Beans and Legumes

Chicken and Bean Nachos with Pico de Gallo

So, there’s this weird thing about Texas. (Take your pick, right?) And it wasn’t something I realized until I was much older. But it has to do with nachos. (That probably wasn’t your first thing that came to your mind.)

During most of high school, we lived on Dad’s Bean & Cheese Nachos – a large baking pan on which chips, salsa, cheese, beans (half whole, half refried), and jalapenos (half with, half with double!) were piled, then baked, then eaten in an all-out messy free-for-all straight from the pan. Those nachos could show up on enchilada night, on any Sunday afternoon during football season, and nearly every weeknight after Mom had gone back to school and Dad was responsible for “cooking” when he got home from work.

And then there was that weird thing I discovered about nachos in Texas. I ordered nachos at a TexMex restaurant and what came to my table was not… well, it wasn’t any nachos I had ever seen.

It was an arranged platter of separate tortilla chips, with each chip individually – annoyingly, pristinely - topped with your standard nacho fixins. The “nachos” were… beautiful. It looked like it came straight out of a magazine. And it was not the messy free-for-all pile of awesome that I thought I had ordered.

It was… dainty.

Chicken and Bean Nachos with Pico de Gallo

It eventually became clear that those individual nacho things were actually a thing. A Texas thing. Everywhere except my parents’ house and any sports stadium ever built. And this Texan? She does not approve of dainty nachos.

HEB Primo Picks

So when my box of H-E-B’s July Primo Picks arrived this month, I spied the perfect fixins for nachos.

We started with the sweet potato-tortilla hybrid chips and layered those with cheese, Barracho Beans (made with Texas-based Shiner and still one of my favorite things ever), spicy Chile Pequin Salsa, and chicken seasoned with an all-purose barbecue rub.

Topped with some pico de gallo and sliced fresh jalapenos (not pickled!) straight out of the oven, every bite was the fabulous, messy, hearty, flavorful free-for-all that nachos were meant to be.

Even in Texas.

Chicken and Bean Nachos with Pico de Gallo

Chicken and Bean Nachos with Pico de Gallo

Sweet potato tortilla chips serve as the base for these easy (and maybe-not-so-Texas-style) chicken & bean nachos.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp H-E-B Texas-Style BBQ All-Purpose Seasoning Mix
  • 1 bag (12 oz) Central Market Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
  • 8 oz monterrey jack, shredded
  • 1 can (15 oz) H-E-B Texas-Style Barracho Beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup Central Market Chile Pequin Salsa
  • For the pico de gallo
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 small handful cilantro, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Pound chicken breasts to even thickness and sprinkle both sides with the BBQ seasoning.
  3. Place on a large sheet of foil and fold the foil pouch-style
  4. Place the pouch on a baking pan and cook for ~20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Let cool for ~10 minutes and then shred.
  6. Spread the tortilla chips out in an even layer on a large baking pan.
  7. Top with half of the cheese, beans, chicken, the salsa, and remainder of the cheese.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has melted.
  9. In the mean time, stir the tomatoes, red onion, lime juice, salt, cilantro, pepper, and jalapenos together in a bowl and set aside.
  10. Top the nachos with the pico and serve immediately. Straight from the pan in a messy free-for-all recommended.

Notes

Yields: 6-8 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 50 minutes

This recipe was developed in conjunction with H-E-B and I was provided ingredients as well as compensated for my time. Messy fingers, stretchy-waisted pants, and opinions are all mine. You can find H-E-B on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you’re as lucky as we are, 3 locations within a 5 mile radius.

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Healthier Red Beans, Sausage, and Rice

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Besides Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya (which is one of the most popular recipes among our friends and family), my other favorite New Orleans-inspired dish is Red Beans, Sausage, and Rice.

I set out to give the dish a bit of a healthier makeover because, aside from the occasional indulgence, we’re actually eating pretty healthfully around these parts lately. And I’m about to start training for a 10K. And I’d like to look like I can run a 10K :)

I’ve always made my red beans pretty similar to the way I made pinto beans… with bacon. Lots of bacon. And then we added a bunch of sliced pork link sausage. And then we poured it over a big bowl of steamed rice. All that fat and those empty carbs are very, very delicious. But so is the lightened version.

Healthier Red Beans, Sausage, and Rice

We cut way back on the bacon, used a 97% fat-free turkey sausage, and then served it over quinoa to replace the nutritionally deficient white rice. (If you’ve never had quinoa, it has a similar taste to brown rice.) My house still had that heavenly red beans & rice smell (you know the one I’m talking about). We still got a hearty bowl of red beans & brown ricequinoa for dinner but we left the empty calories and extra fat where it belonged: the weekly dessert splurge :)

We get about 10 servings out of a single pot of beans – we serve a generous scoop of beans over 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa, serving the obligatory cornbread muffin and roasted veggie sides. (I only cook enough quinoa for 1-2 nights at a time.)

