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Black Bean Enchiladas

19 Aug

This Black Bean Enchilada recipe is inspired by my mother’s famous Lentil Enchiladas. My mother’s philosophy of cooking is more of a slow cooking approach and she enjoys spending a couple of hours in the kitchen creating the perfect dish. Me – not so much, I’ m more of a convenient type cook. I was looking to find a way to capture the essence of my mother’s dish but make a quick version for the on the go crowd like me. I purchased all of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s.


4 cans 15 oz. black bean

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 cup of chopped onion

2 tablespoons of chili powder

1 teaspoon of coarse sea salt

1 package of corn tortillas (taco size)

12 oz. enchilada sauce

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup of shredded blended pepper jack cheese

¼ cup of chopped green onions


Preheat oven at 350 degrees

Place two cans of black beans in a blender or food processor. Do not drain the liquid from the beans. Blend until beans are the consistency of puree.

Sautee the chopped onions in oil until the onions become translucent.  Pour the puree beans in the saucepan with the sautéed onions.

Drain the remaining cans of black beans in strainer and them to the puree mixture. Add chili powder and sea salt. Taste the mixture and additional salt or chili powder if you want more favor.

Pour 1/3 of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13 x9 baking dish.

Heat up a skillet on medium high heat.  Place a corn tortilla in skillet and warm it up for about approximately 30 seconds.

Remove the tortilla and place it on a plate. Take several spoonfuls of the black bean mixture on half of the tortilla.

Roll up the tortilla and place the rolled enchilada in the baking dish. Make sure the seam is face down. Continue rolling enchiladas until you have run out of tortillas.

After you have rolled all of the enchiladas you will take another 1/3 of the enchilada sauce and pour it on top of the rolled enchiladas.

Spread the cheddar and pepper jack cheese on top of the enchiladas. Spread the green onions on top of the cheese.  Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas.

Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Remove enchiladas for the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.


Avocado Hummus Delight

16 Aug

I took a seven week Sabbatical and I’m back! My grandson weighted in at 10 pounds and 9 ounces at birth…I know you are thinking wow! He’s very handsome and big for his age, but of course I’m the grandmother so what did you expect I would say.

I got up this morning to do my Trader Joe and Spouts run for the next few days.  It has been 103° degrees several days running and preparing raw food is my utmost intent for quick and easy which means many trips to the grocers for fresh. I wanted a twist to my usual veggie salad lunch during these high temperature days. I’m not too keen on bread but my taste buds were screaming sandwich please… As I sat down to eat this fresh opened face sandwich I knew it was a perfect post for Taster Testers Duo.  It’s clean and simple and I hope you enjoy the simplicity.

Avocado Hummus Delight  

1- Toufayan Smart  Bagel

2 TBSP roasted Pine Nut Hummus

1 small avocado

2 cups organic Spring green salad mix (cut into bite sizes)

1/4 cup vine ripen super cherry tomatoes (chopped)

2 TBSP red onion (diced)

1 TBSP buttermilk ranch dressing

Cayenne pepper (dash)

In a bowl toss the fresh green salad mix, cherry tomatoes, red onions, dressing, and cayenne pepper. Toast one bagel lightly.  Spread hummus on toasted bagel.  Layer slices of avocado onto the bagel. Top the bagel with salad mixture.  Yields one serving.

Chinese Five Spice Tossed Rice

11 Jun

My son and daughter-in-law are expecting baby #2 in the next ten days.  We kicked this weekend off with a baby shower for baby boy since the parents have no idea what they are going to name this child…how could that be?  It’s sort of like major holidays (Christmas, Easter, the 4th of July) that have appointed times and you know you need to shop for the occasion.  Anyway, my simple tossed rice has become a hit with my son’s in-laws.  The immediate family members were asked to bring a dish and since I was one only one from my family attending the shower I had to shine.  I love the robust favor of the 5 spices which gives the dish an authentic gourmet taste…enjoy!


Chinese Five Spice Tossed Rice

3 cups uncooked white basmati rice (will yield about 6 cups cooked)

1 lb white mushrooms (cut in half and sliced)

1 bunch green onions (slice bottoms and green tops)

½ cup olive oil

2 tsp Chinese Five Spice (I use The Spice Hunter brand)

1/3 cup soy sauce


Cook basmati rice according to instructions on package.  I cook my rice in a rice cooker for perfect rice every time.

In small batches, brown sliced mushrooms in small amounts of the olive oil and set aside.  In the same pan over low heat, add any remaining oil, Chinese Five Spice and soy sauce, stir and remove from heat.  Add mushrooms and cooked rice.  Thoroughly coat the rice with the mixture.  Add green onion.  Add more oil, spice and or soy to your taste preference. Yields 10-12 servings.

Just had to share this refreshing water that my daughter-in-law sister made at the shower.  It’s extremely simple.  Peel a cucumber and using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips of cucumbers.  Place in a pitcher of chilled water and OMG enjoy the fresh taste and the rinsing of the palate.

Sweet & Spicy Beet Spinach Salad

1 Jun

I fell deeply in love with the taste of beets a few years ago with one sip of raw beet and apple juice that I savored to the last drop. I eat them raw, roasted, steamed, and juiced. I wondered why I hadn’t eaten beets as a child as I recall there was usually always one jar of Del Monte’s in the fridge.  OMG, could it be mom was in love too and she wasn’t willing to share that jar with dad or eight children.  It was her private affair…I truly get it!

Beets are available year-round, but I heard that the best time to buy them is June through October, when they are at their most tender stage.  With that in mind let’s go for the sweet and spicy!


Sweet & Spicy Beet Spinach Salad

2 large red beets

1 large golden beet

2 cups small tender baby spinach leaves from a fresh bunch of spinach

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp agave sweetener

1/8 tsp ground allspice

Roast whole beets at 425 degrees about 60 minutes or until a knife can pass through the center of the beet.  Cool beets. Peel and dice into bit size cubes.

In a bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, agave, and ground allspice. Add diced beets to dressing and mix gently.

Break tender baby spinach into smaller pieces and toss with the beets and dressing.  Chill and serve. Yields 4-6 servings.

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