Tag Archives: foodie

Meet our Featured Food Blogger, Rebecca!

Rebecca Hubbell-2017

Rebecca Hubbell’s website Sugar and Soul is geared toward inspiring millennial women, but all ages will love this website — especially if you like to cook and travel!

“We aim to inspire our readers to live exciting and happy lives with delicious recipes, entertainment ideas, and first-hand travel experiences,” Rebecca says.

Rebecca is based in Maine and has put her own spin on that state’s traditional Yankee fare. When you think of Maine, you probably think of lobsters, not baked beans. But baked beans are a classic state dish known as Bean-Hole Beans. Traditionally, they’re cooked in a cast iron pot in the ground.

Rebecca took this bean recipe and added her own twist by making it more accessible: you don’t have to cook it in the ground. You probably have heard of using Coca-Cola in a chocolate cake, so using Dr. Pepper in baked beans is a perfect fit. Try her Easy Dr. Pepper Baked Beans for a perfect side dish this winter or a summer barbecue!

photo courtesy of Sugar and Soul

photo courtesy of Sugar and Soul

Please follow Rebecca on her social media:

Baking with beans isn’t weird!

bite of cake

Does baking with beans sound weird to you? What if I told you that you can cut the fat and up the nutritional value of your baked goods without sacrificing flavor?

It’s easy to do: Just substitute pureed beans in a 1:1 ratio. Still aren’t sure about this new trick? You can get started by substituting half of your recipe’s oil or butter with pureed beans.

For best results, use black beans for chocolate recipes and white beans in other baked goods. I have substituted black beans in brownies and people were shocked to learn they have this secret ingredient in them. I now get requests for those “bean brownies”!

If you have a sweet tooth, you can make treats more nutritious by using beans to ease your guilt. I have used pureed beans in bread, pancakes, waffles, and a variety of baked items. Not only is using beans nutritious, it’s also economical!

Here are a few recipes from our website using different varieties of beans.

BlackbeanbrowniesBlack Bean Brownies

pieceofcakeDark Chocolate Cake

Photo courtesy of Nutrition Twins

Photo courtesy of Nutrition Twins

Chickpea Blondies

Bean Banana Bread 1Bean Banana Pecan Bread

Meet our Featured Food Blogger Jaclyn Bell!


If you’re looking for recipes to inspire your breakfasts, dinners, and beyond, you must bookmark the Cooking Classy site! Jaclyn Bell is a young wife and mother who started her blog to share her love of good food and to perfect her photography and writing skills. This self-taught cook and photographer loves comfort food such as pizza and enchiladas. Taking a stroll through her recipe library is like looking at a beautiful cookbook — it just makes you want to get in the kitchen and start cooking! Try her 7-Layer Dip, Three Bean Salad, Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Lime Crema, or her Bean and Bacon Soup … and that’s just to get started. This delicious Kale White Bean and Sausage Soup is perfect for autumn’s colder weather.

photo courtesy of Cooking Classy

photo courtesy of Cooking Classy

Kale White Bean and Sausage Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces beef Polska Kielbasa Sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices (I used Hillshire Farm and really liked it)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (about 3)
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 ounces kale, thick ribs removed, chopped (about 1 1/2 bunches, or 5 ounces if using pre-cut kale)
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded parmesan cheese, for serving

Check out this link for the rest of the recipe.

Be sure to follow Jaclyn on all her social media!

Meet our Featured Dietitian Anne Mauney!


Anne Mauney is a registered dietitian, creator of the blog Fannetastic Food, a marathoner, yogi, lover of the outdoors, and a healthy recipe creator. She has a private nutrition practice in Northern Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C., and does virtual counseling by phone — and you can be sure beans are part of the conversation! They’re her favorite form of protein because they’re accessible, affordable and delicious (not to mention full of fiber).

Anne’s all-time favorite is chickpeas; she loves them in hummus and in grain salad bowls. One of her all-time favorite lunches is greens, brown rice or quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber and pepper, and feta cheese or avocado topped with balsamic vinaigrette. It’s simple, hearty and satisfying! Anne also is a huge fan of black beans, especially in Mexican-themed food.

She suggests adding white beans to pasta to help you stay full for a longer amount of time. Another bonus: White beans are so mild that they absorb the flavor of whatever sauce they’re cooked in.

Check out her mix-and-match grain salad bowl recipe blog post for wonderful lunch ideas.


photo courtesy of Anne Mauney

photo courtesy of Anne Mauney

Make sure to follow Anne on social media!

Do You Know Your White Beans?


Navy, Great Northern and cannellini beans are often confused for each other — but luckily, no matter which bean you choose, you’ll wind up with a tasty dish! These white bean varieties can be interchanged in recipes. Here’s a quick guide.

