Showing posts with label bean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bean. Show all posts

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole

Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole

Sunday’s whilst generally recovery days after the frivolities that Saturday nights inevitably bring, they’re also prep days for me. With a little bit of time and effort, my husband’s lunches are ready for the whole week and it’s one less thing to worry about day-to-day. He’s graduated from his quinoa biscuits to baked bean casserole. Baked bean casserole became a common dinner dish when we were saving to go on a 2 month trip to the US around 6 years ago. Back then, the only late night shopping was Thursdays, so we’d spend our night grocery shopping and fix a baked bean casserole in 10-15 minutes when we got home, then cook it in the microwave while we unpacked the bags. It was a super cheap, but highly nutritious meal and really tasty. It evolves constantly, depending on what we have in the house. Leftover roast veges are common elements, as is any type of leftover meat. The grain can be changed out too. Quinoa or buckwheat can take place of the rice. Or you can leave that out altogether if you aren’t feeling it.

The recipe below is one of the most common combinations when making it from scratch for lunches. I divide this up into 5x 500mL plastic containers that Lance then cooks in the microwave at work for around 4 minutes on high and eats with corn thins. When I take one to work, I usually have it with some rye toast.


Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole


Baked Bean Casserole

1 425g tin baked beans
1 400g tin chick peas, rinsed
2/3 cup passata
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs
1 cup capsicum, finely diced
1 cup mushrooms, finely diced
1 cup zucchini, finely diced
1 cup roma tomato, finely diced
1 cooked sausage, finely diced
1 large red onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup brown rice, rinsed
2 ¼ cups water

Put the brown rice and water in a large glass bowl and microwave on high for 24 minutes. Set aside to cool

Heat the olive oil in a frypan to medium heat and add the onion and salt. Fry for 5-10 minutes until translucent and then add the balsamic and garlic. Cook for a further 5 minutes until caramelized and then take off the heat and allow to cool.

Dice all the vegetables. You want them as small as the baked beans, or smaller. Dice the cooked sausage as small as this as well. Stir together all of the vegetables, the cooled onion mixture, sausages, baked beans and chick peas. Mix the paprika, herbs and passata together, then mix into the rest of the mixture. Finally add the cooled rice and mix very thoroughly. You want it to be completely mixed up.

Divide the casserole into individual containers, then store in the fridge ready for lunch throughout the week.

When ready to serve, microwave for 4 minutes to heat the casserole and cook the vegetables. Serve with corn thins, corn chips or hot toast
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole
Sunday Prep = Work Lunches - Baked Bean Casserole

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks

Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks

In keeping with my ‘learning to cook new things’ decision, I decided to tackle something that’s been on my list for a while. Polenta. The thing that mainly worried me about polenta is that in most recipes I had seen they contained the one phrase that strikes fear into my heart – ‘stirring constantly’. When something is a side dish, I can’t be ‘stirring constantly’. But there’s been a few blog recipes about that had somewhat demystified the process somewhat and used the phrase ‘stirring here and there’. Stirring here and there I can do! I wanted to make polenta cakes, rather than the polenta ‘mash’ and every recipe for that that I had ever come across insisted that you needed to refrigerate overnight, then cut the polenta into shapes, then either bake or fry to make the crispy polenta cakes. I also didn’t have the time and patience for that. Not on a weeknight. So I just spread it out in the tray and baked it immediately, leaving the cutting until it was baked. It takes about 40 minutes to bake, but it was a good result for a lazy man’s version of this. I will give the chill, cut and fry method a go at some point, but this is a good option for week nights. The chill, cut, fry method also lends itself more to thicker polenta squares.

The sauce you might recognize as my hot white bean dip. It’s almost identical with the removal of the oil and the addition of using some water to thin it out. The texture becomes almost like a tomatoe-y herby b├ęchamel. The roast pumpkin and capsicum work perfectly with the sauce and polenta. And being lazy again, I scrubbed the skin of the butternuts but didn’t bother peeling them. If you don’t want to eat them, simply peel them off after they’ve cooked.

