Monday, March 30, 2009

MPM: It's a Beany Week - Break out the Beano!

Not much has been going on last week. My headaches have broken, not sure if it's from the antibiotic or from the weather breaking (I'm thinking it's from the antibiotic since it's still kinda been changing a bit back and forth and my headaches haven't been).

My house is smelling pretty good right now. I cooked some dried chickpeas overnight in preparation for tonights dinner. I love the smell of cooking dried chickpeas. For some reason they remind me a bit of sausage, not really sure why, but it does. I've soaked extra, and I'll bag them up and freeze them so I'm ready to use them later, since chickpeas are something that I love. I actually thought I had some to add to the Aloo Gobi last week, and I didn't look at the can well enough and I opened a can of white beans instead. That mistake is the basis for one of the recipe choices for this week. *sigh*

I had a kinda dinner failure last night. I was nothing major, and I say kinda only because it didn't really fail. I made hamburger vegetable soup on Saturday for Sunday. Instead of using a potato, I tried yucca, something I've wanted to try for a while now. Even the tag on it said you can use it like a potato. I've had it as chips, and liked it, and I'm sure I've had it in restaurants and liked it. But when I peeled it, it kinda smelled like latex something that I don't like. That smell just kinda lingered even after cooking and taking out the compost. It didn't taste bad, but I'm a smell kinda gal, and I just couldn't get over it. Hubby said that it didn't taste bad either but we ended up dumping it after eating our servings for dinner. I just knew that I wouldn't eat the leftovers, no matter how hard I tried. At least I tried it.

I'm liking the Google Calendar for my menu planning. I'm going to try to see if I can embed it into my blog. We'll see it what happens. I put the recipe into the notes section, so if you're interested in the recipe you should be able to click on it, at least that's what I do and I'd imagine that's how it would work for you too. If I find a recipe to try I'll put it on there, and I can move recipes around if we don't get to it that week. That helps a lot for things that I've bought and want to make (the lima beans) so I don't forget about them. It also helps me when I see a recipe that I want to make, I can schedule it so I won't forget about it.

For more menu ideas visit:

Monday: Braised Chicken with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
Tuesday: Shrimp and White Beans
Wednesday:Slow Cooker Pork and Beans
Thursday: Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans
Friday: Chez JJ Pizza (I'm thinking Spinach Calzones with Blue Cheese this week)

Braised Chicken with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
Total cost: $9.33/Cost per serving: $1.17. This dish uses dark meat chicken parts, which are cheaper and more flavorful than breast meat. Purchase leg quarters, if available, and split them into drumstick and thigh portions before cooking to save even more.
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2007
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 chicken leg or thigh and 3/4 cup bean mixture)
1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
4 cups water
1 cup thinly sliced onion (about 1), divided
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 chicken drumsticks, skinned (about 1 1/4 pounds)
4 chicken thighs, skinned (about 1 3/4 pounds)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 5)
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges (optional)

Sort and wash chickpeas; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above chickpeas; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain chickpeas.

Place 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, 4 cups water, 1/2 cup onion, garlic, and bay leaf in pan; bring to a boil. (Reserve leftover chickpeas for another use.) Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until beans are just tender. Drain chickpea mixture in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Set chickpea mixture aside.

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan.

Add remaining 1/2 cup onion to pan. Sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add vinegar, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates.

Add 2 cups tomato, Chicken Stock, and reserved cooking liquid to pan. Add chickpea mixture, and bring to a boil. Place chicken on top of chickpeas, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes or until chicken is done and chickpeas are tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

CALORIES 261 (34% from fat); FAT 9.8g (sat 2.4g,mono 3.9g,poly 2.3g); IRON 2.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 82mg; CALCIUM 36mg; CARBOHYDRATE 14.8g; SODIUM 244mg; PROTEIN 27.7g; FIBER 3.2g

Shrimp and White Beans

Create a rustic Italian-style meal by serving this hearty dish with ciabatta and a glass of wine.

2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 15 oz cam cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
6 oz of fresh baby spinach
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp from pan; set aside, and keep warm.

Heat remaining 1 tsp olive oil in pan. Add garlic and onion and saute 2 minutes. Add beans and wine; bring to a simmer and add tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in spinach, and cook 1 minute or just until spinach wilts.

