"I made this for my family last weekend and it is awesome! Sunday is usually a big eating day in my house as everyone is home and mostly bored. I made this in the late morning, and doubled the recipe.
I used 5 cups chicken broth instead of water and added 2 cups of cooked brown rice and about a pound of preseasoned chicken breast in large cubes (montreal spices, nice and peppery, I cooked it before I added it).
It was a bit soupy for our taste, so I added about 1-2 tablespoons of a rue I made with corn starch and cold water to thicken it. I got busted cooking the kale(lol) and so left it as a side dish as the reaction from my husband about blending it was both hysterical and typical.
I'll have to save that bit for another time. Almost everyone used the kale as a bed and put their soup(stew?) on top and then mixed it together while eating it. The entire pot was gone by the time I started dinner, with 8 people eating it and everyone wants it on our weekly menu lol. Thanks for such a great recipe! I can't wait to fiddle around with it some more :-D"
For those of you wondering if you can actually do something like the Cheat System,
this is proof positive that you can, and that your family can be brought
along for the ride.
We are still early in the process of introducing the Cheat System to the world, but
This can be a very easy recipe to make. If you look at any (good) black bean soup recipe, there is usually a long list vegetables and spices. By using salsa and a curry/spice mix like Muchi Curry (or any other high quality curry powder), you can make this recipe very quickly.
Like any recipe we outline, there are many different directions you can take. We have outlined the "base ingredients" that you need to successfully make the recipe. We also outline a list of "variable ingredients" that you use to customize the soup to match your tastes.
Vegans and vegetarians can easily remove the bacon. If you have a family that includes men who wonder "where the real food is" you can up the bacon and maybe even put some chunks of meat in there and make it more of a stew. This recipe includes plenty of nutrient dense foods so that it will serve the dual purpose of making it seem like "real food" while serving them big doses of "good stuff."
Delivery is everything when introducing new healthy recipes and dinners in the home.
When asked what's for dinner, if you answer black beans, salsa, quinoa, invariably the answer becomes "where's the beef or that's bird food, how am I supposed to feel full?"
Always lead with the traditional ingredient. In this black bean soup, say, we're having bacon (or chicken or steak, whatever you've added). As long as everyone feels they are having the traditional protein, they don't anticipate dinners as this new healthy kick you're on, counting down the days until you revert back to beef bolognese pasta. When you answer, a new beef dish!" or a "special chicken hungry man chili" they start to look forward to what's next.
If you live in a gluten free house, the addition of Quinoa will provide a nice dose of non-wheat carbs. If you are looking to lose weight, increase your energy or are following Dr. Fuhrman's plan you can make sure to add as many blended greens as you can. For those of you following the PEERtrainer Cheat System, this is yet another way to "eat from the left."
This is also a recipe that you can make a lot of. If you have gotten into our Magic Fridge concept, you'll find this recipe especially easy to make.
1 16 oz Container Of Salsa
Muchi Curry or Curry Powder
2 Cups Cooked Black Beans
1/2 Serrano or Jalapeno Pepper (Onions are a nice replacement if you like flavor but not too much spice)
2-3 Cups Water
2 Slices Bacon
1/4-1/2 Cup Uncooked Quinoa (Or a half to a full Cup Cooked if you already have it in your fridge)
2 Cups Cooked and Blended Kale (Thanks to Jennifer Stewart for the suggestion on our Facebook Page, who says "you can't even tell the kale is in there."
Any extra vegetables you want or have on hand
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, Coconut Oil or Flaxseed Oil. (Especially if you are an athlete)
Chop the peppers (or onions) and add them to the water and the beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then add the salsa. From here, this is really a "choose your own adventure" recipe. Add Quinoa if you want to make a thicker soup or stew. Add some well cooked bacon for some added flavor and texture. Add Chicken or Beef if that is a direction you want to head.
