Pasta and Beans with Garlic Butter Sage Sauce

You may know I am enamored with the combination of pasta & beans; many types of pasta, many types of beans. There are special pairs that marry and complement well, but I haven’t yet found a match that didn’t work.

The inspiration for this dish came from a desire to use fewer dishes, hence cooking the beans & pasta together, albeit staggered, and also a trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where my husband and I ate a fantastic meal at an unassuming restaurant. I have tried on a few occasions to replicate the creamy, dreamy, sagey beans I ate there as well as the hibiscus & lavender iced tea. It’s honestly extremely refreshing to have vegetarian options that are not a hummus platter, boring veggie sandwich, or some hobbled together side dishes.

Coincidentally, this week I did use Zero Waste Chef’s recipe for making fermented hibiscus soda and it is AMAZING. It also fermented so fast, I burped it on the second day and the contents shot out all over my ceiling and staircase. Kind of a disaster, but it’s my fault for leaving it in a room that was reaching 88F.

The sauce is simply minced garlic and sage leaves fried in some butter, then added olive oil. Nothing else is needed when ingredients are fresh, local, and high quality.

The sage is from my herb garden. The plant has been going strong for at least four years now! I like how the beans find themselves nestled into the pasta shells. It makes for a fun eating experience!

What you could use to make this dish:

Small white navy beans*

Pasta shells

Butter (or just olive oil)

Salt

Sage leaves

Garlic

*What I have been doing when soaking beans is to add salt to the soaking water so they are soaking in a brine rather than plain water and it increases the flavor of the beans exponentially. Soak overnight, then drain the brine.

Add beans to a pot with plenty of water and some more salt.

Cook until nearly tender, then add the pasta and cook until beans and pasta are both perfect textures. Overdone beans are much more pleasant than overdone pasta. Drain the water, then put back into the pan.

Chop garlic and add to a small sauce or frying pan with a pat of butter and the sage. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes, then add in some olive oil and heat until warm.

Top the bean and pasta mixture with the sage and butter sauce.

Enjoy!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Watermelon, Feta, Mint, & Fennel Salad

Watermelon has been tasting so good lately with the arrival of warm weather.

A version of this salad is a regular feature in my kitchen whenever watermelon is available.

This time, I added some fennel due to my garden having an abundance of it at the moment.

To make:

Cut up half of a watermelon and place into container or bowl.

Slice up a fennel bulb into thin slices and place into container.

Add in 1/4 cup mint leaves and a few fronds of fennel.

Top with 1 – 2 Tablespoons of feta cheese or vegan substitute if desired.

Enjoy in the sunshine with your favorite tunes playing in the background! My top choice is almost always Arthur Russell. I’ll be enjoying this in my backyard during the daytime because as of this posting there is only one more day of school left!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Cabbage + Veggie Stir Fry

I’m not a huge stir-fry fan, but this recipe from PopSugar caught my eye. I gave it a try, with variations of course, and really loved it!

It’s vibrant, beautiful, tasty, and healthy. It’s a great way to use up any lingering vegetables in the house as well.

I used Quorn “chicken” cutlets as a substitute for tofu because I cannot find package-free tofu near me, and I’m also not the biggest fan of tofu anyway. It can be delicious, but it requires more energy from me than I am willing to give most weeknights, or heck, even weekends.

The vegetables consisted of 1/2 head of cabbage, 3 carrots, 1 bell pepper, and 1 bunch of broccoli rabe. Veggies should be sliced long and thin, especially the cabbage so that it resembles noodles.

For seasonings you’ll want:

  • 1/2 – 1 cup vegetable stock (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 Tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos (commonly found in bulk sections)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon each of minced garlic + ginger

Mix all the liquids together and set aside.

**I was already roasting veggies for another dish and added the Quorn cutlets to the roasting pan until they were thoroughly heated, then cubed them before adding them to this dish.

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil of choice in large, heavy pan set to high heat.

Toss garlic and ginger in oil until fragrant, add in cutlets if using, then carrots, broccoli, and bell pepper.

Cook until veggies start to soften a bit, about 10 minutes, then add in cabbage, and continue to fry.

Add in the liquid seasonings and coat everything in the mixture, stirring constantly.

You’ll see your veggies start to shrink and brown a bit, taking on the flavorings of the sauces.

Add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and mix together.

Cook until veggies are softer, but still have a crispiness to them.

Add salt and pepper as needed and enjoy!

I let my dish continue to cook after this photo because the veggies were still quite raw at this point.

Peace and love,

Kristan