Skip to main content

Fast Day #5: No Fry Re-fried Beans, Homemade Falafel and Cilantro Dip

I'm not a good grocery shopper. I buy things for recipes that I never make. I buy things that I feel I "should" be eating. And I buy things that I forget about.

In my pantry are 2 cans of kidney beans. I always want to make something with these but I don't really like beans in things. My chili is always all meet... and um... what else can you put beans in? I'll eat black beans when I'm at a Mexican restaurant but some how opening a whole can of beans and eating them seems weird.

They are full of protein, keep you full and loads of other good things for your health.

I was determined to use these beans though and I found a great recipe from Nigella Lawson. She calls this a bean dip but I like to think of them as healthy re-fried beans because I love those. I changed up her recipe by adding chicken broth instead of the bean liquid because the liquid on mine looked a little gross (I've had these for YEARS), reduced the oil and had to double the recipe because I had two cans of beans instead of one.

I paired the beans with with homemade falafels and cilantro dip. I made the falafels from a Fantastic Foods (1.62 cal/ gram) mix and they turned out to be half the calories (3.76 cal/g - based on a 85g portion per the package info) of the Trader Joe's pre cooked falafels and super easy to make - just add water and pan fry in a little bit of oil.

Fast Day #5 - Big meal experiment: 478 calories

  • 91g Falafel (138 cal)
  • 94g No Fry Re-Fried Beans (279 cal)
  • 85g Steamed Chinese Broccoli (35 cal)
  • 40g Cilantro Yogurt Dip (26 cal)
 I'm trying to see if I can handle just having one meal during my Fast Days.

This was a very filling meal (if you don't think so right away, wait 15 - 30 minutes!) and perfect for a Fast Day to keep the tummy rumbblies away!

No-Fry Re-Fried Bean Recipe
2.968 calories per gram

adapted from Nigella Lawson's "Red Kidney Bean Dip"


  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil (not extra-virgin)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 6 fat cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 864 g cups kidney beans (2 standard cans)
  • 14.5 oz chicken broth (or less depending how thick you want this to be)
  • 32 g tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced


  • Heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft and golden.
  • Add the kidney beans and their liquid and stir in the tomato paste and spices and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the lime juice to the kidney bean mixture. Take the pan off the heat and when it has cooled a little, process the mixture until it is a bumpy puree. When it is cool, arrange in small bowls and sprinkle over the reserved lime zest.


Popular posts from this blog

Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp Bowl (Tom Rim): 230 calories

One of my favorite dishes is caramelized pork belly and shrimp. Well since I'm back on the restricted calorie wagon (1350 per day). I decided to make just caramelized shrimp! Instead of paring with rice as usual I used the left over sauce to coat shirataki noodles for a low calorie, low carb meal!

I entered the nutritionals into myfitnesspal under "Vietnamese Caramelized shrimp (Tom Rim)", brand is "KT Homemade". The whole recipe makes 773g. Macros: 1045 calories, 175g protein; 43g fat, 83g carbs, .

For portion above, I used 150g of Caramelized Shrimp (Tom Rim), 10 oz shirataki noodles, 2 oz romaine lettuce - 230 calories. Macros: 230 calories; 8g fat; 21g carbs; 35g protein.

The recipe couldn't be more simple, especially if you have a jar of premade caramelized sugar in your pantry. If not, just make it as you cook.


This instructions assume you don't have caramelized sugar in your pantry like I do!Thai chili peppers are optional. It's more t…

Cracking the Calories: Hu Tieu (Vietnamese Clear Noodle Soup) - 250 Calories

Cracking the Calories: Hu Tieu
Vietnamese Clear Noodle Soup
Noodle soups are a mainstay in Vietnamese cuisine. Pho (pronounced: fuh), both chicken and beef, takes the spotlight in popularity. But there are many, many other noodle soups that range from spicy (Bun Bo Hue) to sweet (Bun Rieu) to seafood based broths (Hu Tieu) that are also quite delicious.

I wanted to cook something light and refreshing for Mr. J's return from a long, hard week at a client site and Hu Tieu jumped out at me as the perfect fit. Also it didn't help that Wandering Chopsticks was taunting me with wonderful Retro Posts all week on her Facebook page and this was one of the dishes.

Traditionally, this dish is made with a light seafood broth, topped with pork (BBQ for Saigon Style or boiled for Nam Vang style), shrimp, sometimes, crab claws, and always with lots of vegetables (lettuce, Chinese celery, chives, etc). The noodles are usually wide and flat made of rice…

Easy Pastry Crust Recipe without a Food Processor

As a follow up to my Curry Minced Beef Pot Pie post. I thought I'd share how I got over my fear of pie dough.

As usual it starts with my food idol Kenji Lopez-Alt and his super simple recipe for an easy pie crust. The only catch was that he used a food processor and I don't have one. I had faith in Kenji's recipe development skills when he said that this was fool proof so I followed his step by step photo gallery and used the pictures to gauge if I was doing it right.

I figured that I could do this dough by hand since the first step was to create a paste with the butter and 3/4 of the flour. That's easy enough - that is if I had remembered to take the butter out of the freezer first. Fast forward 30 minutes with the butter at room temperature, a little elbow grease and voila - pie crust!

Instead of using the food processor, I simply smashed the butter into the flour and used the fork to scrap any dough/ butter off the wooden spoon. I was not gentle. I poked, prodded, …