  • Great Northern beans are twice the size of navy beans and have a mild flavor and powdery texture.
  • Navy beans received their current name because they were a staple food of the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century. These mild, dense, smooth beans are popular in the United Kingdom and the United States and are used in baked bean recipes.
  • The cannellini bean is also known by the names white kidney and fazolia and is often mistaken for the Great Northern. This smooth-textured bean cooks down to a creamy consistency and nutty flavor. It’s a favorite in central and southern Italy, particularly in Tuscany. This bean is great in pasta dishes and soups.

Our recipe library has a great variety of white bean recipes for you to try. Here are just a few!

WhiteBeanBananaBreadWhite Bean Banana Nut Breadcod1Cod with Chorizo and White Bean Potato Pureewhite beans and scallopsWhite Beans and Seared ScallopsmuffinPumpkin Bean MuffinsIMG_3911Pancakes

Meet our Featured Food Blogger Alyssa Rimmer!

Alyssa photo

Alyssa Rimmer started her blog, ©Simply Quinoa, to share her love of healthy cooking and — of course — quinoa. It has become so much more than just a blog; it has become a community of like-minded people who suffer from food allergies and sensitivities or just want to eat healthier.

Her recipes are superfood dense, and quinoa is the one consistent ingredient. Beans are used in quite a few of her recipes, and she even has a blog post titled “How to Make Beans From Scratch”! Check out her website for pasta, soups, salads, tacos, falafel, and so much more starring beans and quinoa.

Alyssa’s recipes are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, and always delicious. Alyssa has graciously agreed to share her ©Rustic Tuscan Pasta with White Bean recipe with us.


photo courtesy of ©Simply Quinoa

Be sure to follow Alyssa on her social media!

So many delicious bean recipes!

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

Have you ever thought of adding beans and chorizo to macaroni? How about hummus with a Greek twist, or using butternut squash and beans on a tostada? Our April featured food bloggers Allie and Dan of Love and Risotto are always posting delicious dishes on their website. We are delighted that they offered to share with California Beans!

This first dish, Tex Mex Chorizo Macaroni, uses ingredients that are readily available. Not only is it easy to prepare, but it would be great to serve when the weather gets chilly.

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

photo courtesy of Love and Risotto

Tex Mex Chorizo Macaroni


  • 1 pound shell pasta
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz. pork chorizo
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Boil water in a large pot and add elbow pasta. In a medium-sized pot, heat milk until it starts to bubble and then reduce the heat. In a separate pot, add the butter. When melted, slowly whisk in the flour. Whisk continuously for about 3 minutes. Add the milk slowly into the flour mixture and whisk continuously. Whisk mixture for another 3 minutes.
  2. Combine cheeses, taco seasoning, and salt and pepper to the mixture and stir. Add the cooked pasta and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. In a skillet, heat the chorizo until fully cooked. Add to the macaroni. Garnish the macaroni with kidney beans, tomato and cilantro. Enjoy!

Sun Dried Tomato & Feta Hummus would be perfect to take to a tailgate party this fall! I would slice up a baguette or make some pita chips to dip into this hummus.

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

Sun Dried Tomato & Feta Hummus


  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 3/4 cup-1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato spread
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes


  1. In a small food processor, add the can of garbanzo beans and half of the oil and mix until smooth. More oil can be added if the mixture seems too thick. Add the sun-dried tomato spread and blend it in the processor, adding more oil if it seems paste-like. When smooth, pulse in the feta cheese. Serve with more oil on top and crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

This recipe would be perfect for a do-it-yourself tostada bar for a party!

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

photo courtesy of Love & Risotto

Butternut Squash Tostadas


  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 package tostada shells
  • 1 can refried black beans
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup roasted salsa


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper in a Pyrex dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.
  2. Warm the tostada shells in the oven for about three minutes. Top with black beans, avocado, cilantro, and feta cheese. Before adding the arugula, coat the leaves thinly with oil, salt and pepper.
  3. To make the sauce, simply combine the salsa and sour cream in a mixing bowl. Drizzle over the tostadas. Enjoy!








Meet Lindsay, Our Featured Dietitian!


Lindsay Livingston is a full-time mom and a registered dietitian from Columbus, Ohio. She believes healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive — and beans fit perfectly with her philosophy.

Lindsay’s website, The Lean Green Bean, has delicious, easy recipes for your whole family to enjoy. She has found that beans aren’t just delicious — they’re for the whole family. They are a perfect finger food for her eight-month-old daughter because they help her practice her hand-eye coordination while also being a source of nutrients and fiber.

Substituting beans for meat helps to add more protein and fiber to dishes. Plus, beans are easy to blend and add to things like dips, baked goods, and desserts.

Lindsay is a huge fan of black beans, and her love of Mexican-style dishes tends to pair well with that variety.

photo courtesy of Lindsay Livingston

photo courtesy of Lindsay Livingston

The recipe she chose to share with us is one of her favorites, White Chicken Chili. It’s lighter than a traditional tomato-based chili, is packed with protein, and tastes great in both winter and summer. You can easily make it as spicy as you want to and top it with goodies like cheese and avocado.