While I am telling you about how lazy I am with midweek cooking, let me tell you about Mexican chorizo. Unlike Spanish style chorizo, Mexican chorizo isn’t cooked/cured and it has to be cooked before eaten. It’s essentially a flavoured mince. I haven’t ever seen it available here in Perth BUT, you can make it really easily at home, following Alejandra’s recipe. When I do have a spare half hour or so on the weekend, I whip up a batch of this, freeze it into individual ‘sausages’ ready for a super easy flavor hit. It makes the most amazing tacos and scrambled egg and potato hash and…the list goes on. It’s so much easier to be lazy during the week if you can occasionally do some prep work. The spicy chorizo here really makes this dish, but if you really don’t want to make some yourself, simply find a nice spicy style sausage, remove the filling from the casing and fry up as below. Or, at a pinch, dice up some normal chorizo and fry until some fat renders out and it’s crispy. But you really want that smokey/spicy hit to bring out the rest of the flavours in the dish.

A little sriracha on plating adds a little extra chilli kick. And if you’re really feeling lazy then you can serve the components separately and not even bother making it look fancy. But how pretty is this?

Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks
Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks
Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks


Polenta

1/2 cup polenta
2 cups water
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan

Roast Veges

Top half of 1 small butternut pumpkin, skin scrubbed and sliced into 1cm thick rings
1 large red capsicum
Olive oil

Sauce

1 tin white beans (cannellini)
4 sundried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
1 cup water
½ tsp salt
3 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped
1 tbsp oregano, minced.

200g Mexican chorizo (or other spicy raw sausage, skins removed)

Line a lamington tray with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170C

In a medium saucepan, bring water, pepper and sea salt to a boil. Pour the polenta in to the boiling water and stir quickly for a minute or so. Cook for around 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes until it thickens to a creamy mash potato consistency. It should pull away from the sides cleanly as you stir it. Stir through the parmesan, and then the olive oil.

Spread in a layer around 2cm thick in the baking paper and smooth over the top. Pop in the oven.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the pumpkin slices out. Drizzle with olive oil. Cut the capsicum in half lengthwise and remove the core and seeds/membranes. Place skin side up on the baking tray . Chuck in the oven.

After 20 minutes, turn the flip the pumpkin slices. Check the polenta. If it’s solid and getting golden on top, gently flip the whole thing over with two spatulas.

Rinse the beans, then add to a medium pot with a cup of water. Bring to a gentle simmer. Using a stick blender (or a real blender), puree until smooth. Add the salt, thyme, oregano and sundried tomatoes, puree that all together too. Check for seasoning, then set aside, keeping warm.


Heat a frypan to medium heat and add the Mexican chorizo. Break it up with a wooden spoon and keep it frying until brown and crispy. Set aside, keeping warm.

Remove the capsicum and gently pull the skins off and discard. Slice into ribbons.

Take the polenta out, and cut into squares about the same size as the pumpkin rings. Cut one square into thin ‘chips’ for decoration.

To plate, add a slice of polenta, a ring of pumpkin, a few ribbons of roast capsicum. Spoon a few tablespoons of the bean sauce, then sprinkle some Mexican chorizo over the top. Repeat the pattern. Balance a few polenta ‘chips’ on top, then decorate with a thyme sprig. Dot some sriracha about the plate decoratively.


Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks
Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks
Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks
Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable StacksFancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks
Fancy Midweek Meal - Polenta and Vegetable Stacks

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

On a ‘oh-my-god-these-are-so-cute-AND-on-sale’ whim…I bought a set of individual casserole dishes. And I LOVE them. But to justify my purchase of said cute-but-not-entirely-necessary dishes, I want to use them all of the time. We were having people over for some casual drinks one cold night and I thought of the perfect plan for using the casseroles and having a delicious snack to go with said drinks. Hot dips. In my experience, if you get served a hot dip it’s invariably cheese based. Often served in a cobb loaf. Nothing terribly wrong with that…but we were having mac and cheese for dinner. Didn’t want to over-do the cheese. Plus one attendee doesn’t really do cheese. My mind was blown when I was first served warm hummus – essentially chick pea mash and now it’s become a frequent side dish in my house. Which made me think of my white bean dip. I love it because it only contains a handful of ingredients, all of which are always in my pantry so it can be made in under 5 minutes when unexpected guests come around. That is pretty much flavoured white bean mash if you heat it up!

