All posts in beans

Jalapeño Cornbread and Chopped Southwest Salad

Hola!  Feeling inspired from a 2 week va-ca in Baja…and out came these A-mazing muffins! This lunch was part of my weekly menu: 5 vegetarian and gluten free meals.  I deliver to clients ever week in SF and you can sign up too, just shoot me an email!

I used cottage cheese and feta to keep the muffins moist and a whole can of chopped peppers also adds moistness (I hate that word).

The Salad may look boring but don’t let the picture fool  you.  The roasted corn adds depth while the cilantro and lime dressing adds a ton of flavor and freshness.  It’s heart healthy deliciousness.


Bob’s Red Mill Corn Bread Mix (here).  I kept it low in fat by substituting the oil for cottage cheese and feta.  About 1 cup total. Add a can of chopped peppers too.  Top with Sliced Jalapeños.  Follow baking instructions.  baked for 15 minutes in muffin tins

Roast corn with olive oil and salt and pepper at 425 for about 15 minutes, rotating twice.  Roast until it’s nice and brown. Let  cool completely before cutting off cob.

Dressing: Zest of 2 limes,  Juice of 2 limes.  1 T honey.  1 garlic clove minced.  1 T rice wine vinegar.  mix well and whisk in olive oil to taste… I used about 2/3 cup. salt and pepper.

The rest is totally up to you. Here is a perfect example of how my cooking is not meant to be technical…. you like avocado, add that.  You don’t like black beans… all good.  Just combine a ton of veggies.  You can not go wrong.  I promise you, anyone can make this salad.



Meatless Mondays

{Roasted butternut squash, chickpeas, tahini dressing and toasted walnuts.  Sweet potato black bean southwest burger.  Roasted Brussels French lentils feta salad.  Spaghetti squash roasted broccoli rabe and almond basil pesto}

Exciting biz news… In March I started cooking vegetarian and gluten free meals for a client here in SF.  I am really enjoying creating and cooking 5 new seasonal recipes every week!  And more so, this is the way I eat too (plant based gluten free) so cooking this type of food is much more enjoyable for me than meaty, saucy, porky, fatty heavy food.  You know that heavy slush feeling you get after eating pasta and burgers?  Well with my cooking, you’re left feeling energized and perfectly satisfied 🙂

A few of my favorite vegetarian bloggers are Kimberly Snyder, My New Roots and Whole Living.

{sweet potato and lentil stew.  Japanese Salad with carrot ginger dressing.  Shaved Brussels salad, blood orange pomegranate and pistachio citrus dressing. Cornmeal crust pizza, herb chèvre and roasted zucchini}

Beginning in June I will be expanding (commercial kitchen whootwhoot) and offering my Weekly Veg/Gluten Free menu to the public.  Shoot me an email if you want to get on the weekly mailing list…and get ready to have health delivered to your door




Turkish Sultains Ate Beans Too

beans, vegan 0 Comments
Turks and Beans go hand in hand
Vegetarians and Beans go hand in hand
Me and Turkey go hand in hand

I admit, I can be a foodie brat sometimes.  And the fact that I don’t eat wheat, factory farm animals and processed foods make it all the more difficult to please me.

With that said, I am more than happy with a well seasoned, perfectly cooked bowl of beans and rice  Not to mention, beans and rice make a complete protein.

These Turkish bean dishes satisfy the foodie in me for sure
The picture above is of one of my favorite meals in Istanbul, a restaurant right outside the walls to the Istanbul University in a beautiful plaza on a beautiful afternoon.  It was 2 pm and very table was occupied by groups of friends from the university: well dressed and well mannered.
Our meal ended with Turkish coffee and what other than…baklava!
Here I’ll share my two favorite Turkish bean dishes
Green Beans with Tomatoes and Dill

So fresh and clean tasting, you can serve at room temperature with rice on a hot summer day or serve warm with crusty bread on a chilly night
Adapted from The Turkish Kitchen
1 Onion Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves
2 T Olive Oil
1 1/4 lb Green Beans
1 T Sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
14 oz can chopped tomatoes
Handful of fresh Dill, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper

