Posts Tagged ‘bean’

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This original recipe from Vegetarian Times has become a Fall favorite. I like this cassoulet so much that I convinced my family to have it as the main course in our Thanksgiving meal one year. And the ingredients are EL CHEAPO. I got everything I needed, sans herbs and oil, for less than 10 bucks and the leftovers lasted many moons.  I used to make this on the stove, but I recently bought a slow cooker and enjoyed the benefits of not having to slave over a hot pot for hours. In fact, I ran errands all day long and came home to this perfect, finished stew. Whether you make it on the stove or in the crockpot, this is a very delicious, hearty dish that will comfort and warm you on chilly October nights.

On a personal note, there are a few meals that I gravitate towards for those rare occasions when I have dinner ready with candles and a fancy setting for my sweetie when he comes home. This weekend I made this dish on my day off for that purpose. It’s that good.


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 small shallots, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 3 15.5-oz. cans great Northern beans, preferably organic, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • Half a lemon (optional-really doesn’t need it unless you like your soups to have a background tang.)
  • 2 bay leaves, snapped in half to release flavor
  • 1 ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced fresh parsley for garnish (in the picture I obviously didn’t mince it – but I like fresh herbs to be chunky.)

Directions for Slow Cooker:

  1. Pour oil into slow cooker, and turn it on high. Add shallots and garlic. Cover, and cook to soften, about 15 to 20 minutes. (You can hasten this step by browning the garlic in a pan, softening the shallots in the same pan, then transferring shallot/garlic to the slow cooker.)
  2. Add carrots, turnip, parsnip, beans and tomatoes. Stir in broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Add a little lemon juice, if you prefer a little zing in your cassoulet.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook until all vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 hours. 
  4. Remove and discard bay leaves. Garnish with minced parsley. Add more lemon, if you like it that way.

STOVETOP METHOD: Heat oil in 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and carrots. Cover, and cook 5 minutes to soften. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are fully cooked, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


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Cost: $4.00, serves 6.

Modified from Budget Bytes, this is a flavorful and cheap bean salad that works as a side dish to last the week! (Or as a one-time potluck contribution.)  One important rule of frugal-yet-delicious food is that limes, jalapenos and beans are cheap, so use them liberally.


1. Toss together in a big bowl:

  • 2 cans garbanzos or about 3 cups of prepared dry garbanzos
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 de-seeded and de-veined jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped well

2. Whisk thoroughly in a small bowl:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 scant tsp cumin
  • sriracha to taste
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or sugar

3. Combine dressing with beans and onion mixture in big bowl, toss well, refrigerate or let sit for at least 30 minutes, then serve.

This bean salad keeps really well, so we were able to have it as a side dish Monday through Friday.  Just store in an air tight container.

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Meal Cost: $6.00, served 6

Pintos are so pretty before they lose their color in cooking.  Calico beans!

This recipe gives you a use for the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce that has been in your fridge for months. (It almost never goes bad if it’s in a sealed container after you open the can.  Who uses a whole can at once, anyway?  Crazy.)  This was cheap to make because I already had everything except the cilantro, avocado and peppers.


  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 15-oz. can pinto, kidney or anasazi beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs, preferably fresh (I used Panko, and it was fine!)
  • Cilantro Sauce (recipe follows)
 Cilantro Sauce:
  • 1 thick slice bread, stale is best
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 scallions (white and pale green parts), thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  1. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook, stirring often, 7 to 10 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, chipotle chile, cumin and oregano; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Add a third of beans and 1/3 cup water (or bean cooking liquid), and, using potato masher or fork, mash beans. When liquid is absorbed, add another third of beans and 1/3 cup liquid, and mash until mixture is chunky. Stir in last third of beans, and mash lightly. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is very thick and mostly dry.
  2. Transfer beans to mixing bowl to cool, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Spread remaining breadcrumbs on plate. Using spoon, drop bean mixture by one-sixths into breadcrumbs. Sprinkle tops with breadcrumbs, and form into 6 patties of equal size. Place patties on clean plate. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
  3.  Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties, and cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with Cilantro Sauce.
You could also grill these, but I don’t know any vegans who own grills…do you?
How to prepare Cilantro Sauce:
  1. Put bread in small bowl, cover with water and let soak 5 minutes. Remove bread, squeeze out excess water, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, and cook, stirring often, 7 minutes, or until softened. Add scallions; cook, stirring often, 1 minute.
  3. Put mixture into blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup water, lime juice, jalapeño, cilantro, soaked bread and salt. Purée until smooth.


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$5.00, 4 servings

I had an errant box of penne, canned tomatos, dry garbanzos, so all I had to buy was a little basil and a small amount of baby spinach for this fancy soup.  I’d like to personally thank my vegan broth powder for being there for me when I needed it.  Broth powder, you’ve been with me all year and you’re still kickin’!  Without you, this soup wouldn’t be possible.

Vegan Minestrone Soup

  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes with italian seasoning
  • half a can of cannelini beans, half can of white kidney beans
  • 1-1.5 cups vegatable broth
  • 1 medium orange or yellow bell pepper (orange peppers are sweeter)
  • 3-4 Tbs of double-concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup dry rigatoni, penne or small shells (Medium shells are bigger, but also fun.)
  • 2 to 3 cups baby spinach
  • minced fresh basil, about a handful of leaves

That’s not corn you see in the soup, it’s yellow pepper! (Corn?  Eww! Never.)

I love these cans, they look like something from the past.


1. Combine the tomatoes, 2 cups water, beans, broth, sweet pepper, seasoning and pasta.

2. Bring to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium.

3. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occassionally, just until pasta is barely tender.

4. Stir in spinach, ladle into bowls, add basil on top.

Here is my lunch the next day!  Soup leftovers and sauteed spinach on the side.

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