Knowing a few of my readers are vegan, and already rebelling against the hot cheese dip in my head, I thought I would make the second dip vegan too, seeing as my first one was by sheer coincidence. I had some roasted beets waiting for me in the fridge and basically came to the same conclusion as with the white bean dip. I could make a beetroot mash and serve it as a dip. To the beets I added coconut cream to help loosen the mixture while adding that sweetness that pairs beautifully with the earthiness of beetroot, and then chia seeds to help it gel and give it a lovely texture.

Pop both in casserole dishes, heat in the oven for 30 minutes and voila!

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip


White Bean Dip

One tin white beans
5 sundried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp mixed dried Italian herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley)
1-2 tsp sriracha (to taste)
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 150C

In a food processor, combine the white beans, sundried tomatoes, sriracha and herbs. Process until a smooth paste. Add olive oil from the tomatoes if you need more liquid to form a proper dip consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper.

Put in a casserole dish and heat for 30 minutes or until warm through.

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

 Roast Beet Dip

2 roasted beetroots
¼ cup coconut cream
¼ tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 150C

Chop the beets into quarters and add to your food processor with the coconut cream and caraway seeds. Process until smooth. It will be fairly liquid at this point. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the chia seeds and pulse to distribute.

Put in a casserole dish and leave to sit for 15 minutes while the chia seeds absorb some of the liquid and makes it a more dip-like texture. Heat in the oven for 30 minutes or until completely warm through.

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip
Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip
Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

Saturday, June 21, 2014

White Vegetables - Mushroom, White Bean and Cauliflower soup


Things got a bit involved on this site. The dishes became very involved and fancy. But things got very busy at work, and out of work. And it got really cold at night times quite suddenly. So now there is flannelette sheets on the bed and there is this soup. Creamy and comforting and incredibly simple to make. I got home from the gym, 10 minutes of prep cooking. Leave it to simmer while I showered, came back and blended it up and voila. Perfect soup for sitting on the couch snuggled under my quilt.

This is naturally vegan and gluten free. It’s full of protein and things that are good for you. I added diced fried chorizo bits on top of mine because it is amazingly delicious but somewhat takes away from the vegan status. Bacon bits would be equally delicious. But the chopped toasted almonds are pretty amazing if you want to keep it vegan/vegetarian.


Mushroom, White Bean and Cauliflower Soup
Olive oil
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper
500g mushrooms of choice, thinly sliced
1 brown onion, diced
1 small head of cauliflower, broken roughly into large florets.
1 litre vegetable stock
1 litre water
1 cup of almond meal
Tin white beans, rinsed

Garnish
Diced, fried salami
Toasted almonds
Dried oregano
More black pepper

Drizzle a good glug of olive oil into your soup pot and heat to medium. Add the garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes until softened and fragrant. Thinly slice the mushrooms and add to the pot, and a good few cracks of pepper and fat pinch of sea salt. Stir well to mix through the garlicky oil across all the mushroom slices. Fry until the mushrooms release their liquid, then it absorbs/evaporates back again. Remove from the pot and set aside.

Add a tablespoon more olive oil to the pot and add the onion, cook 5 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add the stock, water and cauliflower. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Add the white beans.

Remove from heat, then puree with a stick blender. Add the almond meal and blend it in, too.

Add mushrooms back to pot, place back over low heat. Cook 2 minutes so that the mushrooms heat up again. Check for seasoning.

Serve, garnished with oregano flakes, plenty of black pepper and toasted almond bits.

If you don’t mind breaking the vegan-ness of this dish, serve with fried diced salami pieces or bacon bits