Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Baked Beans and Greens

I know that there are people who like to plan out their meals for an entire week in advance but I tend to cook on a whim.  I collect ideas and recipes in my head and when the mood strikes me, I decide to make one of these stored recipes. Sometimes I feel that this method fails me, either I end up buying more than I need at the grocery store and have food in the fridge that spoils before I use it or I have to make several additional trips to the store to pick up a few extra ingredients for the dishes that I want to make.

I envy those people who can plan out all of their meals in advance of the week.  I liken it to packing for a trip,  I never pack in outfits and I always seem to overpack.  I follow this trend when food shopping.  Either I like the spontaneity of coming up with a meal idea or I just can't commit to an entire week already planned out for me...

This is a recipe that I saw in a magazine and had been stored as a picture on my phone for the past few weeks.  I have been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my cooking so I thought that this would be a perfect dish to try.  The beans make it a nice hearty meals and the vegetables and herbs add a lot of flavor to it.  With a piece of bread, it makes a perfect, light lunch.

makes 8 servings

1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Small bunch of Swiss chard and/or collard greens, stems removed and leaves chopped
4 plum tomatoes, cut
1 15-oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.

2.  In a large pan heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook until the vegetable are soft, about 5 minutes.

3.  Add the chard and collard greens to the pan and 1/4 cup of water.  Cook for several more minutes, until the leaves soften.

4.  Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.

5.  In a large bowl, combine the beans with all of the vegetables from the pan and then add the spices.  Pour the mixture into a large casserole dish or baking pan.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

How do you prefer to cook?  Planning out meals in advance or coming up with ideas on a whim?


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