Category Archives: Beans

One Skillet Baked Pasta and Veggies – Zucchini, Eggplant, Peppers, oh my

baked pasta with eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, cheese & chick peas, yum!

baked pasta with eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, cheese & chick peas, yum!

This is the perfect time of year for me, when I can still find delicious late summer veggies, like eggplant,, zucchini and peppers, at my local farmer’s market, but the weather is beginning to turn chilly enough that I crave warm comfort foods.  This recipe marries the two and even better than that, this is a one pan wonder.  One pan, that’s right you read correctly, even the pasta cooks in the same skillet, no boiling water, draining or extra pots and pans to wash, I present to you my One Skillet Baked Pasta and Veggies.

sauteed eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes

sauteed eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes

All in one skillet - eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and pasta

All in one skillet – eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and pasta

Not only does this recipe all come together in just one pan, but it is also super versatile to suit your own tastes, moods, diet or what’s available in your market or kitchen today. I love making this with eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes, but it’s just as delicious with any one or combo of veggies. I also like adding in chickpeas and topping the whole thing with chopped mozzarella and grated Romano cheese, but if you’re not into beans and/or cheese you can easily leave those out.

Cheesy topped baked pasta with eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes, yum!

Cheesy topped baked pasta with eggplant, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes, yum!

I’ve partnered with the Westchester County Mom’s Blog as a contributor, to view the rest of this post and get my amazing one pan recipe, go to my One Skillet Baked Pasta.  Enjoy!

 

Beans & Greens Soup – White & Pinto with Kale & Wheat Berries

white beans, pinto beans with veggies in soup
We were hoodwinked, tricked, fooled!  For a few days, the sun was shining, the temp warmed up, the crocuses were in bloom…I even convinced Evan, who’s 5 and very attached to things staying the same, that it was time to switch from the winter jacket to a nice springy fleece (not an easy task!). Then everything changed. Overnight it became damp, dreary, dark and SO cold again, and to top it all off, Skyler had her first track meet of the Spring season, outside, sitting on metal bleachers for hours! What else could I do, but make soup.  Of course, it’s warmed up a bit in the last day or two, but this soup is yummy no matter what the weather outside is. 
 Beans and Greens Soup with white and pinto beans, wheat berries and kale
Here’s another version of one of our family favorites…beans and greens soup, warming and delicious.  In this version, I’ve used a combination of white beans and pinto beans and a big pile of fresh chopped kale.  I also add in some wheat berries, which I adore in soups like this. The wheat berries cook up nice and al dente, holding up well as leftovers, unlike pasta which continues to absorb broth and turn to mush after a day or two in the fridge. The wheat berries do take a bit of time to cook though. When I have the time or for thought, I like to soak the wheat berries in a bowl of water for a few hours before draining and adding to the soup.  Soaking the wheat berries, will speed up the cooking time and is said to aid in digestibility.  

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Citrus, Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Sweet, juicy and delicious citrus tossed with creamy black beans and avocado

Sweet, juicy and delicious citrus tossed with creamy black beans and avocado

It’s been a very long, cold and snowy winter here in New York and many other parts of the country and I’m happy to feel Spring poking it’s head out of all the winter white with some 40 degree weather this week!  I also love to get a little taste of sunshine this time of year with a bite of in season citrus fruits.  Oranges, clementines, grapefruits are all in season now and add a nice refreshing twist to this winter salad.   

Citrus Black Bean and Avocado Salad

There’s citrus in the salad along with black beans and creamy avocados and citrus in the dressing with a little extra freshness from chopped cilantro.

sweet and juicy citrus dressing

sweet and juicy citrus dressing

citrus dressing with black beans

citrus dressing with black beans

This bright, colorful, fruity salad is simple and delicious.  I like to eat this atop some crunchy Romaine leaves alongside cheesy quesadillas, or top with your protein of choice for a nice light main dish salad.

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Beans & Greens Soup with White Beans, Red Lentils and Chard

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We’re well into soup season and I can’t believe it took me this long to share with you what I imagine to be the first of many versions of my favorite combo, that I share with you here; beans & greens!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If it was up to Skyler, soup season would be everyday, all year, no matter the outside temperature, she just loves it and asks me to make it all the time.  This soup is so versatile and can really be adapted to whatever beans you like and whatever greens you have on hand. 

Beans and Greens Soup with red lentils, white beans, wheat berries and rainbow chard, yum!

Beans and Greens Soup with red lentils, white beans, wheat berries and rainbow chard, yum!

