Green Bean and Pasta Salad

I haven’t made this, but my sister Julie, her hubby, and their two-year old loved it. That is good enough for me! She got this recipe from realsimple.com.

Julie’s notes: I changed a few things. I make the vinaigrette in the big bowl I’m going to serve in. I use: the juice 1 lemon,  3 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon dijon, 1 tsp honey, salt, pepper. I don’t let the pasta and green beans cool – I put them right into the dressing. Then I add the red beans and the parsley and mix it all up. I don’t add the parmigiana cheese until I’m ready to serve – so you can just use it as a garnish in case of allergies. It doesn’t need the cheese to be delicious. And the two beans plus pasta are very filling – Dan didn’t need anything to go with it.

 

Braised White Beans

We first had these in a Greek restaurant called “Zoe’s Kitchen.” My sister figured out a way to duplicate the amazing white beans they make. These are finger-lickin good. You need a few hours to let them simmer.

Ingredients:

4 cans white beans (great northern) drained but not rinsed

4 cloves garlic

1 onion

fresh rosemary, 1-2 sprig

1/4 c. olive oil plus 2 T

salt and pepper

chicken broth, about 1 cup

Instructions:

I used my ceramic Dutch oven pot so I could saute, boil, and bake in the same pot. If you don’t have an oven-proof pan, you will need several different pots. Begin by drizzling the pan with the 2 T of olive oil. Saute the onion with 1/2 t salt until soft, 5 minutes. Add the pressed garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 min. Then add the unrinsed beans, chicken stock, rosemary and 1/4 c olive oil. Cook on high until bubbly. Then turn the heat way down and simmer with the lid on for a nice long time. Keep your eye on it – you may need to add more chicken broth if starts sticking to the bottom of the pan. After an hour or so, use a potato masher (or spoon) to mash some of the beans, maybe half. Season with salt and pepper. Stir, and place in a 300 degree oven for another hour or so. Enjoy with corn chips, pitas, over brown rice, or out of the bowl!

Homemade Cream of Mushroom – Allergy Friendly

Listen, I’m not saying I’m not a little disgusted by the plopped out cold Campbell’s cream of mushroom. Would I ever eat it alone? NEVER. however, it unfortunately pops in a few rather yummy-sounding (to casserole-loving me anyway) recipes. And then comes the dilemma. Because, of course, cream of mushroom has three strikes in our household. One, it has MSG. Gross. me. out. Two, it has enough sodium for two days. If I were going to eat that much salt,  HELLO, I’d have a big mac. And three, of course, it has milk. So I usually just find a new recipe. But the other day I was craving pork chops, and I was craving SMOTHERED pork chops. With cream of mushroom soup. So I invented a homemade, dairy-free one! Thought it might be useful for anyone else who either doesn’t like the commercial cream-of-mushroom or needs it allergy-friendly. It was great!

{See below for mushroom-topped pork chop recipe.}

Ingredients:

  • a carton of fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • one onion, sliced thinly (or diced, if you prefer)
  • rice milk 1-2 cups
  • 1 T flour or cornstarch, whichever you’d prefer
  • olive oil
  • dried thyme, oregano, and garlic
  • 2 T dairy-free butter
  • 1/2 c. organic chicken broth
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  • thoroughly wash mushrooms
  • drizzle olive oil in pan and heat until shimmering
  • saute mushrooms and onions with salt and pepper. They should be cooked until very soft.
  • Add 1/2 t dried thyme, oregano, and garlic.
  • Add butter to middle of pan. When melted, mix in flour. Use wisk to mix it in.
  • Add chicken broth and rice milk. Cook for 8 minutes or so until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe suggestion: I browned my pork chops for five minutes on each side in olive oil, covered in foil, prepared my mushroom sauce and poured on top. We all enjoyed it!

 

Black Bean Soup

Is it weird that I LOVE black bean soup? I was really excited when I saw a recipe on my favorite cooking website, For the Love of Cooking. It is really, really good. Very flavorful. It had such a nice creaminess it was hard to believe there was no dairy. I don’t own an immersion blender, so I scooped out as much as I could into my regular blender. I actually enjoyed that there were a few hearty bites of vegetables remaining.

Black Bean Soup, courtesy For the Love of Cooking website

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 5 cups of chicken stock OR vegetable stock (I used chicken)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 14 oz cans of black beans, rinsed & drained, (divided)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp corn starch (combined with a bit of cold stock – mixed thoroughly) (optional)

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot add onion, bell pepper and carrots, saute until slightly tender. Add garlic and stir frequently for 45 seconds. Add stock, seasonings and half of the beans. Cook over medium low heat for 1-2 hours. Remove bay leaf, and blend using an immersion blender. Add the remainder of the beans and corn starch slurry if you desire a thicker soup (make sure the soup is boiling when adding the corn starch). Taste and re-season if necessary.

  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Cotija cheese, shredded (optional … I substituted avocado.)

Garnish the soup with toppings. Enjoy.