Make sure to follow Lindsay on her social media!

Check out her ebooks: “Ultimate Guide to Food Prep” and “Table Talk: Tips and Tricks for Feeding Young Children.”

Meet our Featured Food Blogger Joey Bruno!


Joey Bruno is co-owner of Thrive Cuisine. Cooking healthy, delicious, plant-based meals has been Joey’s true passion since he went vegan in 2015. He has a master’s degree in nutrition and food science and is committed to making the internet a place of education and knowledge rather than misinformation and click bait. He currently lives in Delaware with his wife.

photo courtesy of Thrive Cuisine

photo courtesy of Thrive Cuisine

Vegan Steak Black Bean Fajita Bowl

Joey says: “For vegans, replacing meat with beans/legumes/pulses is an excellent choice for satiety and protein. Chipotle-style bowls tend to be a staple in my household, topped with black beans, onions, corn, guacamole, and tomatoes. However, craving may arise for something a bit meatier. In this case, seitan is the perfect way to add a new element of texture to any dish and is a perfect way to upgrade the standard vegan burrito bowl.

“Enter the Vegan Steak & Black Bean Fajita Bowl! It’s got black beans, seitan steak tips, a bunch of veggies, and a cashew cheese sauce (or guac if you want) to top it all off.

“Just know that if you want to omit the seitan in this recipe you can, as it is still awesome with just beans and all the other ingredients.”

Here’s what you’ll need:

Seitan Fajita Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Seitan
  • 1 medium onion (onion type doesn’t matter)
  • 1 green or red bell pepper
  • Liquid from the canned beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Smoky TexMex Black Beans Ingredients:

  • 2 – 15.5 oz cans of black beans, drained
  • Liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon


  • 2 cups of dried rice (any style)
  • 1 bay leaf

“Cheeze” Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of raw cashews
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • Water
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt to taste

Optional Toppings:

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Additional nutritional yeast flakes


  • Open both cans of black beans. Pour only the liquid from both cans into a medium saucepan.
  • Put the beans, which now have no liquid, into another saucepan.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients for the TexMex beans into your pan and turn on medium to low heat. Simmer slowly and add more water if needed (or vegetable stock) just so that the beans don’t try out. The longer you cook these the better, but 30 minutes is enough to embed them with flavor.
  • Cook 2 cups of rice in a standard rice cooker or pot. Follow the water-to-rice ratio on your given bag of rice and add the bay before starting for extra flavor.
  • Slice seitan into thin strips and add to the pan with the bean liquid.
  • Slice the peppers and onion and add those to the same pan.
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper and put on a medium-to-low heat, stirring until the onions and pepper cook down. Add more liquid as necessary.
  • Add all the cheese sauce ingredients to a high-powered blender (hold the water). If your blender isn’t that strong, soak the cashews for 15 minutes to one hour to soften them up.
  • Add water to cover around ¼ of the dry ingredients and blend. Add more water to thin out the sauce. We recommend starting with less because you can always add more if it’s too thick.
  • Plate up all the ingredients and add some cilantro if your heart desires!


There you have it! There are a lot of steps to this recipe, but don’t worry – it’s worth it in the end. If you don’t have access to seitan you can also substitute it with tofu or tempeh.



Meet our Featured Dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus!


Lauren’s favorite nutrition advice? Think healthy, not skinny. She helps her clients get into that mindset with plenty of healthy eating tips, like adding beans to her meals for more protein and fiber.

In fact, she loves using beans so much that she said she can’t pick a favorite: “It would be like choosing a favorite child!” she says.

The variety she chooses depends on the cuisine she is preparing. She likes chickpeas roasted for protein and fiber-rich snacks. She adds black beans to salads, breakfast burritos, and baked goods. She tosses white beans into chili and salads and mashes them into soups.

Lauren’s private practice in the New York/New Jersey area, where she has practiced for the last 20 years, focuses on patients who need help with weight management and prediabetes. Beans are an integral part of her patients’ meal plans because they are an excellent source of protein and fiber.

Beans help manage blood sugar and provide satiety and are delicious and filling for lunch or dinner. Since beans are high in iron, zinc, folate, and potassium, they are ideal for people who struggle to consume non-fortified foods. Lauren especially loves the iron content because vegetarians have an added challenge meeting their iron needs.

Her website Nutrition Starring You has delicious, healthy recipes and great nutritional advice.

Check out her recipe:

photo courtesy of Lauren Harris-Pincus

photo courtesy of Lauren Harris-Pincus

3 Bean Avocado Salad with Lime Dressing

photo courtesy of Lauren Harris-Pincus

photo courtesy of Lauren Harris-Pincus


Be sure to follow Lauren on her social media:

Lauren also wrote a fantastic cookbook, The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club, available on Amazon.