Tag Archives: beans

Boston Marathon & Food Matters Project #37: Central American Red Beans & Rice

The blog post below was ready to be published when I found out about what happened at the Boston Marathon.  I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this tragedy and devastation.  Although I blog about food, my other hobby is running.  Running races are a time when runners can celebrate all of the hard work they put into their training, and their family and friends can support them.  During races the amount of energy, comradery, and excitement is like nothing I have every experienced before- this is the reason I continue to sign up for races, cheer my friends on, and volunteer.  My heart goes out to all those affected by yesterday’s events.

If you’d like to read more, here are some blog posts which resonated with me.  There are more posts being published by the minute, so if you find one that touched you, please share in the comments below.

Health on the Run
Pavement Runner
Run to Eat
Sweet Life Ericka

Or, check out these articles:

If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon – The Washington Post
The Meaning of the Boston Marathon – The New Yorker

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The start of the week means a new post from the Food Matters Project!  This week our host is Aura, of Dinner with Aura.  Aura lives in Michigan, so she was happy to make a warm and comforting dish for a cold, rainy day.  Fortunately, DC has had better weather the last couple of weeks- spring is finally here!

Aura chose Mark Bittman’s recipe for Super-Lemony Kidney Beans, from his Food Matters Cookbook.  Definitely check out her Lubia Chalow-Afghan Lemon Kidney Beans, as she stuck to the original recipe in the cookbook.  The photos are beautiful, and now I can’t wait to try this recipe.  Make sure to stop over and check out what other Food Matters Project participants made here.

Aura mentioned this in her post, and I agree with her, I have a hard time imagining what each recipe will look like, since there are no photos in Mark Bittman’s cookbook.  As I’ve been doing this project for over a year now (this page has the list of all of the FMP posts we participated in), I realized that I skip over many recipes in other cookbooks just because I can’t visualize them- changing this might have to be a new resolution when it comes to cooking!

I read the ingredients.  Then I went to the grocery store, and rather than buying a bag of kidney beans, I was intrigued by the Central American Red Beans.  So I got a little side tracked, and the Afghan flavors turned into South American one’s…so I didn’t follow Mark Bittman’s recipe!  The beans are great, perfect when incorporated with the rice- but they do take a little to cook (although it’s worth the time and effort).

Central American Red Beans & Rice

Central American Red Beans & Rice
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

This recipe makes a lot!  We had friends over for dinner, and only half was eaten- so be prepared to eat it for a week, or halve the recipe.  We started with chips and salsa, and paired this with some steak in chimichurri sauce which was made on the grill.

1 lb Central American Red Beans (although you can use any dried beans)
water
2 cups of uncooked rice
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 tbsp adobo sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
green onions (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Add the beans to a large pot, then add water so it covers all of the beans.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat.  Cook the beans until they start to be soft (once cooked, these are bit harder than black beans or garbanzo’s).  I had to add additional water while cooking, so keep an eye out for them.  The cooking process should take about 5 hours.

Cook rice per package directions.

Once the beans are close to being done, add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, adobo sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Continue to cook for about an hour, then take off heat and mix in with the rice.

Feel free to sprinkle with green onions and cilantro for additional flavor.

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Food Matters Project #20: Walnut Pâté Sandwich with Arugula & Pears

With the heat index rising, this weeks Food Matters Project came at the right time.  The chosen dish was easy, fast and did not require turning on the oven!

This weeks Food Matters Project host is Aura, of Dinner with Aura.  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matter Cookbook, she chose Updated Tea Sandwiches.  Check out what everyone else made in their kitchens!  Mark Bittman’s original recipes can be found on page 52 in his cookbook.

Walnut Pâté Sandwich with Arugula & Pears
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times

For these sandwiches I used ciabatta bread, but any type of bread will be great.  In addition, the toppings can be changed to whatever you’d like.  Alternatives include: spinach, tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, cheese, etc.

bread (ciabatta, whole wheat, foccacia, peasant bread, etc)

Pâté:
1 cup walnuts
1 15oz can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
juice of 1 lemon
8 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Toppings:
arugula
pear slices
cucumber slices

Add all of the pâté ingredients in a food processor.  Purée until smooth.

To make sandwiches, spread the pâté onto the bread, top with arugula, pear slices and cucumber slices.

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 #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.

Summer: Asparagus, Tuna & Bean Salad

Summer is here, and so are all lighter meals, which is the reason for this salad.  That, and I had a huge craving for tuna!

Summer is one of those seasons that blows by us, it always seems far too brief.  I remind myself to enjoy it- the outdoors, the warm weather (or humidity), the hot sun, and the long days.  It’s that time of the year when we allow some of our obligations to slip away a little (or put off for another day or two).  Instead, we spend it with our friends and family, outdoors.  Sometimes it’s those BBQ’s on our porches, or happy hours outside on gorgeous Thursday afternoons; other times it’s reading by a tree, or enjoy the sand between our toes at the beach.  Yes, that’s what summer is all about.  So keep reminding yourself to sip some cocktails with your friends, linger over a couple more pages in that book, stargaze, daydream or enjoy a nap in the sun.

Summer also brings amazing vegetables (and fruits) that we definitely need to take advantage of- asparagus being one of them.  So go to your farmer’s market, grab a bunch of asparagus, and throw together this salad.  The tuna can be exchanged for chicken (or none of the above).  Cannellini beans can also be substituted for something else that works for you.  Then, take that salad outside with a glass of wine, relax, and enjoy!  Don’t let summer slip away!

Asparagus, Tuna & Bean Salad
Adapted from: Cooking Light (April 2011)

1 bunch of asparagus (about 30), washed & cut into thirds
3 tbsp capers
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter, melted
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
2 tomatoes, diced
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 head of bibb lettuce (feel free to use others)
1 (5 oz) can tuna, drained

Heat water in a small pot.  Once the water is boiling, steam the asparagus, covered, for about 3 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water, drain.

In a small bowl combine: capers, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, butter, salt and pepper.  Stir well until all of the ingredients are combined.

In a large bowl combine the asparagus, tomatoes, white beans and the juice mixture.  Chop up the lettuce into smaller pieces.  Add the vegetable and juice mixture on top.  Lastly, add pieces of the tuna over the salad.