Cannellini Bean, Potato & Beef Marrow Bowl/Spread

I always thought of beans, potatoes and beef marrow as hearty winter food but if you serve it warm; at room temperature with a green salad on the side, it becomes a nice change from the ordinary warm weather dinner fare. But what’s even more special is the spread version; creamy with the potatoes and beans; super flavorful with the fatty marrow. Serve with salty anchovies and capers on the side for a nice contrast. Mmmm…it’s really so good and a nice addition to your table for a party. Serve with some gluten free crispbread and you have a completely gluten free appetizer. Enjoy!

  • 1&1/2 cups cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 small Yukon Gold pototoes, diced to about the size of the beans
  • 4 small marrow bones, about an inch thick or a little larger
  • 4 cups water
  • a few allspice berries
  • sea salt
  • anchovies
  • capers
  • olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper

In a large Dutch oven, combine the beans, potatoes, beef bones, the allspice berries, water and sea salt. Bring to a boil on high heat. Once it is at a rolling boil, lower the heat to low and simmer for about an hour and a half, until the beans are soft and tender. Serve as is at room temperature, (discarding the berries) with a sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper for a meal. (The beef marrow is really flavorful. If you are not a fan of beef marrow, you can always, of course, leave it out.) Or if making the spread, remove the marrow from the bones and let the mixture cool completely. Once cool, remove the allspice berries and puree with a hand immersion blender and serve with anchovies, capers, olive oil and fresh ground black pepper. This is nice, as you can have some for dinner and have the leftovers made into the spread. Makes 5 cups.

This cat has some mind control over me, for sure, as I just can’t get enough of this plate, lol!


Creamy Cannellini Bean Salad

Macaroni salad lovers, you won’t miss the pasta once you have this cannellini bean salad! It’s nice and creamy, a little tangy and then you get a bite with a little bacon and you say, “What macaroni salad?” and the glutenous macaroni that you once pined for is a distant memory. That’s right, a distant memory. I didn’t think it was possible, but it is! Enjoy!

  • 3 1/2 cups cannellini beans soaked overnight or about 6 cups cooked
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, finely shredded and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup minced sorrel leaves
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic pear infused vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • squeeze of about half a lemon
  • a pinch or two of chili flakes
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Adjust the seasoning as needed. (If you can’t find sorrel leaves, just add a little lemon zest.) Garnish with a little shredded sorrel leaf or chili flakes. Makes a nice big bowl, great for a party and it’s even better the next day.

Grilled Leeks & Beans with Coriander Aioli

Ahh…the first day of spring, although you wouldn’t know it looking out the window, with snow on the ground but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate with a light meal that is both rich and filling; grilled leeks alongside buttery beans. Pair this with boiled baby Yukon gold potatoes or brown rice and top with an extra creamy and a little spicy aioli to give it an extra special touch. Happy Spring! Enjoy!

For the leeks & beans:

  • 2 leeks
  • cooking spray
  • 1 15. oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 sun-dried tomato halves, in oil, minced
  • a few capers, drained and rinsed
  • sea salt

For the coriander aioli:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • sea salt
  • 1 oz. olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed and well chopped
  • generous pinch smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or more to taste

Bring some water to a boil and in the meantime, trim the leeks. Trim the green part and reserve for another use, like a soup or stew. Trim the root, leaving a little bit, keeping the leek together.

Slice down the center and once again lengthwise, cutting it into quarters. And give them a good rinse, removing any sand. Next, assemble them back like a puzzle and tie in place with kitchen twine. This is so the leek stays together and doesn’t fall apart as it cooks. Once your water comes to a boil, toss your leeks in and blanch for about 5 minutes. Your leeks are done once the bottom is fork tender. Drain, seperate and spray with oil and season with salt until ready to grill.

While your grill heats up, make your beans and the aioli.  Into a frying pan, melt the butter until it sizzles on low heat. Add in the tomatoes and a little sea salt and increase the heat to medium, until it’s bubbling and the liquids of the tomato evaporate, about 2-3 minutes. Toss in the beans and capers until heated through, giving it an occasional stir. Cover and keep warm. Next make your aioli, whisking together the eggs and sea salt, little by little whisk in the olive oil. Season with the paprika and Sriracha sauce for a little heat. Lastly, grill your leeks. I grilled them at about 400 degrees for only a few minutes per each side. But you can always leave them on longer for deeper grill marks. Assemble your dish and season with a little fresh cracked black pepper. Serves about 2.

Cauliflower, Broccoli Rabe & Cannellini Bean Pot

A hearty veggie and bean dish hits the spot on a chilly autumn night. It’s the season where balancing the household and the upcoming holidays can become a little challenging. And that’s when you need a satisfying meal that nourishes the soul and leaves the belly nice and full. As the temperatures cool down significantly, it’s important to take care of yourself and gets those antioxidants in. This dish is full of veggies and it’s really delicious. It was hard to keep on the stove, my hubby and I almost ate it right out of the pot, it was just so good!  This is great on its’ own or you can add rice, quinoa, or farro on the side. Great for leftovers also! It’s delicious when served with a Slow Roasted Pork Loin with a Pear & Rosemary Sauce. Enjoy!

