Fagiolini Dell’Occhio Con Contenne

January 3, 2014

Italian Beans & Pork

Fagiolini Dell’Occhio Con Contenne

Fagiolini Dell’Occhio Con Contenne, also know as Italian Beans and Pork, is a wonderful hearty winter dish that should do a good job of getting you through this snowstorm.  I made this dish yesterday in anticipation of nasty weather on the way.  So far everyone whose eaten is just can’t get enough. 


1 Pound Dried Cannellini Beans

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

1/2 Ounce Lardo

2 Chopped Celery Stalks

2 Chopped Carrots

1 Large Chopped Red Onion

3 Cloves Minced Garlic

1/2 Cup Tomato Puree

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Pound Pork Rind (Parboiled And Cut Into 1/2 Inch Strips

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Soak the beans overnight.  Drain them and then boil them in fresh lightly salted water for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they are almost tender.  Make sure that the water covers the beans.  Remove from the heat.  In a large-size sauté pan heat the olive oil, butter and lardo over a medium-high heat until hot.  Add celery, carrots, onions, garlic, 1 cup water, kosher salt, pepper and tomato puree.  Add pork rind and beans along with a bit of their cooking water.  Cook for another 30 minutes over a medium heat.  Remove from heat and transfer to serving bowl. Serve with grated Parmigiano.  Serves 4. 

Three Bean Insalata

July 10, 2013

Kidney BeansThree Bean Insalata

I love beans and they are full of protein, vitamin B and iron.  They are low in fat as well (about 1 gram of fat per cup) and loaded with fiber.  If you are using canned beans please be aware that they are higher in sodium so make sure to rinse them well to reduce the salt content.


2 Cups Cooked & Drained Red Kidney Beans

2 Cups Cooked & Drained Black Beans

2 Cups Cooked & Drained Pinto Beans

2 Cups Cooked & Drained Yellow Hominy

5 Large Chopped & Seeded Tomatoes

2 Cups Chopped Onions

1 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

4 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Teaspoons Chili Powder

3 Teaspoons Ground Cumin

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Freshly Ground Pepper

In a large size bowl combine the red kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, yellow hominy, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, ground cumin, kosher salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.  Remove from the fridge when ready to serve and transfer to a serving bowl.  Serves 10

Classic Black Beans & Rice

June 21, 2013

Black BeansClassic Black Beans & Rice

Everyone needs a few easy weekend night meals to pull out of their hat.  Here is a wonderful Classic Black Beans & Rice recipe that is truly a faithful friend.  If you want to add meat then either add chicken or fish.  Shrimp is a good choice for a homespun Cajun night.


3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion

1/2 Cup Chopped Green or Red Bell Pepper

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

2 Cups Cooked Black Beans (Undrained)

3/4 Cup Water

1 Teaspoon Oregano

2 Teaspoons Chili Powder

1 Tablespoon Vinegar

In a medium size saucepan heat the oil over a medium heat.  Add the onions, peppers and garlic.  Cook for 8 minutes until they are nice and tender.  Stir in the beans, water, oregano, chili powder and vinegar.  Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.  Serve over hot white or brown rice.  Serves 4


Bean Soup

February 9, 2013

Bean Soup

We have such bad weather this weekend that it’s a great time to cook up some delicious bean soup.  It’s a welcome bite to have in front of the fire after shoveling the driveway.  Complete the meal with a basket of warm biscuits.


1/4 Cup Olive Oil

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Chopped Onion

1 Diced Zucchini

1 Diced Red Bell Pepper

1 Teaspoon Dried Basil

1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

4 Cups Vegetable Stock

2 Cups Chopped Plum Tomatoes With Their Juice

2 1/2 Cups Cooked Cannellini Beans

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over a medium heat for 1 minute.  Add the garlic and onions.  Cook for 10 minutes until the onions are very tender and are just beginning to brown.  Add the zucchini, red bell peppers, basil, thyme and kosher salt.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Stir in the vegetable stock and tomatoes (with their juice). Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook for 35 minutes.  Add the cannellini beans and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the pepper and give a good stir.  Ladle into soup bowls and serve with warm biscuits.  Serves 12

Vegetarian Chili

January 10, 2013

Vegetarian Chili

We all need to eat less red meat so here is a great vegetarian chili recipe that will help you achieve that goal. Remember that it’s important to eat fish three times per week and vegetable dishes the other four days per week.  You won’t miss the meat in this recipe and I love how hearty it is. 


2 Cups Cooked Kidney Beans

2 Cups Cooked Pinto Beans

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

14 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Chopped Jalapeño Chile

2 Chopped Yellow Onions

6 Chopped Medium Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Tomato Paste

3 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme Leaves

2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

10 Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

If you are not using canned beans then soak overnight and boil for 1 1/2 hours until tender. In a large soup pot heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions over a medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes until golden brown.  Add the chopped tomatoes and jalapeño.  Cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the beans and any of their cooking liquid.  Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, cumin, oregano, sun dried tomatoes, kosher salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours making sure to stir occasionally.  Serve topped with chopped cilantro.  Serves 4

Oven Roasted Green Beans & Cipollini Onions

January 9, 2013

Oven Roasted Green Beans & Cipollini Onions

After the holidays eating healthy is on the top of everyone’s list.  Here is an easy and delicious way to cook green beans.


