Thursday, July 24, 2008

Week 1: Bean Challenge - One Dinner a Week

Tonight we completed our first "bean challenge" dinner: Pasta with Cooked Tomatoes & Beans. It was a success in the sense that it was tasty and nutritious. It was not a success in the popular-with-the-kids department!

A lesson was reinforced tonight: our children simply do not like cooked tomatoes. They enjoy raw tomatoes. I remember disliking most forms of tomatoes growing up, so I can give them a break with this issue.

So here's the recipe if you want to try it at home. At least I liked it!

Pasta with cooked tomatoes and beans (as always, adjust to your own tastes)
  • 1/4 cup olive
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley (stems removed)
  • 1 green onion finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 large can tomatoes (you can choose to drain or not)
    • We buy "Muir Glen Whole Organic" canned tomatoes. This brand is the best tasting, and the "whole" tomato has more flavor than the diced
    • We used the "Fire Roasted" variety, so it gave the tomatoes a nice smoky flavor
  • 1 can northern beans, rinsed and drained
    • We used Westbrae Naturals brand - the best tasting canned bean in my opinion - usually in the natural foods aisle
  • Pasta of you choice (we used spaghetti) cooked in salted water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to top it off
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet
  2. Add garlic, shallot, parsley, and green onion (optional)
  3. Cook until garlic is translucent
  4. Add 1 can whole tomatoes - cook 8 - 10 minutes and chop them up in the skillet with your spoon
  5. Add the beans last - don't stir a lot, they'll get mushy. Just let them heat up a bit with the other flavors
  6. Spoon on top of pasta, or...mix the pasta in the pan with the tomato and bean mixture for a few minutes to heat up the pasta and coat it. I like this technique.
  7. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  8. Serve with a side of steamed vegetables (broccoli, in our case)
Dinner is served!

I once heard that photographing food is one of the most difficult things to photograph, in order to make it look appetizing. So if this isn't looking to good to you, rest assured: It tasted great!

By the way, here is a technique I use when cooking for our children. The kids don't like flecks of green in their food (in this case parsley and green onion), so I make one small batch without green flecks (on left) and green flecks on the right. It's not hard to have 2 batches going at the same time.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I use the pesto recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook. I'll see if Peter can scrounge it up, though it might need to wait a few weeks until our kitchen remodel is done!