Tag Archives: beans

greetings and bean-ings!

Hi friends, I’ve missed you, too! Where have I been? I have an exciting life-project (which may involve me reading 22 books) that I can’t reveal for some time—sorry for the necessary suspense. How have you been?

Here’s the quick catch up on me since August…

Andrew and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary at our favorite B&B


I chopped my hair off (my students love the fairy resemblance)


My sweet sister-in-law got engaged (while I snapped, surprise!, 201 photos)


For Andrew’s 27th birthday this month, we threw a wildly successful Mad Men party (where Andrew had this genius idea to have everyone else bring the food)


I honored my Grammy’s memory with her kick-ass thanksgiving stuffing


And, kind of personal, but it’s been nearly 300 days since my last sinus infection so I lovvvvvvve being chronically healthy now (thank you, Symbicort) and in the kitchen every day!


I realize last time I dropped in to chat, we were discussing corn, but the weather demands we move on. I don’t know where you live, but Virginia had a sunny, 60 degree Thanksgiving day quickly turned blistery-cold weekend. Let’s warm-up and snuggle up with a hearty, healthy dish before the neighbors start delivering cookies…


Fresh herbs are vital in this simple stew, trust me. And grab a big, fresh, cheesey loaf of bread to scoop up every last drop.  We serve this with Trader Joe’s Alpine Gruyere bread. Click on the highlighted words should you like a demonstration on technique. In this dish, don’t concern yourself with precise vegetable measurements; the more veggies the tastier.

Tuscan White Beans

Adapted from Ina Garten, serves 6… or amazing leftovers

1 pound dried white cannellini beans, cooked (or about 4 15 oz. cans; I have always used canned)

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves; note jarred minced garlic will be too potent in this dish)

1 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I love the rich flavor of Pacific Organic)

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or aged cheese like parmesan)


Rinse and drain the white beans. Heat the olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pepper and carrots, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beans to the vegetables.


Add 1 cup of the stock, rosemary, salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 15 minutes, until creamy.


Stir in the Pecorino, season to taste, and serve hot with fresh bread. We’ve never used spoons.


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Filed under budget, dinners, health, here to share, lickety-quick

cheap eats

For over twenty years I was the vegetarian who didn’t like beans. It was a texture and taste thing, mostly a texture thing. So I found ways to disguise them: crunchy, roasted chickpeas became a favorite snack, followed by white bean dip.

As it’s important to vegetarians to consider iron-rich foods, I have been on a quest for more enjoyable bean recipes. I have two stellar recipes to share—the Tuscan Beans in next week’s post is unforgettable. Both are best enjoyed with fresh grilled bread, which makes such inexpensive dishes a dash more decadent. This lunch manages to be an elegant 5-minute meal as simple as it gets: bread and beans.

Mixed Bean and Parsley Salad

from Cooking After Five, serves 4, or 2 with leftovers

2 cans chickpeas, drained

2 cans canellini beans, drained

1 cup parsley, lightly packed, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced (on your microplane)

Juice of 1 lemon

Extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, combine beans, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and a couple splashes of extra-virgin olive oil. Toss to combine and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Grate enough cheese so it looks like a mound of snow, about 1/2 cup, then toss. Taste. Serve with grilled bread.

For grilled bread:

Slice a fresh loaf (cheese or herbed bread is extra fun)  into one-inch pieces. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil and grill over medium heat. If you don’t have a grill, place the oiled slices on a flat baking sheet and grill under the broiler until golden brown. With tongs, turn the slices and brown the second side. For fun, rub a halved garlic clove over each hot slice—it adds a special, tangy touch.

Note: Parsley has a grassy flavor not everyone prefers. Chives, basil, or a combination of fresh herbs would be a fantastic substitute for the parsley here. Basil and white beans are a wonderful combination.

Click here for my other favorite recipes featuring garbanzo beans.

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a cure for mustard misery

Since I bookmarked this salad months ago, knowing its re-creation was inevitable, I’ve been cringing over the tablespoon of Dijon. There are so few ingredients, I knew there would be no getting around it.

Tonight, I returned to my new favorite cookbook for the third time in a week: Great Food Fast from Everyday Food.  I included the dreaded Dijon, one small step to conquering my mustard hatred, and made a few additions to fill this out to a light dinner.

This dish is even better the next day, and more so the day after.

Lindsey’s Chilled Chickpea Couscous

1 cup (dry) israeli couscous

4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed and chilled

1 lb. broccoli, cut into florets

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. red-wine vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 small red onion, minced

coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Cook 1 cup of israeli couscous according to the package directions. While it is cooking, steam the broccoli florets over an inch of salted water (use a steamer basket or large colander set over a pot) until crisp-tender, about five minutes. The couscous and broccoli should take about the same cooking time. Leave both to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and onion; season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust as necessary (better to slightly undermeasure the vinegar and mustard and add to taste).

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, broccoli, and couscous; toss to coat. Be sure the couscous has cooled enough to add the mozzarella. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

To eat this salad by itself is a super light dinner, but we often enjoy our beloved banana cocoa smoothies later in the evening (we’re early eaters) to round things out. I’m excited to enjoy it for lunch, it makes great leftovers.

Even though this is a delicious dish, where garbanzos are concerned: my mother-in-law’s chickpea-tomato salad can’t be beat. You’ll have to come back for that one!


Filed under budget, dinners, health, lickety-quick