, black beans and green chilies. With my leftover filling, I decided to make a chicken mexican lasagna.Here is my recipe for Chicken Mexican Lasagna

1 lb chicken breast or thighs, boiled & deboned
salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder to taste
1 can black beans
1/2 cup each sliced bell peppers – green, red & yellow
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jar salsa
1 bag mexican blend cheese
18 corn tortillas

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except salsa, cheese & tortillas.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a 9×13 baking dish, spray the bottom & sides with cooking spray.
Place 6 tortillas in the dish to cover the bottom.
Add half the chicken mixture over the tortilla layer.
Sprinkle with 1/3 bag of cheese.
Place another layer of tortillas over the cheese.
Add the remaining chicken mixture over the tortilla layer.
Sprinkle with 1/3 bag of cheese.
Place another layer of tortillas over the cheese.
Pour jar of salsa over the tortillas.
Sprinke with remaining cheese.
Cover with foil & bake for 45 minutes – one hour.

I served this with sour cream and extra salsa.

Tex mex chopped salad

Tex mex chopped salad w/spicy roasted chicken
& cilantro lime vinaigrette

Spicy Roasted Chicken:
cut up chicken pieces
olive oil
Seasonings: 1 teaspoon of each
salt
black pepper
cumin
chili powder
onion powder
garlic powder
paprika
sazon seasoning w/cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all seasonings in a small bowl and mix.
Season chicken pieces with seasoning mix liberally.
Place seasoned chicken in dutch oven.
Pour olive oil over chicken.
Bake in preheated oven uncovered for 1 hour.
Allow chicken to cool.
Debone chicken and add to the following salad…
Tex Mex Chopped Salad:
romaine lettuce, chopped
spinach leaves, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
1/2 can of sweet corn, drained
1 small cucumber or pickle, diced
1 roma tomato, seeded & chopped
a few baby carrots, diced
handful of cilantro, chopped
chopped, deboned spicy roasted chicken
crushed tortilla chips

Combine above salad ingredients except tortilla chips and toss.
Serve with the cilantro lime vinaigrette below.
Top with crushed tortilla chips.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
juice of 1 lime
olive oil
handful of chopped cilantro (or to your taste)
salt, pepper & sazon con cilantro to taste