Tag Archives: beans

Best of 2016

I slacked off in 2016. But that is understandable. My schedule was so busy, that I had less time to try new recipes. I did try some new, retried several old, and tasty recipes!

Here are some favorite recipes from 2016.

In January, I  kicked off the year,  with some another fun Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens recipes. This one is a keeper!


I even tried two roll recipes: Jalapeno, Scallion and Garlic  and Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno. Both were so delicious, that I continued to make them throughout the year!


I attempted the 21-day beach body diet in early 2016, and here’s my version of Bulghur Wheat Upma, designed to meet the container requirement (Disclaimer: I am not a certified Beach Body coach, so use at your own discretion!)


Another fun recipe in February from the beach body diet was the Brown Rice Paella.


March was all about Cauliflower Nirvana. Period!


Come April, I put all else aside for a two week vacation down under. What an incredible trip!



May is always, typically about Cherries.


I also experimented with other recipes like Mango Coconut Scones


And learnt to make Bagels… Sun Dried Tomato and Jalapeno bagels, of course 🙂


Summertime, to beat the heat, I experimented with many Popsicle recipes, many of them with mango or cherries: my two favorite fruits.


I maintained a scant patio garden this summer, which was plagued by over zealous squirrels. The most exciting vegetable from my patio garden this year  was zucchini!

August was about Savory Sun-dried Tomato Kalamata Olive and Jalapeno bread.


Two fun recipes from September included, plunging into Cauliflower Rice and Stir Fried Vegetables.


And these delicious Cherry Friands!


And another variation of the Quinoa Bisibele Bath.


October, I found Mango Chia Pudding, and it was terrific. It has fast become my go-to breakfast items!


November was incredibly busy. Come December, I did try the Tian.


But, December is all about the holidays… about Airplane Cookies!



Have a very Happy New Year!

Hope to see you back here next year!

Best of 2015

I had a lot of fun in 2015 trying new recipes from around the world. There are many keepers in the list that i cooked over and over again, and I expect, will continue to do so.

Here are some of my most favorite recipes…



Baked Bajji

Baked Vada



Quinoa Dosa

One-pot Mexican Quinoa

Mango Poha

Quinoa Vangi Bath

Cranberry Poha



Cauliflower, Kale, Chickpea  Curry Pot

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens with Navrattan Spices



Anise Flavored Kumquat Marmalade



Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno Hummus



Edamame and Zucchini Wraps



Zucchini and Yellow Tomato Gratin

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl



Pumpkin Payasam

Cherry Swirl with Dark Chocolate & Cherry Bits




Farro and Sun-dried Tomato Foccacia

Cherry and Cardamon Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Airplane Cookies



Watermelon Cooler



Tomato in Yogurt Sauce

Eggplant Curry with Onion



Cherry and Avocado Salad



Honey and Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts



Vibrant Beets Soup

Mediterranean Grain Soup



Amaranth Upma

Amaranth Dosa

Spicy Chickpea and Brussels Sprouts Soup

Valor Papdi Bean

Baked Bajji

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

Quinoa Upma

Mango Carrot Muffins



Thai Flavored, Sprouted Moth Bean and Vegetable Soup

I made this one up as I went, but you can’t really go wrong with beans or lentils or vegetables for that matter!

A few months ago, while walking through the streets of Boulder Pearl Street Mall, I came across a Savory Spice store. The aroma emanating from the store was intoxicating. The store shelves were lined with spices from around the world. The owner assured me that all the spices were freshly ground at his facility and  that I would have no problem with TSA, if I wanted to carry some spices in my carry-on baggage.

Despite his assurance, I decided to be conservative and only purchased a Thai Red Curry Powder and  dry Cilantro leaves bottle. Fresh cilantro can be found in abundance all year long, although this was the first time I came across dry cilantro in a bottle.


2/3 cup moth or haricot beans
1 carrot chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
1 lemon grass stalk chopped
1/2 turnip chopped
2 green onions chopped
1 cup chopped green beans
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt to taste
1 tbsp red curry powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes in oil (optional)
3-4 cups of broth or water
1 cup coconut milk
some lemon juice (optional)

Soak dry moth beans in 2-3 times water for 8-10 hours. Rinse and dry using kitchen napkins. Let sit for 2-3 days to allow the beans to sprout. Note: it is not necessary to make this soup with sprouted beans, you can use non sprouted beans. Also note, if moisture is present it is easy for fungi and bacteria to form on the beans.


