Betsy’s Famous Black Bean Mango Salad

With such a fiesta of color, this dish just has to be good!

Why famous? Well, it started many years ago when I was making pottery and taking classes on a regular basis at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.

I specialized in handbuilding and loved to Raku-fire pots outdoors. At the end of each quarter, we would have a party, appropriately named “pot luck raku.” Each person brought a dish to share. We’d set the food out on long tables outdoors next to the raku kilns and eat, drink wine, fire pots, pull them out of the kilns at red hot temperature and throw them in the sawdust to absorb the smoke! There were some amazing dishes—both from a food and a pottery perspective—that showed up at these events, and I have such fond memories of these times. It was at one of these parties that I first tasted the dish Fesenjan, the Persian chicken and pomegranate stew, as well as some other worldly delights. Continue reading

Two Taco Tango: How One Thing Leads to Another

A two taco tango. These lively and loaded vegetarian tacos tick off all the flavor boxes! The cool plate is by the talented local clay artist, Gwen Fryer.

During last weekend’s holiday cookout involving the peach ice cream for dessert, our friends brought over some fantastic homemade pico de gallo that featured heirloom tomatoes, mango and mint. It was so delicious and such a nice blend of flavors that a desire for more haunted me into this week. And of course, I had peaches on hand and needed to use them. Continue reading

Even Carnivores Will Love It: Vegetarian/Vegan Black Bean Chili

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful…and meatless.

I’m a sucker for most kinds of chili, especially when the weather is cold and I’m craving that comforting bowl of rich goodness. Generally, I like meat of some sort in my chili, and in addition to my signature Holy Mole Turkey Chili, I make and enjoy all kinds of and meat and bean chilis. In the last couple of weeks we’ve been taking a more healthy road around here as you may have noticed, and the other day I remembered a recipe I used to make long ago for a rather delicious, and quite frugal, black bean chili. This chili is completely vegetarian (I think it might actually qualify as vegan (!), even), and the toppings for it can be customized to your desires. I like to stick with the veggie and cheese variety of toppings to let the beans shine through. Continue reading

Chill Chaser: Chicken and Black Bean Stew

An autumn colored stew for an autumn colored day. Mmm. Is there anything chicken stew can't do?

Sunset filtering through the trees in our back yard...the last of autumn's color.

It’s the end of another cool, clear and gorgeous fall day—a perfect time for some homemade soup or stew! This one’s a perennial fave at our house, a flavorful and delicious dish that freezes really well, too.

There are so many things to love about this stew that I can’t stop singing it’s praises.

It’s easy.
It makes it’s own broth so it’s kind of thrifty.
It uses lots of veggies and it’s good for you.
It’s practically a meal in a bowl and it smells so terrific cooking you just know it’s going to taste even better!
I believe it may even prevent colds and has more curative mojo in it than your average chicken soup. Even if I’m wrong about that, it sure makes your tummy feel good.

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