Tag Archives: Beans

Summer Pasta Salad


Pasta Salad

Perfect for weekday lunches

I did it, y’all.  The research paper is done, the presentations are done, the reviews are done.  And now I have from now until August to work, read, write, blog and enjoy the pleasant Florida summer.

You’ll have to excuse my lack of posts over the last week.  It was a rough one.

But I’ll try to make up by posting some of the things we’ve been eating.

One of our favorite weekday lunch ideas is pasta salad, which we make in varying forms about every other week.  It’s great because we can make it on a Sunday afternoon and it’s good for several days of lunches – which means having less to do in the mornings which in turn means more time to sleep.

The recipe that follows was the mix that we happened to put together last week, but I encourage you to add in whatever you can find around.  Cool, crisp summery veggies seem to be the best compliment to the pasta, I think.  We like ours heavy on the veggies, so reduce those numbers if you like it more pasta-y.

Oh, and we added in a can of garbanzo beans, which don’t have a ton of flavor by themselves but add some good protein to the lunch.

What you need:

  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 diced cucumber
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 box multi-colored rotini pasta
  • 1 cup Italian dressing (store bought or make yo’ own)

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Prepping the pasta salad veggies

Prepping the pasta salad veggies

Step 2) Dice the carrots, celery, bell pepper and tomatoes.  Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas.

Step 3) When the pasta is cooled, place in a  large serving bowl and add in the diced veggies and cheese.  Pour in the Italian dressing and stir to coat.

Baddabing, baddaboom.  Lunch for a few days.


Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers


Stuffed Peppers

Easy, cheesy, beautiful | Photo by HFLP

I hope everyone out there had a great Memorial Day weekend.  We spent a lot of time on the boat, the jet ski and in the pool, saw some old friends, caught a Rays game and ate lots of good food – which was as good a break as I could hope for from the heat and tedium of school in Gainesville.

We went bowling, too, which is something that, despite my enthusiasm for, I am absolutely terrible at.  You’d think rolling a ball in a straight line would be easy, but it ain’t.  I did, however, win $1 during the aptly-named “Strike it Rich” competition held Saturday nights at that bowling alley, which was enough to make me smile but not quite enough to get a pack of gum from the vending machine.

Back in Gainesville now, and back to the blog.

Before we left, I whipped up some stuffed peppers, which is a great thing to make if you’ve got a few peppers around and don’t want to the grocery store.  Really, you can stuff them with anything you’d like.  I used a hefty amount of yellow rice, but brown rice works great as well – some people even like to use quinoa or cousous.  Feel free to experiment.

Also, this particular recipe made more stuffing than I could fit in four peppers.  I could have used more peppers, but decided instead to save the extra stuffing to make a burrito the next day – which was delicious.

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 large bell peppers of any color
  • 3 cups cooked rice (I used yellow rice, but brown is good as well)
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 1/2 can corn
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz crushed tomato (jarred or fresh tomatoes crushed by hand)
  • 1 cup cheese (Mexican blends are good, but whatever you have handy works)
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapenos (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Serve with salsa and sour cream
  • 1/2 packet or a few shakes of fajita seasoning (optional)

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Cook rice according to package instructions and set aside.

Step 2) Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and white stuff.  They need to be softened before being stuffed, so either steam them for a few minutes or boil them (which I did) for about 8 minutes.  You want them “soft” but not “floppy.”  They should still stand up by themselves and hold their shape, but they shouldn’t be “crisp.”  That’s the best I can do – use your judgement :)

Step 3) In a small fry pan, sautee the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until the onions become translucent.

Step 4) In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, sauteed onions, garlic, jalapenos, black beans, corn, fajita seasoning and 1/2 a cup of cheese.  Stir it up good.  This is your filling.

stuffed pepper filling

Filling for the peppers | Photo by HFLP

Step 5) When the peppers are softened, stand them upright in a baking dish and fill them with stuffing mixture and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

uncooked stuffed peppers

Pre-cheese, pre-oven

Step 6) Pour a 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the dish around the peppers (this creates a steamy environment and prevents the peppers from browning too much).

Step 7) Cover with foil, but make sure not to let the foil sit on top of the peppers or your cheese will melt to the foil.  Set the oven to 350 degrees, and bake covered for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown.

stuffed peppers in the oven

Vegetarian stuffed peppers | Photo by HFLP

The water in the bottom of the dish should have cooked off, and the peppers should be tender but not mushy.  Serve with a little sour cream and salsa, or hot sauce if the jalapenos didn’t do the trick.

Thanks for reading!


Spaghetti with Crazy Sauce


Spaghetti with Crazy Sauce

Spaghetti with Crazy Sauce | Photo by HealthyandLazy

I’ve been inspired lately by the great pasta posts over at Brave New Food.

My wife spotted an interesting recipe in a Rachel Ray magazine and we thought we’d give it a try.  It’s got a funny little sauce, with garbanzo beans and jalapenos and curry powder, but at the end of the day it still fills you up like a plate of spaghetti should.

The beans replace the protein you would normally get from the meatballs, the curry powder gives it some great flavor and the jalapeno adds just the right amount of spice.

