I don’t cook as much as I used to. It’s a shame, since I spent years perfecting healthy vegetarian recipes for my family and posting recipes for nutrition clients on my website. It’s less interesting to cook for one, although I make myself soups all winter. In the summer, I have a vegetable garden (more flowers than vegetables now), so I stir fry vegetables and make salad every day. When family or friends come to visit, in this case my son Anthony and his love Veronica, I get more ambitious and creative. We harvest, chop, stir, mix, and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
This simple recipe provides a balanced meal of legumes and vegetables with whole grains if you want to use them. We ate it with quinoa, but you can also choose whole grain pasta or brown rice or turn it into a delicious and beautiful fresh soup by adding a little water. The measurements are loose—use the ingredients you have and it will turn out well. Here’s what I did:
1 can or 2 cooked cups of salt-free cannolini beans with the liquid. (If canned, Eden beans have no BPA, so you can use the liquid to make a rich sauce.)
a dash of cayenne pepper (if you’re a hot head)
¼ or more tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
½ tsp. salt—or to taste
Cook bean and onion mix until beans are soft and begin to fall apart.
2 cups of thinly sliced small zucchini. Cook 5 minutes or until zucchini is heated through. Be careful not to overcook the zucchini.
(You could also use green beans, greens, or other vegetables you like, but zucchini’s texture is perfect for this dish.)
3 cups of fresh raw Italian tomatoes, peeled and chopped. (Canned tomatoes make a poor substitute because you want a fresh tomato taste. Drained frozen tomatoes work well if you don’t have raw tomatoes.)
½ cup chopped fresh basil—can’t ever have too much basil and garlic
Bring to a simmer, and it’s ready. Tomatoes and basil are barely cooked, just heated through.
Quinoa, brown rice, or whole grain pasta with a big summer salad and a glass of red wine
Sprinkle with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese—good quality is worth the cost.