Savory Black Bean Soup

Savory Black Bean Soup


1 # dried black beans, sorted and rinsed or pinto beans (about 3 cups)

2 teaspoons salt

6 cups water 

Soup Ingredients:

1 medium onion, diced

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon vinegar, I used rice vinegar

6 oz chopped lean ham

1 carrot, peeled or scrubbed and diced

2 small mini peppers or 1/4 bell pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 tablespoon molasses or sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme (or substitute with 2 bay leaves or 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika)

1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard or ground mustard

8 oz tomato sauce

 1 small sweet potato, peeled or scrubbed and diced or

   replace with another carrot

3 garlic cloves, minced and let sit for 20 minutes. 

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

Quick soak the black beans:

Add beans and salt to a deep pan or small stock pot.  Cover with water plus 1-2 inches over bean line.  This is about 6-8 cups water. Boil for 10 minutes and cover pot to soak beans for 30 minutes. This can also be done on the saute’

function in your instant pot. Add more water if needed. After soaking, drain cooking water. This will remove some of the oligosaccharides, which are the carbohydrates/sugar in beans that produce gas after eating beans. Another reason to always drain and rinse your canned beans. 

Pressure cook the black beans:

After drained, add beans to the pressure cooker or instant pot. Cover with fresh water over 1-2 inches about 5-6 cups. (Or use 4 cups water and 2 cups chicken broth).  Make  sure your  valve  in on sealing. 

Prepare black bean soup:

Stir in the remaining soup ingredients above, onion through minced garlic. Avoid ham for vegetarian version. Set instant pot cooker to bean/chili function or about 20 minutes. Natural release (or keep in IP for 30 minutes) and then do a quick release, by moving the valve to venting.  Cover valve with dish towel to avoid bean juice spurting or spraying.

Remove 1 cup beans and smash with fork return to IP cooker to thicken soup. Add salt and pepper to your preference. I don’t use much salt in my cooking so be sure to taste soup. Serve with lime juice, scallions, tortilla chips/avocado or cornbread.

I created this recipe after a few hours of researching and all I had was confusion. I had made this recipe before with 10 hours of soaking the beans and in the crock pot for 9 hours. So, I used a combination of stove top and instant pot cooker to bring the best of both methods, reducing soaking and cooking times by many hours. Scrubbing instead of peeling your veggies, may provide more nutrients, found just under the peeling. Mincing your garlic and waiting to use may also supply more healthy benefits. Enjoy!

Recipe by Becky Guittar, dietitian and recipe enthusiast.

I have to admit that this summer when I was somewhat not myself, I tried to make some soup in the Instant Pot and mistakenly poured broth into the pot with no stainless steel pot/liner!! The broth poured into the bottom of the unit where all the electronic circuits are located. NOT GOOD!

We tried to “dry the circuits” but just decided instead to ask Santa for a new Instant Pot Duo Plus for Christmas. I found out the new Instant Pot Duo Plus came with some great enhancements. The new one has a screen that shows a cooking progress bar or timeline like pre-heating, cooking and keep warm. I love the screen so you don’t have to guess anymore.

Homemade Chicken Tamales

Holiday Homemade Chicken Tamales,

I have always enjoyed eating tamales during the holidays. My mother used to purchase holiday tamales from a local source in our hometown in South Texas. She would supply the ingredients from our own grocery store. On occasions she would provide deer meat from my brother’s recent hunting expedition to use in the deer tamales. She had always told me “tamales were an all-day process”! This was the year to try this all-day process. I purchased ingredients from a local Mexican grocery store that included dried corn husks, dried Chile pods, Gluten-free Maseca instant corn masa mix, Knorr chicken bouillon cubes and shortening. I ended up using 1/2 shortening and 1/2 canola oil. Once a year I guess I can use shortening. Next time, I will just use canola oil. I also plan to have a tamale party with my daughters and granddaughters. I think the younger girls will enjoy playing and spreading the masa on the husks. I guess I feel a little bit of a regret I missed participating in this first-hand skill, although I am thankful for many other cooking experiences I shared with my mother. I am going to share this recipe with my granddaughters and have a tamale party, when they come for the holidays. For a full ingredients list see below.

