Tag Archives: vegetables

Dip into a healthier diet! – Pinto Bean Dip

This blog post is dedicated to Suban Nur Cooley, who is trying to change her eating habits, or anyone trying to cut their calories, add protein and fiber to their diet and eat more veggies! For those of you who don’t eat a lot of meat, or even a lot of veggies, this may be the miracle food you’ve been waiting for. (Well, one of them.)

Suban Nur Cooley

The pinto beans in this dip are delicious and super good for you. Beans are comparable to meat in terms of calories, but they’ve got a higher water content and more fiber, making you feel fuller, longer. (Source: WebMD) This means you’ll eat less, but you won’t feel deprived. It’s like magic.

But the actual dip is only half the amazingness of this dip. Unless your Kim, you probably don’t eat dips by themslves.  This is where the veggies come in. I love to dip really any vegetable in this dip – broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, mushrooms…

By the end of this meal, I’ve had loads of veggies and beans, and if you dip bread into it, grains too! Well balanced and FULL.

I never make a bean dip the same twice, but here’s what in this bean dip:

1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 cloves chopped and sauteed garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

peppercorn and a dash of salt

You will need: a food processor

If you’re using fresh pinto beans, soak beans 8 hours, cook on medium high for 45 minutes.


Just open a can of pinto beans.


canned beans are very high in sodium, so if you want to reduce the sodium content, rinsing your beans in a coriander can get rid of 40% of the sodium. FYI, fresh beans are quite low in sodium (2-10 mg in a 1/2 cup of cooked beans; Source: 3 Fat Chicks)


Chop and saute garlic in frying pan with a little oil. Put all ingredients into grinder. Grind.

If it’s not liquidy enough, add more lemon juice, oil, water, or even milk. You could also add sour cream or tahini to make it smoother and creamier. You could also add salsa… Sorry, not I’m just thinking out loud.


If you’re trying to eat less fat, try adding things other than the sour cream and tahini. I would stick with the lemon juice or wter. If you’re looking for more flavor, though, add spices like Cajun, garlic powder, chili powder, hot sauces….


Open-Faced Veggie Sandwhich with Black Bean and Salsa Bread

I gave in.

I bought the clearance bread at Meijer. I try not to buy from that clearance food racks, because I feel that the food on that rack is meant to be eaten that night or not at all. But I did it. For just under $2, a savory Black Bean and Salsa loaf was all mine! (and Kim’s.)


Black Bean and Salsa Bread (from Meijer)

Black Bean and Salsa Bread (from Meijer!)


I don’t regret it at all. And Kim just loves it. (Ever since she went to Austria and Germany, she’s in love with thick, dense breads.) It’s got a kick to it too. Maybe jalepeno’s?

I made this amazing concoction of sauteed mushrooms, green peppers and spinach, over turkey and sharp cheddar cheese on top of the black bean and salsa bread.

What I thought: One hundred M’s is a good way to describe this sandwich. Healthy, flavorful, satisfying are good words too.

Veggie Spaghetti Sauce on Ciabatta

This sandwich has been titled Spaghetti On a Bun Minus Spaghetti thanks to my friend and housemate Satpreet, who I should add never actually ate or even saw the sandwich in question.

Spaghetti has always been one of those things I never liked (like french fries) that people don’t seem to understand. I myself get confused when I see a big plate of tender spaghetti in a thick tomato sauce being carried passed by a waiter or waitress at Olive Garden. On certain occasions in my life I have eaten spaghetti prepared for many dozens of people, meaning it was most-likely baked in a casserole dish. Somehow baking in a casserole dish always makes it taste amazing. Also, I’m sure there’s more butter and refined flour. The more people you’re serving, the more butter per serving (that’s how it works, right?). But for some reason every time we had spaghetti at home I would think this time I’ll like it. I would try to eat it the small portion in front of me, but never quite get there. It always seemed to end up on my Dad’s plate. The sauce was always the best part. As it’s kind of strange difficult to eat sauce without anything underneath (never stopped me, actually), I began using tomato sauce on other things, like cauliflower and mushrooms and bread.

Last semester I sliced bread at a cafeteria every Friday morning. Fresh-baked submarines, rolls sprinkled with asiago cheese, onion buns, and ciabatta. After cutting 50 little ciabatta buns every week at a cafeteria where I don’t have a meal plan, I decided something must be done. The next grocery trip to Meijer I bought a whole loaf of ciabatta bread!

And this is one of the several ways I ate it.

Sauté in a small sauce pan whatever vegetables you want on your sandwich in either olive oil or butter (I prefer olive oil because of the taste, but it also helps absorb the nutrients in vegetables). I used mushrooms and onions. Remember to clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a wet cloth.

After the vegetables become tender, pour in leftover or prepared spaghetti or pizza sauce. I usually add more spices just because I love a strong spicy flavor. If adding more spices, I recommend garlic or garlic spread, oregano, basil, cumin, black pepper, or red pepper flakes. Sometime I add tabasco sauce (I’m from Texas).

Meanwhile turn your oven to broil. Brush the inside of the bun with olive oil. Toast your ciabatta until toasted to your liking.

Heat the sauce on medium until heated through and, if desired, add mozzarella cheese. Spread the sauce over the toasted bun.

It smells amazing and tastes so good! The best part is how well it uses up extra ingredients.