Top the pasta with goat cheese to add some creaminess and you’ve got yourself a good meal.

It was the perfect pick-me-up for what has been, so far, a rather bleak start to the baseball season by my hometown Tampa Bay Rays.  C’mon fellas.

Also, I’ve been trying to think of a slick way to get a picture of my dog into the blog, and so far, nothing has come to me – so I’m just going to kick off this recipe with his beautiful mug.

Oliver

Gimme my Dinna | Photo by HealthyandLazy

And now, on to the good stuff:

(again, recipe courtesy from the Rachel Ray Magazine May 2011 Issue)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chile pepper, seeded and chopped (I used a jalapeno)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    Sauce ingredients

    Sauce Ingredients | Photo by HealthyandLazy

  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • goat cheese for sprinkling
  • parsley for garnish

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

Step 2) Meanwhile, in a big saucepan, begin cooking the diced onion,

Sauce

Simmerin Sauce | Photo by HealtyandLazy

garlic and chile pepper in a few splashes of olive oil.  After 2-3 minutes, add in curry powder and a dash of salt.  Let it sit for another minute or two, and then add in the veggie stock, tomatoes and chickpeas.

Step 3) Let it sit for 15-20 minutes until the liquid steams off a little, stirring occasionally.

Step 4) Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and toss.

Step 5) Top with goat cheese and parsley and eat it up.

I’d also like to announce, unrelated to this pasta, a new addition to my family – a new baby nephew, RJ.

RJ

Poker Face | Photo by HealthyandLazy


Spring Garbanzo Salad


Garbanzo Bean Salad

Salad and Pita | Photo by HealthyandLazy

I’d call this a spring salad if I lived somewhere with a spring.

I’m in Florida, and we’ve only got two seasons – summer and Christmas.  “Spring” is just the summer, but with pollen.

And don’t get me started on the pollen.  It’s in my car, my sinus and my dreams.

Whatever, though, I still gotta eat (and cook).  As my apartment heats up, the appeal of cold food goes up exponentially.  But it can be hard to whip up a cold meal that is still a fulfilling dinner.

Enter ‘Spring Garbanzo Salad’ – a good mix of just-a-few-ingredients and ready-to-eat-in-5-minutes.  And it tastes good, too.

Garbanzo beans are a staple in my cupboard.  They’re versatile and they’re shaped like asteroids – what’s not to like?  Add in some feta, mint and fresh tomatoes, top with a white wine vinegarette and BOOM – dinna.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 3 plum tomatoes or, preferably, 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 4 oz crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Drain and rinse the beans.  In a bowl, combine the beans with chunked tomatoes, crumbled feta and mint.

Step 2) In some sort of closeable container (tupperware would work fine in the absence of anything fancier), mix white wine vinegar, evoo, sugar and black pepper.  Shake it good and pour over the salad.

spring bean salad

Not as good as cake, but still good | Photo by HealthyandLazy

See, this recipe is a quickie.  With all the time you didn’t spend making dinner, go make this for dessert/desert.


(Sloppy) Mexican Lasagna


Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna | Photo by HealthyandLazy

As the old joke goes, all Mexican food has the same four ingredients, there’s just a dozen names for it – taco, burrito, enchilada, quesadilla – and today, I’d like to add another candidate to the field.  Mexican Lasagna.

It really isn’t much different from other Mexican foods (and for the record, when I say “Mexican food,” I mean the type of food they serve in Mexican restaurants in the US, not in Mexico – and I’ve been told there’s a difference).  However, lasagna is much easier to serve – you don’t have to assemble 20 tacos in the kitchen, or lay out every bowl and serving utensil in your armory for a make-it-yourself buffet line.

All you need is one big pan and a casserole dish, and you’ll have a nice, hot dinner for four.

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Cheese and Veggie Bruschetta


Vegetable and Cheese Bruschetta

Vegetable and Cheese Bruschetta

Here’s a winner.  It doesn’t have a name as of yet, but “cheese and veggies on toast” seems fairly accurate, although less than eloquent.  Got a better name for it?  Drop it in the comments.  The idea for this recipe came from a close family friend who, along with her husband, deserves to have a restaurant of her own.  She doesn’t use cheese or bread, but instead uses the veggie mixture as a simple hot dish or cold on top of salads.  We made some modifications and love our new recipe, but feel free to experiment on your own.

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Easy Black Bean Burgers


Black Bean Burger
Easy, delicious black bean burger

 

Black Bean Burgers are a great alternative to hamburgers.  Having a cookout but unsure of what to prepare for the vegetarians in attendance?  Throw down some of these simple, delicious bean patties – even the omnivores might give them a try.  They can be served with all the regular burger accoutrement (Buns, Ketchup, Mustard, Lettuce, Tomato…).  And, even better, they can be cooked on the grill, stove top, or oven.  Flexible and healthy, like yoga.  Oh, and they make dynamite leftovers, and they freeze well – not that there will be any left over.  Looking for a side dish?  Try our simple sweet potato fries.

This recipe makes roughly 6-8 medium-ish burgers.

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