Prepare ingredients:

Add 3 oz dried Chile pods to a large pot, add enough water to cover the pods and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool. Open pods to remove seeds and stems. Stack pods in a food processor. Pour Chile water through sieve to remove anymore seeds and add Chile water to food processor to 3/4 full. I added too much water the first time and it spilled out of my food processor. oops! Add 4-5 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend well. This Chile sauce will be used to season the masa and the chicken filling.

Soak corn husks in a large pot with warm water for 30 minutes and rinse.

Cook chicken:

Add 2 large frozen chicken breasts to your instant pot. Add 6 cups water and 3 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes. Set to high pressure for 15 minutes. Manual release after 30 minutes. Let chicken cool on a plate, remove excess fat and skin. Shred chicken with 2 forks for thin strips. Add about 3/4 cup Chile sauce to shredded chicken and mix well.


Prepare masa:

In a large stand mixer, add 6 cup instant corn masa mix. Continue adding 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 6 tablespoons shortening and 6 tablespoons canola oil. Beat on low speed. Gradually add 4 cups chicken stock (from instant pot) and 3/4 cup Chile sauce until combined. Once stock is mixed in, increase speed to medium for 5-8 minutes until fluffy. Cover bowl with damp towel and refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the tamales:

  1. Lay a soaked corn husk on a plate or your hand. Add 4 tablespoons ( for slightly thicker tamales use additional 1 tablespoon) masa to the middle of the husk. Form a rectangle or the shape of your hand. Husk should be 6 inches wide and 8 inches long.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons chicken filling to center of the masa lengthwise. Fold the husk vertically from right to left and then opposite.
  3. Fold the husk in half from top to bottom.

Steam the tamales:

Add 1 cup water or broth to bottom of stock pot or instant pot. Add steamer basket or rack to the bottom. Place and lean the tamales in an inverted V- shape with the folded edge to the bottom. I first set the instant pot to 20 minutes. I checked and decided the tamales needed more time, so I added another 10 minutes. The tamales should pull away from the husk easily. In conclusion, pressure cook for 30 minutes on high pressure, and manual release after 30 minutes. If cooking in stock pot, steam for 40 minutes. I cooked 8 tamales for the first batch and then the 12 at a second batch.

Serve immediately with salsa or homemade chili con carne. To store, refrigerate in freezer bag for 3 days or freeze up to 3 month.

Chicken Tamales in pressure cooker

Adapted from other sources: 6049


Dried corn husks

6 cups instant corn masa mix

3 teaspoons salt (use 1 teaspoon for Chile sauce)

3 teaspoons cumin (use 1 teaspoon for Chile sauce)

1 teaspoon baking powder

6 cups water

3 bouillon cubes

6 tablespoons shortening

6 tablespoons canola oil

2 large chicken breast bone-in

4-5 garlic cloves

3 oz dried Chile pods


Instant pot or pressure cooker

Stock pots

Food processor

Stand mixer

Makes 20 tamales.

I did up using a tortilla press for the last dozen. Add plastic wrap to tortilla press. Lay husk on top with 1/4 cup masa, hold over plastic wrap and press down.

Surprise: You will also have about 1-1/4 cups shredded chicken and 2 cups Chile salsa make some Chicken Enchiladas. This will make 6 chicken and 2 cheese enchiladas.

Make a roux, by adding 2 tablespoons flour to saucepan, stir often until brown. Add 2 cups Chile sauce and stir often to blend. If too thick add 1 cup chicken broth. Lightly fry corn tortillas, pat excess oil, fill with chicken and chopped onion. Fill 6 with chicken and 2 with grated cheese. Add to greased casserole dish. Pour Chile sauce and top, add more grated cheese and diced onion. Warm in 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.

Chicken Enchiladas with Tomasita’s Red Chile sauce and Shredded Chicken – a Nice Bonus!

Pumpkin Spice Treats

When warm weather is replaced with cooler days, warm drinks and fleece, I love baking with pumpkin spice. Here are two seasonal favorites, Morning Glory Muffins and Fresh Apple Bars. After 30 years, with my food processor I traded in for a new one so grating carrots is much easier. The grated carrots provide a soft texture and moisture and great source of Vitamin A or carotene to these breakfast muffins.

