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
- 7 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
- 8 brussels sprouts cut in half
- 10 ounces corn 1 package of frozen corn
- 16 ounces black beans 1 can
- 16 ounces chick peas 1 can
- 16 ounces cannelloni beans 1 can
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar or sherry wine vinegar
- salt & pepper to taste
- 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.