Posts Tagged ‘beans’

Green Beans with Bacon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

It’s green bean season, and we got a whole bushel from my grandparents a week or so ago. I’m sure we’re not the only ones looking to use up some great garden green beans, but other than my friend Leah, who will sit and munch them like potato chips, everyone seems to do the same thing with beans. This time, I was looking for something a little different.

I found this recipe on the Cooking Light website. Despite the bacon and sauce, it works out to only a Point for a cup, which is nice. I used center cut bacon, and substituted chopped walnut pieces for the almonds in the original recipe (David’s not a fan of almonds).

I thought it was tasty, and probably worth another try. There’s sugar in the sauce, and that made it turn out sweeter than I had imagined, probably compounded by the fact that I also substituted regular balsamic vinegar for the white balsamic that the recipe originally called for. I was in a hurry, and ended up tossing things in the skillet a bit differently than called for, and so the end product had bits of candied bacon throughout (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). I think, overall, the beans could have used more salt.

As I said, I’ll probably try this one again, following the original a bit more closely to see how things turn out.

Green Beans with Bacon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Adapted from Cooking Light, November 1996

Ingredients

  • 2  pounds  green beans
  • 2  bacon slices
  • 1/4  cup  minced shallots
  • 3  tablespoons  coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  balsamic vinegar

Preparation

Cook green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain well; set aside.

Cook bacon in a small skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet. Crumble; set aside. Add shallots to bacon fat in skillet; sauté 1 minute. Add almonds; sauté 1 minute. Remove and let cool. Add sugar and vinegar; stir until sugar dissolves. Add crumbled bacon.

Pour vinaigrette over beans, tossing gently to coat.

Meatless Monday: Chipotle Bean Burritos

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

We’ve been doing this Meatless Monday thing for several weeks, and it’s going pretty well. We’re typically pretty happy with the meals, though I can’t say I’ve gotten to the point where I wouldn’t rather have meat. As I said before, we’ve tried quite a few things. I think all of them have been either Italian-flavored or some variation on Tex-Mex, probably because these are cuisines that are more likely to include vegetables in the first place, and because the bold, fresh flavors help to make-up for the lack of meat. That’s meant plenty of pasta, panini, chili, and one of the first things we tried, these Chipotle Bean Burritos from January’s issue of Cooking Light.

I liked this recipe, in general. The beans had a really good flavor, even though chipotle is not usually my favorite seasoning. The beans were spicy, but not hot. We used a delicious Chipotle Chile & Peppers flavored tortilla, which I think added to the dish. The tortilla is made by Tumaro’s, soon to be available at Amazon, and is one of the best healthy tortillas I’ve ever tasted. Again, a hint of spicy flavor, but not hot. We used them for quesadillas this week, and will continue to buy them, I’m sure.

If meatless meals are your thing, you’ll definitely like these burritos. They were tasty and filling, and the recipe was a quick one. For those of us that lean towards the carnivore side of things, they were good, but not great. We all would’ve liked a little chicken or steak or some additional protein in there.

Cooking Light’s Chipotle Bean Burritos

  • 1  tablespoon  canola oil
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2  teaspoon  chipotle chile powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/3  cup  water
  • 1  (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained
  • 1  (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained
  • 3  tablespoons  refrigerated fresh salsa
  • 6  (10-inch) reduced-fat flour tortillas
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 1/2  cups  chopped plum tomato (about 3)
  • 1 1/2  cups  shredded romaine lettuce
  • 6  tablespoons  thinly sliced green onions
  • 6  tablespoons  light sour cream

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in chile powder and salt; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup water and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salsa. Partially mash bean mixture with a fork.

2. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into center of each tortilla. Top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons cheese, 1/4 cup tomato, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 tablespoon onions, and 1 tablespoon sour cream; roll up.

Italian White Bean, Bacon and Tortellini Soup

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I love cookbooks. It feels like I have a million of them, but I’m never disappointed to receive another. I got a few great ones for Christmas, which you’ll be hearing more about soon, I’m sure. One of the cookbooks I got recently (technically not a Christmas gift, but that’s okay) is Giada De Laurentiis’s Everyday Pasta. I like this book a lot. It ranges from Salads and Starters to Sides to Main Dishes, and has a lot of quick and easy dishes, along with more sophisticated ones. We tried one of the more quick and easy dishes last week, this twist on a chicken tortellini soup. The recipe below includes my tweaks on the original. I subbed bacon for the pancetta, because it was what we had on hand, but also cut down on the bacon and oil a bit to lighten the dish. I also used a whole grain fresh tortellini for the pasta. With these substitutions, it ended up being about 6 points for a very hearty bowl of soup. With some crusty bread on the side it was a great winter weeknight dinner.

Italian White Bean, Bacon and Tortellini Soup
Adapted from Everyday Pasta (by Giada De Laurentiis)

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • three slices of bacon, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 9-ounce package cheese tortellini, fresh or frozen
  • 1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

In a large, heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon, shallots, carrot and garlic. Cook until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and broth.

Bring the soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to the heat to a simmer. Add the tortellini and cook 5 minutes for fresh, 8 minutes for frozen, or until just tender. Season with pepper and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Smoky Ham and Bean Soup

Friday, April 10th, 2009

You know what’s funny? I like ham, but I love all the delicious things you can make with leftover ham. Like the one and only casserole I grew up with, ham and rice casserole. Or like the subject of this post, ham and bean soup.

I know it doesn’t sound flashy. It probably doesn’t even sound good. All you have is my word, but I promise you, it’s tasty. Very tasty. As soon as we decided to make ham for Fake Easter, I had visions of the ham bone, simmering away in my crockpot. And my visions came true. With real Easter coming up this weekend, you might very well get your hands on a ham bone of your very own. If you’re lucky enough to be “stuck” with a leftover ham, here’s what to do.

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Smokey Ham and Northern Bean Soup

  • 1 pound of leftover ham, diced
  • 1 large ham bone, leftover from a roasted ham (if you can’t get one of these, you can skip it, but do try–it really adds to the flavor)
  • 1 quart chicken stock, ham stock, or prepared ham soup base (I used chicken stock)
  • 1 large can of northern beans, partially drained (I poured out about half the liquid)
  • 2 small cans Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 cup V8 vegetable juice
  • salt & pepper to taste (you probably won’t need much salt, so go easy on it)

Combine ingredients in large crockpot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Honestly, you could eat it as soon as it’s heated through, but the longer it simmers, the better it’s going to taste. If you don’t want to use a crockpot, this can be done on the stove over low heat. Just be sure to keep an eye on it and stir frequently. The starchy beans will get scorched and stick to the bottom of the pot if you don’t.