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Posts Tagged ‘kidney beans’

by Caitlin Saniga

Ever since Sarah tried this *beautiful* roasted sweet potato with Brussles sprouts, etc., I've been dying to come up with a roasted sweet potato recipe on my own. This rendition was based on what I had in my fridge and pantry: some salsa, leftover cabbage, green onions, tortilla chips and kidney beans. Not a bad combination!

Ever since Sarah tried this *beautiful* roasted sweet potato with Brussels sprouts, etc., I’ve been dying to come up with a roasted sweet potato recipe on my own. This rendition was based on what I had in my fridge and pantry: some salsa, leftover cabbage, feta, green onions, tortilla chips and kidney beans. Not a bad combination!


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by Caitlin Saniga

Barley salad with corn, red beans and black-eyed peas

This salad has a nice mix of healthy ingredients: grains, proteins and fresh vegetables. It’s definitely feel-good food.


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We’ve decided to participate in a nationwide event today, called Food Bloggers Against Hunger. In this post, Caitlin has put together a delicious low-cost recipe, followed by a call to action from Sarah. Please read and enjoy both, and we look forward to a conversation with you in the comments section.

— C & S

Cheesy red beans and greens quesadillas

by Caitlin Saniga

Cheesy red beans and greens quesadillas

These quesadillas definitely come in under the $4 daily budget, and they’re full of flavor and are fun to eat. If you’re not a fan of kidney beans, try black beans, edamame or olives.

  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • salt
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 8 6-inch tortillas (Corn or wheat is fine. I used corn.)
  • 1 cup torn spinach or arugula

In a medium pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the beans and cook until the skins start to burst, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin, season with salt and toss to coat.

Assemble the quesadillas by sprinkling a thin layer of cheese on half of each tortilla. Top with a small scoop of beans, greens and another thin layer of cheese. Fold the tortilla over the fillings, and grill the quesadillas two at a time, pressing down on them with a spatula, about 1 minute on each side. Cook the remaining quesadillas this way, slice in half with a pizza cutter and arrange on a serving platter. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

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A letter from the editors (OK, bloggers)FBAH

by Sarah Steimer

Two articles were published exactly one year and one day apart that illustrate an irony for my generation (born between 1980 and 2000, we’re considered “Millenials”). In the New York Magazine article from 2012, the writer describes a “young foodie culture” among my age group. These young, mostly urban people pride themselves on trying new restaurants and often documenting their experience. In addition to eating out, I know from informal surveys that many of my peers have been to at least one farmer’s market and enjoy preparing healthy meals for themselves. Appreciation for good food! Not a bad idenity to have.

But then there’s the irony.

“For the first time in modern memory, a whole generation might not prove wealthier than the one that preceded it,” the more recent New York Times article reported. Bring these two concepts together and you’re left with a clear issue: We want to eat good food, but we may not be able to afford it.

According to statistics from the No Kid Hungry campaign, 17.2 million households in the U.S. are considered “food insecure,” defined as having the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food. Couple this with the knowledge that my generation isn’t likely to make more money than our parents, and it’s pretty obvious that our food insecurity problem is bound to get worse before it gets better.

The problem of food insecurity goes beyond simply being hungry. Not having the money to eat properly often snowballs into issues such as obesity and poor performance at school for children. The cheapest foods available are often those lacking nutritious qualities, which explains the link between low income and obesity (Hey America! Malnutrition is NOT just the skin-and-bones child in Africa, it’s also the overweight and out of breath child in Alabama! Malnutrition has many faces.). Children are often most affected by poor food habits, and even a short period of time without necessary vitamins and minerals can hinder brain development and affect their ability to focus.

We are not a poor country. Nutritious food is available, but we are not putting it within reach. The average daily food stamp benefit is about $4 per person per day. If you’ve priced fresh fruits and vegetables lately, you understand how unavailable those foods would be on current government assistance.

But let’s roll back to my first point, but Millennials’ appreciation for good food. As the adage goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way! My generation has proven its will, now let me present to you the way:

We’re urging you to write to your representative in Congress so he or she may support federal nutrition programs (think of the kids!).  Every generation loves to prove its older counterparts wrong, and I’d like to think that despite the (somewhat unnerving) economic road ahead, we can be the generation that stops hunger in America.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Do yourself a favor and take a big whiff in the bowl of the food processor after you've ground down the garlic and roasted walnuts.

