Poached Huevos Rancheros

Poached Huevos Rancheros low fat recipe

Poached Huevos Rancheros
Serves 2
Can be doubled | Can be halved

This is one of our favorite meals of all time. Seriously, Scott and I eat this a lot! It’s fantastic for breakfast, but makes an equally good lunch or dinner. The combination of eggs, whole grain corn and beans provides great fuel for the body which is also quite easy to digest. If you like Mexican flavors this is going to be a new favorite in your recipe collection. You’ll need 3 pans on the stove (or you can use a microwave for the beans), and a bit of coordination and timing to get everything on the plate, but the extra effort is all worth it when you take that first bite!    ~ Susan


4 eggs
1 can of black beans
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup of your favorite salsa – try Shivani’s roasted salsa recipe!
1 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
1/4 cup water
4 corn tortillas
1 heaping tablespoon shredded sharp cheddar – Cabot makes outstanding cheddars which are widely available, our favorite is the Racer’s Edge sharp cheddar – we love those Vermont cheeses!
sliced scallions for garnish


Fill a large non-stick skillet (or well seasoned cast iron skillet) with just enough water to poach the eggs (I like my yolks to stay bright yellow, so I poach in a shallow amount of water to keep the tops of the yolks from turning white). Turn on heat to get the water boiling.

Meanwhile, open the can of black beans, drain out a little bit of the liquid from the top. Add the cumin, salt & pepper directly into the can and stir well to combine. Put about 1 cup of black beans in a small pan (or microwave safe bowl) and heat just until hot. Set aside. Save the rest of bean mixture for another use.

Put the salsa, hot sauce and 1/4 cup water into a shallow wide saucepan, big enough to fit a corn tortilla without bending it. Stir the mixture together and turn on the heat. This is your “ranchero” sauce.

Crack 2 eggs at a time into a small dish and gently slide them into the poaching water. Repeat with remaining 2 eggs. Turn heat down to medium and let them cook for about 3-4 minutes, this will give you nicely poached eggs with slightly soft yolks.

While eggs cook, dip one corn tortilla into the warm salsa mixture, leave it in the sauce just for about 10 seconds, then use a wide spatula to transfer it to your plate. Repeat process with other tortillas, putting 2 tortillas on each plate, the second tortilla almost on top of the first one, but a little off center so they’re not completely stacked on on top of each other.

After you plate the sauced tortillas, you can put the heat up to high for a minute to “cook down” the sauce if you want it a little thicker. Divide the rest of the warm ranchero sauce over the tortillas. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from poaching water and place 2 eggs atop each of the 2 tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the eggs. Spoon the beans onto the plates next to the eggs and tortillas, top with plenty of sliced scallions and dig in!

Serving Suggestions:

Breakfast – this needs nothing else, it’s a perfect meal to start your day.

Lunch or dinner – add a big salad (try lettuce with shaved red cabbage and grated carrots) to complete the meal.

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Black Bean Quesadillas

Black Bean Quesadillas
Can Be Doubled| Can Be Halved| Makes Great Leftovers (the filling only)
Serves 4

This creation was borne out of my love for Mexican food. I’m a fan of the punchy flavors and spices which are similar to Indian cuisine, but I don’t like the oil and cheese laden dishes many Mexican restaurants serve. Was it possible to capture the same delicious taste without all the fat? Our staple Mexican restaurant is a wonderful place called El Parador Cafe– which also happens to the oldest Mexican eatery in NYC-, and while the fajitas, tacos and quesadillas on the menu are crave worthy, they’re not exactly light. Mahir, as usual, was the skeptic between us that I could duplicate something similar at home, but these quesadillas hit the spot- so much so that he couldn’t believe they fit into the Tablespoon of Oil philosophy. Depending on how many tortillas you use, you’ll most likely have extra filling. For a different flavor and texture, eat the leftovers with brown rice for lunch or dinner the next day.     ~Shivani


1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 to 3 cups of diced zucchini
1 cup of finely chopped red onion
2 to 3 cups of diced crimini or white mushrooms
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons cumin
up to 1 teaspoon of red chili powder (optional)
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
4 to 6 whole wheat tortillas
salt and pepper, to taste
your favorite salsa


Heat a large non-stick pan on low to medium heat and spray with cooking spray

In a Ziploc bag or bowl, toss veggies with part of the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, coat black beans with the same spices.

Cook vegetables covered on low to medium heat until tender (anywhere between 7 to 10 minutes).

Add black beans, and cook another 3 to 5 minutes .

Turn off heat and stir in cilantro.

Warm another nonstick pan on medium.

Put on one tortilla and place a few spoonfuls of mixture on one half (make sure to pour out any excess liquid from the spoon so the quesadillas don’t get too soggy.

Top the half with a tablespoon of cheese.

When cheese melts, fold the empty half of tortilla over the half with the mixture and press together with your spatula.

Remove from heat, let cool for one minute and cut into half.

Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas.

Serve with salsa and enjoy!

Serving Suggestions:

You’re in good shape with this meal because you get in your protein, carbs and vegetables, but I always like to bump up my veggie intake and usually eat my quesadilla with a large mixed vegetable salad or spinach sauteed in garlic and a little olive oil.


If you want a heartier main course, use diced chicken breast instead of the beans. If you do, you will have to cook the chicken for a few minutes first until it is a few minutes from being done and then add the vegetables. Or, omit the beans and just use the veggies for a nice appetizer that’s not overly heavy.

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