Tag Archives: gluten free beans

Chunky black bean soup: How I broke in my brand new Christmas gift

Chunky black bean soup by LSCicchirillo

This Christmas I got a bit of a laugh when I opened a gift given to me by my husband.

‘You broke a cardinal rule,’ I teased as I held my brand new, just-unwrapped, still-in-the-box KitchenAid food processor.

‘What?’ Jon answered, truly confused.

You see, I had pretty much grown up knowing in my soul it wasn’t right for a husband to give a wife a kitchen appliance (or anything, really, that was solely practical) for her *insert birthday, anniversary, holiday present, etc. My dad had once given my mom a pancake griddle for Christmas, and it didn’t become a funny story till a few years later. In the 1991 version of ‘Father of the Bride,’ the young couple almost doesn’t make it to the altar when the bride-to-be is given a blender by her fiancé. Just recently, one of my friends was livid after receiving a GPS system from her fiancé for Christmas.

And now it was my turn.

Only I wasn’t upset. I felt I was supposed to feel irked over this broken Golden Rule of Marriage, but I only laughed.

For our honeymoon, we went to Paris and Rome. In Paris I fell in love with macarons so much that I had vowed I would one day become a French Macaron Connoisseur. I had recently bought a book on how to make the delicate, little treat, and my first attempt was a hilarious failure (more to come on that in an upcoming post!). I had blamed my failed attempt on not having a food processor (not me, of course!), which the recipe had called for, and this is what Jon had remembered.

And, I suppose I should mention to his credit, my main Christmas present were two tickets to the pre-Broadway show of ‘Aladdin,’ which was scheduled a few weeks prior to Dec. 25! It was a fantastic surprise.

But back to the food processor. And my chunky black bean soup. I must admit, the soup looks like a bowl of mud. But oh wow does it taste delicious! And we Canadians have been getting a wicked walloping from winter this season, so muddy appearance aside, I have been looking forward to my hot, comforting bowl of chunky black bean soup.

What you need

  • 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ large red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp. minced garlic
  • Five 15-ounce cans of black beans
  • 1 ½ cups of chicken broth (or more if you want to thin out your soup)
  • 3 – 4 tbsp chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of red pepper flakes

What you have to do

  • Begin cooking the onion and garlic in the olive oil in your slow cooker (you can also pre-cook it on your stove-top if you don’t mind the extra pan)
  • Wash and drain the black beans, and run about ¾ of them in your (fancy! new!) food processor
  • Add the black beans, chicken broth, and everything else to your slow cooker and leave for about 3 – 4 hours on low.
It may not look like much, it is one of the better tasting soups I've had all season.

It may not look like much, but it is one of the better tasting soups I’ve had all season.

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Scrumptious Salads: The there’s-no-way-I’m-turning-on-the-damn-oven edition

Hi everyone! It’s been a while (busy summer and all), so I thought I would treat you to not one, but two, gluten free salad creations I find particularly scrumptious. I’ve been eating these all week because, people, it’s hot. Oppressively hot. It’s been hovering around the ‘it’s-going-to-feel-like-45 degrees-kind of hot’ all week. ALL. WEEK.

The sun. The hot, hot sun. (Flickr / jmf1007)

The sun. The hot, hot sun. (Flickr / jmf1007)

It’s the kind of heat that makes me truly uncomfortable. And drained. And irritable. I get especially irritable when I hear people gushing about how ‘beautiful’ this weather is. There is nothing beautiful about instant sweat, matted down hair, and runny makeup. This weather is only appropriate if you’re on vacation or near some kind of lake you can hop into. But for day-to-day living? No. Just no.

When my stifling heat-loving friends hear me complain they immediately make some cliche comment about winter. ‘Oh, well I’ll take this over -20 and snow,’ they always say with a chuckle.

Here’s the thing my friends don’t seem to grasp. If it is -20 and snowing, you can always add a layer of clothing to warm up. Always.

I stumbled across a YouTube video that’s making its rounds and I included it at the bottom of this post. If you’re frustrated with the heat in your area or you just want a laugh, check it out!

So, back to the reason for this long-awaited post: the salads. Here are two no-cooking-required dishes I whipped up repeatedly throughout the week to stay nourished…and cool.

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Bean and pepper medley in a crispy lettuce wrap

While I enjoy cooking more than I have before, I really try to avoid being in the kitchen every single day. That said, I regularly cook large portions of my meals so they last most of the week. This goes for both lunches and dinners, and I really don’t mind eating the same thing a few days in a row — not when they are this good, that is.

And so I introduce you to a favourite lunch idea in my household: bean and pepper medley in a crispy lettuce wrap. This can be made using a wok and stovetop or in your slow cooker.

The bean and pepper medley goes well in a gluten free bread wrap, too, and can also be eaten without any wrap at all.

The bean and pepper medley goes well in a gluten free bread wrap, too, and can also be eaten without any wrap at all.

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