Friday, February 14, 2014

Quick, easy & tasty beans on toast!

Those who know me, know how much I detest cooking that isn't dessert or some kind of baking. I mean, don't get me wrong; I start with all kinds of intentions, but usually just end up a total flustered mess with a messy kitchen & a meal that didn't really turn out the way I wanted it to. But I've made it my mission to really kick my own butt & get out of my comfort zone, into the kitchen and making some good, healthy meals.

I have been referencing a great high protein, low GI cookbook, but my main issue with it is that I really am not a fan of handling or cooking meat that isn't fish, but I have managed to transform what was originally a side dish into a satisfying meal without having to worry about cross contamination. Allow me to present, fancied up beans on toast!

I know, I know. Beans on toast hardly stirs up the imagination, but with a few swaps & twists, you can turn a pretty plain idea into something fab & delicious!

- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 400g can of mixed beans, drained & rinsed (the recipe originally called for just cannellini beans, but I like mixed beans more!)
- 400g crushed tomatoes
- 150g baby spinach (a few good handfuls)
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ tsp dried basil
- Wholegrain sourdough bread, rubbed with a clove of garlic, to serve on

 - Ready-made pesto (the cashew basil pesto by Copperpot is AMAZING!) Otherwise, blitz some up super quick with this recipe:
- 40g (1 large bunch) basil leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan (or appropriate vegan alternative)
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted (cashews work wonderfully too!)
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- Put the basil leaves, garlic, lemon zest, parmesan & pine nuts in a large jug, whiz with a stick blender until ingredients are finely chopped. Alternatively, this can be done in a food processor.
-Add olive oil to mixture with 2 tbsp of hot water, whiz to thoroughly combine mixture until it develops the consistency of pesto. Season with fresh cracked black pepper. If you have some left over, place it in an airtight container, with a layer of olive oil to cover it & keep it in the fridge. Eat it within five days; honestly, it’ll be hard not to!

Beans recipe:

- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook the onion for 4-5 mins, or until soft. Because onion has a tendency to upset my tummy unless it’s very well cooked & soft, I prefer to go by texture rather than time.
- When onions are at a good consistency, add tomatoes and beans, reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the garlic & cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the spinach, a handful at a time, and carefully fold into the mix until wilted. Stir in the basil & take off heat. Serve on toasted sourdough, with a good blob of pesto on top. Quick and easy! Perfect for when the weather is being deplorable and you want to stay away from a hot stove top.
This recipe is easily modified, if you like your meat, some crispy Chorizo would be a nice addition, it makes a nice stuffing in capsicums or mushroom cups. Let me know what kind of tweaks you make!



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