Tag Archives: white beans

Cheesy Casserole Love

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1 c mezze penne (dry)
  • 3/4 c white beans (cooked)
  • 1 whole head roasted garlic
  • 1/3 c colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of [celery] soup
  • 1 tbsp reserved bacon grease [butter for vegetarian option]
  • 1/3 c plain soy milk
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt/pepper
  • dash asafoetida
  • 1/4 c Panko bread crumbs

casseroleWhen my better half walked out the door for work this morning, I promised to have some manner of cheesy casserole in the oven to greet her upon return. On the heels of that promise, I released broccoli from its crisper drawer prison. Then, well… I just kinda winged it.

Nope, not quite clear enough...

Nope, not clear enough…

Mince onions and let cook in bacon grease on ML until onions become translucent. Salt and pepper them for the heck of it (oh, and add in the asafoetida now). While that’s going on, boil pasta until al dente (so that it won’t get too mushy cooking in the ‘role). When done, drain and rinse under cold water; set aside.

In hindsight, I probably should have used a bigger pan. Please learn from my mistake.

In hindsight, I probably should have used a bigger pan. Please learn from my mistake.

When the onions have reached desired glassiness, dump your florets in that pan and mix until everything’s hog-tied in pig drippings [again, butter can be used here for a vegetarian option… I just happened to have some bacon, and, well, you know what happened]. Crank the heat up to M and let them cook, tossing occasionally, until the pan in its entirety blushes a bright green.

And while that’s going on, mix together those mashed up cloves of garlic, “cream of” soup, soy milk and cheeses. Grease the bottom of a casserole dish, then mix all once-individual tasks together — pasta, broccoli/onions, beans, cheese sauce. Bake covered in a 350° oven for about 25-30m, then remove from oven and dust with panko. Let it sit for five minutes, then dig on in to your night’s official flavor destination. 5 spoons!

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Naked Stew

In my pantry today:

  • 1 can chicken breast
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 can white potatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 c small cauliflower florets
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, minced into near-paste
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced into near-paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red hot chiil powder
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • pinch asafoetida

nakedsoupThe hardest thing to do here was mince the garlic and onion into a near paste-like consistency, but even that was more patience than skill, and to be perfectly honest opening all the cans might’ve actually been more difficult. Either way, this stove-top stew is an easy way to wile away a winter witching hour.

Start your minced garlic and onion in a pan on ML that already hosts your melted ghee/oil. Turn the temperature almost up to M and let it sit, stirred, for a few minutes while you open all those cans and drain/rinse everything in them. Go back to the stove and sprinkle in the asafoetida, turmeric and half of your coriander. Mix well and add chicken. Mix again until all the chunks are broken up and everything is covered in the pan contents; add cauliflower and let simmer on ML for just a minute or two, then add cream of chicken soup. Mix, begin slowly adding broth as you stir in each subsequent can of stuff. Add the rest of your coriander and the red hot chili powder and keep on stirring while you slowly increase the heat to M/M-H until everything comes to a slow boil. At this point, reduce heat to L, cover and let cook until the cauliflower is tender. The only think keeping this from being more than a 4 spoon dish is that I would prefer fresh over canned anything if given my druthers.

From the Land of Produce Sales and Pantry (Or, “Vegan Chili”)

In my pantry today:

  • 4 c diced Roma tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, largely diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, small chunks
  • 1 small red pepper, diced/seeds removed
  • 1 pitiful, small bell pepper from the plant outside
  • 2/3 c corn
  • 1 c cooked white beans
  • 1 12oz can red beans
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 4 tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (we use 90,000 BTU powder, so use your own noggin on this too. Yeah. That’s not a typo. 90,000.)

This was an entirely vegan dish until I put the cheese on it. Apologies.

So I got really excited about a big sale on Roma tomatoes at the store. Some might venture to use the word “overzealous.” And seeing as how it’s now a little too chilly for tomato salads to be fully enjoyed and one can only have so many salad caprese dinners, the answer choices to the sudden conundrum of a kitchen full-o-maters boil down to (ha!): 1. blanch or 2. just cut them all up and make chili.

