Tag Archives: beans

Lentils and Potatoes with Curry recipe

4 May

It’s a dreary spring day here in NYC. With the rain pouring down, the only thing I want to do is cook a comforting meal and crawl in a corner with a good book. However, I’m on day three of the Blue Print Cleanse so no food for me, but I’ve been saving this recipe for this exact occasion. I made this Lentils and Potatoes with Curry recipe a couple days ago so I’d have leftovers for the hubbie to eat while I cleanse.  Although it’s delicious fresh, I actually think it’s better the second day. It resembles a stew, but is thicker, and a perfect accompaniment to a loaf of crusty bread and a glass of Chianti Classico. Plus it’s basically a four ingredient, one-pot recipe that comes together in less than 45 minutes.

Here’s hoping sunny days are ahead, but in the meantime, turn this doldrums day around by having this for lunch or dinner. You’ll even have enough leftovers to get you through another rainy day (if necessary).

What’s your favorite dreary day comfort food?

Lentils and Potatoes with Curry

slightly tweaked from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

1 cup dried lentils, washed and picked over

3 1/2 cups organic coconut milk (veg stock or filtered water can also be used)

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 lb new potatoes, halved (or 2 medium russet, peeled and cut into large chunks)

1 bay leaf

salt & freshly ground pepper

minced fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

1. Combine the lentils, liquid, and curry powder in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently, cover partially, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils start to absorb the water a bit, about 15 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes and bay leaf. Cover the pan completely.

Cook, undisturbed, for 10 minutes or so, then stir gently and check to make sure the lentils aren’t too dry. If so, add a little more liquid. Add salt as the lentils become tender.

3. Cover and continue cooking until the lentils are soft and the potatoes are tender at the center, another 5 to 10 minutes, add liquid if necessary. It should be moist, but not soupy. Fish out the bay leaf. Add lots of black pepper, stir, then taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro (and soy or regular yogurt if desired).


Quick & Easy Black Bean Burrito

16 Mar

I walked by a taco truck yesterday and was tempted to stop, but Mexican food can be loaded with hidden calories and fat. Even seemingly healthy options like beans and fish can be smothered in butter and salt.

Ever since I walked by that damn taco truck, I haven’t been able to shake the burrito hankering. So for lunch, I whipped up a black bean burrito in literally 33 minutes (including time for pictures). Not bad, right? Cooking at home gives you control, so you can make a healthy and delicious mexican meal. This recipe works as a healthy, filling, inexpensive, quick, weeknight dinner too. It’s kind of a cross between a fajita and a burrito… a bajita? or a furrito? It’s easy to adjust with any bean you like (pinto would also be great). Get creative and use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. If you’re not into beans, try tofu or grilled shrimp!

How do you like your bajita/furrito?

Black Bean Burrito with Sautéed Veggies

Serves approx. 4 ppl

Start to finish: Approx 30 minutes

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 small chipotle & 1 tsp adobo sauce, seeds removed, minced

4 brown rice or whole grain tortillas

Optional Toppings:

1-2 ripe avocados

4 romaine heart leaves

dairy-free or regular shredded cheese

tabasco/hot sauce


handful cilantro, chopped

1. Add 1 T canola oil to large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions, season with salt and pepper. Saute until carmelized about 4 minutes.

Carmelizing Onions

2. Add sliced red peppers. Season. Cook until softened about 3 minutes.

Peppers and Onions

3. Add sliced mushrooms, season. Cook until mushrooms have browned, approx. 3 more minutes.

4. Add black beans, minced garlic, chipotle. If the bottom of the pan is dry, add 1-2 tsp purified water and scrape bottom of pan to get all the flavor.

Beans, Mushrooms, Peppers & Onions

5. Turn gas burner on low. Place a tortilla directly on the burner grates until it starts to brown and become pliable. Flip onto other side.

Flipping Tortilla

6. Remove bean/veggie mixture from heat. Stir in chopped cilantro.

7. Fill tortilla with shredded cheese (I used non-dairy) and bean/veggie mixture. Then fill with toppings of your choice. I used a piece of romaine heart, slices of avocado, squeeze of lemon, and hot sauce. You could also add salsa or chopped tomatoes, rice or quinoa, and sour cream if desired.

8. Fold and eat!

Black Bean Burrito

Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Quinoa and Carmelized Onions

28 Feb

Whenever I go to Soul-Cycle Tribeca, I always stop at the Whole Foods next door for two things: Blue Print Cleanse (Green & Red) and curried cauliflower from the salad bar. You may think cauliflower is a snooze fest, and I agree, it can be. But there’s one cooking method that makes anything taste better. Roasting.