Important Note: We strongly encourage you to follow Jennifer's suggestion and add blended kale. Kale and other greens are very high in nutrients that most of us don't get enough of. For example, Kale contains the highest concentration of Vitamin K of any food. Vitamin K is critical for bone health and healthy aging, yet experts say that poor intake of Vitamin K is common.
We are focusing on this because a) the average American eats very few greens and b) greens contain the highest concentration of Vitamin K. Other excellent sources of Vitamin K include Spinach, Swiss Chard and Collard Greens.
Greens obviously have a ton of health benefits, but we are bringing focus to Vitamin K, because it is a relatively new area of focus among researchers and health experts.
Calorie and Nutrition Information:
150 Calories in a 16 Ounce Container Of Salsa. (Fresh salsa usually contains tomatoes, green chiles, onions, salt, cilantro, garlic)
200 Calories Per Cup Of Cooked Black Beans (Black beans are roughly 100 calories per cooked half cup)
2 Slices Cooked Bacon have 40-50 calories per slice. Thicker bacon can have 100 or more calories per slice.
2 cups of cooked kale has only 35 calories and an amazing array of nutrients. As we mentioned, Kale has the most Vitamin K of any food. It also contains megadoses of Vitamin A and C and antioxidants, as well as meaningful amounts of a wide array of other vitamins and minerals. There is a good reason it is the #1 most nutrient dense food on Dr. Fuhrman's ANDI food scoring system.
Overall this recipe will provide you an array of important vitamins, minerals and nutrients. It also contains plenty of protein and calcium.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is easy to make. It is important to note that there are many variations, and many recipes out there. PEERtrainer's version goes a little easier on the calories and fat than others we have seen out there.
The biggest variable in any hummus recipe is the Tahini, which is simply toasted and ground sesame seeds that is usually mixed with a little Olive Oil. Sesame seeds are highly nutritious, but combined with Olive Oil become a food that you do need to account for.
For those of you following the PEERtrainer Cheat System, we do make sure you account for the fat in nuts and oil. Some recipes call for a full half cup of Tahini. Others that seek to reduce the calories only include one or two tablespoons of Tahini in the recipe. (There are also those who suggest removing Tahini entirely, and we don't recommend that because sesame contains some interesting nutrients which are often hard to get. But in a pinch you can go without it.)
From a taste perspective, the best Roasted Red Pepper Hummus that we have ever tasted is made by a company called Falafel King, based in Boulder, Colorado. Three things to note about the Falafel King version. First is that Tahini is the second ingredient after chick peas. There are 47 calories in a one ounce serving of their hummus, and 470 calories in the entire 10 ounce container.
The second thing to note is that water is the fourth ingredient. This is a critically important point, because what sets Falafel King Hummus apart from literally every other brand out there is the creaminess and the flavor. It would appear that the addition of a little water in the recipe helps to add a creamier texture. In contrast, a brand like Sabra tastes like paste.
The third thing to note about the Falafel King version is that unlike other recipes we have seen, Cumin is the lone spice in the ingredient list. We have contacted the company and will see if we are able to glean some more of their secrets. If you are lucky enough to live in Utah, Colorado, Kansas or New Mexico, you can find their products in stores, and there will really be no need to make your own.
For the others out there, read on!
Ingredients In Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
1 15 ounce can of Chickpeas (also called Garbanzo Beans). Bonus points for Organic
2 Heaping Tablespoons of Tahini
1/2 Cup of Roasted Red Pepper strips. (Either jarred or roasted on your grill or in your oven)
1/3 Cup of Water
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil (Flax Seed Oil is an alternative oil high in Omega-3's)
1 Lemon (for the juice)
1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt. (If you haven't made the shift to Sea Salt, please do so)
1/2 Teaspoon of Cumin
Directions To Make Roasted Red Pepper Hummus:
Simply combine all the ingredients in a blender, Vitamix or food processor and blend until creamy.
If you want to make a spicy version of this hummus, add 4-6 dried Red Chiles to the mix. It will change the texture of the hummus a little and give it a little oomph.