To  a large pan add moth beans, chopped green beans, carrot, turnip, lemon grass, green onions, basil and water(or broth), coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce flame and let simmer. Season with salt, and red curry powder and continue to simmer for 1-2 hours. Add red pepper flakes in oil and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes.

mb2JPGDrizzle some lemon juice and enjoy warm with some bread!


Last of the Summer Vine: Wild Rice Pilaf

Slowly, but steadily the temperatures are dipping down into the 60’s and 50’s and the lows into 40’s and 30’s. Most of my summer plants, while still alive have stopped producing. Almost.

wrp1My late blooming yellow pepper plant has abundant peppers growing, but some menace appears to be attacking them. So this week, I decided to harvest some well grown peppers even if they are still green and haven’t changed color.  I also harvested some Italian flat beans and some red sorrel greens. Eggplant, tomato and zucchini are still alive and flowering but rarely producing fruit. Herbs are still doing great.

I used the beans and peppers to make some Wild Rice Pilaf that turned out pretty good.


1/2 wild rice
2 small bell peppers
4-5 Italian flat beans
1  shallot chopped
1-2 garlic cloves chopped or minced
a small piece of ginger chopped
3-4 cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
a few mint leaves chopped
1 sliced jalapeno
a few bay leaves
pinch of turmeric
1 tbsp oil
dash of garam masala
dash of cayenne pepper

wrp3Bring a cup of water to boil in a bowl and add the wild rice. Reduce flame and let cook for 10-15 minutes till the water evaporates and the wild rice is almost cooked.

In a separate bowl, add oil, cloves, turmeric, and cinnamon. Lightly fry for a few seconds till golden. Add chopped shallot, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, mint and jalapeno and lightly fry until golden. Add cut beans and peppers and continue to fry for 5-6 minutes. Add garam masala, and cayenne pepper and semi cooked rice and mix well. Add salt to taste. Add a little water, reduce flame to low and cover and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes until the beans and pepper soften.

Remove from flame and serve warm with some raita (yogurt and cucumber sauce).


Quick Lunch Series: Raw Green Mango and Chickpea Salad

Hello Spring!

So… A. Soup. A. Week. is finally over. And I am taking a break from soups to try some new recipes.
Before I move on, my most favorite soups were Raw Green Mango and Red Lentil and Roasted Tomato, Onion and Garlic Soups. They were neck to neck and I have decided they both were clear winners!


I found fresh raw green mango at the grocery this week and was excited to see baby green mangoes as well. It reminded me of home. This time of the year, there would be plenty of baby green mangoes dropping from the trees in my garden back home. My mother loved to make Mammidi Bhaddalu (baby mango pickles). And that is what I made with them. You can find the recipe here.

This is one of those quick lunch recipes when you need to pack your lunch box for a work day meal. I wish I had some fresh chickpeas, but canned it is!

1 can organic chickpeas
1/2 raw green mango sliced fine
1 baby yellow pepper sliced thin
1/8 red onion sliced thin
6-8 cherry tomatoes sliced
1/4 cucumber chopped fine
some shredded carrot
a few mint leaves chopped fine
1-2 tsp of capers
a few pickled or fresh jalapeno sliced

1 lemon juice (or unsweetened green mango juice)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper


Toss everything together and enjoy!

A. Soup. A. Week. Creamy Cannelloni Beans, Potato and Kale

Fennel seeds are aromatic and flavorful. I have often eaten them raw as a mouth refresher after a meal. You most often find them in Indian restaurants, sitting in a bowl along with toothpicks.

When I saw this soup posted last week by Somer on VegedOut, I thought it would be a perfect entry for A. Soup. A. Week. I did make some small changes: mostly excluded some ingredients that I did not have or used the replacement choices offered on her blog. I am a lifelong vegetarian and rarely crave the meat substitute products available such as vegan sausages or other meat substitutes.

I thought the fennel seeds gave this soup a very refreshing flavor.


January and February are busy months getting research work done and abstracts submitted to conferences, so did not end up taking more pictures! Here’s how I ended up making mine.


1 cup cannelloni beans
2 medium potatoes cut into cubes
2 cups kale chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
2 celery sticks chopped
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp italian spices
2 tsp fennel seeds
a few red pepper flakes
salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup cashews
4-5 cups water or broth

Soak the beans for 6-8 hours.

For the cashew cream, blend cashews with 3/4 cup water and set aside.

Heat a little oil in a large dutch oven. Add onions and garlic and lightly fry. Add carrots, potatoes, celery, fennel seeds and Italian spices and lightly fry. I pre-cooked the beans in a steam cooker.  Add beans and 3-4 cups broth or water. Bring to a boil and reduce flame. Let simmer for 30-40 (or as needed based on how long the beans take to cook especially when using raw beans) minutes. Add chopped kale and cashew cream, salt and fresh ground pepper and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. As always serve warm.

