Black Bean Soup

In my ongoing quest to discover recipes low in fat and high in protein, fiber and nutrients, I came across this one.  While it’s not necessarily what I would term “soup weather” in New England right now, this really doesn’t heat up the kitchen all that much, and it’s packed with flavor.  The yield on this recipe is such that Neil and I each had heaping bowls of soup for dinner and there was equally as much left over so I froze it (which will come in handy this weekend when I’m running around like a lunatic prepping food-stuffs to co-host a baby shower with my sister) so it will easily feed four.


1 medium onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 TBS ancho chili powder

3 cups + 1 TBS chicken (or vegetable) broth

1 small zucchini, quartered and diced

1 cup chopped collard greens

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen yellow corn

1 4 oz can diced green chili

1 roasted red pepper

1 tsp dried Mexican oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup pepitas

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium soup pot. Sauté onion and garlic in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes
  • Add red chili powder and mix to coat
  • Add broth, zucchini, collard greens, and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add beans, corn, green chili, roasted red peppers, oregano, and cumin
  • Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes
  • Add chopped cilantro, pumpkin seeds, salt, and pepper

We decided to have a nice fresh green salad with our soup.  It was a great combination because there was something cool to pop in our mouths when the heat of the soup got to be a bit much.


Black & Pinto Bean Salad

Looking for an easy, low-fat side dish to bring to a party?  Or something that could be either a salad or a dip for tortilla chips?  Maybe a make-ahead dish that will be fantastic as left-overs for lunch for the week?  Or a vegetarian main?  I’ve got all of your bases covered.  Creamy beans, sweet red pepper chunks and corn niblets, crunchy pepitas, bangin’! cilantro flavor.


½ cup minced onion

2 medium cloves garlic, pressed

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

½ cup diced red bell pepper

2 TBS pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

3 TBS fresh lemon juice

salt and black pepper to taste


  • Mince onions and press garlic and let sit for 5 minutes
  • Mix all ingredients together and serve

We had this as a side to some ribs that I’ll post about another day 😉  The salad really added to the color pallet.

Inspired by this post on World’s Healthiest Foods.


Black Bean Chili

If you’re in the market for a flavorful chili that’s low in fat and high in protein, this one’s for you.  This recipe has absolutely no heat to it, so if you like it spicy, add a fresh jalepeno to the mix.  Or you can opt to serve it garnished with sour cream and a spicy salsa on top.  This dish has a great balance between the creamy beans and the sweet corn.


1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, diced

1 TBS + 1-1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

6 medium cloves garlic, chopped

2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)

2 TBS ground cumin

2 TBS red chili powder

2 TBS dried oregano

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

salt and black pepper to taste

fresh cilantro and scallions


  • Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium size soup pot and saute the onion and bell pepper in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until translucent
  • Add garlic, cumin, and red chili powder and continue to saute for another minute
  • Add 1-1/2 cups broth and the rest of ingredients, except for the cilantro and corn. Simmer for 20 minutes uncovered
  • Add corn and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste

chili topped with sour cream, cilantro, scallion & a wedge of lime

Post inspired by this recipe on World’s Healthiest Foods.


Brown Rice & Black Bean Salad

This salad is super-simple to throw together and is packed with flavor and nutrients.  Have it as a side dish to some popcorn chicken with a selection of dipping sauces, or as a lunch.  It would go great at a party as it can sit at room temp very comfortably.  It has lots of color too.

brwon rice salad with black beans, corn and red pepper


1 cups brown rice

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup water

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 cup black beans

2 TBS white vinegar

Juice of two limes

1 tsp ground cumin

pinch of cayenne

2 TBS chopped cilantro


  • Cook the rice in 1 cup of broth and one cup of water
  • Combine cooked brown rice, diced bell pepper, corn, and black beans
  • Mix the vinegar and lime juice with 1 tsp cumin and a pinch of cayenne and dress the rice mixture with it
  • Sprinkle the rice salad with chopped cilantro

*Inspired by this post on World’s Healthiest Foods


Bulgur with red pepper, corn & shrimp

From downtown Holyoke, kitchbitch welcomes back guest chef Neil (applause).  Neil selected this recipe for the health factor.  You see, bulgur is packed with fiber, then there are shrimp for protein, lime and cilantro which add flavor-POP!  You just can’t go wrong with this one.  Total for prep and cook time was about 20 minutes.  How’s that for a quick & healthy dinner?


2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup bulgur wheat

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 ounces raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 cups corn kernels

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 limes (1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  • Put 2 cups of water on to boil in a kettle or small pan
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, until you can smell it
  • Add bulgur and salt and stir for a minute
  • Gradually stir in 2 cups of boiling water, 1/2 cup at a time (waiting until bulgur absorbs it to add more), until bulgur is slightly soupy, 8 to 10 minutes
  • Add the shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, until it turns pink
  • Add corn, bell pepper, juice from 1 lime and red pepper flakes and stir, adding water to keep the mixture creamy. Cook, stirring, until corn and pepper are warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes

  • Add cilantro; serve with lime wedges (and preferably something else green on the side)