Bean There, Let’s Do That!

Ellie Krieger Creates “One-Pot Wonders” with highly nutritious legumes // Photography by Randi Baird
Ellie Krieger’s new book is sure to be a cottage-owner’s go-to, thanks to the many healthy recipes that require only one pot, sheet pan, or skillet!

Ellie Krieger’s latest book, “Whole in One: Complete, Healthy Meals in a Single Pot, Sheet Pan or Skillet,” is the perfect kitchen companion for creating simple, delicious, and richly nutritious soups, stews, and entrées — as well as appetizers and desserts — for delicious lakeside entertaining.

The cookbook author and food show host, who makes her home in New York City’s upper west side, recently shared some entertaining insights. A lover of the Great Lakes State, Krieger is quick to note that she “dreams of being in northern Michigan.

“My husband is from Michigan, and we’ve gone to various places there. Most recently, we’ve been to Frankfort and Sleeping Bear Dunes,” says Krieger, whose daughter attends Michigan State University.

When cooking up a batch of goodness  for friends and family at your cottage, consider Krieger’s  philosophy of “usually-sometimes-rarely,” which is the mainstay of all seven of her cookbooks (two of them are winners of the James Beard award): Vegetables, whole fruits, grains, lean proteins, seafood, beans, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, and dairy products such as yogurt are the backbone of what you eat each day, with “sometimes” foods (processed grains, honey, maple syrup) “sprinkled” throughout recipes, and foods like refined sugars, bacon, and butter used “rarely,” although definitely not forbidden.

Krieger’s special joy in her most recent book comes from the fact that it “clears so many hurdles,” she says, for people to cook.

“Using one pan not only makes less cleanup,” she says, “but it also makes it easier on the front end, with fairly simple prep.

“I value cooking and want beautiful food — but, honestly, most days I don’t want to, or don’t have time to, work that hard or make a meal into a project.”

That’s why many of her dishes — including some of her favorite entertainment recipes — contain healthy convenience foods liked canned beans and tomatoes, frozen peas, and microwaveable brown rice.

“What I love about these recipes is that you can have all of these ingredients in your cupboards,” Krieger says, “ready for pop-in guests … like dried basil, if you don’t have fresh, and raw, cleaned shrimp in the freezer that thaws quickly under running water. You feel, ‘I can do this!’ And you can — and it’s all in just one pot or pan.”

Krieger, who stars in the Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite” and Public Television’s “Ellie’s Real Good Food” (she’s also executive producer), has another media concoction brewing.

“I’ve got an announcement,” she says. “A podcast. It’s imminent, and I’m very excited.”

Krieger, a registered dietitian nutritionist who was once in private practice, is enjoying spreading the word, “and having the joy of nourishing people.”

On the following pages are recipes from Ellie Krieger’s latest book:

Cookbook by author Ellie Krieger

Warm Chipotle Red Bean Dip

From the chef:

“I love this dip! It’s warm and luscious, with a smooth, smoky spice, and it even has cheese in it! Something about dip is interactive; there’s a huge fun factor.”

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
2 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium pinto or other red beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, seeded, plus 2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for serving
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces)

To serve:

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 medium-size jicama, cut into wide sticks
16 small hearts of romaine lettuce leaves (4 ounces)
4 radishes, cut into wedges

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Heat the oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Put half of the beans, 2 tablespoons of water, the lime juice, chipotle and adobo sauce, salt, and the onion mixture in the small bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.

Return the bean puree to the skillet. Stir in the remaining beans and the cilantro. Sprinkle with the cheese and place in the oven. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

Just before serving, while the dip is resting, wrap the tortillas in foil and place in the oven to warm for 3 to 5 minutes.

Serve the dip in the skillet (with a towel around the handle!), garnished with cilantro, with the tortillas, jicama, lettuce, and radishes for scooping. Alternatively, you can serve taco style with the jicama and radishes cut into matchsticks and the lettuce shredded.

Makes 4 servings

Ancho Black Bean Chili with Orange Essence

From the chef:

“This is one of my favorite party foods (shown above). In a crockpot on low, with an array of toppings on the side — like pickled jalapeños, Greek yogurt, cheese — people can come and go, helping themselves.”

