Monday, February 6, 2012

Meatless Mondays and Braised Beans with Rosemary

In this quest to eat healthier, I have been cutting back on the amount of meat in my diet. However, I am not in danger of actually going vegetarian any time soon. I've actually been there, done that and realize that I make a terrible vegetarian. See, being vegetarian actually involves eating a balanced diet, not just one that doesn't include meat. When I was playing at being vegetarian, for more years than I should admit given my actual diet, I ate primarily cheese and bread. Yeah, healthy? Not so much. So I won't try going back there whole hog (::snort::) but I have mostly managed to keep the whole recent "Meatless Monday" experiment not only healthy but beneath my family's picky and uber-carnivorous radar. My one slip up was last week's sweet chili lime tofu with kale and quinoa. So much natural food all in one dish about caused them to have heart attacks. And so I am finally finishing up the leftovers myself for lunch today. Obviously I can't go too crunchy granola on them without serious rebellion and having to personally face the Methuselah of leftovers before they are finally finished. So tonight I plan on an Indian curry dish with potatoes and cauliflower. Basically all white (well... yellow) with few green bits (which raises the suspicion factor 100 fold) so it should fly. I hope it's tasty too.

I do have one meatless dish though that I am happy to make and hide away from the rest of the family so I don't have to share, cheerfully feasting on leftovers for as long as I can make them last--which is admittedly not long. It's braised beans with rosemary. It smells heavenly while cooking and tastes even better and I thought I'd share it with you. It's just a slightly doctored version of Food Network Magazine's Braised Beans.

1 lb, dried cannellini beans, picked over
6 leaves fresh sage
6 cloves garlic, 3 smashed and 3 sliced
1 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 plum tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 heaping Tbsp. rosemary

Soak the beans overnight. Drain and transfer to a Dutch oven. Add 10 cups water, 2 sage leaves, the smashed garlic, and 1 Tbsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving the liquid. Discard garlic and sage.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 475.

Return beans to Dutch oven. Add sliced garlic, olive oil, remaining sage leaves, tomato, 1 1/2 cups reserved cooking liquid, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and rosemary. Place the pot, uncovered, in the oven and cook until creamy (15-20 minutes). Add parsley and more liquid if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat up!

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