Black Bean Instant Pot Chalupas

black-bean-chalupas Original recipe from Martha Rose Shulman’s Vegetarian Feast.

  • 1 cup rinsed and sorted Black Beans
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • veggie oil to coat bottom of inner pan
  • 1/2 Tablespoon (1 and 1/2 teaspoon) ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chili powder

Set the instant pot to saute. When it has preheated add a little oil to coat the bottom. Add the onions and sweat them (fry until translucent). Then add the garlic and cilantro just to heat them.

Add the drained beans and 2 and 1/4 cups water. Set the pot to “beans” If the beans have been pre-soaked, set the the timer to 15 minutes (they should be very soft). If they were not pre-soaked they can still be used, set the timer to 20 to 25 minutes. Release the steam when the time is up to let the pressure come down.

Even in the Instant Pot I like to presoak my beans before I cook them.

  • ripe avocado
  • tomato
  • lemon juice
  • sour cream
  • thinly sliced lettuce
  • sliced ripe olives
  • Chalupa crisps (taco shells broken in half will work
  • grated cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)

While the pressure is coming down, loosely mash your avocado with lemon juice, a pinch of salt and lemon juice. Chop your tomatoes and toss your lettuce with your favorite creamy dressing (I make a ranch style with some of the cumin and chili powder used for the beans instead of dill)

Put the Chalupa crisps into the oven to crisp up (about 275. Put them into a cold oven. When the oven comes up to temperature they are ready)

When the pressure has come down on the Instant Pot, remove the lid. carefully lift the inner pot out. Pour the beans into a sieve set over a bowl to drain and save the liquid. Return the beans to the inner pot. Sprinkle on a little salt, the cumin and chili powder. Mash and stir the beans. You may use either a potato masher or a hand blender (we like the texture of the potato masher). Taste to adjust seasoning.


  1. Spread a layer of beans on a Chalupa crisp
  2. cover that with a spoonful of mashed avocado
  3. sprinkle with cheese followed by lettuce, tomatoes and olives.

Yum! This is half of the original recipe, it easily doubles.

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Filed under Home Cooked, Instant Pot

Instant Pot Pasta

So Ray ordered an Instant Pot. So many travelers I follow on YouTube use them, many with only solar power. I’ve been very interested. Now I’m collecting Recipes to try when it gets here. The recipe featured in this video is a no meat pasta but you could easily add ground meat to it without changing the cook time. This lady (a trucker) does not add meat to carbs to prevent acid reflux… a new idea to me.

  • 3/4 lb lean burger
  • Olive Oil
  • Small onion
  • Red Pepper
  • 1 lb Penna
  • 16 oz jar pasta sauce
  • Garlic, salt, pepper, and optional herbs

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Filed under Home Cooked, Instant Pot

A New Garden Toy and Video

img_3037 England seems to have all the best stuff.

Thanks to Amazon for getting it here after Sean shows it to me on his video.

A Very Rainy Day in Everett. I love that sound when I have a safe place to be out of the rain. All kinds of new micro-greens planted in the new boxes. Meanwhile we are eating the first wave of mixed micro-greens from Botanical Interests. Yum

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Filed under In the greenhouse, Urban Farm, Video

Show up with Value

Curtis Stone, The Urban Farm Guy randomly gave his best piece of advice on a video I was watching. Show up with value.

BOOM (mind blown!) You want to make it as an urban farmer, show up with value instead of your hat in your hand begging for a the secret to easy success. How about as an evangelist? You have something of amazing value, not something to apologize for. Do you want to make it as a student? Recognize that it is the work that gives you value as a student. That is what makes you successful.

As a teacher, there are students that demand a lot of my time. Their parents are paying tuition and deserve my time but so are a lot of other parents; what can I expect from them? Sometimes I feel like Mary trying to “teach” Tom Sawyer a bible verse. Tom wants the prize that is offered and realizes that the work is a means to an end but entitlement (I want what I want and I want it now) means that he will not “Show up with value”. He will not do the work.

Do the work. show up with your best effort. The world will open doors for that. You can climb the ladder to success. If you expect someone to carry you then get used to the view from the lower rungs.

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Filed under I'm just saying..., Video

Two Frog Home Cranberry Sauce

November Project #4 Spiced Brandied Cranberry Sauce


Step 1 Preparation:

  • Sterilize 12 half-pint canning jars.
  • Fill a canning pot with enough water to cover the jars with an inch of water, put on a simmer.
  • Prepare your canning area with fresh lids and rings, tong-lifter, canning funnel etc.
  • Rinse and sort 36 ounces of fresh organic cranberrys

Step 2 The Sauce

  • 36 ounces organic cranberries
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 4 cups of water
  • 20 whole allspice
  • 16 whole cloves
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups of apple brandy

Put the sugar, water and cranberries into the (6 quart) pan. Add the cinnamon sticks to the berries. Put the allspice and cloves into a tea ball to steep as the sauce cooks.

Bring the berries to a boil. It will only need occasional stirring. Skim the foam that forms for beautiful jars of sauce. Let the sauce cook at a rolling boil for ten minutes while the cranberries pop and soften.

Stir in the brandy and return the sauce to a boil. Turn off the heat. Remove the tea ball of spices and the cinnamon sticks. Pour the hot cranberry sauce into hot steralized jars and process for 15 minutes

Yield about 12 half pint jars.


Filed under Home Cooked, Urban Farm, Video

Micro Greens Update day 3

November Project 2; day 3

I have no idea why, after over forty years, I still get excited when seeds do what they were created to do. I even take video of my babies!


November Urban (Subsistence) Farm Projects

  1. Spring Bulb Lasagna
  2. Micro Greens
  3. Planting indoor Amaryllis bulbs 
  4. Two Frog Cranberry Sauce

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Filed under Bible Study, In the greenhouse, Urban Farm, Video

November Project 1 Redo

Spring Bulb Lasagna Take 2

Camera battery fail. With a new battery and a new batch of spring bulbs (50% off!) I successfully finished the Bulb Lasagna planting video. I hope you try this beautiful project while your subsistence farm (or whatever kind of garden you have) rests for the winter.

This was a long video, I am planning a two minute teacher series for this project.


First Daffodils of Season 5

November Projects:
1. Spring Bulb Lasagna

2. Micro Greens

3. Planting Amaryllis Bulbs

4. Two Frog Cranberry Sauce

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Filed under Everyday Adventure, Video