Posts tagged ‘beans’
I did not have much time to cook during my intensive study period, outside of eggs and potatoes, simple salads, and stir fries. Needless to say, I missed my time in the kitchen and was anxious to get back! After a grocery shopping trip to Trader Joe’s and an impulse buy of soy chorizo, I started brainstorming a delicious dinner to make for my parents. I knew that sausage goes well with chard and white beans, so I figure soy sausage would make an equally great substitution! I Googled a few recipes, and then followed the bones of one I found on Washington Post. A few of the deviations I made from the original recipe were honestly on accident, like using the beet greens in addition to the chard. I honestly confused the two when I pulled them out of my mom’s fridge! I also used more wine than originally called for because the pan looked dry, but you could use more water if you don’t want to use up your dinner drinks!
Served over potatoes, this made for a hearty and filling meal. The flavors are definitely reminiscent of Spain, and the soy chorizo is tastier than I anticipated! We didn’t tell my dad it was fake sausage, and he never even questioned it! This is a great plant-based recipe that pleases meat eaters alike, or could be made with real sausage to satisfy the carnivorous among us. It would also be great served with rice or quinoa if you don’t want potatoes as your starch.
Take the opportunity to spend some time in the kitchen and make a nice meal – it feels good to be back cooking!
Braised Chard with White Beans and Soy Chorizo
inspired by the Washington Post, serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large diced onion
8 oz soy chorizo, casings removed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 small bunch beet greens, chopped, with stems diced
1 large bunch Rainbow chard, chopped, with stems diced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup red wine
In a large saute pan with a lid, saute diced onions in olive oil. When onions are soft, add the diced colorful stems. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the white beans and sausage and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped greens and wine, then cover and reduce heat. Cook for 15 minutes, until greens are wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve over boiled potatoes, rice or quinoa.
My creativity is back! All I needed was a new vegetable to play with and inspire my recipe day-dreaming! I find cooking to be so therapeutic, and love slow-cooked fall meals. This risotto fits the bill for an exam week dish perfectly: the beets roast slowly in the oven, filling the house with warmth and a slightly sweet aroma. The barley is hearty, and is healthier and less finicky than risotto’s traditional arborio rice. To sing the praises of this dish even further, it is both healthy (vegan, low-fat, good protein, whole grain) and economical (you use both the beets and the greens)! And unlike traditional risotto, it is just as good the next day, making it perfect to make on a slow Sunday and eat for lunch throughout the busy week!
Tripe B Beet Risotto
serves 4-6, inspired by my first Barley Risotto
3 golden beats, with tops
1/4 large sweet onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup pumpkin ale (my favorite is Shipyard Pumpkinhead)
1 1/2 cups barley
3 cups veggie stock
1 can cannelini beans, rinsed
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
Cut the beet greens from the beets and set aside.Wash the beets well and peel with a vegetable peeler. Slice the top and bottom tips off. Wrap in tin foil and roast at 300 for about an hour, or until the beet is soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, chop into bite sized pieces. Meanwhile, wash the greens well and chop. Place in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit (this step removes the bitterness from the greens). Rinse well with cold water before using.
In a small pot, heat the vegetable broth over low heat. Dice the onion and saute in olive oil in a separate medium pot. When onions are soft, add the barley. Add the pumpkin beer and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add the broth slowly, about a half cup at a time. Allow liquid to absorb slowly and completely, stirring occasionally, before adding more broth. As you add the last portion of the liquid, stir in the beet greens. Season with ginger and a pinch of salt. When the liquid is fully absorbed, stir in the beans and beets. Cover and reduce the heat to low, allowing to cook for about 10 more minutes, or until barley is no longer chewy. Serve hot and enjoy with the rest of the beer you opened!
Before leaving for the wedding weekend on Thursday, I got to attend a lunch talk by Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietitian and professor at the Sargent School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at BU. I have heard this same talk twice before, but she always has so many excellent points that I come away with at least one or two new ideas each time! Her talk was entitled, “How to Win the Weight Loss Battle” and focused on the obesity epidemic, potential reasons why weight is becoming such a problem, and strategies to help people make small changes. Here are some of my favorite tips from her lecture:
You have to move more! But don’t reward your hour-long walk with the dog or half hour at the gym with an extra serving of dessert! She has a client vignette that cracks me up every time: an older man had reached a plateau with his weight loss, so she recommended that he walk the dog for 45 minutes every night before dinner. He did, came back and only had lost 1 pound. Frustrated, he exclaimed, “I did exactly what you said, and only lost 1 pound. The dog, on the other hand, lost 11! What gives?!” She later got him to own up to his extra serving of dinner each night because he thought he burned it off walking. So be careful that you aren’t overcompensating for calories burned!
