Entries in beans (5)


Easy Vegetarian Three Bean Chili

As we get close to the arrival of baby girl I have been determined to fill the freezer with portioned meals that can be thawed as needed. Foods that freeze well are baked pasta dishes, many casseroles, soups and chili. One of our favorite big batch meals is this super easy Three Bean Chili. I will often make up a batch for weekday lunches - the first couple of days we eat it as a regular chili topped with avocado and sour cream. Then we portion it over rice or a baked potato. It is super tasty, filling and versatile. 

Vegetarian Three Bean Chili

2 carrots 

1 large onion

1 jalapeno seeded

3 garlic cloves

olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano - crumbled

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 chipotle chili canned in adobo sauce - minced

1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes - drained and crushed

1 bay leaf

1 15oz can each - kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans - drained and rinsed

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 

1/2 bunch swiss chard - stems removed and cut into 1 inch pieces


diced avocado 

lime wedges 

chopped cilantro 

sour cream

Chop by hand the first 4 vegetables or throw them into the food processor and pulse until chopped. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in stock pot over medium heat. Add chopped vegetable mixture and cook until softened about 8 minutes. 

Add oregano, chili powder and chipotle pepper and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.

Add the next 6 ingredients through pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour. 

Remove bay leaf. Add swiss chard.

Cook uncovered for 20 minutes to allow chili to thicken.

Serve chili with toppings such as avocado, lime and sour cream. It also is delicious over brown or white rice or a baked potato. 

This recipe freezes very well. It makes about 8 servings of 1 cup each. Let chili cool and portion into freezer containers or quart size freezer bags. Soups and chili portioned into bags lay flat when filled and take up less room in your freezer. Remove all air from bags when sealing and label with name of recipe and date. When ready to eat, just pull out and let thaw in refrigerator then gently heat on stove or in microwave. 

This recipe is sure to become a favorite of your families for weekday meals or super convienient freezer meals. 


Easy Sausage and Kale Soup

This cold snap in Seattle has me looking for ways to get warm and I can think of no better way than soup. I had a few items in my arsenal that looked soup worthy like kale, stock, potatoes and white beans but wanted to add a hearty component. I remembered a soup I saw on Martha Stewart's website and poked around for a few minutes until I found it. Here is her version of the Sausage and Kale Soup

This simple recipe is very versatile. You can omit the sausage or use a vegetarian version for a meatless soup. You could swap the kale for swiss chard, omit the beans or even add some crispy bacon. It is creamy from pureeing part of the potatoes and broth without the addition of heavy cream. A warm satisfying soup with minimal effort.


Sausage and Kale Soup

Serves 4-6 

1 onion minced

1 tablespoon plus a drizzle olive oil

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

64 oz chicken or vegetable broth 

1lb of Yukon Gold  or fingerling potatoes cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 can canellini beans drain and rinsed

1 bundle of dinosaur kale chopped - remove the large stems

12oz of chicken sausage links sliced into rounds (I love the Applegates Organic Fire Roasted Red Pepper Sausage)

Heat a large pot to medium and add 1 tablespoon of oil and onions. Cook onions until soft and translucent. About 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes - cook until fragrant about 2 minutes. Add stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. 

While soup is simmering, heat a skillet to medium high and add small drizzle of olive oil. Add the sausage and saute until slightly crispy. Remove from heat. 

Puree 1/2 of potato/broth mixture in a blender and return to remaining soup. Add beans, kale and browned sausage and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes. 


Raw Garden Salad


The best thing about growing your own food is eating it! With this warm weather I swear I can see my zucchini grow. Wanting to stay ahead of the squash downpour about to happen I made Mr. Ramon a raw garden salad for work this week. It was really cool to be able to pull a few of our vegetables together to make this tasty salad. This salad is easy and fresh and crunchy. You can add almost any vegetable you have growing in your garden. 

