I am always looking for a “quick & easy” meal to prepare mid-week when there is so much going on with the kids and now our new puppy, Bailey. I especially want to make something with what’s on hand so I don’t have to run out to the store. I knew I wanted something with beans but it had to be simple, not take too much time and be tasty.
I reached for one of my favorite cookbooks, Monday to Friday Cookbook by Michele Urvater. This is a great cookbook for those looking for simple but delicious, and in this case nutritious meals that are “created for how people really live.” I looked up beans in the index and found this Three Bean Stew with Vegetables.
I had to adapt it because I didn’t have all the ingredients plus I wanted to clean out my refrigerator of some fresh brussel sprouts from the farmers co-op we belong to this year. So I switched a few items around and added some other ingredients which is exactly how the author would want me to do it. She says, “Think of each recipe as a tune – I may hum a few bars but feel free to take it from there.”
There is about 20 minutes of prep time and another 30 to 45 minutes of “no-work cooking time.” Michele suggests serving this stew over a bowlful of pasta, rice, or cornmeal puree. I went quick and easy again and served it over couscous with a salad on the side.
Michele’s recipe calls for 1 – 4 ounce can of chipped green chilies and an optional 2 pickled jalapeno peppers. I had the jalapeno peppers on hand but not the chilies but opted out of both because my daughters are not fans of spicy food”¦”¦yet.
Three Bean Stew with Vegetables Recipe
6 - 8 sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 white onion
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots (I used about 8 to 10 of those mini carrots already peeled)
6 - 8 brussels sprouts, cut in half
1 - 10 ounce package of frozen corn
1 - 16 ounce can black beans
1 - 16 ounce can chick-peas
1 - 16 ounce can cannelloni beans
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or sherry wine vinegar
Salt & pepper, to taste
How To Prepare At Home
Start by reconstituting the sun-dried tomatoes. Put them into a small sauce pan, added enough water to cover them completely and bring them to a boil. As soon as the water starts to boil, take them off the heat and let them sit for 5 minutes until they are reconstituted. Drain but save a little of the liquid to add to the stew if it gets too thick or just to add some additional flavor.
You can always opt for sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in oil as Michele's recipe suggests, but I prefer stocking dry sun-dried tomatoes. They last a long time and you don't have to store the unused jar of tomatoes in the refrigerator.
Prep the onion and garlic by finely chopping them. When the sun-dried tomatoes are cool enough to handle, chop them up too.
Heat up a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and when it gets hot, but not smoking, add the onions and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes and add the carrots and the brussels sprouts. Let this cook for a couple more minutes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes, frozen corn and the three cans of beans WITH juices. Give everything a stir, cover and simmer for 20 to 45 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the more the flavor will mellow. If the pan gets too dry, you can add a few tablespoons of water or reserved liquid from reconstituting the sun-dried tomatoes.
Add the vinegar and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve over your choice of grain or pasta.
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