Tag Archives: beans

Hummus and Pita Bread

Hummus is something I’ve been making since college. It’s so much cheaper (and not much more difficult) to make it yourself instead of buying it. The following hummus recipe is based on one from a roommate’s mom, who is Greek I believe.
I didn’t try making my own pitas until I moved to Laos, where there aren’t any. I found that making pitas takes about as much skill as making any other bread, but the baking part takes longer because they take up a lot of room spread out in the oven. I was amazed that pita bread makes its own pocket if it’s rolled out right and baked at the right temperature. About 1/3 of mine usually end up without a pocket, but that’s okay because they’re mostly for dipping in hummus anyway. Here’s the pita recipe that I use.

Chana Masala – Indian Garbanzo Beans

Now this dish isn’t the most local because the beans come from India, but I really like it anyway. We can’t get garbanzos in town, but if you want them, you can find them at the Indian grocery store in Vientiane. You can also get the spices for this recipe there. I got this Chana Masala recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

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Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

It’s been chilly with a cold drizzle lately. The rainy season has mostly ended and we’re starting to get into the cool season. Somehow it feels a lot like American fall even though we don’t have leaves turning red and falling. We do have crisp cool air, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and warm drinks. What a good time for bean soup! It’s a great soup to serve with cornbread.

I invented this soup because we had some sweet potatoes from Vientiane. You can get sweet potatoes here at this time of year, but they’re not as orange and big as the kind from Vientiane. Break off a small end of a potato to make sure it’s yellow or orange inside and not purple or white. In Laos there are many kinds of potato-type vegetables! Continue reading

Black Beans From Our Garden!

I didn’t know how easy it was to grow black beans. I just thought they were the sort of thing that you have to buy. Well, it is easier to buy them because then you don’t have to spend time shelling them. Plus, it would take a lot of land to grow the amount of beans we eat. Still though, growing our own is kind of fun and it’s amazing to pop open the pod and see dried black beans, looking just like beans from a bag. Actually these beans are better quality than the beans we usually get because they’re so fresh. Also, growing beans improves the quality of soil in your garden. Continue reading

Vegetarian Chili in a Pressure Cooker

I know I’ve said it before, but pressure cookers are awesome.  It blends the flavors together like a crock pot does, except a pressure cooker does it a lot faster.  This chili was delicious.  It really had that rich spicy taste that chili needs and it didn’t taste like a wimpy vegetarian version (some veggie chilies just taste like vegetable soup!) Continue reading

Black Beans and Rice

This is a really common meal for us.  It’s simple, tastes great, and is healthy!  Top with shredded cheese and chopped tomatoes if you like.



1 C dry black beans, soaked overnight

1 3/4 C water

1 small onion, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, cut in half

1 t salt

1/4 t cayenne pepper (or chili powder but more of it)

2 t whole cumin seeds

  1. Start cooking the rice.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Adjust the spices and salt
  4. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro

Homemade Refried Beans and Burritos

These refried beans were delicious.  Try them in a burrito by serving on tortillas and topping with guacamole, shredded cheese, and cilantro.  James and I were so happy to eat this meal!  It makes good leftovers too. Continue reading