Estimated Calorie and Nutrition Information:
A 1/4 cup serving will have roughly 130 calories, 8 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of fiber and also contain calcium, magnesium, potassium and folate. These are all very good for you and have been shown to improve heart health and reduce cholesterol. For people with Type 2 Diabetes or Metabolic Syndrome a nutrient dense, high fiber diet will help to control blood sugar levels, and will put you on the path towards reversal of these conditions.
Red Peppers contain high amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. According to Jonny Bowden, they are "one of the few foods around that contain lycophene, a member of the carotenoid family that has been shown in quite a bit of research to be associated with lower risk of prostate cancer."
Sesame Seeds are rich in copper and magnesium. You can visit the sesame seed link to learn more about the health details. That page also contains a link that takes you back to this page.
How To Make The Indian Version Of This Recipe:
This was posted in the comments section below, we love Indian food!
Indian Version is called Red Pepper Chutney. I like it because of fresh ingriedients. Here goes: Heat 1/2 tspoon O.Oil, crackle cumin seeds, whole sesame seeds, dry roasted peanuts, add chopped garlic, dry red chillies, and diced fresh red pepper, salt and saute. Set aside to cool. The indian version uses Jaggery/molasses and tamarind paste, but you can use a pinch of dark brown sugar and squeeze of fresh lime juice to balance tastes and result in a sweet, tangy, spict concoction. Add to a blender, adjust water to make a craemy paste. Stays good for over a week in the fridge. Njoy!
This is something we have made in our house for a few years now. We found a shortcut to this recipe this winter while traveling. This shortcut or "secret" dramatically cut the time it took to make it, and actually made the taste more consistent.
Another secret to this recipe is that it also cures Insane Woman Hunger as well. ;)
I'm not sure how one would categorize this recipe. In some ways it is a Chili, in other ways it is a Salad. We may be inventing a new category of food here, because it is best described as a "Power Bowl" like the Mediterranean Gourmet Bowl we published last week.
We would define a power bowl as a) being tasty enough that you want to eat and make for your friends and family b) being nutrient dense, with lots of phytochemicals and micronutrients and c) having a nice balance of protein and carbs that very active people crave.
This is very Cheat System friendly as well. For those of you wondering how to easily do that, this is a "can't miss" option.
The ingredients are listed below, but like any of our recipes, you can mix and match. You probably can't replace the "secret" ingredient though.
1 Container (12 ounces) of your Salsa of choice. (Salsa is the secret ingredient because it contains everything you want to make this recipe super tasty, and all you need to do is open the container into the pan or pot). We find that the hottest salsa provides the most flavor, and dissipates once among the other ingredients.
1/2 pound of Bison, Lamb or Grass Fed Beef. You can add more meat if you like, but we would strongly advise spending a little more for higher quality meat. A little meat goes a long way, you get plenty of protein from other sources as well. Bison and Grass Fed Beef don't have added hormones, antibiotics. Bison is even high in Omega 3's. For those of you who are vegetarian or vegan, there are a whole host of replacement items here, which you already know about and love. Most lamb is grass fed. A half pound portion of Organic ground lamb will cost about $4 at Whole Foods. (As the quality of meat goes down, so does the price).
2 Cans Of Beans. These can be any beans you like. We use one can of black beans and one can of kidney beans. We have also used chick peas and white beans. If you soak your own beans, great. If the beans are organic, even better.
1/2 Pound Of Chopped Greens. Fresh spinach works great, just give it a quick whack on the cutting board. You can also use frozen greens here. Spinch, Kale, Escarole- whatever you have.
Muchi Curry or Curry Powder
4-6 cloves of garlic, smashed by the palm of your hand.
Extra Onions. The salsa contains some onions, but if you have one lying around, you might want to chop up the whole thing and sautee it in a tiny amount of oil before starting this recipe. You can add the ginger, garlic and curry at this point. This will take more time, but if you learn to "make sweet love" to the onions as you sautee them- they will love you back. This whole mix of Onion, Garlic and Ginger is a powerful combo and has been shown to help fight all sorts of really nasty diseases...
