Rose’s Recipe

The news at times can be so disheartening. The rise of inflation, weather, war etc. Makes you want to pull the blanket over your head and say enough is enough.

So here I am adding a bit more doom and gloom—the cost of food is on the rise. I can go on and on how you can save on your food costs, but I will save that for later. Too much information all at once becomes “lost in the shuffle” and it becomes overwhelming.

But the good news is that there is a simple solution to keeping food costs down. Eat more beans—they are nutritious and healthy protein providers . So much so that the dieticians and nutritionists in the past few years have been suggesting that we eat beans at least three times a week. Have you? Maybe now is the time to make full use of the InstaPot (sitting hidden in your cupboard) by cooking those beans and actually trying more dishes throughout the week. I always make extra to freeze for a later dinner or have for lunch the next day.

Baked Romano Beans

You can use either pinto or kidney beans in the recipe. I used frozen kale instead of fresh. Definitely use the fennel seeds because it gives the dish an extra boost in flavour. Serve with a salad.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground
  • 2 540 ml cans pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I use 4 cups of cooked dry beans)
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups steamed and coarsely chopped kale (I used frozen as is)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese or your favourite

In ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and fennel seeds; cook stirring occasionally until onions are tender about 5 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, kale and oregano, stirring to coat well. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.

If you are using a skillet that you can just put in the oven great, if not pour the bean mixture into a casserole dish and then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.

Preheat oven to broil. Transfer skillet to oven; broil until cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve with garlic toast and a salad.

Spaghetti with Garlic, Chickpeas and Kale

Who says spaghetti needs to be topped with a pound of ground? This is quick and an excellent combo. I did the same here, I used frozen kale.

  • Half-pound of dry spaghetti
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 19oz can chickpeas, rinsed and well drained (the same here I used 2 cups cooked dry beans)
  • 1 garlic bulb, all the cloves peeled and chopped (extra is better)
  • 1 small bunch of kale or at least 2 to 3 cups frozen kale
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put a big pot of water on to boil and cook the spaghetti.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion and chickpeas for about 10 minutes, until soft and turning a golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Scoop out the chickpeas and set them aside. Don’t worry about any leftover onions because you just want to keep the chickpeas somewhat crisp.

Depending on which kale you use, if fresh chop the kale without the rib and add to the pan or frozen just add to the pan. Scoop out 1/4 cup of pasta water from the pot and add it to the pan. Cover, reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes until the kale is tender.

Drain the spaghetti, reserving a bit of the liquid. Add the spaghetti to the kale mixture. Add the lemon juice and a few tablespoons of the reserved liquid and toss to combine.

Add the chickpeas and a handful of parmesan cheese and toss everything until well combined. Add more cooking liquid if you like it saucier. Season with salt and pepper.