Posts Tagged 'beans'

Black Bean Dip

This is another good party dip, although I also use it on sandwiches and on crackers. It can be used with veggies or chips. The original recipe came from Cooking Light.  It has unlikely ingredients, which is why I made it.  What food has both cocoa and balsamic vinegar? The caramelized onions give it a pleasant sweetness. Don’t be turned off by the black bean name – it doesn’t taste really beany.  In fact, I can’t really describe the taste.  You’ll have to make it.

Black Bean Dip

Cooking spray
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cups coarsely chopped onion
2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed.
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon paprika

Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and add oil.  Heat over medium high heat.  Add onion and sauté.  As the onion begins to turn golden (about 5 minutes), add ¼ cup of water, stirring the onions.  The water will evaporate and help the onions soften without extra oil.  Cook the onions until they are golden.  Be careful not to burn them or they will be bitter.

Put the onions and all the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.  This makes 12 ¼ cup servings with about 0.3 grams of fat/serving.  The original recipe said that the serving size was I tablespoon.  Who ever eats 1 tablespoon of dip?



Bean Soup

Well, if it’s going to snow, it must be time for soup – bean soup to be precise.  It’s hearty, filling, tasty, and has very little fat.  It doesn’t make the snow stop but it makes it slightly more bearable.  I use the recipe from HamBeens 15 Bean Soup, but there are bean mixes sold in bulk at the grocery, or just mix your own bean blend, with 20 ounces of dried pinto, lima, garbanzo, split pea, red, etc., beans to your liking.

Bean Soup

20 ounces of dried beans
1 pound of very lean ham, cut into 1 inch dice
1 cup of onion, coarsely chopped
1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tablespoon of chili powder
Juice of one lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
seasoning packet from soup mix or ½ teaspoon of smoke seasoning (or to taste)

Put the beans in a large pot or bowl, cover with 2 quarts of water, and allow to soak  at least 8 hours or overnight.  Drain beans. Add 2 quarts of water and ham (you can also use low fat turkey smoked sausage, but it is about 1 gram more of fat/serving).  I recommend a high quality ham slice, such as Kirkland, which has very little fat.


Bring beans and ham to a boil and simmer uncovered for 2 ½  hours, stirring occasionally.  I find I sometimes have to add a half cup of water periodically to keep the soup from getting too thick.  After simmering, add onion, tomatoes, chili powder, lemon and garlic. Simmer for another 30 minutes.  Add contents of seasoning packer or smoke seasoning and cook for 2 more minutes.  This makes 10 servings at about 2 grams of fat/serving.  I find that the soup gets really thick, and I have to add a little water when I reheat it.


PRINCIPLE: One of the reasons I made soup is to stock my freezer.  One of the basic principles I have followed to lose weight is that it is very important to have low fat food available on a moment’s notice, especially when I am ready to grab at whatever is convenient.  For example, when I get home from work and am tired, I would be perfectly happy to make dinner of cheese and crackers.  Now even if they are low fat crackers and reduced fat cheese, this is not very healthy – especially not frequently.  So my freezer looks like this:


The soup got labeled with the name of the contents, date it was made (so it doesn’t linger in the freezer forever), and the fat grams/serving.


Then the soup was packaged for freezing – after I ate a nice hot bowl.



I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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