Take a big pan or a pot, turn the heat on the stove. Throw the meat and the salsa in, and start mixing the meat and salsa together as the pan heats up. This takes a minute. While the mix is starting to cook, get the beans ready, drained and then throw them in the mix. Mix it around. After three minutes, put the greens in, turn down the heat a touch and cover the pot or pan. Let it simmer for a couple more minutes.
The greens cook almost instantly, the beans heat up quickly. The key is to make sure the meat cooks.
Feel free to add more greens, you can serve this over Quinoa, with other vegetables. There are all sorts of options. You should be able to get all these ingredients for about $10, and this will serve several people with room for leftovers.
When you travel or are on the go, you can make a mix of this and put in containers. You can even put servings of this in a large ziploc bag and put it in your jacket when you ski or are outdoors!
This recipe can help satiate your sweet tooth as well as give you and your family a huge dose of Vitamin A. Which is a critical nutrient in keeping the immune system strong. This can literally be made in a matter of minutes. While lacking the exact flavor and structure of pumpkin pie, if you love pumpkin this can be a great thing to whip up at the last minute.
Kids LOVE this. (We have proven this in clinical research.)
1 can of pureed pumpkin.
Coconut Oil or Butter
Cinnamon (even a little added ginger and nutmeg if you have it)
Take 1 can of pumpkin, open it up and put it in a microwave safe bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or butter if you don't have this).
Throw in a little sugar, maybe molasses, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.
Add a touch of salt. Throw in the microwave for 3 minutes.
Remove, stir and cool. Add or adjust the flavors as you like. Enjoy.. this is a tasty way to get a huge dose of Vitamin A. Spinach and Kale also have huge amounts of Vitamin A. But they are not as tasty!!
Mediterranean cuisine is one of my favorites. It feels so fresh and clean and tastes like spring. I created this after spotting a great advertisement by Udi's for their sundried tomato artichoke pizza.
If you're looking to increase the vegetables in way that tastes great, reduce the wheat, have a "perfect protein", and leave feeling clean and full of energy, this is for you!
One thing we are working hard on doing is identifying foods that can be used in small amounts to deliver a big taste. Goat cheese is one of those foods. It is also a food that is a staple of "gourmet" cuisine. Of course we are here to help give you recipes to lose weight and get more energy.
But if we also teach you some great "gourmet" skills, that will be an added benefit!
Luckily my mother in law is one of the world's best cooks, and she has taught me over the years how to make healthy food dishes that not only taste great, but that impress your friends. Who among us does not want to make something for friends or guests and have them say "what is this, I HAVE to get this recipe."
That is a pretty tall order, but that is our new goal with our recipes! Seems like fun at least.
Optional: Finely chop spinach, Kale, Bok Choy in the Cuisinart, and add it to help reach your 1/2 pound green goal for the day. Maybe you don't want to do this for company or friends. But it fits in very easily.
Prepare quinoa according to pkg. It's usually 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water. I highly recommend preparing in the rice cooker.
If you don't have a rice cooker just bring the water to a boil, add the quinoa, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15-17 minutes until it is fluffy.
While quinoa is cooking, place artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, chopped spinach/kale, olive oil, garlic, few shakes of red pepper flakes in mixing bowl. When quinoa is finished, add to bowl. Then add a pinch of salt and goat cheese! It is DELICIOUS!
Important Note: Quinoa Is EASY To Buy and EASY To Make:
All Whole Foods have it. Safeway has it. You can get it at Wal Mart.
This link takes you to a page on the WalMart website where you can enter in your zip, and they will show you the nearest store where it is in stock.
You can also order it via Amazon. Very easy to buy, easy to make, and is a power food.
If you're following the PEERtrainer Cheat System, it's about 2 Cheats for the entire recipe!