Quick Fix: Black Bean Brownies

I don’t want to take credit for this idea, as there are tons of black bean brownie/cookie recipes floating around online. I just tweaked it to my liking and took some to a gluten-free friend as a ‘Thank You’, another batch to a girls spa party with a bunch of my work-out buddies, a meeting with an unsuspecting average eating ‘Joe’ and the hubby and my parents who all exclaimed “Wow! These are good!”. They aren’t too sweet (you can adjust to your liking), and work as either brownies or cookies. I’ve baked them in a muffin tins, mini cake pans and a brownie dish. They also are a breeze to whip together in the blender or food processor, no other bowls, mixers or spoons needed.

P.S. The batter is deeeelish and some of my batches may or may not have made it to the oven….

 

Black Bean Brownies
Dessert
 
The first batch I made with our old squirrely oven got baked at 500 degrees in muffin tins...but my husband liked how crunchy the outside were. The other batches were more brownie like at lower temp and in pans. You can also tweak this recipe easily by tasting and adding more cocoa, sweetener etc before you add the optional chips and or nuts.
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cup drained black beans (I used dried beans and prepared them or about 1 can)
  • ¾ cup oats (make sure certified GF for your friends ūüôā )
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½-3/4 cup sweetener- start on low-end, you can add more later(I used a mix of honey or maple syrup and coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Few tbl chia seeds
Optional
  • chocolate chips, pecans or walnuts
  • coconut or almond milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Add everything except chips/nuts/milk to blender and blend until smooth like brownie batter. (thick and scoop-able, on the verge of pour-able) If too thick, add few tsp of milk at a time.
  3. TASTE. Try not to eat half.
  4. Adjust by adding more sweetener etc.
  5. Add chocolate chips and or nuts.
  6. Taste.
  7. Bake in sprayed muffin tin, 8 inch brownie pan or 6 inch cake pan about 15-20 min. Use a toothpick to see when centers are done.

 

Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Quinoa

One thing I love about my best friend is our constant texts throughout the day…dogs, horses, sometimes our men, (Mars/Venus!) and of course, food. “Whatcha makin tonight?” is a common one. In the winter we can both eat our weight in roasted Brussels Sprouts so when I answered the standard question with “I’m not sure yet…something with Brussels?” She said add the Quinoa and with the idea sparked, this super simple, delicious winter recipe was made. ¬†I’m thankful for the ideas we bounce off of each other and especially being able to stay in touch across the country through something we both love, food.

Quick Fix: Roasted Veggie Quinoa
Main, Side
4-6
 
Nothing says comfort to me like a big bowl of roasted winter vegetables. Thrown together with some nutrient and protein rich Quinoa, and you've got a simple and healthful dish ready in under an hour.
Ingredients
  • 1 bag of brussels sprouts (2 lbs), cleaned and halved (cut off stem end, rinse, cut in half)
  • 2 cups cut carrots (make similar size to Brussels)
  • 1 package tofu, drained
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Braggs or Soy Sauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • 1½-2 cups dry Quinoa
  • 1 cube veggie bouillon
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Spread prepared Carrots and Brussels on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil
  3. Sprinkle generously with garlic salt & pepper, shake pan or use spatula to mix
  4. Bake about 30-35 minutes,shaking the pan halfway through.
  5. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, put in a baking dish, pour about ¼ cup Soy sauce, ¼ cup Balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of maple syrup in the dish. Stir to combine and spoon over tofu.
  6. Stick in oven with veggies for same time.
  7. You want the veggies fork tender and a nice caramel brown. The tofu will be browned as well.
  8. At the halfway point, start your Quinoa (it will take about 12-15 minutes).
  9. Rinse Quinoa well, then add water and bouillon cube (1 cup Quinoa to 2 cups water)
  10. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover until water is absorbed and white spirals have emerged in grain.
  11. Throw Quinoa and roasted veggies in a bowl,cut tofu into bite size pieces and add. Drizzle with olive oil.
  12. Taste and adjust seasonings (more garlic salt & pepper, olive oil).

