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O’Brien Refried Bean Quesadillas -Transformation Meal

Transformation Meal? What is that? A transformation meal is taking ingredients from another meal and making into something completely different. This is one of my favorite ways to cook.

I have brought to you different ways to do this before. For instance, I started with my Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip. Then I used the Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip to put on a baked potato for a lunch the next day. I still had some leftover and used as a filling for my Spinach Artichoke Lasagna. Finally used the remaining for an appetizer and made Roasted Baby Potatoes topped with Spinach Artichoke Dip. Lots of different meal ideas from one main starting dish. That is a tranformation meal.

Yesterday I made Refried Bean Tostadas. I have plenty of refried beans leftover so today I am going to make O’Brien Refried Bean Quesadillas.

  • 2 Food For Life – Brown Rice Tortillas
  • 1/2 c Refried Beans (from Refried Bean Tostadas), warmed
  • 2 tbsp chili-lime jackfruit
  • 3/4 c O’brien potatoes, frozen
  • vegetable broth, as needed to cook potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • salsa, favorite, garnish

In a large skillet add potatoes and Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Cook over medium to medium-high heat until potatoes have browned.. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and set aside.

Layer refried bean mixture, jackfruit and potatoes on a tortilla. Like making a sandwich place the remaining tortilla on the top.

Using the skillet that you browned the potatoes in, cook quesadilla to a golden brown. Turn quesadilla over to brown the other side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut with a pizza cutter.

Garnish with your favorite salsa.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: I like to use O’Brien potatoes because they have peppers and onions already in the mix. The potatoes add a great texture to the quesadilla.

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Refried Bean Tostadas

These tostadas are quick and simple to make. They would also be great for appetizers or an after-school snack. I served ours with a sliced fresh peach for lunch. You can make them as simple or elaborate as you want. There really are not any rules for these. Let your imagination go wild.

  • 1 16 oz. can of fat free refried beans
  • 1/2 c salsa, favorite (I like Newman’s)
  • Corn tostada shells
  • 1/2 c chili-lime jackfruit, shredded
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 5 tomatoes, cherry, quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sauce pan add refried beans and salsa. Stir beans and salsa until well combined. Cook over medium heat, until bean mixture is heated thoroughly. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place tostada shells onto mat.

Spread bean mixture onto tostada shells. Layer jackfruit on top of the bean mixture. Scatter a few pieces of tomato on the top of the beans and jackfruit.

Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and top with chopped avocado.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

 

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How To: Black Beans in the Instant Pot

I have not used my instant pot as much as I could. It is still a new tool for me, and I am used to stove cooking, letting a pot of beans or a soup slowly simmer on the stove, as the smells waft throughout the house.

Utilizing the Instant Pot only makes sense since I live in Florida. Right now it is extremely hot and humid in this southern state. I thought I would give it a whirl and try to make basic black beans in the Instant Pot. I purposely left out the seasoning so that I could divided them into 1 1/2 c servings and use them any way I so desired. Something like brownies or tacos. Each of these has completely different flavor profiles. Thus, different seasonings, and that is why these are not seasoned.

Sometimes I am amazed at how easy and quick the Instant Pot makes batch cooking. Batch cooking is one of my favorite ways to put a meal on the table in minutes. Make a pot of rice or quinoa. Roast a couple of sheet pans of assorted vegetables in the oven. And, make an instant pot of beans. You have the makings of a tasty and nutritious Buddha Bowl.

  • 1 c dried black (turtle) beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 c water
  • 1 Kombu, thumb size

Combine all ingredients into the Instant Pot. Secure lid and make sure pressure valve is set.

My Instant Pot directions call for 20 minutes of cooking time. Do a 7 bean tenderness check. The beans are done when all seven beans are tender to eat. If they are not tender, just cook them a little longer in 5-10 minute increments. You do not want them to turn out mushy. Mine took 30 minutes to be done.

Note: Kombu is great for infusing foods with alkalinizing minerals. It also tenderizes legumes helping with digestion.

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Garden Farfalle

This pasta can be served cold or hot. Usually we start off hot and then round two (leftovers) cold. It is very colorful because it uses many different veggies from the garden. What is nice is that you can use whatever veggies you have on hand and make it your way.

I like to make the veggie ratio higher than what you would normally see in a typical pasta dish. I always say the more veggies the better.

  • 12 oz. brown rice farfalle (I like jovial.)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 c kale, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 12 oz cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • All-purpose Seasoning
  • 1 15oz. can chick peas, drained, rinsed (Save liquid for baking.)
  • 1 Meyer lemon, zested, juiced
  • 1 c vegetable broth, and more as needed for sautéing
  • 1 tsp arrowroot/cornstarch
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

In a large pan, over medium heat sauté onions with some veggie broth and all-purpose seasoning, until the onions are translucent.

Add, kale, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini and chick peas. Sauté with veggie broth, to keep ingredients from sticking to the pan.

Add pasta, lemon zest to veggie mixture.

Make slurry with 1 cup of veggie broth and 1 tsp arrowroot/cornstarch. Add to pasta mixture. Stir.

Add nutritional yeast and stir.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Roasted Chickpeas

This is a protein packed snack that has a little crunch. It is the perfect combination. I made this recipe with my All-purpose Seasoning, yet you could make it with the Smokey Southwestern Seasoning or the Savory Blend. Also, you can increase the batch for snacks for a big game or party.