Put your onion, garlic, chili pepper and mustard seeds in olive oil warming to M on the stove. When the seeds begin to crackle and pop, stir and reduce heat to L while you finish dicing all those now-godforsaken tomatoes. Dump them all into a crock pot and use a spatula to clean all the oiled up pan contents in with them. Add corn, beans and seasonings with broth and set the timer for 4 hours (I now now that essentially translates to “high”). Four spoon alarm!

Beanie-ahini (Now With Entire Tree Limbs!)

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c cooked white beans
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper
  • 1 leaf of kale, minced
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 packets Swanson® Flavor Boost™ (Vegetable)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 spring dried rosemary, ripped mercilessly from its home in a public median
  • 1 c uncooked Basmati rice

I felt like dicing things up into tiny slivers today, and I made it so to the best of my ability. Put your meticulously slivered garlic in your giant pan with the olive oil and turn the cold burner to M. As it warms, dice and add onion and stir. Let that cook for about five minutes (or until sizzling sounds begin to happen) while you dice your pepper. Add and toss everything with turmeric until bright yellow seeps across the stainless steel surface. Add 1 tbsp water when/if pan begins to dry out to buy time while you pick up that bundle of kale you just brought home and regard it thoughtfully. End up choosing only a single stalk and dicing the leaves — it has been decided that this dish is more about the tahini than the kale, and it must be approached carefully so as not to allow kale the spotlight.

So just sprinkle in that minced leaf as visual interest, stir. Fold in the white beans with your other seasonings as well as the trademarked Flavor Boost™ before adding in tahini a tbsp at a time. Thin out the sauce with a little unsweetened almond milk and, upon satisfactory meld, top with spring of dried rosemary and cover. Let cook on L for a couple hours for best results, then serve over Basmati rice. 4 spoons!

Interstate Soup

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c leftover subgum wonton soup
  • 1 c leftover cooked white beans
  • 1 10 oz can coconut milk
  • 5 cloves garlic, clumsily minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander

So start the garlic and olive oil off in a soup pot on M and let them mingle for a few minutes until sizzling is steady; erstwhile, turn your attention to that leftover subgum wonton soup you bought in Virginia on Thursday (yes, it was kept refrigerated; it was really good so lay off). In my case, there were four large wontons preserved as well as an array of shrimp, pork and vegetables. I started this endeavor by pouring the leftover soup through a colander to fish out all the big slabs of chicken that look too much like tripe for me to consensually chew and ingest; I set the broth aside (1.5 c) and let the vegetables sit in their colander (.5c).

Back at the sizzling pot, I added the cooked white beans and began smashing them with the back of the mixing spoon until they were about to become burning mounds of beanflesh, then added 1/4 c broth and continued smashing. Once said smashingtime is completed to your satisfaction, add asafoetida, turmeric and coriander, mix then add in the rest of your broth. Stir and bring to a slow boil, then add in the coconut milk and subgum wonton non-liquid elements. This can be eaten right away, but mine is sitting until a proper dinnertime. This meal includes six vegetables, up to four animals and beans for good measure — it was made on four hours of sleep after an eight hour trip home from DC and still gets 3 spoons.

Trial by Butcher Knife

In my pantry today:

  • 15 lbs exhaustion
  • 1 green apple, diced
  • 1 tbsp reserved bacon grease
  • 1 package Near East Whole Grain (Roasted Pecan and Garlic)
  • 1 16 oz can chicken broth
  • 2/3 c cooked white beans
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed ‘n diced
  • 1 tsp asafoetida

Oh man, I did not know where to start today.

Moderate MS fatigue still includes use of the limbs and does not mitigate the human need for food, so I opened the fridge and began dicing whatever might go bad earliest. I initiated a pan with onion and garlic in the bacon grease then began dicing the apple — and that’s where the exhaustion comes further into play, because this entire recipe got wildly better when I accidentally began bleeding all over the cutting board.  Losing use of one thumb to the butcher knife during the apple-dicing thereby rendered Napa cabbage prepping impossible (or at least wildly implausible). We had to go in another direction… one of little fine motor skills. Like a box of something.

Enter the broth and whole grain pilaf. Honestly, I hadn’t been certain what I’d do with the Near East product but it had sounded so delicious during a hungry-in-the-grocery-store moment. But pecans? Apples go with those! It was time to experiment.

