Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip – FABULOUS!!!

Too good for words - thank you Pioneer Woman!
Too good for words – thank you Pioneer Woman!

Are you looking for a quick appetizer? An easy to throw together, yet super special concoction of all things good? Well, I was searching for the same thing a while back, and low and behold, Pioneer Woman (a wonderful blog, I highly recommend it!) posted this recipe… Don’t tell anyone, but once in a while we have this for dinner 😉 it’s beans… pure health food I’m telling you! I don’t add any salt because there is salt on the chips (and next time we’re buying the blue chips with no salt)… Here goes… If you haven’t heard of Pioneer Woman (whaaat?) Ree Drummond, she has a cooking show on Food Network, she’s got books, you name it… pure entertainment at its finest!

Click HERE to be directed to TastyKitchen.com so you can print this recipe

Ree Drummond - Pioneer Woman
From TastyKitchen.com

It couldn’t be easier…

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Drain and partially mash the black-eyed peas… You don’t have to mash them to death, some chunks are good. Texture. Is. Good!

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Add in everything else… the salsa, sour cream, onion, and jalepeno’s!

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Don’t forget the cheese! Add it to everything else and stir it around.

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Then spread it into a baking dish (I use a ceramic tart pan), and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes or until its nice and hot and bubbly.

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Serve with tortilla chips!

AND… if you’re in the mood for a good book that will make you laugh, her book “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story” is wildly entertaining… her real life story about how she met her husband, Marlborough Man… hee hee…

F L A S H B A C K

O n e  Y e a r  A g o:             Robert Joyner and a colorful president…

T w o  Y e a r s  A g o:         Charlie visits Shem Creek!

T h r e e  Y e a r s  A g o:  Baked Potato Soup with all the trimmings!

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Kale and White Bean Soup recipe – New Year’s Day!

Kale & White Bean Soup

Well HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 to you! What’s better than starting out the new year with something healthy? This soup is so good on a cold day, it heats you from the inside out! Note that it truly is better made a few days ahead, but it’s perfectly acceptable on day one! Have a small bowl and enjoy your day… then settle down to a big bowl in a night or two, you won’t be sorry! I served it with a small salad and an olive baguette that I heated up from Trader Joe’s… oooowie!

Here’s the printer friendly version from Epicurious, it’s a keeper for sure!

I used Great Northern beans which were so perfect in this soup. Silky smooth without falling apart, even after several days of reheating!

I want to mention that adding the parmesan rind (from all the reviews I read) is IMPERATIVE! Don’t skip that step. We’re fortunate to have a Whole Foods nearby, I bought a container of them for $1.80, enough for several pots of soup!

The recipe says 1 bay leaf (not from California). Not sure where my bay leaf was from, it didn’t say?? It was fine!

For the sausage… I’m not a big smoked sausage kind of gal… wanted something healthier, so I opted for fresh chicken hot Italian sausage and it was PERFECT! Just the right amount of bite that livened this soup up nicely. Mild Italian sausage would be nice as well.

I left out the carrots. They would have been pretty, but my husband isn’t a big lover of carrots in soup, and I thought they could easily be left out of this soup, although I might do a few long shreds into the soup next time for color…

I used local Kale… not sure what variety it was, but it was fabulous!

When I make a recipe I like to have all my ingredients measured out and ready to go…

Soup Ingredients I

Ingredients II

I snip the ends off the sausage and cut longways and the sausage falls right out of the casing… brown it, drain it and set it aside to add near the end of the recipe…

Chicken Hot Italian Sausage

Kale And White Bean Soup

Gourmet | February 2002

Yield: Makes 6 main-course servings
Active Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 3 hr

ingredients

1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 qt water
1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely choppedAccompaniment:provolone toasts

preparation

Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.

Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.

While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Cooks’notes:
•Soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.•Lacinato is available at farm stands, specialty produce markets, and natural foods stores. Be aware that it has many aliases: Tuscan kale, black cabbage, cavolo nero, dinosaur kale, and flat black cabbage.

Let me know how you like it! It’s a super tasty, soul warming treat!
Soup anyone?

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Fabulous Bean Soup – it can’t be easier!

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This soup is amazing. When it’s cold outside it will warm you. With all the beans it will fill you up and keep you full for a long time. I used a ham bone from Honey Baked Ham and it had a good bit of ham on it. There was the perfect amount, so I didn’t need to buy extra. This soup is outstanding! This is a collaboration of several recipes. Note: I DID NOT USE THE SEASONING PACKET…

Why didn’t you use the seasoning packet you ask? Well, because there isn’t anything that even remotely resembles “ham” and if there was, how would they get it in that tiny little packet? This is what’s in the seasoning “HAM” packet: Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (omg, click orange link to read what it is!), maltodextrin, salt, artificial flavorings (including artificial smoke flavor), silicon dioxide. Ok, what in that list appeals to you? One rule to becoming healthier… don’t eat stuff you can’t pronounce, don’t know where it comes from or ISN’T REAL! Soy protein for ham flavoring? Creeps. Me. Out. All you have to do is add a few spices and this recipe goes from being CREEPY to being a true delight! AND it only takes a minute to add a few spices. Here’s how I made the soup (click HERE to print recipe only):

15 (or 16 or whatever beans you’ve got!) BEAN SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1 pkg of 15 Bean Soup (dried beans only) – approximately a pound, give or take

1 ham bone – whatever size will fit in your pot (mine came from Honey Baked Ham, they sell their ham bones and they have quite a bit of ham, if you don’t have a ham place near you, you can use 1 pound of ham, ham hocks or smoked sausage).