  • 1 15.5 oz. chickpeas/garbanzo beans drained, rinsed
  • 1 tsp All-purpose Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the chickpeas and all-purpose seasoning together in a large bowl.

Spread evenly the chickpea mixture onto a lined (parchment paper or silicone mat).

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Roast chick peas until desired crunchiness, about 25-30 minutes.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Mexican Fiesta Pasta

This dish is a nice change from the regular pasta dish. A little smokey southwestern seasoning, black beans and few others ingredients give you a completely different flavor profile

I made this all in one pot. That means less dishes to wash and more time doing more pleasurable things.

  • 16 oz. brown rice spaghetti
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 c corn, frozen
  • 1 tbsp Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1 c vegetable broth, plus more as needed for sautéing
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • cilantro,chopped, garnish
  • lime wedge, garnish

Prepare spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain. Rinse. Set aside.

In same pot that you cooked your pasta in add onions and sauce. Add vegetable broth if needed to keep the onions from sticking to the pan.

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Add garlic to onions and cooks until fragrant.

Add tomatoes, black beans, corn and Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Cook until heated through.

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Add pasta to veggies and stir.

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Whisk vegetable broth and cornstarch together to make a slurry. Add slurry to pasta and stir until pasta is coated. This is a light flavorful sauce.

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Plate pasta and add avocado cubes. The cubes add so much more flavor and creaminess to the pasta when you smash them. Garnish with a lime wedge and cilantro.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Roasted Vegetable Stew over Brown Rice

Batch Cooking is the way to cut your time in the kitchen significantly. So far I have made the following meals out of the batch cooking of vegetables I made recently. There was some Buddha Bowls and a salad. This recipe is using the last of the veggies to make a hearty Roasted Vegetable Stew that I will serve with homemade GF Bread.

  • Roasted Vegetables from the batch cooking, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1c White Beans, leftover from the salad
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2-2 c Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp All-purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1/4 c Nutritional Yeast
  • 1-2 c Short Grain Brown Rice, Cooked

Combine veggies, beans, tomatoes, 1 1/2c vegetable broth, bay leaves, all-purpose seasoning and coconut aminos in a large Dutch oven.

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Simmer until flavors have melded together and the stew is heated through.

Stir in nutritional yeast and add more broth if needed.

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Ladle the veggies over the brown rice.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy

Note: Short grain brown rice is my favorite brown rice. It is also called sticky rice. It has a wonderful chew factor. I have been using this in place of long grain brown rice.

Note: You can make this in the slow cooker. Just set on low and add the slurry just before you are ready to serve.

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Roasted Vegetables with White Beans Salad

I am utilizing the roasted vegetables from my Batch Cooking – Vegetables post for this salad. I roasted three sheet pans of a variety of vegetables. In under an hour I was able to chop and roast a large amount of veggies to be used in a variety of ways. I thought I would show you one of ways I have utilized the roasted veggies.

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This salad has a variety of textures and flavors – fresh, roasted, crunchy, creamy

  • Greens, variety, mix different kinds
  • roasted veggies – from big batch cooking
  • white beans, drained, rinsed
  • Gremolata
  • favorite dressing

Note: The vegetables could always be grilled if you do not want to use the oven. Use your favorite veggies. This is also a good way to try a new vegetable you have never had before.

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Double Bean Burgers

This recipe came about because I forgot to check the pantry for certain ingredients before I went to the grocery. That is why there are two different beans in this burger. The accidental mistake turned out delicious, and now I have another burger recipe for you. My husband had a great idea for these – taco meat, Yum.

First Blend:

  • 2 c rolled oats
  • 1 c walnuts, pieces
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until ingredients are well mixed and chopped.

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Second Blend:

  • 1 onion, large, diced
  • 2/3 c mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 15 oz can, black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can, chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1/4 c tahini
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp All-purpose Seasoning

Add remaining ingredients to the oat mixture.

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Blend until all the ingredients form a paste like consistency. Check the texture to see if the mixture holds together. I added 2 tbsp of water at this point so the patties would hold together. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more oats.

Form patties. Place patties onto a prepared sheet pan. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. this helps the patties to solidify and hold their shape.

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake burger for 30-35 minutes, until they are brown. Turn patties over about halfway through the baking time.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Mexican Fiesta Salad

This salad is so fresh tasting and filling. I made this salad for one of my assignments in a cooking class that I have been taking. I am almost done with the class (about 82% complete with 32 days left for completion). It has been a fun and learning experience.

Top this salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing and you have Fiesta City. With the combination of cooked and fresh ingredients it is a cinch to throw together.

Note: The ingredient measurements are for two salads. You can adjust according to the servings you will be making.

  • 1 bag of Sweet Butter Blend Lettuce
  • 1 c frozen corn, thawed or microwaved
  • 1 can black beans, drained rinsed (I had some extra leftover)
  • 8 grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 c brown rice, cooked
  • Avocado Ranch Dressing
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning

Note: The recipe for the Smokey Southwestern Seasoning is in the Basics section on my site. However, it is also for sale, pre-made in my store site.

Sprinkle corn, beans and brown rice with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Stir.

Microwave the corn, beans, and brown rice just until warm about 30-60 seconds.

Assemble salad.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.