The following recipes have a bit of freedom in them, especially the quesadillas. The soup definitely needs the orange juice but you can omit the rum. Both make a great Sunday dinner and in fact, since it is January with lots of chilly weather, it would be great anytime.
Black Bean Soup
I am done with soaking beans then cooking them forever! Either buy canned beans or precook your beans in the Instant Pot. This will cut down on your time in cooking the soup. You can use your favourite kind of broth. I used Miso. The onion and garlic amounts are important for the flavour. The recipe calls to puree all of the soup but I used my immersion blender and only pureed about half. All up to you.
3 cups dried black beans cooked or 3
large cans (28 fl oz) black beans drained
6 cups of broth (vegetable, chicken, beef)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, diced, about 3 cups
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried mustard or 1 tsp Dijion mustard
2 Tablespoons grated orange zest about one orange
1/4 cup dark rum optional
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (use juice from a fresh orange, it makes a difference in taste)
Salt and pepper
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until very soft and tender, about 15 minutes. Watch that they don’t burn! Add the garlic, cinnamon, cumin, mustard, and orange zest and cook for two more minutes.
Add the broth, black beans, rum and orange juice. Simmer the soup for about an hour. Test taste in adding more salt, pepper, cinnamon or cumin.
This is your judgement call—add more broth if the soup is too thick, puree all of the soup, puree only half or leave as is.
These are really easy to make and fry up quickly. If you make them too full the cheese oozes out and they become a bit sloppy plus mess up your frying pan.
Tortillas your choice on size and how
Finely chopped green onions
Grated Monterey cheese or your
Fresh Jalapeño peppers or pickled, chopped
Fresh cilantro finely chopped
Refried beans or slightly mashed black
Cut the avocados in half, remove pit, scoop from shell with a spoon and cut into thin slices. You can still use an overripe avocado. The difference will be a slightly mashed avocado on top of the cheese. Either way works. I don’t like to waste!
Place a tortilla on a flat surface and spread grated cheese over half of tortilla. If you are using refried beans spread them on the tortilla before the cheese.
On top of the cheese sprinkle green onions, diced peppers, a few slices of avocado and cilantro. I added just a little bit more cheese on top. Fold the tortilla in half very gently. Don’t press because you don’t want to crack the fold! Repeat until you have the right amount of tortillas you need and you can either use them right away or put them in the fridge for later (up to a couple of hours).
Place some oil in a frying pan or griddle and add the tortilla. Add a lid and cook until golden brown on each side. Serve with salsa but they are so good on their own.
Orange and Chia Seed Cake
The cake is not sweet and you can dress it up with yogurt, whipping cream, fresh fruit, ice cream or whatever you like.
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup milk (coconut, almond, soy etc.)
125g or 1/2 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
1 cup raw sugar (I used coconut sugar)
2 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
1 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
2 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan or use parchment paper.
Place the chia seeds and milk in a bowl and set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
Place the butter, orange rind and sugar in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer or electric until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined. Add the chia mixture, almond meal, flour, and baking powder and fold to combine.
Spoon the mixture into the baking pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
While the cake is baking make the orange syrup. Place all three ingredients in a small saucepan and over medium heat simmer until the syrup has thickened a little. About five minutes.
When the cake has baked let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and while it is still warm, turn it out onto a plate and pour the syrup over top.