I used to eat a lot of beans. So much so, many have people have assumed I must be a veggie. My sister still teases me when I offer to make dinner, asking, “Will it have beans in it?”
We still eat beans but not quite as often. Shocker! Not everyone loves beans as much as I do. The daddy in this house wants to eat healthy but usually eats very slowly and sort of picks at beans when they are incorporated into a dish. As a food researcher, I know that “The Whole Family will Eat it” is a HUGE factor in what is brought home from the grocery store. Since becoming a mum and the main cook for a family, I emotionally get it too. Life is easier when you cook food EVERYONE enjoys.
In a rush to get dinner on the table, I recently made this pasta primavera type dish with a can of mixed beans and it was yummy enough to share here. I would not say this is so wonderful that I would make it for company but it was fast, filling, tasty and I felt good that it had lots of veggies in it – even if it did have cream and Parmesan cheese!
Even the non-bean lovers admitted that the beans in this dish were good. Feel free to substitute any veggies you have at home instead. This sort of came together because I was using up what we had at home. Try it out for a Meatless Monday or any other day you just don’t want meat.
Veggie & Bean Pasta Primavera
Ready in about 30 minutes
1/2 package of chopped frozen spinach
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp, minced garlic (I use the kind from the jar)
1 1/2 handfuls of green beans, trim ends
1 broccoli, cut into small florets and pieces*
1 handful (about 1/2 cup) of snap peas
1/2 yellow pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
2 green onions, chopped small
1 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp dried thyme
2/3 cup heavy cream (whipped cream)
1 1/4 cup vegetable stock (OK, I admit I used one stock cube and water)
1 can mixed beans (Don’t buy the ones with flavour, just plain. Drain and rinse before using.)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pepper to taste
1/2 package of dried spaghetti or linguine
- Get the water boiling for the pasta in a large pot.
- Wash and prep your veggies. Start cutting the onion because it will be cooked first. You can start cooking and keep prepping as you go to speed up the process.
*When you are cutting the broccoli, don’t waste the stem! Cut the florets and trim the hard edge off the broccoli stem. Then cut the tender inside part of the stem into bite sized pieces. This is yummy and a shame to waste.
- To avoid using lots of dishes, use one deep, non-stick pan to defrost the spinach, cook your veggies and make your sauce! Place your frozen spinach and about 1/4 cup water in the pan. Heat with the lid on until defrosted – break it up as it warms to defrost faster.
- Then add butter and cook your onion and garlic. Then add the broccoli and green beans. Once again, cover and steam this off while you keep prepping the pepper, snap peas and green onion. If you need to, add a tbsp or so of water so it continues to steam rather than burn. When you’re ready, about 5 minutes later, add the rest of the veggies, plus cream, dill, thyme and vegetable stock. Add the drained, rinsed beans.
TIP: I didn’t do this but if you want your sauce to be thicker, sprinkle a tbsp of flour over and stir it in.
- Don’t forget your too cook your pasta. When your water boils, cook your pasta.
- Let it all work, until the pasta is cooked to your liking and the veggies are tender but not mushy. Add the cheese at the very end, to the veggie mixture.
- Strain your pasta, plate up and serve the veggie mixture on top. If you want, add a little more cheese!
Sorry this picture isn’t the best but it had to be taken before we started eating and there wasn’t enough left at the end to do a re-take!