In a large sauce pan, cook the onions, garlic, and oil over low heat until softened
Toss in the Green Beans, coating them in the onions and oil
Add the sugar and lemon juice
Add the tomatoes to the pan and bring to a boil
Lower the heat and add the dill
Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until beans are cooked and sauce is thick
Season with salt and pepper

White Bean and Tomato Soup
Photo: 2 tl for 1 kilo = 50 cents for 1 lb
This traditional Turkish soup is o simple yet incredibly satisfying
It’s no wonder they have been making it for hundreds of years
Serve this soup with a little parsley sprinkled on top and steamed rice on the side

Adapted from the Sultan’s Kitchen
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 onion chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Large tomatoes, diced
2 T tomato paste
1 1/2 cups white beans
4 cups vegetable broth
1 carrot diced
1 celery diced
1 t red pepper flakes (I add more- I love spice!)
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup Parsley

In a medium sauce pan, heat the oil and butter
Cook the onion until softened, about 2-5 minutes, add the garlic
Add tomatoes, paste, and beans
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes
Add the carrot, celery, and red pepper
Cook for another 15 minutes or until the veggies are cooked
Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley

Before : 

Chickpea Balls

On mine and Mindee’s first night on Sifnos, Greece, we had a wonderful dinner at O Argiris in the port of Kamares.
We started our dinner with chickpea balls and a Greek salad followed by melt-in-your-mouth slow cooked lamb called Mastelo, all Sifian Specialties!

Chickpea balls are similar to falafel only not as spicy.  Falafel is made with cumin and coriander where chickpea balls call for fresh herbs and potato 

This recipe was adapted from a cookbook written by a Greek woman living on the island that does just about everything…. from wedding planning, dance lessons, ceramic classes, hike tours and cooking classes.  The cookbook is not very specific with ingredient measurements and cooking times… which just goes to prove the easy-going, laid-back mentality of the Greeks :o)

1 part chickpeas
1/2 part potatoes, boiled and peeled
1/2 part onions chopped
Parsley, dill, marjoram, mint
2 garlic
Red wine to kneed
Flour to roll in and oil to fry

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender
Put into a large bowl
Add a little wine at a time and kneed to combine
Roll about 1 heaping tablespoon
Roll in flour
Set aside
Fry about 5 at a time in oil
Drain on paper towels

Our view from the restaurant 

Green Curry

I am currently obsessed with Thai Curry!  What’s better than a big bowl of warmth with a bit of a kick!?

I have started making curry daily for lunch AND/or dinner.  I have discovered that using almond milk, as oppose to coconut milk, gives the nice creamy texture without all the fat that comes with coconut milk.

The vegetable, grain and protein combinations here are endless.  Really, once you get the hang of making it, you can pretty much use a combination of whatever is in your fridge and pantry to make a wonderful curry.
I will give the recipe for this combo because I happened to photograph it, but I’ve made many and will list other possible combinations below

Serves 2
3/4 – 1 cup of a cooked grain (use your Basic Grain recipe that you should always have ready and on hand)
2 T Thai Curry Paste (red or green)
Handful of edamame beans
Handful of Snap Peas, cut crosswise
Handful of Cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 Baby Bok Choy, roughly chopped
2 Cups Almond Milk or one can Coconut milk

In a sauce pan, combine your grain, beans and peas, curry paste and about 2 T milk.
Saute for awhile so the vegetables really get a chance to cook in the curry and absorb the flavors
Add the remaining milk and bok choy
Simmer partial covered for a few minutes or until vegetables have reached desired tenderness

If you are making your grain at the same time, do not add it to the curry.  Simply pour your warm curry over your warm garin.  I mixed my grain into my curry because it had been in the fridge and needed to be warmed.
If you are using a meat, add it to the pan during the first step with the curry paste.
My Other Favorite Ingredients:
Shredded Carrot
Any type of beans
Japanese Eggplant
Can easily be doubles, tripled…  You really can not mess up here… So simple and delicious!

Moroccan Tangine

This is a “winner recipe” for sure
served over quinoa and topped with Cowgirl Creamery Creme Fraiche
I’ve served this for many occasions: private dinner parties over quinoa for the vegetarian, clients I’m a personal chef for and my Kid’s Summer Cooking Camp.

