Monday, May 2, 2011


This week, I decided to experiment with dry beans. I'd never done the whole soaking overnight, cooking for a couple hours method before. I basically just wanted to see if it was worth the extra effort to save a few bucks. And after this week...well, I'm still undecided... but I did get to try black-eyed peas for the first time! 

Here's what I did with the black-eyed peas, adapted from an recipe I found. The original recipe had a really weird and awkward amount of spices that weren't really necessary. Anyway, here is what I came up with:

Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Black-Eyed Peas


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh, cooked black-eyed peas
  • 1 cup sweet potato, cooked until tender and cut into chunks
  • 1 (12 oz) jar roasted red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, celery, and garlic; cook until onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Mix in broth, tomatoes (with juices), black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and chopped bell pepper. Add brown sugar and all the spices.
  3. Bring contents to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, until sweet potatoes begin to get mushy, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and cracked pepper to taste. Serve with Jiffy corn bread muffins. Yummm.

In addition to the black-eyed peas, I also played with a bag of dry black beans. I used a cup and a half to make these brownies (yes, brownies), and the rest will be made into another batch of black bean burgersThe brownie recipe is from Rocco D's Now Eat This! cookbook, and they are really quite lovely. 

Black Bean Brownies


  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 12 packets Truvia (or 4 tablespoons Splenda)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the beans, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and egg subsitute in a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Add chocolate syrup, yogurt, butter, sugar, Truvia, and vanilla. Process until all ingredients are combined, about another minute.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the dish halfway through the baking time. 
  5. Let brownies cool completely, then cut into 12 squares. Refrigerate leftovers.

Per serving: 1.6 g fat; about 80 calories; 4 g protein; 8 g carbs