Roasting uses indirect heat to cook evenly. It produces a crispy texture on the outside, while cooking all the way through the inside. Meat benefits greatly from roasting, but vegetables are my fave. Here are a couple great roasting tips from Mark Bittman‘s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

1. Get that oven HOT (over 400 F)

2. Don’t crowd the pan – make sure there’s enough room so the heat can circulate and any moisture will evaporate. If you crowd the vegetables together, they’ll just trap the heat and steam so you’ll never get that gorgeous browning or crisp exterior.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian bible, get Bittman’s book. There’s literally a recipe for every vegetable you can imagine and he offers vegan substitutions too.

I’ve roasted just about everything from broccoli, onions, garlic, asparagus, fennel, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant, to apples, pineapples and fresh chestnuts (YUM). It completely transforms boring vegetables into sweet, carmelized morsels. It’s easy and ideal when entertaining because you’re not chained to the cooktop paying more attention to your dish than your guests. You’ll never believe cauliflower could taste so good!!

If you don’t already have them, invest in a set of stainless steel baking sheets, also known as jelly roll pans. I prefer not to use non-stick because of the perfluorooctanoic acid (say that ten times fast) used to create the non-stick coating. (Scroll down for more info on PFOA). If you use non-stick to save calories, try a high heat canola oil in spray form. You’ll use less with the spray, and it’s easier to coat evenly without dousing with oil.

Spectrum canola spray

I could not live without my baking sheets. If you’re looking to stock your kitchen with the right tools and equipment, start with (2) half sheet pans, and (2) quarter sheet pans. You can find baking sheets and other cookware, utensils, and baking items, at Broadway Panhandler. Their prices are typically better than specialty stores like Williams-Sonoma. I can get lost in Panhandler for hours. It’s a vortex like CVS or Duane Reade.  I go in for something specific, and walk out an hour later with various things I don’t need. You can also order online or find baking sheets at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond.

Baking sheet

I took a stab at replicating the Whole Foods curried cauliflower. I’m proud to say, it’s pretty darn close and I really like my addition of quinoa [pat, pat on the back, back]. Not only is this dish delicious, it’s incredibly healthy.  Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, and Vitamin C. With the addition of quinoa, it’s a balanced meal with protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Quinoa is a complete protein, high in essential amino acids and is gluten-free. I cannot get enough of it.

I’ve also roasted cauliflower and tossed it with olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts. It’s totally amazing with the addition of parmesan cheese too.

Do you have a favorite cauliflower recipe? Or a stellar roasted vegetable dish? Share it!

Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Quinoa and Carmelized Onions

4 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 small-medium yellow onion, sliced

1 head cauliflower

1 can garbanzo beans

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

2 garlic cloves

Garam Masala is available at Whole Foods and most ethnic food stores. If you can’t find it, you can make your own. Click here for the recipe.

1. Set oven to 400. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Put 2 Tablespoons olive oil on a sheet pan (or eyeball it…enough to coat the cauliflower. Start with a little, add more if you need it). If you’re using oil spray, spray the pan. Place cauliflower on the sheet pan. Season with salt, pepper and curry. Mix with hands making sure all florets are coated. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until florets are slightly browned and cooked through. Be sure to rotate position of pans and mix cauliflower occasionally.

2. While cauliflower is cooking, heat 2 T extra virgin olive oil in medium saute pan. Add onion and saute until translucent. Season.

3. Add chickpeas and cook about 2 minutes. Add garlic, garam masala and turmeric. Stir to coat chickpeas and onions. Add peas cooking another 2 minutes until warmed through. Add two cups quinoa and stir until warmed through. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

4. Put quinoa/chickpea mixture into a large bowl. Once cauliflower is done, add to the quinoa. Squeeze 1/2 lemon and stir in. You can also sprinkle chopped cilantro on this as a garnish.

5. Serve warm or room temp.

To learn more about the benefits of cauliflower, check out these links:

University of California, Santa Barbara: UCSB Scientists Show How Certain Vegetables Combat Cancer

Benefits of Cauliflower and Broccoli

To learn more about the dangers of PFOA, check out these links:





Winter Soup with Cannelini, Cremini & Kale

12 Jan

Day 10 – Baby, it’s cold outside

It’s snowy(ish), cold, and January. Perfect day to hunker down and make a big pot of soup. I’m taking a break from referencing the cookbook, 1,000 Vegan Recipes today. Ok technically I just referenced it, but I’m not going to use it for any recipes today. I’m broadening my horizons and using something you may have heard of, the internet. I was in the mood for a warm and hearty lunch. I love soups that are crammed with veggies, and are great for dipping crusty bread into. Sadly, I don’t have any, but that’s a good idea for those of you who do.

