Easy Overnight White Beans

White Beans

So what’s the deal with using dried beans rather than the canned kind? I had asked that question for a long time before actually doing it because I thought it was too time consuming and didn’t really make that much of a difference, boy was I wrong! Here are just a few reasons why dried beans are much better than canned:

1. Price. Buying dried beans in incredibly inexpensive. 1 can beans = Almost 2 cups and costs on average $1.00. 1lb dried beans = Almost 8 cups and costs on average $1.00. You do the math.

2. Sodium. Canned food is loaded with sodium where as you can determine how much salt you use when making your own.

3. Taste. I eat a lot of beans and there is no doubt that dried beans taste far better and more fresh than the canned variety.

4. Environment. Using dried beans is much better for Mother Earth than the processing it takes to can, ship, distribute, etc. canned beans.

5. Ease. Most people think it is so much easier to just buy canned beans, well sorry guys but with this recipe you can no longer use that excuse. Two steps, go to sleep and you wake up with delicious meal!

Easy Overnight White Beans
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6-8 cups
Ingredients
  • 1lb bag of any kind of bean (for this recipe I prefer white beans i.e. cannelini, great northerns, etc. I use a slightly different recipe for pinto, black, etc.)
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup carrot, diced *Note: Trader Joes has a soup starter that has these three ingredients already diced for you for an even easier option.
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and cloves kept whole
  • 32oz vegetable broth + more water if needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak 1lb dried beans in 6-8 cups of water for about 8 hours. Helpful hint: Place beans in a bowl of water right before you are about to leave for work or if you are doing the quick soak method do this about an 1.5 hours before going to bed.
  2. Remove and beans or shells that float to the top. Drain and rinse soaked beans.
  3. Combine vegetables, vegetable broth (and extra water if needed), garlic and rinsed beans in a crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Helpful hint: Just turn it on right before you head off to bed.
  4. After about 8 hours, check beans and season with salt pepper and any other spice of choice. I like to add some hot paprika to mine! Cook until beans are the texture you want them.

Serving suggestion: Serve as a soup or drain and use on top of salads, as a side dish or in other recipes.

Best Brussels Sprout Recipe

Since discovering this recipe, I switched from the person who used to avoid brussels sprouts into the person who seeks them out whenever they are in season. Anytime I’ve made this, I have had several people ask me for the recipe. This one is a keeper!

Average time: 30 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients

4 Tbsp olive oil, more as needed

12 medium french shallots (approx 2 cups), thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

2 lbs brussel sprouts, ends removed and sliced in half

4 Tbsp pine nuts

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. In a large saute pan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, stir 1 minute or until fragrant.

2. Add brussel sprouts, increase heat to medium-high and saute until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly.

3. Remove from heat. Stir in pine nuts and drizzle with lemon juice.

Serving Suggestion: I’ve also added in some spicy paprika (approximately 1-2 Tbsp, depending on your liking for spice). You can add this in immediately after adding brussel sprouts.

Photo Credit: Real Simple

Warm Garbanzo and Quinoa Salad

This is great for a side or can even be a dish all on its own. Between the spinach, quinoa, and garbanzos this is a powerhouse of fiber and nutrients. Easy enough to make of course. This recipe and image are courtesy of Women’s Health.

Average time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4 as a side, 2-3 as a main course

Ingredients

1 cup of quinoa (can use whole-wheat couscous as well)

2 cups of vegetable broth (optional)

1 1/2tsp chopped garlic

2-3 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced

2 carrots, grated

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 (140z) canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 bunch scallions, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp white-wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

6 c fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and dried

3 0z feta crumbled feta (optional)

Directions

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Suggest using vegetable broth but may use water as well.

2. In a food processor, purée scallions, gradually adding oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper to taste. Process to a thick consistency.

3.  Coat a sauté pan with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Add garlic, zucchini, carrots, and pepper. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beans and sauté until heated through.

4. Add scallion mixture and quinoa to sauté pan; heat through. Let cool slightly.

5. Mix spinach, garbanzo bean mixture and feta (if using) in a bowl using tongs or salad spoons to toss.