Black Bean Chili

1 lb. bag of black beans
1/3 cup of standard chili powder
4 Tblsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Blend
1 whole medium white onion, sliced into 1/4" wedges
4 roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/2" wedges
3 Jalepeno peppers, chopped and seeded
1 Habanero pepper, chopped and seeded
1 tsp Cumin powder
4 Tbsp of fresh Garlic, minced
1 cube(tbsp) chicken bouillon
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tblsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh Feta cheese

The most important part is to get the beans ready. Black beans need to be soaked. Place beans in a large deep bowl and cover with warm water(after cleaning out non-bean material). let soak for 1 hour, then drain. cover with warm water again, let soak for one hour. continue this process until color of water is almost clear, should be about 4 hours. cover with warm water one last time and place in 'fridge over night.

In a 5qt. Crock Pot, place beans and water from last soaking. Place all of seasoning ingredients next, then cover with all of vegetable ingredients.  Add water to cover all ingredients. Turn on Crock Pot to low for 7-8 hours.

Serving suggestion:
On a deep salad plate, crumble about 1 cup of Homemade Cornbread; Ladle out 1 cup of Black Bean Chili with juice included, then sprinkle about 2 Tblsp of Feta cheese on top.

This dish has some heat due to the Jalapeno's and the Habanero, but not too much . Very enjoyable in any type of weather.

Home made Cornbread

1 1/2 cups fresh ground corn chips (use a food processor, and use your favorite chip; I used regular yellow corn tortilla  chips)
1 1/2 cup of white flour
1 Tblsp sugar
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
10 oz cream corn

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees; spay 10" pie dish with Pam cooking spray; in a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix until blended well; Add milk and egg, mix on low speed with hand mixer until blended well; Add cream corn and canola oil, continue to mix with hand mixer on low until well blended. pour mixture into greased pie dish; place into pre heated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until top of corn bread is turning light brown.( you can also check the inside with a long toothpick, if nothing sticks then it is done.)

Using the ground corn chips adds a texture to the corn bread that you will not get if you use regular corn meal. Slightly crunchy, but not overly so. It make a perfect pair with the Black Bean Chili.


5 medium avocados(about 3 1/2-4" long, about 2 1/2-3" in diameter)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powser
1/4 cup cilantro~chopped finely
1/2 medium tomato~diced(about 2-3" in dia.)
1/2 medium white onion~chopped
2 medium jalapenos~chopped finely(optional)
1/2 large lime~squeezed for juice(about 2" between poles, and 2 1/2" dia)

Peel, pit and mash avocados in a 5 qt mixing bowl. Now if you like your Guac creamy, mash more....chunky, mash less. Remember, the avocados chunks will get smaller, and more creamy each time you mix in ingredients. Mix in lime juice, garlic and salt. Mix in onions and jalapenos. Fold in the tomatos and cilantro with a rubber spatula.(you don't want mashed tomatos or mangled cilantro.)
serves 4-5 people generously.

keep the pits from the avocados-after recipe is complete, place it in a sealable tupperware (not glad ware) container.  Before closing up the container, place the pits into the mixture, then place some plastic wrap right over the top of the guacamole, being sure to squeeze out any air bubbles. Oxidation is what turns the Guac brown.....aren't you glad your lungs are not made of avocados....

Have fun and enjoy.

Easy Stir Fry

1 tsp. Spicy Sesame oil
1 tsp. Extra virgin Olive oil
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Spicy Blend
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Blend
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 tsp dark Soy sauce
1/2 cup carrots~julienned
4 green onions~cleaned and chopped(greens included)
3 Serrano chilis~thinly sliced into rings(with seeds)
1 cup Snow Peas
1/4 medium head cabbage(or Bok Choy)~chopped to 1" squares
12 oz Whole Wheat Linguine
4 cups water

Pre-heat Wok(or large skillet) on med-high heat. Add Sesame  and olive oil when pan is hot. Add beef(or other protein) and quickly toss to coat on all sides with oil. Add Mrs. Dash Blends, salt, Chinese 5 spice and soy sauce. Continue to stir/toss beef until fully cooked and tender(about 5-6 minutes). Add carrots and serrano chilis and reduce heat to medium for about 7-8 minutes.

Zucchini & Asparagus

4 good sized Zucchini Squash(about 1 1/2 " in dia by about 6-8" long)
1 lb(or bunch) Asparagus
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
a dash of salt(literally a pinch between your fingers)
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 tbsp grated light parmesan cheese
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Blend

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the Zucchinis in half long ways. Trim the asparagus to have no white on the stalks, just the most tender parts.
In a 9X12 glass baking dish, arrange the asparagus on one end, to take up about one fourth of the baking dish. First, sprinkle the olive oil over the asparagus, then dash of salt, then fresh black pepper.  Work the asparagus so that all stalks are slightly coated with oil, salt and pepper.
Arrange the Zucchini to fill the other 3/4 of the baking dish. Sprinkle the Zucchini with the parmesan cheese, then sprinkle the Mrs. Dash over the entire baking dish.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil to trap heat, which will steam the veggies.  Place in pre-heated oven for not more than 15 minutes. Remove foil, and change oven to broil for 5 minutes or until parmesan cheese is golden brown.

Makes 4 generous servings.
I did not calculate nutritional info on this dish because, frankly, no additives, no preservatives, fresh vegetables, and seasonings is pretty healthy.

Make sure you use the 'light' parmesan cheese to keep the fat down. 1Tbsp has 85 mg of sodium, so if you break that out into 4 servings, you get 21.25mg of sodium from the cheese, and the dash of salt is fairly negligible, but we'll call it 40mg...which brings us to 31.25 mg of sodium per serving...well below Dr. recommended intake of 140 mg per serving.
Also, remember, some vegetables have natural sodium, like tomatoes, and asparagus, and corn, so when you are working on a low sodium meal, take those veggies into account as well.

Artichoke & Avocado Salad
1 can medium quartered artichoke hearts in water( rinsed and drained)
1 cup large pitted and garlic stuffed green olives
1 large avocado(not totally soft, just barely soft)
2 cups fresh snow peas(still in pod)
1/2 cup of diced white onion
1/4 cup Caesar salad dressing
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesean cheese
1 cup home made croutons(recipe in Texas Twisted section)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


In a large bowl combine artichoke hearts, olives, snow peas and onions.
After peeling and pitting the avocado, cube it into 1/2~3/4 inch cubes and then add to other ingredients.
Pour salad dressing onto other ingredients and gently fold all ingredients together so as not to mash up the avocado.
Portion out servings onto salad plates, sprinkle with grated cheese and about 5~6 croutons, and garnish with cilantro.
This makes about 4~1 cup servings and is a light and fresh addition or substitution for a standard tossed salad.