Sunday, August 8, 2010

Food Budget On Life Support? Beans To The Rescue

Below you'll find six budget saving recipes for beans.

Braised White Beans with Chard

1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
5 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound Swiss chard, stems removed, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onion and garlic, season with freshly ground black pepper, and stir to combine. Cook until onion and garlic are golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans, chard, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender and broth is thick, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and stir in parsley, salt, and vinegar. Season with additional freshly ground black pepper as desired.
Tomato Lentil Curry

1 cups dry lentils
3 cups water (you can use chicken or vegetable stock for more flavor, but water works just as well)
15 ounces canned tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup potato chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Combine lentils and water (or stock), bring to a boil.
  2. Lower heat to simmer, add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and let simmer 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add water (or stock) if necessary.
Jamaican Lentil Stew

1 medium onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece ginger, grated ( I got a jar of Ginger from The Dollar Store)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1-2 teaspoon ground cumin (adjust according to taste)
1 (13 ounce) can coconut milk
4 cups vegetable stock
4 ounces split red lentils, washed and drained
1 small sweet potato
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2-1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (optional)
black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a large saucepan, add the onion and saute until transparent. Add the garlic ginger and saute another 2 minutes until fragrant; lower heat and stir constantly to avoid burning. Add the spices and saute for a minute more.
  2. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, lentils, sweet potato and pumpkin puree. Simmer over medium - low heat for 40 - 50 minutes or until sweet potato is soft and almost melting into the stew. Be sure to stir occasionally. Before serving, stir in the red curry paste if you are using it or adjust seasoning with black pepper. 

Tuscan White Beans and Rice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4 inch-thick strips
  • 3/4 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 ounces fresh spinach leaves, washed, stems removed, torn
  • 1-1/4 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1-1/4 lbs. canned navy beans, or canned Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/4 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. dry sherry
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in large skilled over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken onion, and garlic; cook 7-10 minutes or until chicken is slightly browned and onion is tender. Add spinach and tomatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes more or until spinach is wilted and tomatoes are simmering. Add rice, navy beans, Italian seasoning, vinegar, sherry and pepper. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes more until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

You can substitute 13 ounces frozen spinach leaves, thawed and drained, for fresh spinach, if desired.

Garlicky Greens and Beans

1 1/2 pounds kale, chard or mustard greens, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 (15-ounce) can white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini), undrained
1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and black pepper to taste
  1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water, add greens and cook until they are almost tender but still bright green, 5 to 8 minutes. Time will depend upon type of green being used. Drain and set aside. (Greens can be cooked

    one day ahead; refrigerate until continuing with recipe).
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet and sauté garlic until tender but not browned; stir in beans and cook and stir for 8 minutes, heating beans through. Some beans may break up; this is okay as it helps thicken the dish.
  3. Gently stir in reserved greens, tomatoes, broth and seasonings. Cook and stir gently until heated through. If desired, top each serving with a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Beans And Greens Soup ~(my personal favorite)

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 46 oz can chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 16 oz cans cannellini beans or small white beans
  • 2 bunches escarole, chard or spinach
  • 1 lb ground chicken, turkey or beef ** (I am a vegetarian so I toss in   teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds to give the soup an Italian Sausage like flavor).
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup pasta
Method In a large Dutch oven, place oil with garlic and onion then saute and add broth. Wash, chop and add greens, beans and all meatball ingredients. Make small meatballs and fry in a skillet. Place in soup when brown on all sides. Let simmer, then right before serving, add 1 cup of pasta and let cook until tender, adding water if needed. Top with Romano cheese and serve.

Now go prepare your weekly menu and grocery list...go on, no procrastinating.

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