Tag Archives: bean recipes

Michelle’s Hummus Recipe

Michelle’s Hummus Recipe

We’re baaaaaaack!  Maybe you noticed we’ve been absent from the blogging sphere, SORRY! Life just happened and blogging had to take a back seat for awhile, but here we are again!

So one of the things I’ve been focusing on lately (instead of blogging) is my health. And to help with that, the doctor I’m working with has me on a special diet.  Among other things I’m supposed to have a serving of beans everyday.  Yes, EVERYday. To help bring a little variety with fulfilling that requirement I learned how to make my own hummus with chickpeas (aka: Garbanzo beans) and I thought I’d share!

This is good stuff!  And I know most hummus includes tahini (ground sesame seeds) but that’s hard to find in rural Minnesota…go figure.  So I just used a little sesame seed oil instead.


  • 1  1/2 cups cooked chickpeas drained (I used the crockpot method just like I do for pinto beans!)
  • 1 large (2 small) cloves of garlic
  • 3-5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4-1/2  t. sesame seed oil
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from one small lemon

Put all the wet ingredients in the food processor (I just use a small cheap one I purchased for making baby food and it does the job!).  Add the basil leaves, garlic cloves, and beans and puree until smooth!  (If you need a little more liquid try a little more olive oil or add a little of the water the beans were cooked in.)

I haven’t tried these yet cuz I’m pretty happy with this recipe, but when I need some more variety here are some other flavors I may add:

  • Spinach 
  • Artichokes
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Pesto

Oh and since I’m limited to one serving of grains a day I don’t like to use the typical pita chips to eat my hummus.  I use cucumber slices! I know it sounds weird, but it’s really good!  I still get the crunch and it all taste so fresh and yummy.  And we happen to have a few cukes in the garden so it’s cheaper than chips too! Try ’em!


Hummus with Cucumber “Chips”



Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers

If you’re familiar with A Lighter Journey, you already know that I cook/eat a lot of beans at my place.  And sometimes I cook too many. So with an abundance of cooked black beans and mushrooms I decided to try to make some vegetarian-style burgers as a little something different. And they were actually pretty good! Now mind you, I still enjoy the real deal when it comes to hamburgers, but this used up my beans and it was  yummy too {as well as healthy!}


  • 2 cups cooked black beans (I used the crockpot method, but canned beans would work, just rinse and drain first!)
  • 2 cups baby Portobello mushrooms (or other variety of mushrooms)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 to 1  1/2 cups dry old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t salt (optional…take into consideration that with canned beans they may already be salted!)
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • dash cayenne pepper



Chop mushrooms and onion very finely (a food processor would be great, but don’t try a blender! It purees instead of chops! I know this from experience!;))


Rinse beans and drain really well!  It might even help to dry them a little by dabbing them with a paper towel.  My beans were pretty wet.  I worked with it, but it would’ve been easier if there was less liquid!

Mash beans with a potato masher. 


Stir in chopped onions and mushrooms and egg and spices.  Stir in the oats.  My mixture was really wet so I let it all sit for 1/2 hr and the oats really soaked up the extra moisture.  (So adjust the amount of oats according to your mix! You might not need as much if your beans were really dry!)

To freeze line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.  Form patties (they’re pretty fragile and sticky…that’s okay!)  and set them on the cookie sheet in the freezer overnight.   Store frozen patties in a freezer bag or container. 

This recipe makes 6 bean burgers!

Or form patties and cook right away!  Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan on medium high heat and cook about 4-5 minutes each side.  I cooked the frozen ones the same way without thawing first, just cooking them a little longer.  Both ways worked great! I don’t know about grilling these since that’s more my hubby’s department, but other recipes I saw suggested grilling these on foil coated with olive oil.

Enjoy with your favorite burger toppings!

So if you’re looking for a meatless meal, or a way to use up a surplus of cooked black beans I hope you’ll give this recipe a try!  It was surprisingly good, even for a carnivore like me! 😉

Other posts you may enjoy:

Citrus Mint Quinoa Salad

Southwestern Black Bean Quinoa Salad

 Savory Beans ‘n’ Rice

Tuesday Tutorial: Layered Taco Dip (and 7 uses for Pinto Beans!)

Tuesday Tutorial: Layered Taco Dip (and 7 uses for Pinto Beans!)

One of the things I do sometimes to save money and time is to make a big batch of unsalted Crockpot Pinto Beans and use them throughout the week.    Beans are versatile, healthy, and frugal.  I may use some to make a dessert like these Peanut Butter Honey Bars.  They’re great for bean and cheese burritios (which you can freeze) for my husband to take on the road for lunch.  I can throw in a handful of cooked beans in my Turkey Taco meat which stretches the more expensive turkey meat to feed our family of six without compromising our budget.   I can serve beans over brown rice and a side of fresh veggies for another healthy meatless meal.  I can add beans for protein in soup or chili.  And if I don’t use the beans up in a few days I can freeze them for later.

And this week I used the beans to make refried beans as a base for a Layered Taco Dip!  It’s a nice appetizer served with tortilla chips or veggies!  I use what I have on hand and adapt, so I’m just guessing at the amounts listed here. 


  • 2-3 cups refried beans
  • 1-2 cups sour cream (or softened cream cheese)
  • ½ -1 cup salsa
  • Chopped onion, cilantro, and shredded cheese for garnish

Spread the refried beans on a large tray or the bottom of 2 pie pans. (I split this recipe between the 2 pie pans.)


Spread a layer of cream cheese or sour cream on top of the beans.

Zap the cream cheese in the microwave for 20-30 second intervals until softened enough to spread easily.

Add the salsa.  Sprinkle fresh cilantro and onions with this layer.

Top everything off with shredded cheese!

If you use a clear dish you can really show off the layers of color!


Here’s some ideas of other layers you can add:

The possibilities are endless!


Ham and Bean Crockpot Soup

Ham and Bean Crockpot Soup

Anyone else have a ham bone left over from Easter dinner?  Well if you do, here’s a yummy way to use it up:  Ham and Bean Soup!


  • ham bone and any extra ham meat (chopped)
  • 3 celery stalks (with leaves!)
  • 3 T chopped onion
  • 1 c pinto beans (dry)
  • 2 c Great Northern beans (dry)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt

Place ham bone in the crock and fill with water.  Turn crockpot on to the “High” setting.  Add chopped celery.

Saute onion in olive oil on medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until translucent.  Add to the pot!

This is more than 3T of onions: I was multitasking and making two things at once and both recipes needed sauteed onions!

Add beans and a little salt.

8 hours later remove the bone and remove any meat still on it to put back in the soup.  If you have any extra ham meat (maybe another cup or so) add it to soup. 

 Serve and enjoy!


How do you like to use leftover Easter ham?


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