Tag Archives: beans

Jamie Oliver’s White Bean Crostini Recipe

white bean crostini

This White Bean Crostini recipe is one that I have been making for years. It’s a recipe that I make when I have guests for dinner, and it is always a home run! The recipe comes from one of the first cookbooks I ever owned, and still to this day it is one of my favourite cookbooks to look through. The book is Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver.

I remember my parents buying this book for me for Christmas. I think I had seen the book at Chapters, and asked for it. Going to the bookstore to browse through cookbooks is something I still love doing to this day.

That was 2006. I only know that because my mom was smart enough to write it on the first page. This was when I was starting to really get into cooking. I was 22 then. Do the math and you will know how old I am.

Cooking is something I have always enjoyed. When I was young, I would sit in the kitchen, and watch my dad prepare meals, from curries to homemade pasta. I started preparing food for myself once I started high school, because I would get home from school and wanted to eat. I say preparing, because there wasn’t much cooking involved, as it was mostly frozen food, or ready made soups.

Over my teenage years I started to cook more and more, until I moved out at 18! By then I had developed a small passion for cooking, and was experimenting with different dishes.

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Easy Red Beans and Rice Recipe

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I am back! It has been quite some time since I last posted. Probably the longest I have gone without posting since starting Health is Happiness. I spent the last month or so dealing with finding a new apt and moving. I am extremely happy to say that I am settled and back to creating delicious meal to share on the site!

For those of you that have moved before you know what it’s like. Your everyday routine gets thrown out the window and your life can feel like it’s a little all over the place. One of the meals that kept me a float during the whole process was rice and beans. It was so easy to throw together in a hurry and is delicious!

This quick and easy red beans and rice recipe is by no means a 100% traditional or authentic rice and beans recipe. Caribbean and South American countries have different versions of this classic dish. Rest assured this recipe is equally delicious, nutritious and comforting.
There are different types of beans, and a variety of spices used.  The beans are small red kidney beans. They aren’t as easy to find as the large ones. Most ethnic grocery stores will carry them in canned and/or dried form. Although I generally prefer and recommend using dried beans, I always keep a variety of canned beans on hand. Continue reading

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Green Beans with Fried Shallots and Cashews

Green Beans with Fried Shallots and Cashews

The inspiration/idea for this recipe came one evening as I was sitting out on my balcony reading through Burma by Naomi Duguid. Burma is more than just a cookbook. It is a book filled with beautiful pictures of food as well stunning visuals  of Burmese life.  You can actually learn quite a bit from this book and I find it incredibly interesting.  So much detail is provided about the country’s traditional food, you can’t help but want to learn more and most of all taste some of it!  I would recommend this book to anyone. It is simply amazing.

The recipe that inspired me for this green bean recipe was a simple dish called long-bean salad with roasted peanuts.  It called for fish sauce, roasted peanuts, fried shallots, shallot oil and lime. As you will see I changed the recipe by using cashews instead, using sesame oil, dropping the fish sauce and adding cilantro.

You may notice that in the instructions the beans are cut in half but in the picture they are whole. After having made and eaten the dish I decided I thought it was better to cut them in half. Cutting them in half will allow you to get more cashews and shallots with the beans in each mouthful. Isn’t that the point? Get all that delicious stuff in your mouth at the same time and enjoy.

Green beans are in season now so get on those fresh local beans while you still can.  Continue reading

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Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Recipes, Side Dishes

Pantry Essentials; Building a Healthy Kitchen

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Having a well stocked kitchen pantry is essential. It gives you flexibility in the kitchen and helps you to be more creative. For those who love to follow a recipe, it becomes much easier when your kitchen pantry is well stocked. You are also much more likely to eat a healthy diet on a regular basis if your kitchen is filled with the right foods.

Today I share the contents of my pantry. I don’t always have all these ingredients on hand, and this is by no means a complete list. However, I have included quite a wide variety of foods.

Run through the list and see what you already have, and don’t have. Then, make a list of which items you think will get the most use, and make those the first new additions to your healthy pantry. You may want to switch some of what you do have for healthier versions/options. The transition will be gradual and eventually your new healthy whole foods will crowd out the processed/refined foods.

If you are lucky enough to live in the United States you can buy many of these foods on amazon.com. They have quite a large selection and most of the time great prices. If the quantity is too much for you, think about sharing (goods and cost) with some friends.

For those of you who live in Canada, check out Upaya Naturals for online ordering. I also buy a lot of great food at Costco at unbelievable prices. They carry new healthy products regularly.

ARE YOU READY TO START THE TRANSITION TO A HEALTHY PANTRY?

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Spiced Red Kidney Beans & Cabbage with Coconut Milk

Spiced Cabbage & Kidney Beans with Coconut Milk

The inspiration for this came a year or two ago from a small Jamaican restaurant here in Montreal. I was with my friend Erin, and we ordered a vegetarian plate that had 3 dishes on it, and a roti to share. One of the dishes on the plate was something like this. I don’t know exactly how they made it, but this is my version, from what I remember. I do remember that we both thought it was delicious.

I have searched the internet many times to try and find a Jamaican recipe or any Caribbean recipe that is something along these lines, but with no luck. So as usual, I freestyled it. I quite like my version. I have made it several times dating back to soon after I first tried it at the restaurant, but have never shared it.

The combination and amount of spices can definitely be played with. I have used canned beans, because it makes for a relatively quick and easy meal to make. If you think about it though, I recommend using dried beans. Continue reading

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Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Recipes, Side Dishes

Swiss Chard & Runner Beans with Pine Nuts and Currants

Garden beans. Garden swiss chard. Garden carrots. Garden beets. Nothing like fresh produce straight from the backyard.

This is a dish I created because I wanted to use up as much of the stuff I had just picked from my parents garden as possible.

I made it for a friend who came over for dinner and she absolutely loved it as did I.  I hope you will too.  I had to make it again a few days later it was so good, not to mention that because I went back to my parents for a couple nights and so was blessed with more fresh produce. Continue reading

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Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Recipes, Side Dishes

WheatBerry, Yellow Bean, Zucchini and Pesto Salad Recipe

With the heat of the summer currently at its peak there is nothing better than yummy salads made with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients to keep us cool.

The culprits here are yellow beans, zucchini and basil.  I happened to pick the basil for the pesto right from my balcony.  I have 8 basil plants.  One thing I have learnt about basil is that I can never have enough.  Love it!  Making pesto takes quite a bit of fresh basil so now is the time to do it.  If you aren’t growing your own you can buy a huge amount at the market for a reasonable price.   Something you could only dream of in winter months. Continue reading

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