Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Healthy and Decadent Black Bean Brownies

I saw this recipe on the Food Network channel and just had to try it! Although it may sound revolting, I served these brownies to some friends and they were devoured that night. My friends would never have known that there were black beans in the brownies if I hadn't told them. The brownies were deliciously rich and decadent. With the ground up black beans there was added protein and fiber packed into every bite. If you are a chocolate lover like I am this is a must-try recipe!
Healthy and Decadent Black Bean Brownies

I decided to experiment with processing the black beans in the Marinade Express. Since I try to save money in every way I can, I buy dried beans instead of the canned. It takes a little extra time but you get a lot more bang for your buck. Normally with dried beans you need to pre-soak them for 6 to 8 hours before boiling them for 2 hours. My experiment was to see if by processing the raw, uncooked beans in the Marinade Express it reduced the amount of pre-soak time because of the repetitive motion of rotating the beans in and out of water.

The Results: Putting 2 cups of dried beans into the Marinade Express for 2 hours with an unflavored MX seasoning did reduce the soak time. I got 4 cups of deliciously cleansed black beans that I could cook and make in the same day! I was very proud of the Marinade Express. We are continually discovering more advantages this wonderful kitchen appliance has to offer.

Uncooked Dried Black Beans

Black Bean Brownies
Recipe Adapted from Melissa d'Arabian, Ten Dollar Dinners

1 box of dark chocolate brownie mix
3/4 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, divided
1 tsp instant coffee or espresso


1) Prepare the dried black beans in the Marinade Express.
Note: 1 cup of dried beans equals 2 cups of cooked beans. I made 2 cups of dried beans equaling 4 cups of cooked beans. Click here to find another tasty recipe with black beans!

To prepare dried black beans use the unflavored seasoning packet of MX seasoning. I let the beans rotate for 2 hours.

2) Boil the beans. Boil the black beans for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Or until the beans are tender.
Note: You may need to add water to the pot as the water evaporates.

3) In a blender or food processor blend the beans and oil until smooth. Add the eggs and coffee.

4) Melt half of the chocolate chips and process in the blender.

5) In a large bowl add the brownie mix. Fold in the wet ingredients from the blender.

6) Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.

7) Pour the mixture into greased baking pan.

8) Bake brownies at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Or until the middle comes out clean with a toothpick.

9) Let cool. Serve and devour!

Black Bean Brownies

Robust Black Bean Hummus

Being a big fan of traditional hummus made with chickpeas, I thought it would be a fun adventure to try black bean hummus. The dip had a robust, rich flavor and was fresh and satisfying at the same time. I plan to make this recipe again once summer comes.

Robust Black Bean Hummus

I previously experimented with dried black beans in the Marinade Express. Click here to read about my experiment and my Healthy And Decadent Black Bean Brownies recipe.

Robust Black Bean Hummus
Adapted from Melissa D'Arabian, Ten Dollar Dinners

1 cup cooked black beans
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon vinager
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Fresh cilantro, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Tortilla chips, for dipping


1) Pre-soak 1 cup dried black beans in the marinade express with the unflavored MX seasoning mix for two hours. This will make 2 cups of cooked black beans.
2) Boil the black beans for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender.
3) Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
4) Garnish cilantro.
5) Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jalepeno Poppers With Bacon

These delicious little snacks are a wonderful party pleaser. The bacon adds a salty meatiness that combines perfectly with the spice of the jalapeno and the buttery crescent rolls. I added fresh cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper to the cream cheese to add extra depth of flavors.

Jalepeno Poppers With Bacon
Adapted from Hello Hue

Makes 16 Poppers

1 can of crescent rolls
1/2 lb of bacon
1 fresh jalapeno
1 cup soft cream cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
fresh cilantro, minced
salt & pepper


1) Prepare the bacon in the Marinade Express. It breaks down a lot of the fat and improves digestibiltiy. Process the bacon for only 4-5 minutes.
2) Cook bacon in a pan until crispy. Use a paper towel to blot off the grease. Cut the bacon into bite- sized pieces.
3) In a bowl mix the cream cheese with the garlic, fresh cilantro, salt and pepper.
4) Cut the jalapeno into bite-sized pieces, removing the seeds.
5) On a greased cookie sheet separate the crescent rolls. Use a pizza cutter to cut the crescents in half.

6) Assemble the poppers: Add a dollop of the cream cheese mixture, a piece of jalapeno and a piece of bacon. Bring the corners of the crescent rolls together. Fold in any edges that have the filling hanging out.
Note: I left the jalapeno out of a few poppers for the people who don't like spicy food.
7) Sprinkle the paprika on the poppers that have the jalapenos inside to differentiate the spicy ones versus the non-spicy poppers.
8) Bake the poppers at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
9) Serve and enjoy!

Jalapeno Poppers With Bacon