Category Archives: Beans

Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry

Being a food blogger does have some perks, one of them is trying out new products I might not otherwise get my hands on.  After noticing that we had bought some habañeros and other spicy peppers at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, Plato’s Olive Oil contacted us to see if we would be interested in trying out one of their infused olive oils.

Of course Sam, the spice lover of this household, wanted to give this a try.  He’s even been thinking about making some of his own!  So we waited patiently for our olive oil to arrive.

Plato’s Olive Oil is a family owed company based in California.  The owner was looking for an olive oil infused with spicy flavors, and wasn’t able to find any- so he began experimenting!  The original, and the product which was sent us, is their habañero-infused olive oil, which comes from the Napa region in California.

To give it a try, I decided to make some lentil curry- and thought that the extra spice from Plato’s olive oil would be a perfect kick.  And I was not disappointed, the olive oil gave this dish the extra spice it needed!

But there is no way around it, and many food bloggers and photographers can agree, brown food is so difficult to photograph!  But sometimes- in this case a spicy veggie curry- it’s so delicious, I wish it’d look a bit nicer to show off it’s tastiness.

Veggie Lentil Curry
Adapted from: SweetSugarBean

2 tbsp Plato’s Habanero-Infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 small carrots, chopped
1 inch ginger, shredded
2 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp spicy curry paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 oz light coconut milk
2 cups uncooked lentils
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat up the olive oil in a large pot.  Once heated, add the onions and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, or until they become translucent.  Then add in the garlic, carrots, ginger and jalapeños.  Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next add in the curry paste, cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander.  Allow to cook for about a minute, then add in the tomatoes, coconut milk and lentils.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Then lower to a simmer, and cook until the beans are done (about 40 minutes).

Once the lentils are cooked, add in the chickpeas, cauliflower and peas.  Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finally, stir in the cilantro and serve.

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Plato’s Habanero-Infused Olive Oil to try, but did not receive additional compensation for this post, or was under any obligation to blog about it.

Tuna and Bean Salad

This past Memorial Day weekend the weather made it clear that summer is here.  In DC, the air was thick, muggy and hot!  Sam and I explored DC a bit and went to a public pool (free to all DC residents when you show your ID).  It was relaxing and refreshing!  We look like we went to the beach over the weekend.

When hot weather comes to town, I search for recipes which don’t require too much time in the kitchen.  I also like food that is lighter and easy to digest.  Obviously, salads are the first choice- but I get sick of the same one’s over and over.  So I search for salads with more color, texture and variety of ingredients.

 

Remember when I mentioned that I studied abroad in Spain, and where I tasted my first croqueta?  Up until then I was not a fan of tuna, it just wasn’t my thing.  Until my señora started making me bocadillos (sandwiches), and many of them had tuna.  So over the course of the summer, my love for tuna grew- I really don’t think I had any choice.

Now that I like tuna, it’s nice to see something other than the regular tuna sandwich.  This salad was perfect: crunchy, light, refreshing and filling!  Yum!  If you wanted something a bit more filling, you can always add these ingredients into your next bocadillo!

Tuna and Bean Salad
Adapted from: Bon Appetit (April 2012)

Salad:
1 head of radicchio, cored & leaves chopped
2 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
2 12 oz cans of water-packed tuna, drained
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 cups of white beans (this was a mix of cannelini and navy)

Dressing:
1 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine all of the salad ingredients, mix well.  Then combine all vinaigrette ingredients, shake or stir well.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and serve.

Food Matters Project #13: Asparagus & White Bean Soup

Yes, it’s another Monday and a new Food Matter Project recipe!  Since we were visiting friends in Boston this weekend (check out our Sam Adams Brewery tour), we actually made this soup last week.  It was easy to make and very delicious!

This weeks recipe was chosen by Adrienne, of Adrienneats.  She chose the Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup with Parmesan from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out what others did here, scroll down to the comments.

This was a great soup- the beans made it very filling and gave this soup lots of flavor.  Since I was trying to use up some other produce in our fridge, I added extra veggies- so definitely feel free to swap or add more.

I can’t seems to stop buying asparagus at our Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market- this last week I walked away with 3 bunches!  The farmer selling it was wondering what I was going to do with so much (but that’s for another post)!

Remember: when buying asparagus look for firm stalks with purple tinge tips.  The ends of the stems should be fresh and moist.  It should be used soon after buying, but if it needs to stay in the fridge for a couple of days then cut off about 1 inch from the base and set the asparagus bunch upright in a container filled with some water (up to 4 days).