Today we went to North Africa… enjoying pita too.
There are a lot of ingredients, and it is a little time consuming but well worth all the work.
This also lasts for a few days in the fridge and heats up really well.
As I know, kids love making this. Give them the jobs of cutting and chopping all the vegetables.

You can serve this over rice, couscous or quinoa. I serve it over quinoa to make it a complete protein meal.

Adapted from one of my Favorite cookbooks, Vegetarian Food For Friends
Serves 6

2 T olive oil
½ red onion, thinly sliced
½ white onion, thinly sliced
1 t tumeric
2 t cumin seeds
2 t coriander seeds
1 t cinnamon
1 red Serrano chili
28 oz canned chopped tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
2 oz dried apricots
¼ cup raisins
½ cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 large baking potato (or, I’ve used fingerling for esthetic purposes)
3 large carrots, thickly sliced at an angle
2 ½ cups chickpeas (about 3 cans)
small cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
Heat half the oil in a large sauce pan
Add the onions, tumeric, coriander and cinnamon and chili and cook until softened, about 10 minutes
Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for 10 min
Add the apricots, raisins and olives and potatoes and carrots
Cook for 45 minutes, until carrots are tender
(Meanwhile make the couscous)
heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the cabbage and stir fry until just softened
add cabbage and chickpeas to the sauc

e pan, bring to a boil

stir in parsley and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper


Packing For a Picnic

Greek CousCous Salad

Summer is here in San Francisco!

I can actually say it has been “hot” in the good ol’ “Fog City”
Which means I can no longer get away with out shaving my legs for 2 weeks or not wearing deodorant, damn :o)
With this beautiful weather comes picnic-ing…
Whether you are living in a big city, or a quaint town, it is so important to make time to enjoy the outdoors. Spending time in nature is good for your health, mind and mood. Can you believe it, hanging out in the sun releases serotonin, the happy endorphin! (more on ways to increase Endorphins)
I have been having so much fun lately packing a picnic and riding my bike around discovering parks. There are SO MANY parks in SF, who knew?!
Lately my favorite park has been Allyne, tucked away in a quiet hilly neighborhood, it reminds me of something I’d stumble across in Paris’ Montmartre District.
Picture I took in Paris’ Montmartre
Allyne Park, San Francisco (map)
Today I was tight on time, but it was too beautiful to have lunch indoors, so I decided to whip up a quick, nutritious salad.
(I will be adding many more picnic recipes this summer, but for now, here’s just a simple couscous salad)
Greek CousCous Salad
Made wonderfully first by my cousin Mindee.
Equal Parts couscous to boiling water
Cucumber, chopped
Tomato, chopped
Chickpeas (I used a can of organic)
Good quality organic feta
Balsamic Vinegar and EVOO to taste
S&P to taste
Add Boiling water to couscous, cover and let stand for 5 minutes
Fluff with a fork.
Now, toss in the remaining ingredients!
It’s all up to you on proportions, you really can’t go wrong here!

MexiCali Quinoa Soup

Everything you love about guacamole… in a hearty healthy soup!

This is just a simple quinoa and black bean soup with a little mexican spizzaz to it.
The fresh avocado, cilantro and lime are the key ingredients here…you’re gonna love it!
Refreshing and not too heavy, you can enjoy this soup on a warm summer night

Yields soup for 2 hungry bellies, or 4 small appetizers
Drizzle of Walnut Oil (I recommend using nut oils for cooking)
1/2 onion chopped
Clove of garlic chopped
1 cup of Quinoa
Organic Vegetable Broth
Jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Black Beans (I used a can of organic)
1 Tomato chopped
Lime Wedges
Organic Sour Cream
(sprinkled pumpkin seeds would be nice too- get creative)
In a heavy sauce pan heat the oil
Sauté the onion until almost translucent
Add the garlic and quinoa, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds
Pour in Broth and bring to a boil- reduce to a simmer
Add jalapeno, beans and chopped tomato
Simmer, partial cover, until the quinoa is cooked. About 12 minutes
Garnish with the remaining ingredients and enjoy!
Buen Provecho!