B.B.B. (Bread, Beans, Basil)

We made a light, delicious snack with some leftover white beans, a fresh Italian loaf, balsamic vinegar, and some fresh basil. No cooking required!
Here is what you do:
Slice the loaf in half, and then slice each half in half length-wise. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Lay down a layer of basil leaves on top of that, and some white beans (navy or white kidney) over that. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
There you go, a nice lunch or dinner in less than 5 minutes! That should give you some extra time to finish that book you’ve been reading, go for a bike ride, or whatever else it is that you do.

– Trevor

Mango BBQ Beans

A late dinner tonight, Trevor is working late and I spent a good chunk of the evening at the gym and came home with an appetite but not much desire to spend the rest of my evening in the kitchen.  Thank god for Appetite For Reduction, the latest cookbook from Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  Don’t let the title fool you, it’s not a weight loss book, really; it’s more health-conscious than it is calorie-counting.  What I love about it is how quickly the recipes come together.  The Mango BBQ Beans have a prep time of 15 minutes.  I can get down with that.  Did I mention that it’s absolutely delicious?

Served with sweet and salty glazed carrots and a simple salad, that’s dinner.

Leftovers Dinner

What a plate of leftovers!  We have been cooking out of Appetite for Reduction a lot, so plated here is leftovers of Mushroom and Cannelini Beans Paprikas (we used navy beans) overtop of Scarlet Barley, and Braised Cabbage and Seitan, with my favourite thing ever – kale.  I love kale so much, I don’t care if it’s “rabbit food”.  I like it sautéed with some garlic and salt.

– Crystal
Trevor’s note: The paprikas and scarlet barley combo was not only incredible, but one of the most colourful dishes I’ve ever made. It makes for great leftovers, which actually tasted better having chilled in the fridge for a day.

Slow Cooker Cholent

I love my slow cooker.  There is nothing like coming home after a long work day and being greeted by warm and inviting aromas coming from your kitchen.  Today, this wonderful Jewish stew seemed to fit the bill.  Traditionally, this dish is begun in the slow cooker the evening before the Sabbath (as Jewish law prohibits cooking on the Sabbath), and kept warm until lunch time the next day.  I think of it as Jewish chili.  It is so flavourful and hearty – really stick-to-your-ribs.  It makes great leftovers, too; the flavours continue to meld together and become even more yummy.

…but it doesn’t photograph very well.

Yeah, yeah.  It’s not attractive, but the taste more than makes up for it.

Slow Cooker Cholent

1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
3 red or yukon gold potatoes, cut into large chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 1/2 cups mixed dried beans (atleast 3 different kinds of beans, lentils or peas), soaked for 8 hours*
1/2 cup bulgur
vegetable bouillion cube
12 ounces dark beer
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoons tarragon
2 teaspoons thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Turn the slow cooker on high and add onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, beans and bulgur.  Add a crumbled boullion cube and enough water to cover beans and vegetables.  Add in the beer, spices, pepper, soy sauce – everything but the salt.  Cover and cook on high for 6-8 hours.  Stir in the salt after cooking, and adjust to taste.

* If you use kidney beans, please drain the beans after the soak, put in a pot and cover with water, and boil for atleast 10 minutes.  Kidney beans can be toxic if not prepared properly.

– Crystal