I found a Barley Stew with Leeks,  Mushrooms and Greens courtesy of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen, that got my tail wagging. I replaced the barley with teeny tiny potatoes (yes, they’re really called that, you can find them at Trader Joe’s if you don’t believe me), and added in carrots, cannelini beans, and spices.  I’m getting ready to have another bowl now. Just goes to show that hearty doesn’t necessarily have to mean meaty.  Stay warm!!

Winter Soup with Cannelini, Cremini & Kale


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leeks (about 2 small stalks; white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced cremini (baby bella) mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 cup carrot, peeled and cut into bite size rounds
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups filtered water (or 2 more cups veg broth)
  • 2 cups kale, trimmed, center stalks removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup teeny tiny potatoes, sliced in halves
  • 2 cans (15 ounce) cannelini beans, no salt added
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley, garnish


1. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leeks; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until leeks begin to soften, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Try to keep the leeks together so they “sweat” and cook to translucency without caramelizing and turning brown.

2. Add mushrooms, garlic, and chili pepper; increase heat to medium-high and sauté until mushrooms soften and begin to brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and saute about 3 minutes.

3. Add kale,  4 cups broth, 2 cups water and cook until kale is wilted, about 1 minute.

4. Be sure to rinse beans and wash potatoes before using. Add beans, potatoes, and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 20 minutes. If you eat dairy, add a leftover parmesan cheese rind to help give the broth body and add tremendous flavor.

5. Pull out cheese rind (if you used it). Using a paring knife, check that the potatoes are cooked. The knife should go in with no resistance. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread.


Wash vegetables and fruit with a spray rinse like this one from Healthy Harvest, available at Whole Foods and online.

Stay Warm!!

Inspired by recipe from the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen

Spaghetti with sauteed grape tomatoes, baby spinach and cannelini beans

7 Jan

Day 5

I was supposed to meet a friend for dinner at an Italian restaurant last night, but sadly she got sick and had to bail. Perhaps the G*ds were looking down on me because I was stressing about WTH I was going to eat! After looking at the menu, I started wishing I had picked Japanese instead.

With Italian on the brain, I decided to cook up some pasta to satisfy the craving. I finally committed to buying some vegan cookbooks for inspiration.

1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson has lots of recipes (1,000 obviously) that have almost anything you could imagine including mac & cheese, fresh eggless pasta, lasagna, curries, carrot cake, cookies, coffee cakes, you name it!

After flipping through, I spotted Robin’s Penne with white beans, red chard, and grape tomatoes and thought MMMMmmmmm I can play around with that idea!  Below is my version. It’s a very basic, easy to make, one-pot dish. You can customize by changing the vegetables, switching out the pasta with linguine, rigatoni or any other pasta, and by mixing in cheese if you’re not vegan. Next time I’m thinking rigatoni, eggplant, tomato and black olives. If I ate cheese I’d use ricotta instead of olives. YUM.

Spicy Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Cannelini Beans and Spinach

1 pack (12 oz) gluten-free spaghetti (or any pasta you have)

2 T olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or use a garlic press

2 cups baby spinach

1 1/2 cups ripe grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 (15.5 ounce) can cannelini beans

1 tsp chilli pepper flakes (or more/less to desired heat)*

Basil or parsley for garnish


1. Cover a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

2. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, and red chili pepper flakes. Season to taste. Cook, stirring until tomatoes begin to soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the beans stirring for about 1 minute until warmed.  Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Taste and season if necessary. Keep on low heat stirring occasionally.

3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large serving bowl. Drizzle with good quality extra-virgin olive oil.

4. Add a 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the bean/tomato/spinach sauce. Scrape the sucs off the bottom of the pan to get all the yummy garlic flavor into the sauce. Turn heat to medium for 1 minute just until the sauce thickens and becomes less watery and more “sauce-y”.There will not be much liquid so don’t worry, it’s not a super saucy dish. If you want a little more sauce you could reserve more pasta water and use the same method above, waiting until the sauce thickens. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

5. Pour the sauce over the pasta, garnish with chopped basil. (I only had parsley on hand so I used that instead, but basil would be ideal). If you’re not vegan, you can also garnish with ribbons or grated parmesan or pecorino and a few extra sprinkles of chilli pepper if desired.

Happy Veating, Ciao!

*”spicy” is very subjective so please be sure to taste along the way to see if you want to add more heat. if you’re sensitive to heat, you can replace chilli peppers with regular black pepper, or start with a very small amount of red chilli pepper (i.e. scant or 1/8 teaspoon) and work up from there. you can always add more but you can never take away what’s already done. I use the same philosophy when adding salt.

Adapted from 1,000 Vegan Recipes

%d bloggers like this: