I’ve been working more, exercising more, and still finding that balance of making sure we always have healthy food in the house. This works out well for my reignited love and admiration for simple, whole food meals. Sometimes I browse food photography sites and it’s always the somewhat rustic, easy dishes bursting with natural colors and no-fuss presentation that feel the most wholesome.
Lucky for us, those meals are often the best for us and most budget-friendly.
This post also illustrates how inexpensive whole foods cooking can be, especially when it comes to beans. I bought a bag of beans for 79 cents. I used half the bag, 1 cup of dried beans, which expanded to nearly 3 cups once cooked.
*Note that beans cooked from scratch can also be frozen if you don’t use them all right away. Cooking is easy. Start with a 1:3 bean to water or vegetable broth ratio, and add more water during cooking so that beans are always just under some water. Cook time will depend on the type of bean, so just keep eating some to see if they’re done. Cooking them in vegetable broth makes them taste DELICIOUS and you can, and will, pop them in your mouth like candy.
Move over jelly beans, we’ve got flavorful cooked beans.
Over the weekend I made it to the indoor winter farmer’s market at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, and officially got to meet the lovely folks from Jett’s Produce located in Telford, PA.
All of the vegetables on their table looked picturesque and beautiful, and I used the last few dollars I had on me to pick up these collard greens.
Aren’t they gorgeous? I don’t think I’ve ever seen collards with round, almost fan-like leaves.
COLLARDS, WHITE BEANS AND ROASTED TOMATOES
- 3-4 roma tomatoes (or any kind, really) sliced thin
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 2 cups cooked cannellini beans
- olive oil
- salt + pepper
- fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray, and lay the slices tomatoes in a single layer on the sheet. Brush with a little olive oil and hit with a few dashes of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until starting to wilt, about 25 minutes.
In a bowl, tear the collard greens into bite size pieces. Drizzle with just a touch of olive oil, massage into the leaves. Place the collards in a layer over the roasted tomatoes, hit with salt and pepper, and put the whole tray back in the oven until collards are wilted and tomatoes start to brown, another 20-25 minutes.
Put the beans (warmed) into a mixing bowl, and toss in the tomatoes and collards. Mix everything through and fresh squeezed lemon juice to top. Add more cracked pepper on top.
This is a colorful, easy dish that can be eaten as-is or piled a top a slice of crusty bread and drizzled with more olive oil for an Italian inspired meal.
*You may have some beans left over. Remember, you can freeze them for later use, throw them in soup, whip them into a dip, or eat them as is!