  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed into florets
  • 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups roughly chopped broccoli rabe
  • 1/4 cup quartered sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • sea salt

Bring a heavy bottomed pot of salted water to a boil and add the cauliflower and season with sea salt. Let the water continue boiling on high heat, leaving the pot uncovered. After 7 minutes, add the broccoli rabe, let it cook for 3 minutes. If using sun dried tomatoes, add into the water and after a minute and drain the pot.(You can use oil packed sun dried tomatoes, if you do, add them in with the beans later on.) Keep your veggies warm and into the same pot, add in the olive oil and garlic. Let this cook on low heat. You don’t want the garlic to burn, you want it to get nice and soft. Sometimes, instead of adding the butter to the olive oil right away, I add it once the garlic gets nice and hot, so it slows down the cooking process. So add in your butter and continue cooking until the garlic is soft. Take the garlic out and set aside, leaving the oil and butter in the pot, add in the cauliflower and broccoli rabe. Let this saute for a minute or two and give the pot a nice stir. Add in the drained can of beans and heat through, until the beans are hot, about 10  minutes, (less if you want the vegetables on the crisp side.) stirring occasionally. Add in the cooked garlic and rosemary and cook for a few more minutes. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Makes 4-6 servings.

Grilled Salmon, Portabella Mushroom, Asparagus & Cannellini Beans with Plum Dressing

What a gorgeous day! It’s just beautiful out here on the east coast. It’s a day that something wonderful in your life should be celebrated. Anything, a job that you love, a wonderful spouse that makes you laugh, a good friend you can count on, your loyal pet, an outfit that makes you feel good, a deep understanding that you were seeking and found, that perfect eyeliner that makes your eyes sparkle…It’s a day to celebrate something wonderful, no matter how big or small. And I love celebrating with food and this is a salad that is delicious, light yet truly satisfying. Enjoy and celebrate something wonderful today! ;)

  • 2 pieces wild caught salmon, about 6 oz each
  • 1 small head of Boston lettuce, ripped up
  • 2 portabella mushrooms
  • 7 oz. cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons plum sauce
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pat of unsalted butter
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • five spice powder
  • 1/4 cup pear infused vinegar

This dish is easy but once I start explaining the directions, it can sound a little complicated. I used aluminum foil for easy clean up, if not you can cook directly on the flat cast iron pan. If using the foil, make three separate “bowls,” (using 2 sheets, cut to size, layered on top of each other, cupped at the edges to hold the juices) one to hold the asparagus, one for the cannellini beans and one for the salmon. The portabella mushrooms can be grilled directly on the grill. Just drizzle them with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. And grill for about 12 minutes at 500 degrees, just flip halfway through and set aside once done. Once they are cool, you can slice them. I find that they are like a steak and need to rest to collect their juices. For your cannellini beans, combine 1 teaspoon of the plum sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon honey and salt and pepper and mix with the beans, so they are well coated. For your asparagus, just season with salt, pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. For the salmon, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon plum sauce, and season with salt, pepper and five spice powder to taste. Pour over the salmon and top with the pat of butter, broken up. Heat up your grill along with the flat cast iron pan. I have a big one that is about 18 inches long, it’s great! Once your grill is hot, place your “bowls” containing the salmon, the cannellini beans and the asparagus and grill for about 10 minutes. After about five minutes, the asparagus will be ready, if the stalks are tender. In the meantime, divide the lettuce between two plates. Add the mushrooms and asparagus to the plate. Remove the salmon from the “bowl” and reserve the cooking juices. Break up the salmon into bite size pieces and add to the plate. Top with the grilled cannellini beans. Into the reserved juices add in the vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon plum sauce. Season to taste with salt pepper and the five spice powder. Drizzle over your salads. Serves 2.

Grilled Eggplant “Steaks” with Cannellini Bean Salad

When I was a vegetarian, there were days when I just wanted to have a juicy steak. “Just take me to a steakhouse and don’t judge me.” lol But I didn’t wane and stuck to my veggies. And the only way I would get that same satisfaction as eating a steak was when I would drizzle a nice amount of olive oil on the eggplant and let it sit for a while and then grill it. You would think that the eggplant would be drenched in oil but it wasn’t. The eggplant would embrace the oil and it transformed the purple beauty into a juicy veggie version of a steak. If you want a little more of an indulgence, serve with Gorgonzola cheese and you can always have this with a baked potato on the side! ;)

  • 2 eggplants, cut lengthwise, about an inch thick
  • garlic powder
  • Vegeta seasoning
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 cup chopped good tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup seedless cucumber, chopped
  •  a few basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fig preserves
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons A1 steak sauce
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • Maldons sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Take a large pan and drizzle olive oil on each slice and season with garlic powder and Vegeta or any all purpose seasoning you like. It’s okay to stack the slices on top of each other. Let them sit at room temperature for an hour. After the hour is up, turn your slices over and drizzle with more olive oil. You’ll see where the eggplant needs it, noticing large white spots on them. You don’t want to drown the slices in oil, just enough to give the eggplant a nice coating. Let them sit for another hour. While your eggplant is marinating, you can make the salad by combining the tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and basil. Make your vinaigrette by combining the olive oil, vinegar, and fig preserves. Season with a pinch of Vegeta and ground pepper. Once you are ready to eat, you can dress your salad. The eggplant, although meaty is also delicate at the same time and needs a steak sauce that won’t overwhelm it and I think this is a good sauce to serve alongside it. Combine the yogurt, steak sauce, agave syrup and the ground pepper. Adjust the seasonings as needed. When you are ready to make your steaks, heat up your grill to about 500 degrees and throw your steaks on. I grilled them for about five minutes on each side, just until you get some good grill marks. Turn the eggplant so you get nice cross hatch marks on them. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Pull them off the grill once they are done, you will see your eggplant relaxed, yet still keeping their shape. Let them rest so they collect their juices. Top with Maldons salt, it gives them a nice finish and serve with your cannellini salad and steak sauce. This serves 3. Enjoy!