 

Pi√Īa Colada Protein Shake

To celebrate what feels like the start of Summer in VA, I whipped this up in the blender after a balmy 85 degree morning in the sun. Yummy and refreshing, it gets a whipped froth on top from the canned coconut milk.

Pi√Īa Colada Protein Shake
Drinks
 
Ingredients
  • ½-1 cup Frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup Coconut milk (canned makes it creamier)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Water
  • ice
Instructions
  1. Add pineapple, coconut milk, banana and protein powder to blender.
  2. Blend, adjust with water or ice to get preferred consistency.

 

Cowgirl Beans Chili

I heard a while back, coworkers discuss making chili and how it would take all day in the crockpot to get just right. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the crockpot (especially for my refried beans) but … I also want to be able to create a fantastic comforting meal within an hour of getting home from work.

Done and done.

Cowgirl Beans Chili
Entree
6-7
 
You can have a steamy bowl of comforting chili ready in less than an hour! If you prep your veggies ahead of time- have the garlic, onion and peppers in one bowl and zucchini & mushrooms in another, you could have dinner ready in 40 minutes. Don't feel married to the ingredients maybe you don't have zucchini but have a sweet potato or aren't sure which peppers you like yet. Use what you have and experiment to find your taste with spices and peppers.
Ingredients
Veggies
  • spray oil
  • large chopped onion & 2 minced garlic cloves
  • peppers (2 bell, & 2 of a spicy: jalepeno/poblano/serrano OR chipotle in adobo), minced
  • 2 zucchinis cubed
  • 4-5 portobello mushrooms or package of baby bella mushrooms cubed
  • 2 cups corn (frozen or fresh)
Spices
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Tomato & Beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups black beans (canned rinsed or cooked dried)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Spray your deep pot with oil
  2. Over medium high heat saute your onions, garlic, peppers
  3. Add zucchini & mushrooms saute until browned.
  4. Add corn and spices.
  5. Turn up heat and add tomatoes, beans and water.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed, let simmer for about 20 minutes (just enough time to pop your cornbread in the oven and spin your salad!)

 

 

 

Quick Fix: Fried Egg Polenta Cakes with Spicy Okra & Tomatoes

This came out of a desire to eat some items in the fridge that needed to be used.¬†Honestly, I had never had okra before and was inspired to grab some at the Farmer’s Market to try. According to online foodies, it needed to be thinly sliced right before you cook it and pan-fried super hot to sear in the¬†moisture. The polenta I sometimes buy in the prepared rolls at Trader Joe’s or Wegmans, just slice and brown on each side. We had dinner in under 30 min. and no food went to waste, perfect.

 

 

Quick Fix: Fried Egg Polenta Cakes with Spicy Okra & Tomatoes
entrée
2-4
 
Polenta is made from cornmeal and can be bought in tubes in the produce at Wegman's or in the Italian section of most grocery stores.
Ingredients
  • half a large onion, diced
  • 1-2 hot peppers of choice (or sub mild)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Okra, about ½ lb. rinsed and dried in kitchen towel
  • Tomatoes, diced about 1½-2 cups
  • Tomato paste/Ketchup
  • 1 cup veggie broth (or water mixed with veggie bouillon)
  • Polenta
  • Eggs
Instructions
  1. Saute onion, peppers and garlic in a large saute pan with a little olive oil.
  2. Heat a separate saute pan over high heat, add vegetable oil. Slice okra on bias to get longer slices. When oil begins smoking, add sliced Okra in single layer. Let sear, then stir to flip. Total of only 3-4 minutes cooking time.
  3. Add to sautéed veggies, add tomatoes, few tablespoons of tomato paste or ketchup and broth as well. Salt & lots of cracked black Pepper.
  4. Meanwhile slice polenta, spray okra pan with oil and begin browning one side over medium high heat. About 3 min. check for browness/crispness and flip.
  5. Taste Okra mixture, adjust seasonings/more tomato paste, add hot pepper flakes if desired.
  6. Cook eggs over easy when all is done and seasoned to liking. (Crack in medium high heat pan sprayed with oil, let cook until whites almost set and bottom browned, season heavily S&P, flip, turn off heat.
  7. Plate browned Polenta, Okra & Tomatoes and egg on top.

