Meaty Black Bean Chili

Meaty Black Bean Chili

Meaty Black Bean Chili

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Meaty Black Bean Chili served in a shallow bowl with flatbread, garnished with cheddar cheese, green onions and cilantro.

Meaty Black Bean Chili is my new favourite chili! For good reason too, it’s hearty and spicy with a punch of freshness from fresh cilantro added at the end. It also uses black beans, which is my favourite bean and they’re a great change from kidney beans. I also like the use of beef and pork for a meaty and hearty chili that is very satisfying. This chili is excellent for potlucks and back yard BBQ parties.

Meaty Black Bean Chili in a cream coloured dutch oven resting on a navy kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

Spicy heat is a personal choice for everyone and everyone gets an opinion on how hot their food should be. I don’t care for anything too spicy, and by that I mean, if I can’t taste the other ingredients because my lips are burning so bad, well, that ’s too hot for me. I find the spiciness in this Meaty Black Bean Chilli just right for my liking. It has a subtle spiciness that’s just enough to make me want to eat another bite with fresh cilantro and cheese to mellow the heat. But of course, this is just my opinion, so feel free to add more cayenne or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce if that suits your taste.

Another great thing about chili is it’s even better if served the next day as the flavours and spiciness have more time meld. It freezes very well and can be kept in a sealed container in the freezer for 1-2 months. Enjoy!

Meaty Black Bean Chili
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    9 cups 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    60 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    9 cups 30 minutes
    Cook Time
    60 minutes
    Meaty Black Bean Chili
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      9 cups 30 minutes
      Cook Time
      60 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      9 cups 30 minutes
      Cook Time
      60 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: cups
      Instructions
      1. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground beef and pork and cook until no longer pink and starting to brown, breaking up any large pieces. Stir in minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
      2. Scrape out seeds from the chipotle peppers and finely mince, use about two chili peppers with sauce to equal 2 tbsp or more depending how hot you want it. Add peppers to the pot along with beef broth, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, green pepper, onion, spices, salt, and sugar. Stir well to combine.
      3. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and adjust consistency to your liking by adding more beef broth or simmering uncovered for a few minutes to evaporate some liquid. The chili will thicken slightly as it sits and cools.
      4. Stir in black beans and cook for 1-2 minutes to warm. Stir in cilantro just before serving and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with cheddar cheese, green onion and additional cilantro.
      Recipe Notes

      -I found 1 cup of beef broth just about right for consistency.  Adjust to your liking.

      -This chili is even better when served the next day as the flavours have longer to meld.

      -Makes about 9 cups of chili and freezes very well.

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      Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal

      Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal

      Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal

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      A square of Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal topped with fresh berries and yogurt.

      I think breakfast is a very important start to any day. I am one of those people who does eat breakfast every single day. Yes, I think I should for nutrition but also because I’m quite hungry in the morning and if I don’t eat breakfast, no one is safe around me! That’s right, I turn into a hangry person, and it is not pretty.

      I love these individual Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal squares because they are a good combination of chewy coconut and oatmeal with sweetness from frozen berries and maple syrup, yet they are not overly sweet. The eggs and milk provide much-needed protein to help us get through the morning and the adorable squares are a perfect size, at least for me. I just love them topped with lots of yogurt and fresh berries if I have them on hand. They can be made in advance, wrapped and frozen for up to a month. Thawed squares can be warmed gently in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.

      Ingredients for Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal in a large glass bowl ready to be whisked together.

      They’re super simple to make using only one bowl, and if you don’t have an individual pan like the one I have, you can bake it in a 9” x 9” pan and cut into desired squares. Either way, Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal is an easy and tasty way to start your day. Enjoy!

      More breakfast options…

      Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

      Orange Yogurt Smoothie

      Ginger Pear Pancakes

       

      Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal baked in individual squares.

      A square of Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal topped with fresh berries and yogurt.
      Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        12 servings 20-25 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        28-30 minutes 20 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        12 servings 20-25 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        28-30 minutes 20 minutes
        A square of Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal topped with fresh berries and yogurt.
        Baked Berry and Coconut Oatmeal
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          12 servings 20-25 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          28-30 minutes 20 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          12 servings 20-25 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          28-30 minutes 20 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: servings
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
          2. In a large bowl whisk together milk and eggs. Whisk in remaining ingredients except for the berries until fully combined. Stir in berries.
          3. Spray a 12 square non-stick brownie pan or a 9"x 9" non-stick pan with non-stick spray.
          4. Divide batter evenly between squares or pour into prepared 9" x 9" pan.
          5. Bake on the center rack for 28-30 minutes if using the individual brownie pan and about 40 minutes if using the 9"x 9" pan.
          6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes. They will continue to firm up while cooling and you only need it pleasantly warm to serve. They will be difficult to remove from the individual brownie pan if too warm. Remove from pan and serve with yogurt, fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup if desired. If baking for meal prep and saving for later feel free to allow it to cool longer before removing from either pan.
          Recipe Notes

          -Use almond milk or other milk substitutes in place of the 2% milk if desired.

          -Add a scoop of vanilla protein powder if you want more protein.