I added a can of chicken broth to the pan and stirred in the beans (cooked for this recipe and living now in the Leftover Loft), then brought it to a boil and added the box-o-grains. It was at this point I just followed the box directions for the pilaf, as I was done trying original ideas. The gauze and scotch tape I found to cocoon my thumb may be soppin’ ass wet with chicken broth and blood but great measures my friends, great measures were taken to remove all the bloody apple chunks from the pan. There will be disappointment for any sanguinarians who show up on my doorstep tonight.

Even without the blood and with cognitive decline, this gets 3 solid spoons. 4 if you don’t normally hate green apples.

Asparagus: Worth the Funny Pee Smell!

In my pantry today:

  • 3/4 c cooked Central American white beans
  • 2 c cooked Kashi® multigrain pilaf
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dumpling sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp salt

So my experience with leeks do not include saving or cooking the top green sprouts. I changed all that today. Start your sliced leek and diced garlic cloves out in a cold pan of ghee and 2 tsp safflower oil on M. Add mustard seeds and let it all festively fester until the leeks are translucent and the edges of the garlic pieces begin to turn a golden color. Turn heat to L, cover and turn back to your cutting board.

Cut just the tips of your asparagus stalks off for this. With the leftover stalks, remove the tough ends and reserve in a plastic bag for the next smoothie experiment you’ll have. Return pan to MH and add 1 tsp additional safflower oil. When the mustard seeds begin to crackle add your asparagus tips and toss to coat. Add water then spray with lemon juice from one of those plastic fruit-shaped squeeze bottles you find on wayward racks in the produce section and cover. Let it steam for about thirty seconds then uncover, remove the pan from heat and turn off the burner. Add cooked white beans, asafoetida, a touch more lemon and your dumpling sauce; coat. Add Kashi® multigrain pilaf and repeat the tossing to coat thing. Cover and return to cooling burner for a few minutes of togetherness before you decimate it with your mouth. 4 of 5 spoons.

Middle Easternish White Beans and SCIENCE!

In my pantry today:

  • About 2c. soaked-n-cooked white beans
  • 1 medium-large-ish yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic-ginger paste
  • Jar of roasted red peppers
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

So I did a little kitchen reconnaissance on Google concerning What The Hell To Do With White Beans. This recipe sounded good, and I figured I could whip something akin to it up. Because plain baked beans are boring. And too sweet. And I don’t have bacon or brown sugar in the pantry. But I have a lot of beans and a lot of rice. Nothing is impossible, and whereas I don’t care for the flavor journey of traditional baked beans I do still firmly believe that beans and rice don’t have to be boring.

Cook the onion in the ghee on M for about 10m. Add diced red peppers (to taste/I used a generous 1/4 c) and ginger-garlic paste. Transfer the whole mess to your food processor and make it a delicately chunky puree. Put tomato paste in the hot pot (turn heat down a little during this) to let it melt, then add the puree back. Mix it well and bring it back to a low boil. While it’s spit-bubbling, add the remainder of the spices and mix for a minute or so while low-boiling. Add your beans. Bring back to a low boil and turn off the pot. I am serving this tonight over, of course, Basmati rice.

Do you have a chronic illness? I watched this video last night and imagine hope the recipes on this blog get to adjust to a diet just like the one described therein. I took notes, people. Right now I am four months into a SNAP card not-really-a-battle-because-it’s-DSS-and-they-can’t-help-the-confusion; once I receive the ability to cook with a little extra help (that also validates my poverty!) I hope to switch more completely to a “Hunter-Gatherer” style diet. I once loved to cook because I loved to eat (and I’m Italian!). I want to cook now for my body. I have a friend with MS who is following a Paleo diet and seeing the positive results; when I watched the above-linked video I cried quietly while furiously scribbling words like “polyphenols.” I’ve recently learned how important what you put in your body can be (16lbs to go before I’ve lost 100!) and the clinical affirmation you’ll see therein is enough to stand me up like a soldier. I want to make myself better. I want to be able to sit in repose like everyone else. I want to make my “eyeball seizures” stop. I want my memory back. I want to be able to intelligently communicate with other people face-to-face again. My lucidity remains between my brain and fingertips, but it seems to wander off during real-time interactions. As per this video, the human brain literally shrinks in conditions like mine. I am not surprised; in fact, I am grateful for the explanation. Not knowing is worse, always. Be good to yourselves.