Dinosaur Kale Salad

Dino-what? As perplexed as the checkout people at the grocery store were, the two names I knew to look it up under were Dinosaur or Lacinato Kale and they couldn’t find it. Oye…few minutes later a checker sprinted back “Tuscan Kale”.¬†Alrighty¬†then, this yummy dark leafy green has 3 names. It’s also one of my favorite new things to eat in the following salad. Thanks to MommaPea over at Peas & Thank You for turning me onto this fabulous idea!

Dinosaur Kale Salad
appetizer
2-4
 
Discovered and loved this kale from Peas & Thank You. A simple citrus Dijon dressing on this slightly bitter chewy green is delish. I eat the entire bowl in two sittings. Yum.
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches of Dinosaur/Lacinato/Tuscan Kale
  • 3-4 Tbl Dijon mustard
  • 1 lime (or lemon)
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • White wine vinegar (optional)
  • Nutritional¬†yeast (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Nuts/Seeds (Sunflower Seeds, Pistachios, or Pine nuts)
Instructions
  1. Wash the kale and tear off the leaves leaving any very thick stems behind (save for smoothies or juicing). Briefly dry with kitchen towel or spin in salad spinner.
  2. In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, add juice from citrus, Dijon, drizzle of Olive Oil, Squeeze of Honey, S&P. Splash of vinegar & Nutritional Yeast if using.
  3. Add Kale leaves, use hands to mix well. Taste, adjust dressing ingredients as needed (if too bitter add more honey etc.)
  4. Sprinkle with seeds or nuts. Yum!

Check out Peas & Thank You’s version here.

Everyday Chocolate Cookie Pie

A cross between a raw cookie and a decadent graham cracker crust pie, this chocolaty dessert is easy enough for any night of the week.

Everyday Chocolate Cookie Pie
8-12
 
I make this using almost exclusivity raw ingredients, especially raw nuts which give it it's creamy and rich consistency. As it is a rich desert, I have found a small square is decadent and filling enough for adult and child alike.
Ingredients
Crust Layer
  • 1½ cup nuts (almonds/walnuts)
  • ½ unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup dates (high quality medjool) or soaked store brand
  • dash of salt
Chocolate Layer
  • 1⅔ cup dates
  • ½-2/3 cup cashews
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • dash salt
  • 2 tbl. coco powder
  • chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
Crust
  1. Line a mini cake pan or round bowl with parchment or plastic wrap, enough to come up and over the completed pie.
  2. In the food processor or high speed blender, blend the nuts, coconut, salt and ¼ cup dates. You want a crumbly, sand like consistency; the date will act as the binder. You should be able to squish it into a ball and it holds it's shape. Add dates one at a time until the right consistency.
  3. When ready, press into the bottom of your pan or bowl.
Chocolate Layer
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth and you're able to make into a test ball. Taste tester : ) Adjust more cocoa powder etc. if needed. (Add chocolate chips at the very end-if using).
  2. Press evenly onto the top your crust layer. Lay the extra plastic wrap over the top and smooth it.
  3. Refrigerate to help firm.
  4. Thirty minutes to one hour before ready to serve, use plastic wrap to lift out of pan and peel off.