Have family dinner! As a kid, we used to eat dinner together as a family at least 5-6 nights a week, but that is becoming a thing of the past in many households. Even with busy schedules, for both kids and adults, it is still important to slow down and share food together. This gives time to only eat as much as you are hungry for, and also increases the likelihood of it being healthier food.
Find life outside of the
kitchen pantry. This is the only point that I slightly disagreed with Joan about. I think more people need to find life inside the kitchen. Cooking can be fun and simple; it is not that hard to eat healthy, and even easy to make healthy food taste good! The problem is that so many people are kitchen-phobic. Cook dinner, sit down with friends and family around the dinner table as mentioned above, and enjoy real food. Find life outside the pantry, the snack closet, the cookie jar, or whatever other food force enslaves you, and replace the time spent mindlessly snacking in front of the TV with a new movement based hobby, but find life inside of the kitchen to find new favorite healthy dinners.
Remove the myth around frozen veggies. Many people think that it is only good for you if it is fresh, but that isn’t always the case. Many vegetables are picked early and allowed to ripen so they are fresh in the grocery store. Frozen vegetables are picked at their peak and then flash frozen, making them just as good as fresh. Plus, they are often pre-chopped and really convenient for easy weekday meals. Watch out for mixes that contain any sort of dressing or added salt, and stay away from canned. But eating frozen veggies on weeknights for convenience is much better than eating frozen dinners or fast food!
Eat pasta in a 1:1 ratio. Joan is a NJ Italian, so she understands the “mangia” mentality about some beloved Italian American foods. Even if you aren’t Italian, who doesn’t love pasta?! The only problem is that it can be calorie dense without nutrient dense. Instead of eating 2 cups of cooked pasta (400 calories), eat a cup of pasta with a cup of cooked vegetables mixed in (250 calories). Same amount of volume, equally satiating, and an easy way to cut 150 calories from your meal. Similar to this idea, take some of the meat and cheese of your sandwich and replace it with veggies, and load up your omelets with veggies. Your stomach’s hunger signals respond to volume faster than calories, so be sure to satiate yourself with low-calorie, high-nutrient foods like fruits and veggies! Joan’s famous catch phrase: “They fill you up before they fill you out.”
Eat on smaller plates. Standard dinner plates used to be 8 inches. Now they are 12. Most of us are not gourmets and will not leave a large rim around the plate for decoration. Instead, we eat with our eyes and fill our plates. Then we clear them, remembering times at the dinner table when mom wouldn’t let us leave food behind. This can lead to up to a 500 calorie increase in dinner! If we use smaller plates, we eat less but feel equally as satisfied after clearing our plate. Even more, you should use the plate method, newly adopted to replace the outdated food pyramid. If you divided your plate down the center, half should be fruits and veggies. The other quarter should be lean protein, and the last quarter should be whole grains.
You gotta eat! A hungry person is a cranky person, and cranky people are far less likely to make healthy decisions. You need to eat 3 meals a day, but they should be smaller. In between meals, snack on whole fruits and veggies or small servings of air-popped popcorn. Look for things that are full of fiber but low in calories for snacks. Don’t let your day be a triangle, with all of your calories consumed at night. Space your meals pretty evenly throughout the day, and have protein at every meal to help you stay full longer!
Breakfast is always the hardest for me to incorporate protein into. It is pretty natural to add beans to my salad, have quinoa at dinner, and ensure that I get protein at other points of the day, but it is not always so easy first thing in the morning. Recently, I have been adding a tablespoonful of peanut butter to my oatmeal, and that really makes a difference in staying full until my lunch break. This breakfast burrito is another great way to stay full all morning. It kept me full for 5 hours while running around all morning setting up for my best friend’s rehearsal dinner (more on the wedding soon!) Eggs can get a bad rep with dieters because they are high in cholesterol. The bigger problem than eggs, however, is that with eggs usually comes gobs of cheese. To keep this breakfast full of flavor without all of the added cholesterol, I filled it up with veggies and spices! In this breakfast alone there is a full serving of veggies, whole grains and proteins, and you won’t miss the cheese at all.
Question: What is your favorite take-home point from Joan’s talk?
High Protein Breakfast Burrito
1 tbsp milk
3/4 cup black beans (half a can)
1/2 yellow squash
1/2 red pepper
2 whole wheat tortillas
2 tbsp salsa
1/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Dice the red pepper and yellow squash. Coat a frying pan with cooking spray and saute the vegetables over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, until they are soft. Add the black beans and cumin. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Pour over the vegetables and scramble. When eggs are mostly cooked, add the salsa. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon half into each tortilla, roll, and serve warm.