1 Pound Trimmed French Green Beans

1 Cup Sliced Cipollini Onions

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Preheat your oven to 375º F.  Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Wash and trim the green beans.  Peel the cipollini onions and slice horizontally.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread the green beans and cipollini onions on the parchment paper.  Drizzle the olive over the mixture.  Sprinkle with the salt & pepper.  Roast for 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and using tongs toss the green beans and onions.  Place back in the oven and roast for another 4 to 8 minutes.  Remember that every oven cooks differently.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl.  Serves 4

Four Bean Salad

September 20, 2012

Four Bean Salad

This is one of my favorite salads.  Quite the guilty pleasure as it does have quite a bit of sugar. Sometimes I like to mix it with a green salad just to change it up a bit.  My Four Bean Salad is great for a barbeque, picnic or potluck dinner. 


2/3 Cup Sugar

1/8  Teaspoon Celery Salt

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/4  Cup Cider Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Minced Garlic Clove

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

16 Ounces Drained Canned Garbanzo Beans

32 Ounces Drained Canned Green Beans

16 Ounces Drained Yellow Wax Beans

16 Ounces Drained Canned Red Kidney Beans

1 Diced Red Bell Pepper

1/2 Diced Red Onion

In a medium size bowl combine the sugar, celery salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper.  Set aside.  In a separate large bowl combine the garbanzo beans, green beans, yellow wax beans and red kidney beans.  The beans should be well drained.  Add the diced red bell pepper and diced red onion.  Toss to combine the ingredients well.  Pour the dressing over the beans and place in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.  This salad needs to marinate.  Serves 8


Boston Baked Beans

August 29, 2012

Boston Baked Beans

Labor Day Weekend is coming up and you might want to round out your BBQ with my delicious Boston Baked Beans!


2 Pounds Dry Navy Beans

1/2 Pound Salt Pork

2 Quartered Onions

1/2 Cup Dark Molasses

1/2 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup Tomato Paste

2 Tablespoons Dry Mustard

2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Quart Boiling Water

Rinse the dry beans and cover with cold water in a pot.  They will need to soak overnight.  Drain and rinse the beans the next day.  Preheat your oven to 225° F.    Cut the salt pork into 1 inch thick slices.  Put 1/4 cup of the salt pork and 4 onion quarters in the bottom of a bean pot.  Fill the pot half full of the beans and repeat the pork and onion.  Pour in the rest of the beans.  Mix the molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, tomato paste, mustard and pepper into the boiling water.  Stir until all of the ingredients dissolves and then pour over the beans.  Fill the pot with enough additional water to cover.  Put any leftover salt pork on top.  Put the lid on and bake for 4 to 5 hours.  Check the beans for water level after 2 hours.  Add a bit more water if needed.  After 3 1/2 hours start checking for tenderness.  Cooking times for beans vary.  You’ll know when they are done.  The last hour of cooking remove the lid and bake uncovered.  Don’t worry if the beans are tender, but still soupy because they will absorb the liquid as they stand.  Remove from the oven and let cook for 15 minutes before serving. When you do reheat them as leftovers you will probably need to add more water.  Serves 12

Artichoke & White Bean Dip

July 24, 2012

Artichoke & White Bean Dip

Quick, easy and healthy!  Use my Artichoke & White Bean Dip as a dip or as a substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches.  The white beans and yogurt make a creamy dip without adding much fat. 


12 Ounces Marinated Artichokes (Drained)

15 Ounces White Beans (Drained)

2/3 Cup Non-Fat Plain Yogurt

1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

4 Garlic Cloves

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Place the artichokes, garlic, white beans, kosher salt and pepper into a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Add the yogurt, olive oil, lime juice and red pepper flakes and blend.  Scoop onto a serving plate or bowl.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.  Use in place of mayonnaise or serve with pita chips or vegetable sticks.  Serves 4

Fiesta Bean & Chicken Soup

July 21, 2012

Fiesta Bean & Chicken Soup


With all of the rain we’ve been having I felt like making a nice homey soup.  I came up with this hearty, but not too heavy, bean and chicken soup.  It turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. 



5 Ounces Pinto Beans

5 Ounces Red Beans

5 Ounces Black Beans

8 Cups Water

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Ounces Cooked & Diced Chicken Breast

1 Large Chopped Onion

4 Chopped Green Onions

8 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Cup Corn

2 Diced Tomatoes

2 Cups Salsa

6 Small Chopped Red & Yellow Peppers

1 Large Chopped Hot Pepper

6 Cups Chicken Broth

1 Bottle White Wine

1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes,

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder


Rinse and drain the beans.  Soak the beans for at least 6 hours or overnight. Place the beans in a large soup pot with 8 cups of water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt.  Boil uncovered for 20 minutes.  Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours until the beans are soft.  Do not drain the beans. Uncover and add the chicken broth and stir.  Add the olive oil, kosher salt, red pepper flakes, ground cumin and chili powder.  Stir.  Turn up the heat to medium and add the wine.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Add the onions, chicken, garlic, green onions, corn, tomatoes, red & yellow peppers, hot pepper and stir.  Cook for 10 minutes and then add the salsa.  Simmer for an hour to blend the flavors.  Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.  The soup can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.  If necessary, thin with additional chicken broth when reheating.  Serves 8

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