          -The individual brownie pan is perfect for meal prep baked oatmeal squares.

          -Allow the squares to cool completely before wrapping and freezing.  Will keep well wrapped for up to one month in the freezer.

          -Allow frozen squares to thaw before warming gently in the microwave.

           

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          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas

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          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas garnished with blueberries and mint sit on a white cake tray decorated with blue flowers.

          Where the heck is spring??  As I write this it is literally -15°C.  I think global warming has skipped over us here in Alberta.  But these bright and cheery Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas are sure to brighten and warm any day.  Crisp yet chewy pavlova nests are filled with lemon curd and whipped cream filling.  They are lovely topped with fresh berries such as blueberry or raspberry and perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day. 

          Mini pavlova nests piped onto a baking tray lined with parchment and ready to be baked for Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas.

          Sadly, with the way the world is these days, most of us may not be having much of a family gathering at Easter.  It will most likely be a modest meal with homebound family members and chats throughout the weekend with family and friends on Facetime or Skype. And this is okay because it’s what we need to do right now to keep everyone safe. As for this beautiful dessert, perhaps it will have to wait for another special occasion. Maybe Mother’s Day, bridal shower or what the heck, how about the first day of summer! There are always reasons to celebrate, so you’ll want to bookmark this recipe.

          Lemon curd for Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas in a small glass bowl that is resting on a blue and white cloth.

          Here are a few helpful hints for this recipe:

          -make sure your mixing bowl is very clean (grease will hinder a great meringue).

          -use egg whites that are at room temperature (warm egg whites incorporate more air than cold ones).

          -you can grind granulated sugar for about 10 seconds using a mini grinder if castor sugar is not available.

          -stick the parchment to the baking tray with a few dabs of meringue to prevent it from moving while piping.

          -place the tray on a damp towel to prevent the tray from moving while piping.

          -don’t open the oven door until it has completely cooled as the warm dry air inside helps to dry out the meringues without further cooking.

          -baked meringues will keep several days in an airtight container at room temperature.

          -add filling to the meringue nests when ready to serve or up to a couple hours in advance. Adding it more than a couple of hours ahead will cause the meringues to soften too much.

          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas sit on a white cake tray in the background while one is served on a while dessert plate and garnished with blueberries and mint.

          Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            8 people 30-40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            80 minutes 1+ hours
            Servings Prep Time
            8 people 30-40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            80 minutes 1+ hours
            Lemon Cream Mini Pavlovas
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              8 people 30-40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              80 minutes 1+ hours
              Servings Prep Time
              8 people 30-40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              80 minutes 1+ hours
              Ingredients
              Mini Pavlovas
              Lemon Cream
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              Mini Pavlovas
              1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking tray with parchment and mark out 8-3" circles. Flip parchment over.
              2. Combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip until soft peaks are starting to form. Gradually add sugar, about a tablespoon at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to whip on high speed until stiff and glossy, about 6-7 minutes using a stand mixer.
              3. Add vanilla and whip to combine.
              4. Sift cornstarch over the meringue and fold to combine.
              5. Fit a large piping bag with your desired tip, I used a Wilton 1M.
              6. Fill the piping bag with meringue and squeeze a dab of meringue onto the corners of the parchment to stick it to the baking tray. This will help keep the parchment from moving while you pipe. Place the baking tray on a slightly damp kitchen towel to prevent the tray from moving. Fill in the traced circle, creating a base. Continue to pipe along the edge of the base for two turns, creating a basket.
              7. Place the tray in the oven on the middle rack and immediately turn oven temperature to 225°F. Bake for 80 minutes, turn off the oven and allow meringues to remain undisturbed in the oven until completely cool. Meringues will be firm and hollow sounding with a slight bit of tackiness and chew in the bottom layer.
              Lemon Cream
              1. Combine all ingredients except butter in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 7-8 minutes. Whisk in butter until smooth.
              2. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before covering with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Allow to cool completely and chill until ready to use.
              3. When ready to assemble pavlovas, which should be no more than 2 hours in advance, whip heavy cream until stiff. Fold whipped cream into lemon curd and fill meringues generously. Top with fresh blueberries and serve.
              Recipe Notes

              -Using egg whites at room temperature will result in more volume.

              -If unable to use castor or superfine sugar, simply grind regular granulated sugar in a mini coffee grinder for about 10 seconds.  Even this is not true castor sugar, it breaks down the sugar enough for better absorption into the meringue.

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              Tomato Bisque

              Tomato Bisque

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              Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.

              Today’s post is a blog update on my Tomato Bisque. Because the weather is frightful right now in central Alberta, it seemed like the perfect time to do a little tidy up on this gorgeous soup. This Tomato Bisque is creamy and luscious, even with only a small amount of cream. It’s thickened with rice, making it a great gluten-free option.

              The creaminess and tang are the perfect marriage with crunchy cheese toast or buttery croutons. I won’t hesitate to say that when you make this soup, you will have tremendous satisfaction from your efforts because it’s so much better than store-bought soup. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing you’re feeding your family wholesome goodness.