A. Soup. A. Week. Black Eyed Peas for Prosperity in the New Year

Eating black eyed peas and greens for luck and prosperity on the New Year’s day is a tradition in the Southeast. Keeping with the southern tradition, here’s this week’s A. Soup. A. Week made with black eyed peas for prosperity, kale (greens for luck and wealth), peppers (my substitute for pork to represent positive motion).


1 cup black eyed peas
1 cup greens (kale or mustard greens)
1 cup try-colored peppers chopped (or sliced)
2 celery sticks chopped
1/2 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
2 medium tomatoes
6-8 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
2 tbsp chipotle hot sauce
a few pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil


If using raw, dry black eyed peas, soak in water overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add chopped onions, garlic, peppers and celery and fry lightly for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile blend the tomatoes in a food processor. Add the blended tomatoes to the pan. Rinse and add black eyed peas. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce flame to low and continue cooking for about 90 minutes.


Add chopped greens, sliced cherry tomatoes, red pepper flakes, chipotle sauce and fresh ground black pepper and continue simmering for an additional 30 minutes.


Garnish with some spring onions and serve warm with a piece of rustic artisan bread. Delicious!

I am glad 2012 is done. A healthy dose of luck, positive motion and prosperity must amount to something… Here’s hoping for a better 2013!

Toasted Quinoa with Red Kidney Bean & Vegetables

1/2 cup quinoa
1/4 cup red kidney beans (cooked or canned)
1/2 cup orange or grapefruit juice
1/2 zucchini quartered and sliced
1 scallion slices
1 tsp fresh thyme
t tsp minced ginger
1/2 cup sliced bell peppers
6-8 cherry tomatoes sliced
1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
some grapefruit or orange wedges (optional)

Lightly toast the quinoa in a pan. Add 1 cup of water, orange or grapefruit juice, salt and cook the quinoa.

Meanwhile coat a large nonstick skillet with some cooking spray. Cook zucchini, scallions, ginger, tomatoes, thyme and  bell peppers. Stir in the quinoa and the cooked (or canned) red kidney beans. Stir in vinegar. Can season with some fresh ground black pepper. Top with orange or grapefruit wedges (optional)

Adapted from a recipe from Prevention Magazine. Replaced Shrimp with Red Kidney Beans.

Chickpeas with Spinach (Chole)

Chole is a very popular North Indian dish that is usually a very spicy curry made from chickpeas (channa). It is usually paired with bhature (fried bread). Chole can also be eaten with naan, roti and other types of bread and even with basmathi rice. There are many different ways to cook it. Traditionally it is cooked with onions and tomatoes and steeped in spices such as amchur (mango powder), anardhana (pomegrante powder) and garam masala.

1 cup dry chickpeas (or use canned)
1-2 cups of chopped spinach
1 medium white or yellow onion chopped
1 medium tomato chopped
2-3 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of ginger
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp amchur (mango powder)
1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional)
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
cilantro to garnish

If using raw beans, soak in water for 12 to 24 hrs. Boil the chickpeas in 2 cups of water until cooked. I usually prefer to cook them in a pressure cooker. Set aside.

Using a mini chopper or a mortar and pestle grind the garlic and ginger to a paste.

Heat a little oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and turmeric. Once the cumin seeds turn lightly brown add chopped onion and ginger-garlic paste and fry till lightly brown. Add chopped spinach and tomato and continue cooking for 5 min. Add the spices and salt to taste. Add the cooked chickpeas along with any left over water. Add more water as necessary and continue cooking on medium low flame for another 20 minutes until all the spices are infused and all the vegetables are cooked and soften.

Garnish with some cilantro and serve hot with bhature, roti, naan or basmati rice.

A little of this and a little of that

It was clean up time again. The refrigerator was cluttered with half a bell pepper here, some zucchini there, a bunch of beans, a small floret of broccoli, some cauliflower and other remnants of vegetables I had used the last few days. Perfect time to weed out of the refrigerator and transform the left over vegetables into an ingredient for a stew or soup with my favorite choice of beans. I go through this at least once a month. It is a perfect precursor to clean the refrigerator to make room for  some fresh and vibrant produce to inspire new cooking ideas.

Nothing new here…

I pulled my 13 bean soup mix, some fresh kale and herbs from the garden and tossed all vegetables in a huge bowl with some spices and lemon juice.

Lunch was a delicious hearty 13 bean and vegetable soup. Perfect for a fall day.

Hope you are off to good fall season!