Do yourself a favor and take a big whiff after you’ve ground down the garlic and roasted walnuts in the food processor. My nose was all like: “Caitlin, can we live in here?”

  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs (Try a combination of parsley, cilantro and basil.)
  • 3 cups prepared black rice (or another rice of your choice)
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Pulverize the walnuts and garlic in a food processor, then add the vinegar, oil and 3 to 4 tablespoons water, enough to make a smooth dressing. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in half of the scallions and herbs.

Divide the rice between four dishes. Top each serving of rice with beans and pour a bit of dressing over each. Finish with a sprinkling of herbs and scallions. If not serving immediately, mix all of the herbs into the dressing to allow the flavors to meld and store the rice, beans and dressing in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

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by Caitlin Saniga

If you're puzzled about the herbs in this soup (like I was at first), just have faith. The mint and parsley give it a nice, bright flavor. And the few vegetables give this soup a light quality.

If you're puzzled about the herbs in this soup (like I was at first), just have faith. The mint and parsley give it a nice, bright flavor. And the vibrant colors in this soup aren't a result of photo edits. Because of the quick cook time, the vegetables' colors explode and they maintain some of their firmness.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered and chopped
  • 1 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large leaves of Swiss chard, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint (leaves from about 7 sprigs)
To make this a completely vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

To make this a completely vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Coat the bottom of a large stockpot with the olive oil and set over medium heat. When hot, add the chopped onion, cooking and stirring until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and water, and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer.

I used semolina small veggie shells that I found at a bulk foods market. The ingredients include tomato, spinach and beet, and the pasta was so pretty I couldn't pass it up.

I used semolina small veggie shells that I found at a bulk foods market. The ingredients include tomato, spinach and beet, and the pasta was so pretty I couldn't pass it up.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let simmer about 5 minutes, letting the onions soften further.

In the meantime, cook the shell pasta until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Stir the carrot into the stockpot. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add the beans and zucchini until the squash is just cooked, another 5 minutes or so.

Don't forget to compost if you're able to! The scraps from this recipe looked so pretty, and I love thinking about what all of the different colored vegetables do to enrich the soil.

Don't forget to compost if you're able to! The scraps from this recipe looked so pretty, and I love thinking about what all of the different colored vegetables do to enrich the soil.

When the veggies are cooked through but still somewhat firm, add the Swiss chard, parsley, mint and pasta. Serve immediately. If you don’t plan to eat all of the soup right away, reserve the pasta and add it just before reheating (otherwise it will absorb all of the liquid in the soup and turn mushy).

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Urban Pantry

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by Caitlin Saniga

Another day, another way. The star of this minestrone soup is chicken. As a base, minestrone typically consists of a soup with carrots, zucchini, beans and pasta. Some of today’s extras include olive oil and, of course, chicken.

Even with the chicken, this soup remains fairly light. This pasta is best served right away because the pasta is cooked with the rest of the soup. If you want to serve it later, cook and store the pasta separate from the soup, and add it in later.

  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 14-ounce cans chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8-10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup dried radiatore pasta
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

In a large soup pot, cook the carrots, celery and onion in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth, water, kidney beans, chicken, green beans and pepper. Bring to a boil; add pasta. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Stir in zucchini. Return to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes more or until pasta is tender and green beans are crisp-tender. Stir in the undrained tomatoes; heat through.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens

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by Caitlin Saniga

This pasta salad is pretty and healthy, but I have to be honest — the smell really turned me off. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I'm guessing it's one or more of these ingredients combined: Parmesan, kidney beans, whole-wheat pasta (maybe?). Any ideas? If I made this again, I think I'd swap out the Parmesan cheese, and add green onions instead.

  • 4 ounces whole-wheat penne (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 4 ounces green beans, snapped into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain and run under cold water to cool.

Toss the cooled pasta and green beans with the kidney beans, parsley, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Real Simple

Photo: Caitlin Saniga

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