Add reserved shrimp and any extra juices, black pepper, red pepper, and salt, stirring to combine.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size 1 3/4 cups)

Per Serving: Cal 260 (15% from fat); Fat 4.3g (sat 0.8g); Pro 34.4g; Carb 20.5g; Fib 6g; Chol 276mg; Iron 7.1mg; Sod 625mg; Calc 126mg

Slow Cooker Pork and Beans
This rich and flavorful crockpot recipe is one of the easiest to make. Just open cans, plop food in the slow cooker, turn it on, and dinner is ready when you are.

6 boneless pork loin chops, trimmed of excess fat
1 onion, chopped
2 (20 oz.) cans pork and beans
1/3 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp. mustard

In 3-4 quart crockpot, combine onion, pork and beans, ketchup and mustard and stir to blend. Add chops to crockpot, pushing some down into the bean mixture. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8-9 hours until pork is tender. 6 servings

Mediterranean-Style Baked Lima Beans
Serves 6-8 From “Veganomicon”
You may have lima bean baggage but this recipe will help you work through it. Please set your issues aside and for a moment imagine large, mild, tender beans with a creamy interior and a slightly tangy tomato sauce. (If you must, you can substitute navy or cannellini beans for the limas. But be sure to try it at least once with large lima beans.) This is a delightful spin-off of a traditional Greek home-style dish and is hearty meal alongside rice, potatoes and steamed greens. Or, serve them the traditional Mediterranean way, just slightly warmed, as part of a meze spread with olives, hummus, Cashew-Cucumber Dip, pickles, pita, and the like.

TIP: During the soaking, the beans will appear slip and their skins wrinkled; this is normal, so don't be alarmed.

1 pound dried, large lima beans, soaked for at least 8 hours
2 quarts water
2 bay leaves
Vegetable bouillon cube
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
1 small carrot, shredded
28 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup or agave nectar
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

Drain and rinse the beans and place them in a large pot with the 2 quarts of cold water and the bay leaves. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium. Simmer the beans for 30 minutes, until tender but not fully cooked (the interior of the beans will still be grainy). Skim off any foam that may collect while beans are cooking. Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of bean liquid, and set aside (leave the bay leaves with beans). Dissolve the vegetable bouillon cube in the reserved 1 cup of hot bean liquid; set aside.

While the beans are cooking, preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly oil a 4-quart Dutch oven or casserole dish (you can also prepare the beans in two batches in two 2-quart casseroles or Dutch ovens).

Prepare the sauce in either the prepared Dutch oven, if using, or a separate large saucepan. Heat the garlic and olive oil over medium heat until the garlic starts to sizzle. Add the onion, and stir until translucent and softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrot, stir and cook for another minute, and add the tomatoes, reserved vegetable bouillon, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, maple syrup, oregano, thyme, salt, and nutmeg. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, to reduce the sauce a little. Taste the sauce and season with black pepper and more salt if necessary. Stir in the beans, parsley, and mint.

Place in the prepared casserole dish (if not already in the Dutch oven), cover the dish, and bake the beans, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until they are tender and the interior of the beans is creamy. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, to reduce the sauce a little bit and give the beans a slightly dry finish. Remove from the oven, remove the bay leaves, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Spinach Calzones with Blue Cheese

The combination of onions, mushrooms, and fresh spinach packs a serving of veggies into each of these easy, impressive calzones. We found that a pizza cutter works well for dividing the refrigerated dough into 4 equal portions.

1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust
Cooking spray
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups spinach leaves
8 (1/8-inch-thick) slices Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 1/3 cups sliced cremini or button mushrooms
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.

Unroll dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; cut into 4 quarters. Pat each quarter into a 6 x 5-inch rectangle. Sprinkle garlic evenly over rectangles. Top each rectangle with 1 cup spinach, 2 onion slices, 1/3 cup mushrooms, and 3 tablespoons cheese. Bring 2 opposite corners to center, pinching points to seal. Bring remaining 2 corners to center, pinching all points together to seal. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until golden.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 calzone)

CALORIES 297 (28% from fat); FAT 9.1g (sat 4g,mono 3.2g,poly 1g); IRON 3.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 16mg; CALCIUM 180mg; CARBOHYDRATE 40.7g; SODIUM 818mg; PROTEIN 13.4g; FIBER 5.1g

Cooking Light, MAY 1999

1 comment:

Desmone007 said...

Hi there! Delicious meal plan and recipes. Hope you can share them with us at We also have a link back system that can help you build traffic from Foodista-related pages. Check it out here and let me know what you think. Thanks!