Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tuscan Style Ribolita with Sausage and Kale


Ribolita translated from Italian means "reboiled".  Translate "reboiled"  in english equates to "leftovers".  This is a hearty peasant stew with a thousand Italian family variations.  There are a few core ingredients; tomatoes, kale (dark green variety known as lacinato), cannellini beans, and stale bread.  I did not include the bread in this particular recipe but, you can easily prepare a few toasted croutons with olive oil and Parmesan cheese to top this delicious stew.

The idea behind this stew is to use what you may have leftover from a couple of days of meals.  If you are eating pretty good you will probably have a few vegetables to add to the pot, and maybe even  a leftover baguette from the weekend to make a few croutons.  The stew is versatile and can be made ahead of time and with any variety of vegetables you may have available.

This makes for a big pot on Sunday and a healthy lunch or dinner throughout the week.




Tuscan Style Ribolita with Sausage and Kale
Serve 4-6



 Ingredients:
1-1/2 lbs. sweet or hot Italian sausage (removed from the casings)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
8-ounces fresh kale, stemmed, ribbed and chopped
1-28 ounces can diced tomatoes
2-15 ounces cans Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons chili pepper flakes
4 cups chicken stock


Directions:
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.  Add onion, carrot, garlic and chili pepper flakes to the pot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, tossing occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.  Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat into pieces, until browned, for 3-4 minutes.

Add the diced tomatoes, cannelloni beans, chicken stock to the pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the kale to the pot and cook, covered, until the kale has wilted.  Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Enjoy!
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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Mediterranean Style Three-Bean Salad

Beans are under appreciated in the American diet.  A budget friendly staple packed with fiber and plant based protein, not to mention a list of vitamins and minerals (Vitamin B6, Potassium, folate, magnesium etc...).  It's recommended we consume 25 mg of fiber each day.  A half-cup of cooked beans delivers a whopping 10 mg!  

So, why don't we eat more beans? Some will say they cause issues.....I say, add beans to your regular diet and the issues will go away. 

This Mediterranean inspired bean salad is tasty, super healthy and is loaded with a variety of beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, parsley, cilantro and tossed with a light lemon-olive oil vinaigrette.  This makes for a beautiful summer salad or as an entree with crusty bread.




Mediterranean Style Three-Bean Salad
Serves 4-6


Ingredients:
15 oz. red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
Pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Small red onion, diced
1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese (generous handful)

For the dressing:
Juice from 1 lemon, more if desired
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil (or more to taste)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl, add beans, cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, parsley, cilantro and feta cheese.

In a small bowl, or a mason jar with a lid.  Add lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and fresh ground black pepper. Whisk (or shake) all the ingredients together until well blended.

Add dressing to salad.  Toss. Chill for about an hour.  Serve.