Tag Archives: beans

Roasted Butternut Squash and 10(?) Bean Soup


Last night, as a side dish to our roast, I made butternut squash. I roasted it in the oven with sage, oil, salt, pepper, and then finished it with cheese. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling it last night. Something didn’t quite taste right. Maybe I didn’t salt enough or maybe I was just feeling stressed about the evening and decided to take it out on the poor, unsuspecting squash. Disappointed, I just put it aside, and decided to make soup out of it later.

After the dishes were done and kitchen cleaned, I sauteed onion and garlic, and then added the squash cubes and simmered everything in stock for an hour or so, smashing the orange flesh against the sides of the pot until they were broken up. I seasoned it to taste, simmered it a bit longer, then put it in the fridge to be dealt with today. Today, when I thought about what I was going to do with it, I decided that I wanted to add some protein and substance to it instead of pureeing it and calling it good. I plan to take it for lunch this week to work and I need something more substantial to get me through the day. I hunted through my cabinet, peeked through various mason jars I have on my counter filled with broken pieces of pasta, lentils of all colors, beans, and barley–eventually, I stumbled upon a jar of assorted legumes. It has two types of lentils in it, white beans, garbanzo beans, split peas–so many different types of dried legume.  Definitely too many to count. So I settled on 10(?).


The first thing I did with these legumes was soak them in water for awhile.  Then I added them to my mashed butternut squash mixture with more  stock.  Now it’s simmering on my stove until the beans are tender.

It’s not much to look at, but it’s the perfect soup to take to work this week!





White Bean, Zucchini, and Heirloom Tomato Gratin


My left hand is on fire from making the sriracha. And now it’s worse after making this gratin. I have no idea why.

In other news, I have been looking for healthy and inspiring things to pack for lunch. Something that inspires me to actually pack it in the morning instead of getting a burrito from down the street. This is pretty and healthy. I was so proud that I brought it into the living room to show Henry, who was playing Minecraft.

But seriously. I feel like I am dying. A slow, fire is creeping up my left hand kind of death.


  • two heirloom tomatoes, large, sliced
  • one large zucchini
  • one can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 twig of rosemary
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil


Saute onions until golden. Salt and pepper. Add minced garlic, rosemary, minced, and beans. Saute briefly, then add stock. Reduce for a few minutes.


Start by placing your beans into a deep casserole dish.


Add one layer of tomatoes, salt and pepper them, and drizzle with olive oil. Add another layer of tomatoes, this time, adding the cheese on top. Add one more layer of tomatoes, salt and pepper, then add the zucchini in a nice layer. You can do whatever permutation of layers of vegetables as you have the vegetables, creativity, and patience for.


Bake in the oven at 350 until bubbling and slightly brown on top.


Nearly Vegetarian Tortilla Soup (without the tortillas)


Going off this recipe, I came up with my own version.  Here is the ingredient list from the changes I’ve made:

  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1.25 cups of red rice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 pasilla pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp mexican oregano
  • 1tsp pasilla chili powder
  • s & p
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cans broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 ounces enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup of frozen corn

Directions:  Chop and dice. Measure. Open cans. Pour.  Season. Taste.  Stir.  It’s done when the rice is cooked.

Garnish with sour cream, cilantro, avocados–tortilla chips.  Shredded lettuce or cabbage.  Salsa.

P.S. Don’t forget to take out the bay leaf.

Sunday Menu


Tonight, Jeff and I are making:

Chard and White Bean StewMediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad, and Rice and Chicken Pilaf with Toasted Almonds and Dried Currants.

I also might make Smashed Chickpea Salad, a slight departure from the hummus kick I am on.

I have been so stressed out lately–eating out too much and eating all of the wrong foods.  I cook each weekend, so that we can have healthy food during the week, but when the week’s stress knocks the wind out of me, I call Papa John’s.  Or Kowloon’s.  Or go to sushi.  Or Quiznos. Or Wendy’s. (What an embarrassingly long list!) But this habit, as comforting as it is in the moment, is expensive–and is rather conducive to weight gain.  Fatty-ness. Eating may make a person feel good momentarily, but tight jeans the next day (and not tight in the sexy way) make me regret the takeout from the night before.

I chose these recipes for their Mediterranean flavors–light, simple, wholesome.  All of them will reheat nicely when we take them to work for lunch.  I really look forward to the rice and chicken pilaf–the combination of cinnamon, garlic, dried fruit, and chicken sounds amazing.  When I went grocery shopping for the ingredients, the Market of Choice as out of dried currants, so I bought dried cherries instead.

If I find the energy and inspiration, I’ll take some pictures of tonight’s cooking marathon.


Sunday Morning Menu Planning


At 10:15 this morning, I have my second Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga class.  I took my first class on Thursday–a beginner’s class, the website explained.  Beginners?  By the end of the class, everyone was busting out their head stand moves–practically levitating, others were.  Head stands, levitation, chanting in Sanskrit…needless to say (the most useless phrase, isn’t it? If I don’t need to say it, why am I?), the class was a tad advanced.  Needless to say (there I go again), I woke up the next morning, with grumbling muscles I didn’t even know I had.  Back of neck muscles?  Above my elbow muscles?  Pinky toe muscles?

I have class again this morning. I’m trying to mentally prepare myself, by preparing some recipes to cook for when I get back.

Four recipes I’ve come across this week have sounded really good.  Two curries and two noodle dishes.  I couldn’t decide which two I wanted to make, so I decided to combine the two curries into one curry and the two noodle dishes into one as well.

Spicy Soba with Shiitakes +  Curry Spiced Noodles

Red Kidney Bean Curry +  Spicy Vegan Potato Curry

I also plan on making bell peppers stuffed with tempeh and some sort of grain (quinoa, bulgar, rice, etc.).

There isn’t enough hummus in your life


Hummus: The Rap

I never liked hummus until I made it myself.  Most brands of store-bought hummus are gritty, chemical-y, sour, or bitter.  But I bought it time and time again, slathered it on freshly toasted pita, hoping that one day, I would find a brand that didn’t taste terrible.

When we moved to Oregon, I noticed something strange.  At every potluck we have ever attended, there were multiple types of hummus brought to the party.  Multiple.  Some store-bought, some homemade.  Oregonians love their hummus.

With the intention of fitting into our new culinary culture and finding something easy, nourishing, and vegetarian to eat for dinner this summer, my husband and I ended up making and eating hummus homemade nearly every night of the week.

It became an obsession:  I began googling hummus recipes, always searching for the perfect recipe.  It was the ideal summer food: no cooking required, cool, creamy, easy.

I was so very diligent in my search. Some would say monomaniacal.  I never found the perfect recipe, but my husband created his own and it was our go-to recipe when we were too afraid to try the weird ones I had been unearthing.

His recipe included: 2 cans of beans (garbanzo, cannellini, red kidney, etc.), a rounded tsp. of sunflower seed butter, 1-2 cloves of garlic (crushed), salt and pepper to taste, the juice of one small lemon, and enough olive oil to lubricate the blending process.

We made so much hummus this summer that we broke our brand new blender.  We bought it in May and it was toast by August.

Here is a list of the strangest and most delicious recipes we came across:

red lentil hummus


cilantro lime hummus


yellow curry and butternut squash hummus


white bean and roasted eggplant hummus


beet hummus