Posts Tagged ‘beans’

I love Jiffy corn bread. It costs around 60 cents per box and it consistently cooks to beautiful, golden perfection. But this past weekend, I wanted to see what it would be like to make my own cornbread mix and attempt to make a healthier version. Sure, it may be a sacrilege to mess with cornbread given that it is usually associated with Southern cuisine which is anything but healthy. But isn’t that the point?

I came across this basic corn bread recipe and stuffed it full of vegetables and beans to give it a little extra flavor and some much needed protein. I replaced the typical white flour with nutritious whole wheat flour. But I’m not crazy, I kept the buttermilk in the recipe to give it some much needed fat. If buttermilk is not available, you can substitute 1 cup of buttermilk with 1 cup of regular milk and 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice. The acidity will match the pH of buttermilk which helps your cornbread rise.


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 c cannelini beans (substitute black eyed peas, black beans, or anything you want)
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 c cornmeal
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Begin by placing the cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk ingredients together to combine.

Note: Whole wheat flour typically yields a more dense cornbread. You can easily replace this with white flour which will yield a fluffier cornbread.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, sugar, and egg and whisk to combine.

3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture to make the cornbread dough. With a wooden spoon, stir until until just combined. Place the tomatoes, beans, and red peppers in the middle of the dough and cut in so as to not break up the vegetables. Place the dough mixture in a greased baking dish. Cook for 25 minutes or until the top of golden brown.

5. Allow cornbread to cool for 5 minutes before cutting.

I want to apologize in advance to my friends at The Other Side of the Tortilla for this unauthentic classic Mexican dish.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 small flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 c Easy Tomato Sauce, warmed (or jarred)
  • 1c refried beans, warmed
  • 1/2 c queso fresco (optional)

1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow frying pan over medium high heat. Put one tortilla in the oil and fry until browned, flip and brown the other side. Repeat with the other tortillas.


2. Place the warmed tomato sauce in a large bowl. Dunk the fried tortillas into the tomato sauce quickly. Place on a serving plate. Top the tortilla with 1/2 c of refried beans. Dip another tortilla into the tomato sauce and place on top of the beans. Repeat with the other set of tortillas.


3. Fry the eggs and place two eggs on top of the tortilla. Spread the tomato sauce liberally around the tortilla and place the diced avocado around. If you prefer, sprinkle the top of the dish with queso fresco cheese and cilantro. Serve warm.

I love baked beans but I hate to wait for them. There’s the soaking, and the drying, and the mixing, and the baking for upward of 5 hours. A boy’s gotta eat and I can’t sit around all day waiting. Luckily, I have a pressure cooker that defies the rules of the kitchen and introduces intense amount of pressure that break the beans down quickly completing the meal from start to finish in around 30 minutes. This dish is sweet, sticky, and tangy and sure to become a family favorite.

If you don’t own a pressure cooker, I couldn’t recommend a piece of specialty kitchen equipment more. I bought mine to start canning my own preserves, but quickly found it had many more uses. It makes perfect risotto in under 10 minutes without ever needing to stand over the stove stirring, breaks down a pot roast to a perfect tenderness in around 40 minutes, and even makes chocolate cake. Cake, people! Cooked on the stove! If your in the market, I recommend the Fagor Duo. It’s made of high quality stainless steel, and has two pressure settings to maximize its uses.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 7 c cold water
  • 1 lb navy beans, rinsed and picked through
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1/4 c light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c (4 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp whole gain dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
1. Put the beans, water, bay leaves, and 1 tbsp olive oil in a pressure cooker. Secure the lid and bring the pressure cooker up to high pressure. Lower the heat to the lowest setting possible and cook for 15 minutes. Release the steam and drain the beans into a colander set over a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid.
2. While the beans are cooking, saute the onion and garlic in a medium sauce pan over high heat. When the onion begins to brown, mix in the molasses, light brown sugar, tomato paste, mustard, and cinnamon. Turn the heat off and combine all ingredients.
3. Return the beans to the pressure cooker with the onion-molasses mixture and 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Secure the lid and bring the pressure cooker up to high pressure. Lower the heat to the lowest setting and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Release the steam. If the beans are not tender, place the lid back on, but do not lock. Boil for an additional 5 – 10 minutes.
4. The sauce will thicken as it sits, but if you prefer, mash 1/2 cup of beans with a fork, return to the pan, and stir. Serve with hot dog slices if you wish.