Tagged: beans

Three Bean Salad

Three Bean SaladSometimes you need a vacation after your actual vacation, or at the very least, a couple days to get back into the swing of things. With a three-year-old, the whole family needs that time to transition into reality. We spent the week of the 4th visiting family and playing in the sand at the beach. It was a wonderful trip. Despite flight delays, our son was incredibly patient. I kept thanking him for that. We are lucky to have a good traveler!

Preoccupied with the stress that comes the moment you set foot in an airport, on our outbound journey I realized I packed my little guy’s snacks, but nothing for me. Without much thought, I headed to a grab & go and picked up a chickpea salad with a southwest twist. It far surpassed my expectations for terminal fare. At home I made my version, a three bean salad with black, pinto, & navy beans and plenty of lime and cilantro.
Three Bean Salad
Three Bean Salad

Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving
1-15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 ounce can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup finely diced red onions
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 handfuls cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons minced chives

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, onions, bell peppers, cilantro, chives and remaining salt & pepper. Stir in the lime vinaigrette. Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper as desired before serving.

Pasta with Baby Greens, Beans and Walnuts

Pasta with Baby Greens, Beans and Walnuts
For my usual weeknight pasta I keep things simple with spaghetti, even though it can be a bit boring. When I stick to my routine, I don’t add to my random noodle collection. I have a shelf of partial boxes of pasta—the result of buying specific shapes for single recipes. I always end up with an odd amount that’s too small to feed my family—two adults and a three-year-old who is convinced pasta is its own food group.

To spring clean my kitchen, I made this mixed pasta with baby greens, beans and walnuts. Even though it breaks every pasta rule, all you have to do when cooking multiple shapes in a single pot is to first start with the noodle that has the longest cook-time and work your way to the one that’s the quickest. After that I tossed the warm pasta with garlic-infused olive oil, arugula, spinach, cannellini beans, walnuts, Parmesan and lemon zest.
Pasta with Baby Greens, Beans and Walnuts
Pasta with Baby Greens, Beans and Walnuts
Adapted from Everyday Food April 2008

12 ounces short pasta (farfalle, rotelle, fusilli, orecchiette, penne)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1-15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
1 ounce grated Parmesan plus shaved Parmesan for serving
Zest of half a lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook the pasta until al dente according to package instructions. If you are using multiple shapes, cook them in one pot of salted boiling water starting with the pasta that takes the longest and adding shapes per their recommended cook-time, with the quickest being added last. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to a large bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant and golden brown.

Stir the garlic-infused olive oil, beans, walnuts, Parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper into the pasta. Top with shaved Parmesan before serving.

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup
Always on my Sunday to-do list is to make a giant batch of soup to last through the week, so I am set with lunch and/or dinner. Once the weather gets warmer and more fruits and veggies are in season, my warm, comforting bowls of soup will morph into hearty salads that I can make first thing in the morning and will still be fresh for lunch at work.

What I love about those salads and what I miss about soup is texture. So often soup is just veggie puree in a bowl, and I want more bite and lots of different flavors. I made vegetarian minestrone soup that eliminated all the jealousy that soup can have for salad. With green beans, pinto beans, kale and pasta, this version was chock full of all sorts of tasty ingredients.
Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup

Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup trimmed green beans, 1/2-inch long
1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups vegetarian stock
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-15 ounce can kidney beans
1 cup shredded kale
1 cup small pasta (I used mini shells.)
Fresh chives for serving
Shaved Parmesan for serving

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions, carrots and celery until they start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and green beans and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute

Add the tomatoes, stock, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the soup thickens slightly. Add the pasta and kale and continue simmering until the pasta is al dente.

Garnish with chives and Parmesan before serving.

Sweet Potato Skins

Sweet Potato Skins
I consider myself to be a professional snacker. As much as I try to resist the cracker and chip aisles at the grocery, I can’t stay away. If it’s crunchy and salty, I’m all over it. No surprise, I get very excited about the Super Bowl. I like watching the game and the commercials, of course, but the game-day spread is the best part.

This year I wanted to try a few new things to go with the chili and fudge brownies that have permanent spots on my Super Bowl roster. I made vegetarian sweet potato skins with scallions, spinach, black beans and salsa. Instead of smothering the skins in cheese I kept them light focusing on the filling instead.
Sweet Potato Skins
Sweet Potato Skins
 

Makes 10

5 small sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 scallions, sliced thinly, white and green parts separated
2 handfuls baby spinach
2 tablespoons salsa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and roast for 45-55 minutes until they are just tender. Let the sweet potatoes cool for 5-10 minutes before halving them lengthwise and scooping out the flesh leaving a thin layer at the edges. Transfer about 1-1/2 cups of the flesh to a medium bowl.

Rub the potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place them cut side down on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crisp.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the white parts of the scallions until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for a couple minutes until it wilts. Stir into the sweet potato flesh along with the salsa, salt and pepper.

Turn over the potato halves and spoon in the sweet potato mixture. Sprinkle on the black beans and cheese. Melt the cheese in the oven, about 8-10 minutes. Top with green scallions and cilantro before serving.

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