Can you believe I was Freshly Pressed? I am so excited! It has been really great and heart-warming to read everyone’s comments and check out some cool new blogs! If you are a new reader from yesterday, welcome! I am new to the blogging world, and began Homemade Adventure in May as a way to combine my passions for food, health, fitness, and fun. I didn’t know it at the time, but it has really turned out to be such a blessing! It has helped to confirm my passion for discussing healthy lifestyles, and has given me reason to stay motivated and creative in the kitchen. Writing makes me happy, and I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy creating and writing! Most of my posts center around what I am making in the kitchen, but will also have posts from my travels, musings on medical school, and other random thoughts on life. Check out my About Me page for a bit more on my food philosophy, and my How-To Page and Recipe Box for some kitchen inspiration (or just a little food gawking ;) ).
Going back to school in August means a month living in summer weather with no air conditioning, surrounded by summer activities, and already burdened by a mountain of work. When the kitchen is already 90+ degrees and my mood is altered from trying to work through a problem set on pharmacokinetics, I am not really excited to jump in front of the stove for any amount of time! This recipe is great because it requires so little stove time (or none if you steam the beans in a microwave). Even better, the flavors soak into the beans more the longer it sits in the fridge, making it a perfect leftovers-for-lunch dish for later in the week! You could even mix some cous cous or quinoa into this for some grains to round it out.
The flavors were inspired by what was in my Boston Organics box – green beans, perfect for a four bean salad, and thyme, which would go with the lemons I snagged from home. The meal comes together in about 10 minutes, and is really portable! I threw it together after an afternoon of studying, and carried a tupperware full of it in my backpack as I biked off to the Esplanade, the riverside park and bike path in Boston. They show movies on Friday evenings throughout the summer, and the feature this night was Toy Story 3. I am a huge Disney/Pixar fan, and especially love this movie! It was so much fun to spend time outside on this beautiful evening, and it was great to see so many different ages of people coming together for an evening in Boston. Great food and a great evening with friends!
Question: What inspired you to blog? Or if you aren’t a blogger, what keeps you reading blogs?
Lemon Thyme Four Bean Salad
1 lb green beans, cut into bite sized pieces
1 can each, drained and rinsed well, chickpeas, red kidney beans, and pinto beans
juice of 4 small lemons
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon
black pepper to taste
Drain and rinse the canned beans well (to get off most of the salt and canning liquid.) In a steamer, steam the green beans for 2-3 minutes, enough to be cooked but still bright green and crunchy. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with the thyme and pinch of salt. Pour the dressing over the beans and mix everything together well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve cold.
Remember those rice and beans from last week? And remember my issues with leftover boredom? Well here is a completely different spin on those leftovers! My mom and I were in the mood for a refreshing lunch after our activity filled morning this past Saturday. (Not only did we take the dog for a long walk, but we also went for an hour long bike ride!) I saw the last container of leftovers from the week, and decided to make a cold salad out of them. I sliced up some mango, mixed it into the rice and beans, and topped it off with the juice of two limes. A little lost on how to cut up a mango? Check out my picture guide for a little help! It seriously saves so much time and frustration, and will give you a lot more fruit per mango if done right. I split that new mixture into bowls over some mixed salad greens and served up an easy, healthy lunch! It was filling enough to satisfy my mom and I, with great fresh, light flavors. Who wants to sweat in the kitchen after a good post-workout shower, anyway?
Question: What are your favorite salad toppers?
Black Bean and Mango Salad
2 cups black beans and rice, cold
1 mango, cubed,
2 limes, juiced
3 cups mixed salad greens
Mix the cold rice and beans with the mango and fresh squeezed lime juice. Serve over salad greens for a quick, easy lunch!
After a weekend of such decadent food, I knew that my family and I needed a lighter, fiber-rich recovery meal. What could be better than rice and beans? I love this vegetarian staple because it is simple, healthy, and cheap. However, sometimes it is a little bit too simple. Last night’s goal was to experiment and see if I could make it a little more exciting! I’d say this was a success! Even my meat-loving Dad didn’t complain about the “missing meat” at dinner! I also enjoyed the leftovers cold for lunch today – though I wish I had thought to put it over lettuce for a hearty salad. Always trying to keep leftovers interesting!
For anyone new to brown rice, don’t be afraid of this grain. It takes longer to cook than white rice and definitely has a heartier texture, but it adds a nice dimension to rice and beans. Plus, it is so much healthier than refined white rice. The trick with brown rice is patience (or a rice cooker!) and a lot of water. If you follow the instructions and it still doesn’t feel done, just add more water and let it cook for a bit longer. Undercooked brown rice is the best way to ruin a meal (and trust me, I have done it several times).
Also try making your own black beans! My mom has a pressure cooker, which makes this a really fast process, but I usually just let the beans soak overnight and then let them simmer for about 30 minutes until they begin to soften. Making them on your own is a lot cheaper, allows you to control the sodium, and also gives you the chance to add flavor. (You can add garlic or a bay leaf or other spices to the boiling liquid.) It is not hard and again just requires a bit of patience.
