Archive for the ‘Beans & Grains’ Category

  • 1 large & 1 medium can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large smoked ham hock or shank (or if you’re like me, grab that hambone out of the freezer that you saved from the last time you made ham!  Don’t ever throw that out!)
  • ½ cup cubed ham or roast pork
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 packet (or cubes) ham bouillon
  • 1 packet (or cube) chicken bouillon
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 large potato peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Small handful chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup frozen chopped collard greens (I love to throw a little of these into hearty soups of all kinds so keep what you don’t use in the freezer for the next soup!)

Place dash of olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in the bottom of a thick bottomed pot.  Add your garlic, onions, celery, potato, carrots and toss for 6-7 minutes over medium heat.  Next add ham or pork, beans and ham hock or bone. Add 5 cups water, lemon juice, can of tomatoes, collard greens, bay leaves, salt and pepper, lime juice, and bouillons. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and let cook 1 1/2 hours or so until veggies are tender. Remove bay leaves. Remove ham hock from the pot. Top with chopped cilantro.

If you’d like – you can also top with  a little chopped avocado or diced scallions!


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  • 1 can black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, shucked, rinsed and cut from cob
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Juice of one lime
  • Little lime zest
  • 2 ripe mangoes, diced
  • 1 large ripe tomatoes diced
  • Handful of fresh cilantro – chopped

Mix it all up and enjoy!  Great with fish, salad, chicken – even a mango margarita!  Thanks Jen!

Some other add-in’s you may want to try:

  • 1 small can chopped green chilis
  • 1 large peach –peeled, pitted and diced

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  • 1 bag (lb) of dry lentils (soak in cold water for an hour before preparing-then drain)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 link Andouille sausage, sliced
  • ½ cup diced ham
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 2 packets Goya ham bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 small potatoes – diced small
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

In stock pot, add dash of olive oil and brown your garlic & onions 2 minutes – then add sausage and ham and brown 2-3 minutes.   Add remaining ingredients (except parsley) and cook for 20-25 minutes until lentils and potatoes are tender.  Add lots of fresh ground salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot with sprinkle of parsley on top as a side or over rice as a main dish.  I like it cold as a salad or side as well.

HINT: Lentils are a terrific source of protein.  You can add all kinds of things to this to change it up.  Chick peas are a great addition or cannelloni.  Diced bell peppers or even diced roasted red peppers are great too.  Add more broth and a dash of lemon juice to make it more of a soup.  Very filling and very good for you!

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