For this recipe, I began by pureeing some white northern beans along with 7 oz. of tomatoes. These beans have bland flavor on their own, but lend well to meals with other flavors, and soak up whatever they are cooked with and add a great amount of protein and fiber. The beans had been cooked a few days earlier and refrigerated. I intended to make hummus with them, but this idea struck my fancy instead. I needed a vegetarian meal for a guest and these did the trick!

You guessed it, these were both leftovers in my fridge. Half a can of tomatoes and half a jar of salsa. Sometimes it’s nice to use just the right measurement of something, even if it means you will have leftovers. Because then it’s nice to find you have it when you need something to add to your creations!

 

After pureeing the beans with the tomatoes, I spread them in one layer at the bottom of my crock pot. (You could do this with refried beans too). I poured the salsa over this to create layer number two.

The next layer was a bag of frozen green bell peppers and onions. Next I added a can of drained black olives; layer four.

This next layer (five) may surprise you; Yam. I have a great recipe from Holly Clegg, for a soup made with yams, shrimp, and salsa, among other things. It has always been a big hit, so I took her idea of mixing yam with salsa and tossed some peeled, cleaned, and diced yam into this pot. It added beautiful color, a sweet flavor, and some awesome nutrition.

Layer six was topping the beauty with spices. I sprinkled heavily; cumin, chili powder, ground coriander, and a dash of salt and pepper.

 

After cooking this on high for 5 hours, it was done. Gave it a stir and added a layer of sour cream and cheddar cheese (layers seven and eight). We actually placed the entire crock pot dish in the middle of the table and set out a bowl of tortilla chips. Everyone dug in! So easy, so tasty.

Do you ever serve a meal right out of your slow cooker? I know it may not be the most elegant presentation, but it works well with something like this. This can also be spooned onto plates, or into bowls individually and served with avocado, or in tortillas.

 

Please check out Holly Clegg’s recipes if you are interested. They can be found at: http://www.hollyclegg.com/

She’s a southern belle from Louisiana and also a distant relative on my maternal grandmother’s side, so her cook books are a favorite in my family’s kitchens. 

 

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