 

Salsa Verde Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Cashew Sour Cream

You can use store bought tortillas and jarred salsa verde but I promise if you use homemade these will be out-of-this world! Cowgirlbeans Salsa Verde & Corn Tortillas

Salsa Verde Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Cashew Sour Cream
Entree
4-8
 
Ingredient Notes: Salsa verde is usually made with green chilies and or tomatillos. Chipotle in Adobo sauce are delicious red jalapenos that have been smoked, dried and canned in a light tomato sauce. They are smokey, sweet and hot. Start with one chopped in recipes and then add more as you like. They can be found in any grocery in the Mexican section. Cashew Cream: (optional but SO delish. To make you must use raw cashews that have been soaked in water for two hours-overnight. (unless you have a Vitamix which will pulverize anything- no soaking necessary). I didn't measure exactly for the lemon and vinegar- so go scant with each and add more by the tsp. after you taste. You'll know when it's just right.
Ingredients
Enchiladas
  • 1 jar Salsa Verde
  • 10 Corn Tortillas, warmed (if you skip warming they will break)
  • 2 cups cooked or 1 can Black Beans
  • 3 Cooked Sweet Potatoes
  • Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
  • Smoked Paprika
  • fresh Spinach
Cashew Sour Cream
  • ½ cup raw cashews (cannot be roasted), soaked in water 2 hrs. prior
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • salt
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Smash sweet potatoes in a bowl, add 1 chopped chipotle in adobo sauce and heavy sprinkle of smoked paprika. Taste, add more of both if needed.
  3. Pour half of the salsa verde in the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Place a tortilla in the sauce, move around a bit to get saucy, then smear sweet potato mixture down the middle. Add spoonful black beans and spinach.
  5. Roll up and push to edge of pan.
  6. Repeat until fillings are gone and or your pan is full of enchiladas nestled next to each-other.
  7. Pour remaining salsa verde over enchiladas.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes: you want them heated through and the tops of the tortillas browned and crispy.
  9. Serve enchiladas with a dollop of cashew cream and a salad with creamy avocado.
Cashew Cream
  1. Place soaked cashews, lemon juice, pinch of salt and vinegar in blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until thoroughly combined and creamy. Taste, add more of lemon, vinegar or salt as needed.

Quick Fix: Chickpea Veggie Saute

Super quick, super yummy vegan supper. Say that five times fast.

Good, you’ll already have dinner ready!

Quick Fix:Veggie Saute
entrée
1-2
 
A quick fix supper or lunch when you're craving a little cheesey-ness. Daiya mozzarella is the only non dairy "cheese" that actually tastes like, melts like, browns like cheese. It is made from tapioca root but magically tastes like mozzarella. Go figure.
Ingredients
  • ½ Onion, sliced
  • 2 cups Broccoli, bite size
  • Handful Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Zucchini, diced
  • Garlic Salt
  • ¼- 1/2 cup Chickpeas
  • Daiya Mozzarella, ¼ cup
Instructions
  1. Heat pan over medium high heat
  2. Spray with olive oil
  3. Add Mushrooms, saute until beginning to brown
  4. Add all other veggies, sprinkle with Garlic Salt
  5. Throw in chickpeas, stir to combine, Saute until all browned and tender crisp
  6. Sprinkle Daiya mozzarella over top, brown in oven if desired

 

Quick Fix: Rice Cooker Quinoa

A comforting, warm, meal ready in 20 minutes, using just your rice cooker. What are you waiting for?

Quick Fix: Rice Cooker Quinoa
entrée, Side
4-6
 
A quick and delicious meal of veggies and fluffy Quinoa cooked completely in the rice cooker!
Ingredients
  • 1 Garlic clove, pressed or minced & ½ Onion diced
  • ⅔ cup bite size broccoli & carrots
  • Spices: Lemon Pepper or Garlic Salt & Pepper etc.
  • 2½ cups water
  • 2 Tbls.-1/4 cup organic Ketchup
  • 1½ cups Quinoa
Instructions
  1. Plug in rice cooker (or turn on stove w/small stockpot)
  2. Put in garlic, onion, let brown. Add other veggies.
  3. Once browned, add Quinoa, spices, and water.
  4. Stir, cover and leave to cook for about 12 minutes.
  5. Check taste and tenderness (add more water if too dry, add additional spices if needed).
  6. Let cook additional 4 minutes (or ours automatically turns to "warm")
  7. Serve in a mug