1 large onion, chopped.

1 14.5 oz petite diced tomatoes

3 quarts water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 ribs celery, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 bay leaf

Pepper (I didn’t use salt because of the salt in the ham/bone, it didn’t need a speck!)

DIRECTIONS

Wash the beans and then soak in a large pot of water overnight (or for at least eight hours). Or you can use the Quick Cook Method (which is what I did because I decided to make the soup that day) – to do this rinse the beans then put them in a large pot with 3 quarts of water and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat, cover and continue on a slow boil for 60-70 minutes, and then drain the beans and rinse one last time.

In a large dutch oven, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and celery and saute until translucent. Add minced garlic, saute 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add spices, beans, tomatoes and ham bone.

Cover with about 3 quarts of water, or enough to either cover the bone or fill your pot.

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer about 1.5 hours.

Remove the ham bone, let cool a few minutes and cut the ham off the bone into small pieces.

Remove the bay leaf and add the diced ham back to the pot.

Serve… I served with an olive baguette from Trader Joe’s that I heated in the oven, then dipped in olive oil.

TOO GOOD, and it makes a large pot, so there is enough to eat, have lunches, and freeze!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Scandinavian Bean Salad recipe, GREAT with Turkey!

Years ago my mother-in-law made this bean salad as one of the side dishes for Thanksgiving… Cold bean salad… hmmm… thank you, but no thank you… I wasn’t a big bean fan, and definitely not cold beans. She urged me to try it… it’s good with turkey she said. Trusting her, I took a tiny taste. Bite of turkey, yummmmm, ok, here goes nothing… bite of bean salad… HOLY COW! This stuff is GOOD! Is that hilarious or what? We’ve had it every single Thanksgiving since, I know we’ve had this recipe at least 17 years. So trust me when I say, THIS IS GOOD… and it’s a great dish to make to take with you. You can make it ahead and it’s even better!

SCANDINAVIAN BEAN SALAD

1 can (16 oz.) small green peas, drained (I buy Le Sueur very young small sweet peas, I buy low sodium, but you don’t have to)

1 can (16 oz.) French style green beans, drained

I use a small bag of frozen shoepeg corn (sometimes I use 1/2 bag, original recipe calls for 1 small can white shoepeg corn, drained)

1 1/2 – 2 cups diced celery

1 onion, chopped (this time I used red onion, which is oh so pretty!)

DRESSING

1/2  – 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like things)

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil (or canola oil)

DIRECTIONS

Mix together beans, peas, corn, celery and onion. If you haven’t already drained the veggies, drain them now.

Mix up the dressing and pour over the bean/corn/pea mixture. Let stand 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator.

Serve by scooping out with a SLOTTED spoon. This keeps indefinitely (kinda like those toaster pastries, hee hee, but this is better for you!).

You. Won’t. Believe. How. Good. This. Is!

Wow, tomorrow is the big day… take time to think about all the things you have to be Thankful for…

I am thankful for you… reading this…

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Catch you back here tomorrow!

A quick and easy butter bean salad, can you say healthy?!

Monza’s butter bean salad with shrimp… To. Die. For. Amazing! Image: Monza

Today I made a wonderful butter bean salad reminiscent of the one that Monza serves here in Charleston. Well, it wasn’t quite butter bean salad since I used fresh Lima beans from Whole Foods, but it was darn close. I’m not sure what their recipe is, but I can tell you we devoured these beans in no time flat, didn’t even give them time to chill! Next time I make these I will make it the night before! If you make it to Monza some time soon I highly suggest their butter bean salad. You can get it with just the olive oil and lemon, or with tuna or shrimp. Tasty!

Monza-ish Butter Bean/Lima Bean Salad – this recipe serves 2-3

1 container of fresh butter or lima beans

3-5 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled but not cut

1 wedge of lemon

Salt

Wash the beans, in a medium or large heavy saucepan, add the beans and cover with water (cover with about 2″ water). Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium. Stir occasionally. Cook about 1 hour or until done. Then drain.

In small heavy saucepan, add the olive oil, turn it on medium, add a clove or two of garlic that has been peeled but not minced. Cut a few X marks to let the juices out… add to hot oil, then turn on low until fragrant. After the garlic sits a few minutes in the oil, pull it out and discard or set aside for another use.

Squeeze a wedge of lemon into the slightly cooled oil (be careful, if oil is hot then it’s going to spit), stir briskly or whisk until blended. With the beans in a separate bowl, pour the olive oil mixture over top of the beans. Sprinkle a little salt. Let cool, then pop into the refrigerator (good luck, half were gone before they got to the fridge, and I’m not kidding!).

If by chance they get dry add a little extra olive oil before serving (if you used all the garlic infused olive oil, regular is fine, and if you don’t like garlic, skip that step). I can’t tell you if they’ll get dry since we gobbled them up…

Next time I’m going to try beans in a carton (like FIG brand) if I can find them, or another non BPA brand like Eden… that will quicken this process. I’ll report back if I can find a good brand and if it tastes this incredible! This is going to be tasty with salmon and tzatziki sauce…

Catch you back here tomorrow!