Morning Glory Muffins

All you need:

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup all purpose flour (can substitute with 1/ 4 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup all purpose flour)

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)

1/4 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/3 cup walnuts

2 large peeled carrots, grated

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/3 cup canola, olive or vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoon ground flax or 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat six cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Use a food processor, grate 2 peeled carrots and set aside. In large bowl, add flour, salt, baking soda, pumpkin spice, oats and orange zest. Mix the grated carrots into dry ingredients. In another bowl or food processor, mix the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the egg/oil mixture. Add the flax and chopped walnuts. Divide the batter into 6 muffins cups and bake for 18-20 minutes, until toothpick or knife comes out clean.

Nutrition Analysis: 360 calories, 27 g carbs, 6 g protein, 22 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 232 mg sodium, 3 g fiber. Recipe adapted from Cuisinart Elemental 8 Food Processor Recipe Booklet

Fresh Apple Bars

All you need:

  •  ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or substitute 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup apple juice concentrate, thawed or water
  • 2 medium tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Gala, thinly sliced (peeling is optional)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (toasting is optional)

  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Step 2 Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, Pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Work in oil and apple juice concentrate (or water) with your fingers until coarse crumbs form.
  • Step 3 Firmly press 2 cups of the oat mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange apples over the crust in three rows. Mix walnuts into the remaining oat mixture. Sprinkle the walnut mixture evenly over the apples and pat firmly into an even layer.
  • Step 4 Bake until the top is golden brown and the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutrition Analysis: Serving Size: 1 square Per Serving: 160 calories; protein 2g ; carbohydrates 29g ; dietary fiber 1g; sugars 17g; fat 4g 6% ; saturated fatg; cholesterol mg; folate 4.4mcg ; calcium 28.7mg ; iron 0.9mg 5%; magnesium 21.4mg ; potassium 88mg ; sodium 100mg. Adapted from Eating Well.

Air fryer Recipes from Battle with Pressure Cooker Class

AF vs Pressure cooker better

Air-Fried Pork Chops

Serves 4.

All you need:

4 boneless pork chops, 4 oz each

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

1 large egg, beaten

¾ cup crushed cornflakes

¼ cup parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon chili powder

Oil or non-stick spray (pantry)

All you do:

  1. Thaw completely in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Unwrap pork chops and place on wire rack. Spray pork chops with cooking spray to help brown or oil mister
  3. Set air fryer to 400°F. .
  4. Bake for approximately 7 minutes turn over and cook an additional 7 minutes or until cooked through to 145 – 160 degrees.

Nutrition facts per serving: 294 calories, 14 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 209.4 mg sodium, 470 mg potassium, 6 carbohydrates, 35 g protein

 Make ahead and freeze: Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Combine ¾ cup crushed cornflakes, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, ½ tsp paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder, and ¼ tsp chili powder into a large bowl. Crack egg into a separate bowl and beat lightly. With large fork, dip each pork chop into the egg, and then into the cornflake mixture. Wrap each pork chop individually in plastic wrap and then place all four into a large freezer bag. Label.

Same seasoning/breading can be used for zucchini fries.

More expert tips on:

  1. Convert Recipes
  2. When converting a recipe with a suggested temperature for deep-frying or cooking in a traditional oven, lower the air fryer’s temperature by 25°F to achieve similar results. So if a recipe calls for deep-frying chicken in oil heated to 350°F, air fry at 325°F.
  3. Frozen Food Exception, no oil necessary. Meats like a hamburger or chicken thighs do not require oil. Commercially breaded items like onion rings, French fries, chicken nuggets, left-over pizza and egg rolls can easily be prepared in your air FRYER WITHOUT added oil. Roasting vegetables or homemade fries will require ½ -1 teaspoons of oil.
  4. Check for doneness earlier. Check the food about two-thirds of the way through the suggested cooking time to test doneness. Those fish sticks say they’ll be done in 15 minutes, check them at 10 minutes. Adapted from Cooking Light

Other resources:

Go to /recipes-ideas/advice-how-tos/food-love/air-fryer recipes

AF eggrolls and pork

More recipes:

Air-fryer Egg Rolls

Serves 4
All you need:
1 lb. ground pork, turkey or chicken

½ onion, diced

1 container mushrooms (8oz)

1 tablespoon oil

1 bag pre-shredded coleslaw mix found in the produce section near the bagged salads

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

½ tsp pepper

¼ tsp salt

12 egg roll wrappers

All you do:

  1. Add oil in large sauté pan, skillet or wok. Sauté onion for 3-4 minutes. Add lean ground meat of choice. Cook until no longer pink. Break up large chunks. Add sliced or diced mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook for additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Place approximately 3 tablespoons mixture to the base of an egg roll wrapper, ½ inch from sides. Tuck in right and left sides and roll wrapper to enclose filling. Wet the top ½ inch with water to seal wrapper. Drizzle with oil or oil mister.
  3. Place 2-3 egg rolls in Air Fryer in one layer. Set Air Fryer to 375 degrees for 10 minutes and then change to 400 degrees to brown for 5-10 minutes. Flip egg rolls as needed. Continue with remaining egg rolls. Can also cover, refrigerate and fry later. Source : Becky Guittar, RD, Hy-Vee Dietitian
  • Calories 3
  • Total Fat 8 g
  • Saturated Fat 0.6 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 2.1 g
  • Cholesterol 4 mg
  • Sodium 7 mg
  • Potassium 8 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 7 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
  • Sugars 3.8 g
  • Protein 3 g


Air-fryer Salmon Patties

Serves 4

All you need:

2-5oz cans Pink salmon, remove bones and skins (optional)

½ small mashed potato

2 tablespoons whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion or chives


All you do:

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly, form into 4 patties. Spray with oil mister.

Set Air-fryer to 375 degrees. Place salmon patties on basket in single layer. Cook for 8- 10 minutes, flip over. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Source: Becky Guittar, RD, Hy-Vee Dietitian

  • Calories 3
  • Total Fat 0 g
  • Saturated Fat 1.2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol 3 mg
  • Sodium 6 mg
  • Potassium 7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 5 g
  • Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
  • Sugars 1.4 g
  • Protein 2 g


Are you getting your Vitamin D?

With less sun exposure and outdoor activities, your body may need more Vitamin D supplementation. Ask your physician to check your Vitamin D levels and if low, ask for recommendations to start Nature Made Vitamin D.  For most Americans, sunlight provides the main source of Vitamin D. Few foods naturally contain Vitamin D, but those include fatty fish like salmon and egg yolks. Vitamin D helps to build and support strong bones by enhancing calcium absorption and also supports muscle function, strength and balance. Mushrooms are the only source of Vitamin D in the produce aisles. Add mushrooms to meatloaf, eggs, stroganoff, salads, and soups. See the link for more information on Vitamin D.

Jan pom



Fat Rabbit Vegetarian Entrees

Fat Rabbit Vegetarian Frozen Entrée’s are a good source of fiber, protein, convenient, and with no artificial preservatives.  They include lots of vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and beans. Flavors include Lemon Feta Frenzy, Orange Cauliflower Renegade and Smoky Mole Madness.

Join us for sampling today, November 7, 2019, at the Northern Lights Hy-Vee in the HealthMarket 4-6pm.  For questions, ask your Hy-Vee Dietitian, Becky Guittar at

November POM

October is National Pork Month

There are great reasons to include lean pork in your diet:

Pork is a nutritional powerhouse! A 3 ounce serving of pork is an excellent source of protein, Vitamin B 6, thiamin, niacin and selenium. Looking for lean? Think loin and chop. Any kind of pork chop is a lean choice and the word loin like pork tenderloin.

The American Heart Association has certified the pork tenderloin and the sirloin as heart-healthy foods. Seven pork cuts – from the tenderloin to the ribeye pork chop – meet the USDA guidelines for “lean” with less than 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, and 95  milligrams of cholesterol per serving.

Cuban Pork Tenderloin                                    serves 6

All you need:

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

All you do:

  1. Using a thin knife, trim silver skin from tenderloin. Mix orange juice, grapefruit juice, cilantro, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper flakes in a gallon-size zippered plastic bag. Add pork; close and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
  2. Prepare outdoor grill for direct medium-hot grilling. For a gas grill, preheat grill on high. Adjust temperature to 400°F. For a charcoal grill, build fire and let burn until coals are covered with white ash. Spread coals and let burn for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil cooking grate. Remove pork from marinade, drain briefly, but do not scrape off solids. Place on grill and cover grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned and instant-read thermometer inserted in center of pork reads 145°F, about 20 to 27 minutes. Transfer to carving board and let stand 3 to 5 minutes. Cut on slight diagonal and serve over your favorite rice and black bean salad.