Red Beans, Sausage, and Quinoa

The Mardi Gras favorite Red Beans, Sausage, and Rice gets a healthy makeover with turkey sausage and quinoa.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb small red beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1/2 large yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 slice of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tony Cacheres Cajun Seasoning, optional
  • 14 oz reduced-fat turkey or chicken link sausage
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, per person
  • Tobasco, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place beans in a large pot and cover with 3-4 inches of water.
  2. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let sit for 1 hour.
  3. Return to medium heat and add the chopped onion, bell peppers, bacon, garlic, and bay leaves to the pot along with a generous pinch of salt, ground black pepper, and a good shake of Tony's (if using).
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer until the beans have completely softened, 1.5-2 hours.
  5. Cut the sausage into 1/3-inch rounds and then again to form half-circles.
  6. Add the sausage to the pot and heat through, 10-12 minutes.
  7. Stir in a few shakes of Tobasco and then serve over quinoa.

Notes

Yields: 10 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 301.9 | Fat: 8.2g | Fiber 6.6g | Protein 14.5g | Carbs 43.4g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 8

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Charro Beans

by Shawnda on February 23, 2011

in Beans and Legumes,Cinco de Mayo,Mexican & TexMex

Pinto Beans

Growing up, my mom regularly made a big pot of pinto beans. It was part of my dad’s favorite dinner of beans, potatoes, and cornbread – he called it “Poor Man’s Supper.” It was also strategic – she’d put the leftover ham bone from a special-occasion Sunday dinner into the pot to cook with the beans (and she used the crockpot). The leftover meat would fall off the bone and the ham would flavor the beans.

I rarely cooked beans myself because, up until the kiddo arrived, I was the only one who’d eat them. But now that I have a fellow pinto beans addict in the house, I make them regularly. I never cook ham but it isn’t hard to find a salty, porky substitution.

One of my favorite lunches is a bowl of beans with cilantro, a splash of lime juice, and a drizzle of sour cream whisked with a little milk. Oh, and don’t forget the warm flour tortillas. While potatoes and cornbread are definitely good, the tortillas make the meal!

Charro Beans

A flavorful pot of beans is the perfect side for Taco night.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 2 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Flour tortillas for serving

Instructions

  1. Place beans in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water.
  2. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes and then turn off and let sit one hour.
  3. Add bacon, garlic, onion, and the bay leaf and cook over medium heat until beans are tender (about an hour and a1 1/2-2 hours half).
  4. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf and serve.
  5. Leftovers keep a week in the fridge.

Notes

Yields: 12 1/2-cup servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 2 hours

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Baked Beans

There are just some things that I prefer to leave for other people to cook. Like my grandma’s “Fuzzy Fingers” and my dad’s Baked Beans. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized my dad’s beans were something special. Sure, as far as my family is concerned they’re the best thing about Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, The 4th, and Labor Day… and every other family dinner in between. But that point is always driven home after taking a bite of not-my-dad’s recipe, where I have found everything from mustard, ketchup, or barbecue sauce to ground beef, sliced hot dogs, or dill pickle slices.

Baked Beans

My dad’s 5-ingredient baked beans are rich, dark, and sweet. Dad goes on look and feel but I was at least able to get him to agree on standard amounts so I can make them at home when I get a craving. He makes them the same way my Papaw did, beginning with a can of Van Camp’s Pork and Beans.

Another thing Dad is very insistent on is the type of molasses – it must be Grandma’s Molasses. And using a bacon other than Blue Ribbon might get you that squinty, furrowed-brow, side-eye, NEW YORK CITY?! look that he has perfected over the last almost 32 years. That’s my dad, the judgey brand snob.

Dad uses strips of bacon on top of the beans as his gauge to doneness. When the bacon looks good enough to pull off the top and eat, he says the beans are done. That’s my dad, the bacon lover :)

Baked Beans

Dad's baked beans are loaded with molasses and bacon - and they're a holiday staple.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (1 lb 12 oz) Van Camp
  • 3/8 cup Grandma's Molasses
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 strips thick-cut bacon (Blue Ribbon is Dad

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Drain beans well in a colander and pour into a casserole dish - the bigger the dish, the more surface area on which to place extra bacon :)
  3. Stir in molasses, brown sugar, and onions, mixing well.
  4. Lay bacon strips separately across the top of the beans.
  5. Cook for 35-45 minutes, until the bacon has browned and started to crisp.
  6. Enjoy hot or room temperature - or for breakfast the next day, like my sister Angie does.

Notes

Yields: 6 1/2-cup servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 1 hour

Nutritional Information
Calories: 152 | Fat: 2.1 | Fiber 0
WW Points: 3

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