Very much like the Italian classic pasta fagoule, but instead of pasta I like to use wheat berries. The wheat berries cook up nice and al dente and hold up well as leftovers unlike pasta which continues to absorb the broth and can get a bit mushy.  I also really like the way the red lentils melt into the broth while the white beans just soften a bit but still hold their integrity.  Greens & Beans Soup

The soup is then finished with a big pile of chopped greens, in this case chopped Swiss or rainbow chard, stems and all.  Lastly a drizzle of good olive oil, a sprinkling of grated cheese if you like, and a nice hunk of bread…soups on! 

 

Beans & Greens Soup with White Beans, Red Lentils and Chard
 Author: SweetGreenKitchen’s Jen Jones

 

Ingredients:

2 large leeks or 4 if they’re skinny – chopped

4-6 cloves garlic – rough chopped

2 stalks celery – diced

2 large carrots – diced

Thyme

Rosemary

Sea salt

½ cup wheat berries – rinsed

½ cup red lentils – rinsed

1 15 ounce can cannellini beans – drained and well rinsed

1 small bunch Swiss or rainbow chard – washed and chopped – leaves & stems

Olive oil

6-8 cups water

Optional: 1 boullion cube – I use Rapunzel vegan boullion

Optional: grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

Heat a large pot.  Add a drizzle of olive oil to just cover the bottom of the pan.  Add in the chopped leeks and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until softened.  Next add in the garlic, celery and carrots.  Cook a few more minutes and then toss in some thyme, rosemary and sea salt, plus the boullion cube if using, stir around to mix the herbs with the veges and break up the boullion cube.  Add in the wheat berries and stir into the veggies and seasonings.  Next add in the lentils and white beans then 6-8 cups of water.  Partially cover and bring to a low boil, then fully cover, lower the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes to an hour or a few hours if you have the time.  After the soup has cooked for awhile and the wheat berries are mostly cooked and the lentils have melted into the broth, add in the chopped Swiss chard and cook for another 10-20 minutes.

 To Serve:

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and top with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese if you like, plus an extra drizzle of olive oil.  Serve with chunks of crusty fresh bread.  Enjoy!

 

Recipe notes: This recipe makes a nice big pot of soup, easily serving 4-6 for a main dish.  If your crowd is a bit smaller, don’t despair, make the full pot and stock your fridge with leftovers for the week.  Leftovers make a great workday lunch or quick dinner on a busy night, just reheat and serve.  This soup also freezes perfectly, just wait for it to cool down and then pour into individual freezer safe containers.  If you have time, defrost for the day and then warm up in a small pot on the stove.  If you forget to defrost, no worries, just run some luke warm water over the sealed container until it begins to soften a bit, add the partially thawed chunk of soup to a small pot and slowly rewarm over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the soup as you go.  

Wheat berries take awhile to cook, a good hour to one and a half hours.  If you plan ahead, you can soak your wheat berries in a bowl of water overnight to speed up the cooking process.  Otherwise, save this soup for a weekend or one of our many snow days! 

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White Beans & Cabbage with Leeks and Crispy Potatoes

 

Cabbage & White Beans with Leeks and Crispy Potatoes

Cabbage & White Beans with Leeks and Crispy Potatoes

For most of my life the extent of my cabbage eating came in the form of Chinese egg rolls and deli style mayo drenched cole slaw, oh man was I missing out!  Several years back I started experimenting with Asian style cabbage slaws and even cabbage filled pot stickers, but still it took me a while longer before I discovered a comforting, mildly sweet and delicious bowl of cooked cabbage and I haven’t looked back since.  I actually owned my copy of Heidi Swanson’s fantastic (the name alone is cool enough!) “Super Natural Every Day” for about a year before I finally tried her recipe for White Beans & Cabbage with parmesan, potatoes and cabbage.  The crazy thing is, the cover photo for the book is exactly that and it looks unbelievably delicious, I stared at that cover for a year thinking “yum” “must try”, but every time I decided this would be the day something got in the way, sometimes I had cabbage but no potatoes on hand, other days I had all the ingredients but got lazy and opted for a more familiar option to cook for dinner.  But finally one day, the planets aligned and I finally made it and oh was it gooood.  The cabbage cooks up soft and mildly sweet, but still maintains a little texture, the beans are creamy and the potatoes nice and crisp, top with some melty mozzarella and served with a hunk of crispy toasted baguette drizzled with a little olive oil and you have a perfect bowl of comfort food, yum.

 Cabbage and White Beans with Olive Oil Soaked Bread

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