Newlyweds navigating their way through married life – and the kitchen

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Black Bean Veggie Soup

Ok, Labor Day has come and gone – September is in full swing – and I know that techincally it’s still summer, but I think it’s safe to start sharing some “fall-ish” recipes.

I’m a brown-bag lunch kind of gal (even though my ‘brown bag’ is actually a plastic grocery bag that hasn’t been used to pick up dog poop).  And after doing the math, I realized that I may actually eat more meals at the office than I do in my own home! Augh – sighhhhh.

It’s real easy to get real bored with lunch from week to week.  There are only so many lunch meats and 100-calorie snack packs to be rotated.  So soup can really put a spring in my lunch step!  And this Black Bean Veggie Soup is a keeper – it get’s an A++++++, because not only is it:

a) pretty

b) easy to make

c) lasts for an entire week’s worth of lunch

It’s healthy, and only 4WW points per serving!

Black Bean & Veggie Soup
*Adapted from Allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS
*1 serving = 1.5 cups
yields about 6 servings (9 cups total)

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. Chili powder

1 tbsp. cumin

2 cups chicken stock

2 – 15oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 – 28oz can crushed tomatoes

1 – 8.75 oz. can whole kernel corn

salt & pepper to taste

1) In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat; cook onion, carrots and garlic until onion is softened (about 5 minutes).

2) In the meantime, take the crushed tomatoes and 1 can of black beans and puree them together in a food processor.  Set aside.

3) Add chili powder and cumin to onion/carrot/garlic mixture and cook stirring for about a minute.

4) Add the chicken stock, 1 can of black beans and can of kernel corn and bring to a boil.

5) Once the veggies have come to a boil, add the black bean and tomato puree to the pot.  Reduce heat, cover soup, and simmer for about an hour.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

I think the longer you simmer, the better, but I would advise atleast an hour. It really gives all the flavors a chance to really meld together.

This is also a great base for a chilli – I often times will add chicken or lean ground beef to this to make it a more hearty stew vs. soup, but regardless, you’re used plastic grocery bag will be happy 🙂 And so will your belly!


Sorry for the crappy picture – I was starving – and you know how I get when I’m hungry!

Ground chicken is one ingredient we don’t use much of, but on a whim, I tossed it in the carriage at the store on our last trip.  And for some reason, grabbed it out of the freezer to defrost for dinner before leaving for work.  And then I got to work and thought “WTF am I gonna do with that chicken?”.  Embarking on a new ground meat journey, while exciting, is somewhat nerve racking.

Then I remembered that Dave and I get these Chile Lime Chicken Burgers from Trader Joe’s, and even though they’re frozen, they’re pretty good in a pinch, and also pretty easy on the hips too!  So I started browsing and looking up some chicken burger recipes and after taking bits and pieces from a few, and adding a few twists of my own, came up with what I thought would be the perfect Southwest Chicken Burger.

Southwest Chicken Burger 

INGREDIENTS

1 lb ground chicken

2/3 cup panko or plain bread crumbs

1/2 cup black beans, pureed

1/2 cup corn (or corn of 1 ear removed)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

1) Puree the black beans and corn together in a food processor (or if you don’t have an FP, you could just chop them finely with a knife.  They’re meant to add texture anyway so they don’t have to be super small)

2) Put the ground chicken, bread crumbs, black bean/corn mix, garlic, cumin, chili powder, juice of 1 lime in a large mixing bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and mix together – try not to over mix though.

3)  Form 4 patties (or 6 – if you make 4, they’re pretty large patties) – chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes so they’ll hold their shape.

4) Heat a grill or frying pan for a few minutes to let it get hot – then place the formed patties on the grill pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through.

 5) Remove from grill pan, let sit for a minute or two, then place on a bun and enjoy!

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by this little creation!  The flavors were awesome together, and the black beans and corn added a little something extra to crunch on.  Like I said before, I would probably actually make 6 patties instead of 4 next time – it was a LOT of burger and I’m they type that likes a somewhat even ratio of bun to meat when I’m eating a burger or sandwich even.

Dave had his with pepper jack cheese and I mixed a little ketchup and ranch dressing together and spread it over the top.  DELISH! And easy! And healthy! My three faves!



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