Asparagus and White Bean Soup
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 110)

Mark Bittman suggests puréeing the soup, to make it smoother- if you prefer chunkier soups, feel free to omit this step.  I soaked and cooked dry beans, but canned beans will also work great.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 oz pancetta, chopped
3 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine (recommend: Bogle Chardonnay)
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & chopped
6 cups chicken or veggie stock
2 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of cooked cannellini beans
1 1/2 cups of cooked navy beans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lb asparagus
2 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat up the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Once the olive oil is warm, add the onion.  Sauté for up to 5 minutes, when the onions become translucent.  Then add the pancetta, sauté until the meat starts to brown.  Add the carrot, garlic and thyme, allow to cook for another 2 minutes.  Then add the white wine, stir to loosen the vegetable and pancetta pieces.

While stirring add the potatoes, stock and water.  Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Stir infrequently until the potatoes have cooked (should be soft when you stick a fork into them).

Add in the beans, and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Season the soup with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Finally, puree about half of the soup in a food processor, mix both halves together.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Meanwhile, put the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper.  Roast for about 15 minutes, or when the asparagus begins to brown.

Pour soup into a bowl, dress it with pieces of asparagus and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Food Matters Project #9: Vegetable & Bean Casserole

Another Monday, with another Food Matters Project recipe.  This recipe was chosen by Keely of Keely Marie.  The Mark Bittman recipe which she chose was: Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables.  As always, you can find the original recipe in The Food Matters Cookbook.  Keely also has a giveaway for 4 traditional cassoulet bowls from Le Creuset- definitely worth checking out!

After Sam came home from India, one of the presents which I got was a cold, which has been with me for almost a week.  Therefore, yesterday we were just relaxing at home, not doing much.  At least part of the day was gloomy, so we didn’t feel too bad for just sitting on the couch.

Since we weren’t in a cooking mood (that doesn’t happen too often), we made this recipe simple and easy.  So no meat, lots of veggies and beans.  Also, a layer of bread crumbs and cheese always makes things even more delicious!

Vegetable & Bean Casserole
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 392)

I used a combination of navy beans and pinto- it’s what we had in our pantry.  But the options are endless- black beans, chickpeas or cannelini would be delicious.  Feel free to swap panko crumbs for the bread crumbs.  You can also top the casserole with a different cheese, or stir cheese into the dish (you might need more of it).  The original recipe didn’t call for baking this, so feel free to omit this step.  I just wanted a crispy and cheesy top, overall it’s very light, which is great for the spring weather everyone is having.

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 leeks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
4 cups of beans (your choice)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Pour olive oil into a large pot, allow it to heat up a bit.  Then add in the onion, garlic, leeks, carrots, celery and zucchini.  Allow the vegetables to cook for about 10 minutes.  Then add in the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Remember to stir the vegetable mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Spray an oven-proof dish with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable mixture, beans, tomatoes and parsley.  Then pour in the ingredients into the dish.

Sprinkle the top with the bread crumbs, and then with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake the casserole in the oven for 20 minutes.  Once it’s cooked, allow it cool off before serving.

Mexican Tortilla Cassarole

My weeks either feel slow as a turtle, where I can feel every minute and second on the clock.  It’s terrible!  When Friday rolls around, you breathe a sign of relief!

Other weeks fly by and I don’t feel like I’ve had time to catch my breath.  The time goes by and I don’t know where it went or what I spent doing it.  I often think my coworker feels like this- she has an adorable little boy, a full time job, she commutes and still goes to school.  How does she do it all?

This is one of those recipes which is perfect for her, or for anyone with an upcoming hectic week.  It can be made over the weekend, and then baked right before a Tuesday night dinner.  Or just bake it on Sunday night and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week.

There are only so many tacos or enchiladas we can eat, so I like to mix it up a bit with various dishes.  I liked the idea of a baked dish with layers of Mexican flavors.  And don’t worry, it can be adapted to your favorite veggies.

Mexican Tortilla Cassarole
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times (Jan/Feb 2012 issue)
6 Servings

6 10-inch tortillas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeños, chopped (optional)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 cups chopped fresh)
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup corn
2 cups black beans (or 15 oz can, rinsed & drained)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups cheese, shredded (your choice: Monterey Jack, pepper jack, Mexican)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Place tortillas on a cookie sheet, and bake them for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are lightly brown.  I ended up using 2 cookie sheets, or you can do them in batches.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.  Then add the garlic and jalapeños.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder and cumin, cook the ingredients for another minute.  Then add the tomatoes, zucchini, corn and black beans.  Cook for about 5 minutes, when the zucchini becomes tender.  Finally, sprinkle in salt and pepper while mixing before turning off the heat.

Coat a 12′ baking dish with cooking spray.  Set 2 tortillas on the bottom (mine overlapped a bit).  Spread about 1/2 the bean-veggie mixture onto the tortillas.  Then, sprinkle a 1/3 of the cheese.  Then do another round of tortillas, bean-veggie mixture and cheese.  Finally, cover the top with 2 more tortillas.  Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the top.

Bake the Mexican Tortilla Lasagna for about 30-45 minutes, the cheese should be bubbly on top.  Let it stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.