Posts Tagged ‘Eating healthy cooking’

The Art of Eating Well and Healthy

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Don and I have decided we need to eat healthier. The problem is, we’re foodies; we love flavor. So can two foodies, who love food, also find a way to eat healthier?

I decided to take the challenge and begin again to cook with loads of flavor in a healthy way.  I returned to one of my favorite food writers, Mark Bittman, and became re-inspired.  Using various recipes from the internet and my bevy of cookbooks, I created  White Beans with Roasted Tomatoes, Sausage, and Spinach.  It turned out delicious.

One side note, I don’t really measure much when cooking (baking is another matter all together) and cook by sight, taste and smell.  The measurements in this recipe are approximate and can be changed depending on your tastes.


White Beans with Roasted Tomatoes, Sausage, and Spinach

  • 2 cups cooked white beans
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • salt (preferably sea salt)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sugar (optional)
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onions/leeks/shallots – chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – chopped
  • 1 link hot Italian sausage (yes just one, the size you’d get on a sandwich.  We’re after flavor here)
  • 1 T tomato paste or catchup
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (basil, marjoram, oregano)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups fresh spinich
  • Balsamic vinegar – syrupy & sweet 20 year old
  • I started with dried white navy beans, soaked them overnight and cooked them for about an hour before using them.  If you don’t have navy beans, any white bean will work.  You may also use canned white beans, but they should be drained and rinsed to remove the excess sale.
    Preheat oven to 400F degrees.  Lightly coat the cherry tomatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  If the tomatoes are not sweet, sprinkle a small amount of sugar over them.  Place into oven and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until skins begin to burst and brown.
    Meanwhile, place chicken stock in saucepan with the sausage and cook over low heat until the sausage is done (internal temperature will register between 170-180F degrees). When done, remove from stock and chop into 1/4 inch pieces.  Retain stock.
    In a 12″ saute pan, heat 1-2 T of olive oil.  Place onion into pan and cook until color begins to change.  Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.  Add chopped sausage, Italian seasoning, tomato paste/catchup, cooked beans and remaining stock.  Cook over low heat until flavors are melded and the stock has been reduced.
    In an separate fry pan, heat 1 T olive oil and add spinach.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until wilted; about 3-4 minutes.
    To serve, place bean mixture into individual bowls and top with cooked spinach.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
    NOTE:  if you don’t have the sweet and syrupy balsamic vinegar, you can simulate the taste by reducing regular balsamic vinegar on the stove and adding sugar or honey to the mix.
    NOTE2:  I used Italian seasoning because I didn’t have any fresh herbs in the house.  The next time I make this, I will use fresh herbs, but add them at the end to the completed bean mix.