              Traditional French bisque is made using ground crustacean shells and thickened with rice. The term is used loosely today and can refer to anything pureed such as tomatoes or squash. Most varieties are finished with cream as is this one. Enjoy!

              Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.

              Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Chef John of Food Wishes

              Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.
              Tomato Bisque
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                4-6 people 20 minutes
                Cook Time
                30-50 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                4-6 people 20 minutes
                Cook Time
                30-50 minutes
                Tomato Bisque with crutons served in a shallow blue bowl resting on a wooden board draped with a striped napkin.
                Tomato Bisque
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4-6 people 20 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  30-50 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4-6 people 20 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  30-50 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Melt butter in a large heavy pot, add onions, celery and garlic and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until the vegetables become translucent.
                  2. Add the tomatoes, stock, paprika, sugar and rice and cook until the rice is very soft, at least 30 minutes.
                  3. Blend with a handheld immersion blender until smooth. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
                  Recipe Notes

                  I used homemade chicken stock and used 1 1/2 tsp of salt. The amount of salt will depend on the stock/broth used, so season to taste.

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                  I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls

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                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

                  Do you have a New Year’s resolution? With the new year approaching fast, I find myself thinking of my own New Year’s resolutions.   Like many of you, one of my resolutions is to eat differently.  I say different because I don’t necessarily want to eat less or lose a bunch of weight, I just want to eat less refined sugar and simple carbohydrates like white rice. I have found that by eating a little more protein and less simple carbohydrates I generally feel better and have less hunger throughout the day.  As with everything, moderation is key to my success and my goal of maintaining this small change does not mean I will pass on every cookie and slice of bread. It means certain foods will be eaten less often. This year is all about balance!

                  I hope the new year brings you success and happiness in all that you do. Cheers to 2020!

                  I find dishes like Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls perfect for my resolution because they’re high in protein, both the shrimp and quinoa, a good source of fibre and loaded with fresh flavour from parsley, garlic and lemon. It also has arugula which I absolutely love lightly wilted. It’s simple, delicious and a great way to help refine the way you eat. 

                  Raw shrimp, arugula and lemon dressing in preparation for Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls.
                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.

                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
                  Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    2 people 15 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    25 minutes 5 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    2 people 15 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    25 minutes 5 minutes
                    Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls served in a shallow bowl resting on a black kitchen towel and wooden trivet.
                    Herbed Quinoa Shrimp Bowls
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      2 people 15 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      25 minutes 5 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      2 people 15 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      25 minutes 5 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Shrimp Bowls
                      Dressing
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      1. Combine vegetable broth and quinoa in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook according to package directions until tender. Allow quinoa to rest for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
                      2. While quinoa is cooking make dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl.
                      3. Pat shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper.
                      4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until softened. Stir in shrimp and cook for 2 minutes per side.
                      5. Add warm quinoa, arugula and 1/2 of the dressing and toss to combine over low heat until arugula is slightly wilted, about 1 minute.
                      6. Scoop into serving dishes and drizzle each with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

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                      Five Spice Mixed Nuts

                      Five Spice Mixed Nuts

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                      Five Spiced Mixed Nuts in a small bowl on a gold tray with white napkins and glasses of champagne.

                      Do you have a New Year’s Eve gathering and need tasty nibbles to pass along with your bubbly? Five Spice Mixed Nuts are very snackable and rather addictive with a hint of spice and sugar. They’re the party favour that you just can’t stop grabbing at. You’ll find a pleasant mixture of Chinese five-spice, maple syrup and brown sugar. The nuts are coated just enough for a light sugary chew with a lingering spice that you can’t quite put your finger on. The added dried cherries lend a little extra sweetness and soft texture to balance the crunchy nuts.

                      Five Spice Mixed Nuts is a simple recipe to toss together and will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. They’re perfect to make ahead for any social gathering. Enjoy your holidays and Happy New Year to you and your family. I wish you a wonderful year ahead!

                      Five Spice Mixed Nuts
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        5 cups 10 minutes
                        Cook Time Passive Time
                        60 minutes 1+ hours
                        Servings Prep Time
                        5 cups 10 minutes
                        Cook Time Passive Time
                        60 minutes 1+ hours
                        Five Spice Mixed Nuts
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          5 cups 10 minutes
                          Cook Time Passive Time
                          60 minutes 1+ hours
                          Servings Prep Time
                          5 cups 10 minutes
                          Cook Time Passive Time
                          60 minutes 1+ hours
                          Ingredients
                          Servings: cups
                          Instructions
                          1. Preheat oven to 225°F. Spray a large baking tray with non-stick spray.
                          2. In a large bowl toss together nuts.
                          3. In a medium bowl whisk together maple syrup, brown sugar, egg white, water, Chinese five spice and sea salt. Pour over nuts and stir to coat evenly.
                          4. Spread nuts evenly on a large baking tray. Bake for 60 minutes, turning every 15 minutes. If using dried cherries stir them in halfway through baking time.
                          5. Remove from oven and loosen from the baking tray. Allow nuts to cool completely before breaking apart. Will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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                          Affiliate Disclosure

                          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com