After you have your staples prepared, this dish comes together really quickly. Less than 5 minutes in fact. If you know you have a busy weeknight coming up, take some time over the weekend to prep the rice and beans, and just keep them in tupperware until you are ready to pull everything together for dinner.
Question: Do you have any tricks to making perfect rice?
Not Just Rice and Beans
1 lb dried black beans, rehydrated
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 vidalia onion
2-3 cloves garlic
3 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob
1 tsp cumin
2 cups brown rice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 6 limes)
1 tsp dried cilantro
Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add cooked black beans and cumin and reduce heat. Meanwhile, cook brown rice according to package instructions. Slice the corn off the cob and add to the black bean mixture. Also dice a roasted red pepper and add to the black beans. In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, lime juice, and cilantro. During last 5 minutes of cooking, add this dressing to the rice. This way, the liquid and flavor absorbs into the rice. Stir and season rice to taste with salt and pepper. Finally, mix the rice and beans together. Check seasonings and adjust if necessary. Serve warm or cold!
It is Wednesday morning… know what that means? Recipes and pictures from another fantastic roommate dinner! We have both been free three Tuesdays in a row – we are on a roll! Think we can keep it up for a fourth? As we enjoyed our experimental “risotto” and snacked on watermelon for dessert, I helped my roommate list out the recipes that she knows well and feels comfortable with. She is relatively new to cooking and is good at the ten things she knows how to make, but feels like she is stuck in a rut. We brainstormed ways for her to become more adventurous in the kitchen, which gave me inspiration for a blog post! (I cannot promise when this will happen, but sometime soon, I hope to write some ideas that we came up with as advice for beginner cooks. If you have any specific questions or things you would like addressed, comment below!) We also decided that roommate dinners from now on will morph into quasi-cooking lessons to help expand her recipe repertoire. I am looking forward our little experiment.
I called dinner Barley and Bean “Risotto” because it is loosely inspired by the traditional Italian rice dish. I love the creaminess of a well-made risotto, but wanted to find a way to make it a little more whole-grain-healthy (Arborio, the traditional risotto rice, is a short, white rice variety – not a whole grain!) I had seen some recipes for barley or farro risotto instead, and so I decided to experiment. The end result was delicious, but not quite a risotto. The barley is a little chewier than rice, but still a really unique and great texture. I would definitely make this again, especially because it is a great way to clear out some of your sadder-looking leafy greens. The greens I got as part of my Boston Organics box last week were unidentifiable – kale? chard? collard greens? Doesn’t matter! Throw whatever you have on hand in!
Watermelon reminds me of spring and summer, just like the flowers in bloom all around Boston! There are a few pictures of pretty tulips in Kenmore Square to brighten your day :) Our watermelon dessert was a gift from our upstairs neighbors. They are funny people – friendly and chatty when they want to be, but unpredictable in their mood. Anyway, I am glad to at least know my neighbors – the last apartment I lived in was so transient that I lived there for 2 years without knowing anyone in my building other than my roommate. To thank them, we made a little card to tape to their back door. A simple papercraft, but hopefully another step in building a relationship with them.
Question: Are you comfortable in the kitchen? What are some things that draw you to cooking, or prevent you from experimenting in the kitchen more often? These questions are meant for you guys! Comment below to let me know your thoughts on cooking, and things you would like to see on my blog that might help you become more comfortable making healthy and home-cooked dinners!
Barley and Bean “Risotto”
1 cup dried white beans (or 1 can of white beans, drained)
3 bay leaves (if using dried beans)
2 small onions
1-2 tsp minced garlic, depending on your taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup barley
1 can tomato soup (not condensed kind, and better if low-sodium)
1 can vegetable broth
2 bunches of leafy greens (kale, chard, spinach, etc.)
1 tsp basil
Cover white beans with water. Add bay leaves and boil for about 10 minutes, and then reduce heat and let continue to cook until beans are soft – about an hour.
Chop the onion and saute with garlic and olive oil. In a separate pot, bring tomato soup and vegetable broth to a low boil. When the onions are soft, add the barley and stir until well coated. Add about 2/3 cup broth mixture. Allow barley to cook until liquid is absorbed, like you would do for a traditional risotto. Add another 1/3 cup of liquid and allow to absorb. Continue this process until all of the liquid has been added to and absorbed by the barley. (This process should be done slowly while stirring pretty constantly so the barley has time to cook all the way). Drain the cooked beans and add to the barley mixture. Add the rinsed and chopped greens (they will be voluminous at first but they’ll cook down!) and turn down the heat. Season to taste with basil, salt and pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan.