One For The Pot: Creamy Braised White Beans

Creamy Braised White Beans from NYT Cooking is a satisfying dish with just the right amount of comfort for a mid- meal. Sometimes to my surprise, I do have everything in my kitchen to whip up a quick meal. Making more vegetarian dishes these days means beans and lentils are always at the ready. Just a quick pop to the local bakery for fresh crusty bread.

Note: I should have simmered the dish a bit longer to really get the garlic to soften. It would have created a smoother spread for the bread. I also recommend mashing the garlic with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and a dash of chili peppers for a little extra zing. Served with a fresh herby salad.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, with their liquid
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern, drained and rinsed
  • 1 thyme sprig, 2 sage leaves or 1 bay leaf
  •  teaspoon ground nutmeg, allspice or garam masala
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 slices crusty bread or thick toast
  •  Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
  •  Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
  •  Aleppo pepper or red-pepper flakes, for serving
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, cut side down, and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, chickpeas and their liquid, white beans, thyme and nutmeg and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. When the mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the pan (you don’t want it to come to a full boil), reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened and tastes great to you, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Use a fork to remove the garlic halves from the beans. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then use the fork to remove the cloves from the skins. Spread the cloves on bread or toast.
  4. If you would like the beans to be more stew-like, mash some of the beans using a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Serve beans and milk in bowls. Garnish as you wish, with a drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a pinch of Aleppo pepper and black pepper. Serve with the bread alongside for dipping.

Make It Tonight: Cumin Roasted Salmon With A Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpeas

Sharing two flavorful dishes that require a quick run to the market and a small amount time to prep. A healthy meal that will leave you feeling good. Discovered from NYT Cooking and Gwyneth’s It’s All Good cookbook. They are winning recipes, worth your efforts, and pair so nicely together.

Roasted Cauliflower Recipe (the mustard dressing makes this salad and works well with the salmon flavors)

1 14oz. can: chickpeas, rinsed, drained & dried in a kitchen towel
1 hd: cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 tbsp: dijon mustard
1 tbsp: seeded mustard
1 tbsp: white wine vinegar
¼ cup: chopped Italian Parsley
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 400º

1. Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with 3 tbsp. of olive oil and big pinch of salt. Roast, stirring now and then, until everything is dark and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile whisk together the mustards, vinegar, and ¼ cup olive oil with a big pinch of salt and a few healthy grinds of black pepper.

3. While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley.

4. Serve at room temperature.

Salmon Recipe (the flavors come alive and you will want to make it again!)

(don’t mind the quality of the pic the dish is amazing!)

New goal for isostilo: learn how to shoot good pics of food!

Veggie Burger + A Not So Boring Salad

Here are two dishes that are easy, tasty, and far from boring. I have yet to have a veggie burger that is more flavorful, fresh, and delicious as Eating Well’s Sweet potato-Black Bean Burger. Roasted potatoes would have been the natural pairing but decided to try Gywneth Paltrow’s Quinoa with Mushroom + Arugula salad from It’s All Good cookbook.

Recipe For The Salad

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups arugula, roughly chopped

Directions

In a large nonstick skillet over high heat, heat oil. Add garlic and thyme; cook until they begin to get fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and salt; cook, stirring, until mushrooms are soft, brown and begin to make a squeaking sound. Transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl. Add quinoa and arugula; stir. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

My notes: Couldn’t be more simple. A recipe that lends it self to swapping out mushrooms with other lovely veggies that you fancy. I added fresh squeezed lemon at the end.

Recipe for Sweet Potato

2 cups grated sweet potato

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup no-salt-added black beans, rinsed

½ cup chopped scallions

¼ cup vegan mayonnaise

1 tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste

1 teaspoon curry powder

⅛ teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted

1 cup thinly sliced cucumber

Directions

Squeeze grated sweet potato with paper towels to remove excess moisture; place in a large bowl. Pulse oats in a food processor until finely ground; add to the bowl with the sweet potatoes. Add beans, scallions, mayonnaise, tomato paste, curry powder and salt to the bowl; mash the mixture together with your hands. Shape into four 1/2-inch-thick patties. Place the patties on a plate; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Stir yogurt, dill and lemon juice together in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties; cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

Divide the yogurt sauce evenly among top and bottom bun halves. Top each bottom bun half with a burger and cucumber slices; replace top bun halves.

My Notes: Food processor makes this dish super easy and quick. Opted for regular yogurt + added more curry powder.

The Casual One Pot, Vegetarian Chili

I recently attended a Master Class on Food Sensitivities, Allergies, and Gut Health led by a doctor and a scientist. The major take away for me, EAT YOUR FIBER. I am fully stocked with colorful veggies, fruits, nuts, and grains. Cooking game is strong this weekend. Here is a vegetarian chili From Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. Love the lentil addition to this recipe.

I doubled the recipe with the exception of the kidney beans. Adjusted the tomatoes with 1 28- ounce can of whole tomatoes and 1 28- ounce can of diced tomatoes. Upped the chipotle in adobo sauce for more heat (we are a spicy family).

The usual fixings for this comfort bowl included: diced avocado, sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro, and jalapeno peppers. An easy peasy recipe that takes little prep. I let it simmer for most of the day so all the flavors could really come together. Add additional water if too thick for your liking. This is a healthy, flavorful, and not to mention economical meal.

Whipped up a fresh batch of my isostilo granola while the chili was cooking. A winter zen kitchen morning for me with a little kitchen swagger playing on Spotify in the background.

Back To Kitchen Sharing

Well as life swirls around with many things distracting me these days. I have been cooking, staying healthy, checking out major online sales, finding new interests, and mostly trying to unlock the mystery of why we are having some poor sleeps in my house. Anyhow, I would like to share some of my recent favorite meals. Heads up, they are all vegetarian. That is how we roll these days just because it makes my family pretty happy. I love recipe swapping with friends. I just hadn’t thought to throw them on the blog. We have been insta and whatsapp sharing. But this week, I have had multiple requests by friends on what to cook. So here you go!

BTW half baked Harvest is my love these days and the New York Times is my husband’s. A pretty good combination.

Every recipe is quick, easy, and pretty minimal in the ingredient department. Cheers to healthy home cooked meals!

Kale Caesar With Sweet Potatoes and Crispy Chickpeas (Delicious!)

Roasted Cauliflower Salad is perfect for a winter weekend brunch.

A true winner in my book! The recipe is fast, easy, and tasty. Coconut Sweet Potato Lentil Soup
One Pan! Persian Herb & Chickpea Stew for a warm comfort meal to be cooked any night of the week!
A vegan spin on the famous butter chicken. It is heavenly but you have to like coconut! A 30 minute Indian Coconut Butter Cauliflower
Finally a veggie burger that is easy and delivers! NYT offered this up and I made it. Tip: make the recipe early and let the patties sit the frig for as long as you wish. I formed them into balls then pressed them in to patties as I placed them in fry pan. I had no issues with them falling apart. For toppers I used vegan mayo mixed with peri peri hot sauce, sliced avocado, fresh greens.

(all images from Half Baked and NYT and pay NO attention to any grammatical errors:)

Be sure to get outside! Everyday! Then cook!

Green Dream Salad

Salads can be simple or complex but freshness and flavor should never lack. They can be a side dish or the main attraction. When done well, you feel satisfied. Your body loves you for fueling it with loads of goodness. Here is my version of a salad I really enjoyed over the summer. A green dream that will go on repeat with different variations depending on the season. There is no stopping you from adding a piece of grilled salmon or a sliced steak to this salad. Endless options!

Ingredients:

Washed mixed greens of your choice

1 cup of cooked quinoa (you will probably use 1/2 depending on how many people you are feeding so extra goes in frig for future salads and just saves time!)

One yellow squash and one zucchini diced up then saute in a bit of olive oil and salt & pepper

A few roasted peppers diced up

Roast a handful of pistachios then chop into small pieces ( I used a spice grinder)

One whole avocado sliced (1/2 an avocado per person is good)

Handful of sunflower seeds

Feta cheese for the sprinkling

Fresh pesto to dollop along the plate (buy it or make it)

A French dressing or any other simple dressing (I will be testing out some new dressings and will post them if I like them)

To prepare: It’s so easy!

Toss your greens with a light amount of dressing then place them on individual plate or bowls

Layer on quinoa, warm squash, roasted peppers, crumbled bits of feta, sprinkle on sunflower seeds, small dollops of pesto around the edges of the salad, place your sliced avocado on top, and then finish it off with a sprinkling of pistachios. Easy peasy! Done!

Make It Tonight No Skills Required!

Food 52 Honey Garlic Chicken

Most likely you have all the ingredients in your pantry minus the chicken.  Here is a recipe from Food 52.  It just maybe the quickest and easiest mid-week meal you can make under 30 minutes.  I suggest roasting your favorite veggie in a baking pan alongside the chicken.  I opted for the dutch oven method for simplicity as well as adding brown rice and watercrest greens to make this a healthy all in one bowl.  Comfort food!  Check out Food 52 recipe for Honey Garlic Chicken  recipe.