Ina Garten’s Ribollita Soup

Back when we were rich and had the Food Network, Ina Garten was my unlikely favorite. She isn’t flashy or dynamic or commercial-looking (like Giada 🙂 but man oh man. She can cook. I learned a lot from her. When I made this I used canned beans (quicker), regular bacon (cheaper), and skipped the step with the food processor (less mess). I’m sure it wasn’t as good as Ina’s, but it was good. Obviously if you’re avoiding dairy skip the cheese topping. I bet some crisp bacon bits on top would be nice in its place.

A note about the bread: If you are not eating wheat, I imagine boiled white potatoes would add similar heartiness, although I never tried it. If you choose to include bread, Harris Teeter carries the “La Brea” line of bread products. The baguettes (among other items) are free of soy, egg, and dairy so that is what I would recommend using.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dried white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 1/4 pound large diced pancetta or smoked bacon
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (3 carrots)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (3 stalks)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped or shredded savoy cabbage, optional
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 4 cups sourdough bread cubes, crusts removed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions

In a large bowl, cover the beans with cold water by 1-inch and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Drain the beans and place them in a large pot with 8 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the beans are tender. Set the beans aside to cool in their liquid.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large stockpot. Add the pancetta and onions and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, 1 tablespoon of salt, the pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes with their puree, the cabbage, if using, the kale, and basil and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for another 7 to 10 minutes.

Drain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree half of the beans with a little of their liquid. Add to the stockpot, along with the remaining whole beans. Pour the bean cooking liquid into a large measuring cup and add enough chicken stock to make 8 cups. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

Add the bread to the soup and simmer for 10 more minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve hot in large bowls sprinkled with Parmesan and drizzled with olive oil.

 

Ina Garten’s Lentil and Vegetable Soup

I am embarassed to say that like beer, coupons, and gardening, lentils are something I had avoided until a few years ago. I have been missing out. I was interested to learn that lentils have the most protein of any bean, next to soy. I fed them a lot to my son when he was a baby for that reason. I’ve heard great things about this soup from my friend, Brandi, who makes it often.

  • 1 pound French green lentils
  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large onions)
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, white part only (2 leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on top
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups medium-diced celery (8 stalks)
  • 3 cups medium-diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

 In a large stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through. Check the seasonings. Add the red wine and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Black Beans and Rice by Southern Living

Black Beans and Rice

 

2  cups  uncooked long-grain white rice

5  (15-ounce) cans black beans, divided

1  cup  chopped onion

1/2  cup  chopped green bell pepper

1/2  cup  chopped red bell pepper

5  garlic cloves, minced

2  tablespoons  seeded, minced jalapeño pepper (if desired)

2  teaspoons  olive oil

1  (14-ounce) can chicken broth

1  (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1  tablespoon  red wine vinegar

1  teaspoon  ground cumin

1  teaspoon  dried crushed red pepper

1/4  teaspoon  black pepper

Salt to taste

Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, sliced jalapeño peppers

 

1. Cook rice according to package directions; keep hot.

2. Rinse and drain 3 cans black beans. (Do not drain other 2 cans.)

  1. Sauté onion and next 4 ingredients in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in drained and undrained beans, chicken broth, and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste. Serve with hot cooked rice and desired toppings.

Hummus and Tahini

Hummus

 

1 clove garlic

1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, half the liquid reserved

4 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons tahini (see recipe below)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

 

  1.  In a food processor, chop the garlic.
  2. Pour garbanzo beans into food processor, reserving about a tablespoon for garnish.
  3. Place lemon juice, tahini, chopped garlic and salt in food processor. Blend until creamy and well mixed.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with reserved garbanzo beans.

 

Tahini

 

4 Tbsp sesame seed

1 tsp sesame oil

½ tsp sea salt

1-2 Tbsp warm water

 

  1. Lightly toast sesame seeds in a small pot over a stove on low heat. This should not take more than 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. Grind your sesame seeds in the coffee grinder until smooth. Add in sesame oil and salt and grind again.
  3. Slowly add in water, about a tsp at a time until you are pleased with the texture.
  4. If you prefer a more runny texture – add a bit more water.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Reagan’s Three Bean Chili

Three-Bean Chili

 

My entire family loves this recipe including my meat-loving husband and two kids 3 and under.  I freeze onion and green pepper in the following amounts to help me throw this together very quickly.  Don’t get upset because you can’t have the usual chili toppings, I add sliced avocado or guacamole. 

 

Yield:  4-6 servings

 

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic

3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 c. broth of your preference

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal (omit if you would prefer)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

 

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup water and next 9 ingredients (through diced tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in cornmeal; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Serve with sour cream.

Maple Sweet Potatoes

Yield: 4 servings

 4 med sweet potatoes

1 T. olive oil

1/4 c. pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

a pinch of nutmeg

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1inch pieces. Toss in a large bowl with remaining ingredients. Place mixture in a 9x13inch baking dish and roast until forktender, about 40 minutes.