Open, drain and rinse 2 cans of Cannellini Beans - place in medium bowl

Slice 2 small zucchinis lengthways into 4 pieces then chop into thin bites - place in bowl with beans

Slice three handfuls of green beans on the diagonal - add to bowl 


In a small separate bowl mix well- 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Pour over vegetables and mix until coated. I like to top the salad with crumbled feta cheese. This salad is even better the next day. 



What’s For Lunch - Red Beans and Rice

This week we had a hard time deciding what we wanted to make for our lunches. The weather here in Seattle is pretty dreary with a side of cloudy sun. Not the weather to inspire fresh salads. But not quite soup weather either - I don't want to encourage this weather. I opted for an old easy favorite - Red Beans and Rice. 

This recipe is so easy and so tasty. It remains vegetarian with any tasty vegetarian sausage. I use a locally made vegetarian sausage called Field Roast. They don't have an andouille sausage so I used the Mexican Chipolte version. It is really spicy and flavorful.

Red Beans and Rice

Serves 5

  • 1 can red beans - drained, rinsed and partially mashed
  • 6 oz vegetarian sausage - andouille flavor preferred chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups cooked long grain brown rice

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, celery and onion mix to pan; sauté until soft and translucent.


Add sausage and cook about 4 minutes until brown. Add Cajun seasoning, salt, oregano, and garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add beans, 1/4 cup water, and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.

I also made a quick tomato, cucumber, red onion salad for more vegetables and a crisp tangy contrast to the spicy main dish. 

Tomato, Red Onion and Cucumber Salad

  • 1 cucumber peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 red onion sliced thin
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half

Mix all together in a bowl.

 In a seperate bowl whisk - 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 4 tablesppons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

 Pour over vegetables and toss together. 

I like to serve this meal with cornbread on the side. Enjoy!!


What’s For Lunch - Couscous Mediterranean Salad

With our busy schedules it can be easy to make the decision to buy lunch daily. Not only does this add up in cost but can also result in poor food choices. We also don’t have the time or resources to make a new lunch menu each day. What works really well for us is to make a large batch recipe that is tasty as leftovers for lunches all week. In fall and winter we choose soups and casseroles that are hearty and warming. In spring and summer we look to in season produce for fresh salads. 

Putting me in charge of lunches means I can choose vegetarian options that are full of beans, whole grains and nutritious vegetables. I feel feel really good about the choices for our lunches and know that Mr. Ramon is getting something healthy. 

Over Memorial Day we had some friends over and grilled some chicken skewers with tzatziki and naan. Ever since then I have had naan and tzatziki on the brain. So this week I decided a Mediterranean inspired salad with tzatziki and naan on the side would be the way to go. 

This salad is super easy. Chop, mix and serve. It took me about 45 min from start to finish for all components. You can add in other favorite vegetables or even top it with grilled chicken.

Couscous Mediterranean Salad

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 13oz can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 english cucumber peeled - dice 1/2 for salad and grate other for tzatziki
  • 1/4c pitted kalamata olives chopped
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions white part sliced thinly
  • 4oz diced feta cheese
  • 2 handful flat leaf parsley chopped
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • pepper
  • salt 

4 servings of couscous cooked and cooled

Set oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small rimmed cooking sheet with foil or parchment. Place tomatoes and garlic in bowl and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over them. Season with pepper and salt. Mix till coated with the oil and pour onto the prepared sheet. Bake in oven until soft and roasted. About 30 minutes. Let cool. Chop roasted garlic.

Place first 9 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk 1/4c olive oil and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in a small bowl until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over ingredients in bowl and mix until coated. 

Mr. Ramon likes a good dollop of this tzatziki on his salad. It is also great with grilled meats and as a dip for vegetables. 

Basic Tzatziki

  • 8oz greek yogurt (low fat or regular)
  • 1/2 english cucumber grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Place all items in a bowl and mix well until combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving for flavors to combine. 

To serve this meal top a serving of couscous with the salad mixture and drizzle with tzatziki. Serve toasted pitas on the side.