Less than two weeks out from Christmas, and I have yet to buy any presents. My priority was figuring out how to use those beans.
If you recall from last week’s blog, I had a few unruly items running amuck in my pantry that were barely out of date for best flavor and taste. Two cans of beans–Garbanzos and Great Northern–were on the list.
Should you happen to discover cans of beans hiding somewhere in your kitchen, here are some ideas for you, along with a recipe for Tuscan White Bean Salad. This is a copycat recipe from Houlihan’s that I found on Pub Chain Restaurant Copycat Recipes. If you are looking for a favorite recipe to recreate, this is a good site to check out.
That being said, I changed the copycat recipe to suit my tastes. I encourage you to do the same. Nothing really bad will happen when you stray from the original recipe a little. For example, if you don’t have a red onion, use whatever onion you have, or a few sprinkles of onion powder. The red onion looks pretty and has a little different flavor than other varieties, which is why it works well. Oh, and Mr. Non-Compliant missed out on this dish, which I’m sure will make him very sad.
Other ideas for the beans:
*Add to any soup you make. Extra protein and fiber are a good thing. (It’s a good idea to drain and rinse canned beans to get rid of the excess starch, sodium and any metallic taste that may come from the can.)
*Make hummus by mixing a can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed) in a food processor or blender with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 tsp. ground cumin, ½ tsp. salt. Add a tablespoonful or two of water if needed to make it the right consistency. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
*Make white bean and chicken chili for a change from traditional.
*There are LOTS of recipes for beans. I’m stopping with the salad recipe so I can go buy some presents!
Tuscan White Bean Salad
1 can Great Northern or Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, diced
2 cups salad greens
½ red onion, diced
¼ cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled
Place ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing.
Balsamic and Olive Oil Dressing
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp. salt
pinch of sugar
Once dressing is blended, add to the salad and lightly toss. Serve with your favorite crackers or toasted, crusty bread. Perfect as a light lunch or dinner.
This simple salad would be a nice addition to a holiday buffet, since it offers some nutritional value, which is often missing from those amazing Christmas cookies!