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size onion, diced (about 1½ cups)
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1¼ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups canned, crushed tomatoes
3 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, divided
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ancho chile powder, cumin, salt, oregano, cayenne, and tomato paste, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

Add the crushed tomatoes, beans, 1 teaspoon of the orange zest, the honey, and ½ cup of water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients have melded, about 20 minutes. Stir in the orange juice. Add additional water by the tablespoon if the chili is thicker than you’d like, and more salt and cayenne to taste.

Serve each bowl garnished with a dollop of yogurt, cilantro leaves, and a pinch of the remaining orange zest.

The chili will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, or in the freezer for three months.

Cookbook by author Ellie Krieger

Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Chickpeas

From the chef:

“This soup (shown at right) has a special highlight. … Secretly, inside, is a whole can of chickpeas, blended in, making it creamy. On top there’s a drizzle of tahini, giving it a nutty flavor. And instead of croutons, packaged crispy chickpeas — which I also love as a snack.”

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
7½ cups butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 pounds)
1 cup canned no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
Pinch of cayenne pepper
5 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons tahini
½ cup packaged crispy chickpea snacks (plain or lightly salted)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes; add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the squash, chickpeas, salt, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, and cayenne.

Add the broth and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. (Alternatively, allow to cook slightly, then puree it in several batches in a regular blender.) Stir in the honey.

Place the tahini in a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of cold water. Add more water by the teaspoon until the tahini is loose enough to be drizzled. Serve the soup drizzled with the tahini, garnished with the crispy chickpeas and parsley.

The soup will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days, or in the freezer for three months.

Loaded Potato Nachos

From the chef:

“These are fun for a holiday party or game night, and can be part of a ‘small-plates’ meal.”

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing pan
2 medium-size russet potatoes (about 10 ounces each), unpeeled
½ plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¾ cup chopped fresh tomato
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeño pepper
½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
¼ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush a sheet pan with oil.

Cut the potatoes crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Place them on the sheet pan; drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the sheet pan and bake until they’re crisp, browned on the bottom, and release easily from the pan, about 25 minutes. Flip the potatoes and cook 8 minutes more.

While the potatoes cook, toss the beans in a medium-size bowl with the chili powder, granulated garlic, cumin, coriander, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Combine the tomato, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, lime juice, and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl.

Use tongs to move the potatoes toward the center of the pan, fanning them out so they each overlap slightly. Top with the seasoned beans, then the Cheddar and Jack cheeses; return the pan to the oven and cook until the cheese is melted. Use a spatula to transfer to a large serving platter or individual plates and serve topped with the tomato mixture, avocado, and, if desired, a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.

Cookbook by author Ellie Krieger

Shrimp and White Bean Bruschetta

From the chef:

“This  recipe (shown above) is very easy to pull together. The bruschetta could be served as a meal, or if you use smaller pieces of toast, for finger foods.”

8 medium-size or 16 small, ½-inch-thick slices of crusty whole-grain bread (8 ounces)
3 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1 pound medium-size shrimp (26-30 count per pound), cleaned, tail off
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 medium-size garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
½ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the bread slices on a sheet pan and brush the tops with 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake until crisp and browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the bread to serving plates. (The toasts may be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container.)

Put 1½ tablespoons of the oil, the tomato paste, the anchovy paste, salt, and red pepper flakes in a medium-size bowl and stir to combine. Add the shrimp, beans, and garlic to the bowl, and toss to coat. Then, stir in the tomatoes with their juices. Spread the mixture evenly on the sheet pan and bake, stirring once at the midway point, until bubbling and the shrimp is pink and no longer translucent, about 15 minutes.

Spoon the shrimp mixture generously onto the toasts; drizzle each plate with a teaspoon of olive oil, and garnish with basil leaves and additional red pepper flakes to taste.

Information: Read about Ellie Kriegers’ books and podcast at, where you’ll also find her videos, articles, recipes, references, and more.

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