Sunday, September 21, 2014

Roasted Tomatoes with Beans and Rice ~Meatless Weekday~ Comfort Food Classics

Okay, so today's comfort classic dish isn't as sexy as Creamy Mac and Cheese or Chicken and Mushroom Casserole - but if you're like me and love to hibernate with hearty delicious food this time of year, this one's for you. Further to that, if you're among the uninitiated and don't know how easy and economical a can of mixed beans, black beans, or chick peas can be in changing up a meal, well now you know. And who knew that beans have so much flavour and depth, not mention they're also a healthy source of fiber and protein that leave you full for hours.

But now that I've sold you on the bean, I'm going to introduce a new element: the roasted tomato. I got onto roasting tomatoes years ago after a particularly abundant harvest and not knowing what to do with all of them, I remembered reading about a technique of roasting them in the oven with a little balsamic, olive oil, and garlic to bring out the depth of the fruit. I've been roasting them ever since.

The other good news is that if you don't have fresh tomatoes on hand - or if they're out of season, canned tomatoes can also be drained and roasted and are absolutely amazing in dishes. Here's a link to more information about roasting canned tomatoes.

If you're roasting the tomatoes in large batches they can also be cooled and frozen to use in meals throughout the year.

But the ultimate test with this kind of meal is, as always, the Pool Boy (aka the man I married). I can remember the astonishment I felt on our first date - not only because he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt with biker boots, but because he didn't hit the salad bar - and we were at The Keg! Those in the know will remember the salad bar at The Keg back in the 80's was like a right of passage and it was unheard of to me that someone would forgo such a treat. But then he dropped the big bomb: the man didn't like salad or greens in any form.

At this point I'm sure you're wondering, "Why did you marry him? The Kitchen Witch could not possibly live happily ever after with someone who didn't eat greens (and wore Hawaiian shirts)." But the truth is, I can and I did because I never believed he didn't like those things, I just figured he'd never had them prepared right.

We started slow, you know with things like steamed broccoli - until then he'd never had broccoli that hadn't been boiled in water for upwards of 45 minutes. Hand to God, when you eat boiled veggies at the PB's mom's place they look like vegetables from Land of the Lost. Who new Brussels Sprouts could get so big?

Nowadays, however, he loves greens like Swiss chard, kale, and spinach and requests meatless meals often.

That said, I hope you file this one away to try because I truly believe you'll love it! Better still, it goes with my favourite beverage, red wine. So pull up a chair, get eating, or join me in the Kitchen Witch cottage and cook it along with me!

Visit the printable recipe here: Roasted Tomatoes with Beans and Rice

  • 10 medium tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste (about a half tsp each)
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp chile pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup no sodium chicken stock
  • 1 540 ml tin beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups baby greens
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  1. Place the halved tomatoes onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. 
  2. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic together and generously brush the tomatoes all over. Roast in a 450 degree oven for about 25 minutes.
  3. Saute the onion and celery over medium high heat in the second tbsp of olive oil until the onion grows soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic, and red chili pepper flakes stirring well to incorporate. 
  4. Add the stock and mixed beans. Add the baby greens, put a lid on it and let them continue to cook and they wilt into the sauce. 
  5. When the greens have cooked down, add the roasted tomatoes, pressing them down so that the tomato sauce busts out. 
  6. Serve over cooked rice. 

About Lyndsay the Kitchen Witch

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.

Visit her on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel where she puts out three new cooking videos each week.

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