Cuban pork tenderloin

Nutrition facts per serving: 140 calories, 24g protein, 3g fat, 1g saturated fat, 220mg sodium, 75mg cholesterol, 3g carbohydrate

Come by the Meat Department at Hy-Vee on Friday October 18 from 4-6pm and Saturday, October 19 from 11-2pm to sample Cuban Pork Tenderloin, our Hy-Vee Dietitian’s Pick of the Month.






California Walnuts are the Dietitian’s Pick of the Month

Avocado toast with walnuts

Try this recipe for a wonderful taste explosion!  See your Hy-Vee Dietitian for come back coupons, free nutrition walk/tours and answers to questions in the store aisles.

Avocado, Arugula, Tomato and Walnut Toast

All you need

2 slices of whole grain bread

1/4 avocado

1/3 cup baby arugula

4 cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

1/4 cup California walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon balsamic glaze

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

All you do

  1. Toast bread in toaster or toaster oven. Scoop out avocado flesh and mash in small bowl with a fork. Spread mashed avocado evenly onto each toast slice.
  2. Top avocado with arugula leaves, tomato slices and chopped walnuts
  3. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, then sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.
  4. Makes 2 servings.  Nutrition facts per serving; 250 calories, 14 g fat, 258  mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 6.5 g fiber and 3 g protein.

Parents often struggle with packing school lunches. Here are a few tips for success.

429E5EAA-F181-4F60-9B73-38459478D43DUse My Plate to guide food choices and fill the bento box,

Use My Plate to guide food choices and fill the bento box

My plate my lunchbox.PNG

Have kids pack their own sack lunch with a lunch stations like this on your counter and

pick from bin

pick from bin 2

in your refrigerator.

  • Purchase a Bento Box or similar style lunchbox
  • Use silicone cupcake liners for dips or sauces
  • Get kids involved in meal planning and lunchbox choices! Sit down with kids and make a list of their favorite food items then post this list for inspiration.
  • Make food fun!

-Cut sandwiches into shapes using cookie cutters

-Make fruit/veggie skewers or sandwiches on a stick, pack fresh grapes in a small sandwich bag

-Add raw veggies to a salad dressing container

-Make pinwheels by wrapping sandwich contents in a tortilla and roll it

-Hide notes of encouragement or “I love you” in the lunchbox

-Include a small treat like a few marshmallows or animal crackers

-Kids love to dip! Contact your local Hy-Vee dietitian for healthy dip recipes. Some ideas may include hummus, sunflower seed butter, guacamole, bean dip, yogurt ranch dip, vanilla Greek yogurt or spinach dip.

  • Have kids help make homemade ice packs: soak a sponge in water, put it in a plastic bag and freeze overnight! As the “ice” melts the sponge will reabsorb it for repeated use.
  • Think outside the lunchbox-don’t feel obligated to serve only typical lunch food items. If your kid loves breakfast foods, serve them a peanut butter waffle sandwich in place of a regular sandwich to increase lunchtime excitement. If your kid enjoys snacks, turn snack foods into a meal!
  • Utilize “meal planning bins” to speed up your morning. Take time on the weekend to prep fruits, veggies, sandwiches, etc. into plastic bags. Fill refrigerator bins with items from different foods groups. In the morning simply grab a bag from each bin to put in the lunchbox.
  • Encourage water or milk as a beverage




Dietitian Picks of the Month are A+ for students

Aug POM Kashi Horizon milk


Five reasons to try Horizon Single Service Milk

  1. Horizon Organic Milk is an excellent source of Vitamins A and D to help improve immunity.
  2. With chocolate, vanilla and strawberry varieties, Horizon Organic Milks has options for all to enjoy.
  3. It’s perfect to pack in a lunch box or take on the go alongside a healthy meal or snack.
  4. Milk provides the body with all 9 essential amino acids to help you grow strong and flourish.
  5. It’s packed with protein and calcium to help keep your bones and muscles strong.
  6. Pair with our other Dietitian pick of the Month, Kashi cereal, for a powerful start to your day. Top with banana or berries for a filling and nutritious breakfast.  Kashi provides whole grain goodness in a variety of flavors.HoHor