Simple Herb-Marinated Beans

How was your Easter? Did you eat yourself into a frenzy? We came precariously close 🙂 As such, this pot of simple, herb-marinated beans is definitely needed this week. It’s light and fresh (because spring is trying to appear), full of protein (to keep you away from all the leftover chocolate) and it lasts all week in the fridge (making your lunch or dinner choices so much easier).

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I was working from home one day last week and didn’t have any leftovers to eat up for lunch, which sent me on a minor food-hunt around the apartment. Aside from some herbs and tomatoes, the fridge was looking fairly bare. But a quick nose around the pantry turned up a few cans of beans, and some shallots. From that, this bowl of really tasty herb-marinated beans was born, just in time for lunch!

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I started with one can of butter beans (those gigantic ones) and decided it wasn’t going to be enough, so tossed in a can of cannellini beans as well. I love how big and meaty these beans are, and this salad makes a great base for many additions. Cucumber or peppers would be great, or even thinly sliced mushrooms. Just don’t skimp on the herbs. Everything is marinated in a fragrant herby vinaigrette which, when piled on a piece of toasted bread, makes for a perfect lunch.

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The beans have been sitting in our fridge for the last 4 or 5 days and everyday, they always seem to taste just a little bit better. That’s what I love about salads like this – they’re easy to make and last more than an hour in the fridge.

We’ve eaten them on toasted bread, on their own as a salad, and even tossed in with roasted veggies for a tasty kick. I love it when an almost-empty fridge surprises me like this 🙂

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Simple Herb-Marinated Beans
 
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Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These healthy herb-marinated beans are easy to make, full of protein, and bursting with flavour.
Ingredients
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cans of beans (398 mL each), drained and thoroughly rinsed (I used butter beans and cannellini)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ cup finely chopped herbs (I used cilantro and mint)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix the chopped shallot, fresh ginger, dried red chili flakes and white wine vinegar. Leave it to sit for 5 minutes while you are prepping the rest of the salad.
  2. Place the beans, tomatoes and herbs in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss to combine.
  3. Add the shallot mixture to the beans and mix thoroughly.
  4. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, to allow the flavours to meld.
  5. Serve as a side salad, or on top of toast or bread.
Notes
In a tightly-sealed container, this salad will last in the fridge up to one week.

Enjoy these simple herb-marinated beans!

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One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken

Have you ever had an idea for something you want to eat, and it comes together exactly as you hoped it would? This Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken dish was that meal. Quite often, we start talking about our “weekend food” early in the week (like, Tuesday morning 😉 ). If we can, we try to cook something new on the weekends, because it can often take longer to make than a standard weeknight meal and we have more time.

I made a batch of my slider buns the previous weekend, so the plan was to do pair those with something. Our first thought was pulled pork (because we love it), but then I saw a few recipes float by online that used tantalizing words like Vietnamese and lemongrass and slow-cooked.

So my brain took those words and ran in a completely different direction and came up with: chicken breast, poached in a Thai broth, shredded and tossed in a spicy peanut sauce.

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | One-pot Thai peanut shredded chicken

Have you ever used the poaching method to cook anything other than eggs? We’ve poached fish before, but nothing else. I must say, this method was the main reason this meal came together so quickly, it’s fast and easy, and keeps the meat juicy and flavourful.

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As a bonus, I found this was so quick to make that it could easily be moved into the weeknight meal category… and it only uses one pot… and you get super tasty leftovers…

What’s not to love!

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We ate this Thai peanut shredded chicken piled high on the slider buns, topped with slices of fresh, juicy pineapple. It was a match made in Saturday-night food heaven.

I bet it would be equally fantastic in a taco or alongside a crunchy salad, or simply straight from the pan. This wild-card recipe is definitely going to be added to our weeknight rotation!

One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken
 
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Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 500 g boneless skinless chicken breast, or 750 g bone-in chicken breast / thighs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 to 4 Thai red chilis (depending on how spicy you like your food)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (bottom ⅓ thinly sliced, middle ⅓ chopped into large pieces, upper ⅓ discarded)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 - 3 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lime, zest + juice
  • 1 handful cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil, or neutral oil
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, saute the garlic, ginger, lemongrass slices and red Thai chilis in peanut oil until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken broth, chicken pieces and lemongrass chunks. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and poach the chicken until the meat is cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken and place it on a plate to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, shred the meat with 2 forks.
  4. Skim off any fat from the chicken broth and return the pot (with broth) back to the stove top. Add the peanut butter and soy sauce and whisk to combine. Over medium-low heat, allow the mixture to reduce and thicken. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lime juice and zest and chopped cilantro.
  5. Add in the shredded chicken and stir to combine. Once the chicken is warmed through, it's ready to serve.

Enjoy this One-Pot Thai Peanut Shredded Chicken!

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One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese

The holiday season seems to ensure we consume more than our daily quota of sugar intake, which is probably why we crave our veggies and greens. With Vancouver still reeling from its unusual cold snap, we’re also embracing our veggies roasted or sauted. This one-pot sausage and chickpea bowl with goat cheese hits many of our winter food requirements:

  • It’s hot (hello, roasted goodness)
  • It still has lots of colour (hello, tasty veggies)
  • It’s satisfying (hello, chickpeas and local sausage)
  • It has cheese (enough said) 🙂

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This meal is quick to put together (think, under 30 minutes) and I like to think of it as more of a broad pairing-guide, than a recipe. During the winter, we usually have roasted vegetables 4 or 5 times a week and change-up the protein as our cravings desire. So this recipe is more of a “what to add to your warm veggies” meal, than anything else.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but we like spicy food. We picked up a few pork Habanero sausages from the local butcher, and they really added a great flavour to this meal. Pair that with a few cloves of garlic, a glug or two of white wine, and a sprinkle of tangy goat cheese, and this meal definitely elevated our roasted veggies up a notch or two.

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I can see this sausage and chickpea bowl coming together in one of two ways:

  1. The lazy-man’s approach: Roast your veggies and chickpeas together on a tray in the oven. Cook the sausages at the same time, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes, until they’re cooked through. Then throw everything into a large bowl, mix with the fresh herbs, and top with a sprinkling of goat cheese.
  2. The slightly more active-man’s approach: Saute the veggies and chickpeas together in a large pot on the stove. Cook the sausages in the oven, flipping them every 7 or 8 minutes until they’re cooked through. Then throw the sliced sausages, fresh herbs and a sprinkling of goat cheese into the veggie pot.

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Either way, the result is quick, flavourful and healthy meal that will ease any guilt you might have after taste-testing all those extra rugelach, for quality-assurance purposes 🙂

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One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This healthy one-pot meal comes together in under 30 minutes. Use any veggies you'd like, to completely customize your dinner.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 medium bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 pint (~350 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 red thai chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of kale, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1 can (398 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 150 g (~2 large) pork Habanero sausages (or flavour of your choice)
  • Glug of white wine, or white wine vinegar
  • 50 - 75 g soft goat's cheese
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Prick the sausages and place on a tray. Broil in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cooked completely, flipping every 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool briefly before slicing into pieces.
  2. At the same time, heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, garlic and chilies and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with a glug of white wine, then add the chopped kale and stir until the kale starts to wilt.
  5. Add the sliced sausage, cilantro and mint to the pot and stir until combined.
  6. Divide into bowls and top with the goat cheese.

Enjoy the One-Pot Sausage and Chickpea Bowl with Goat Cheese!

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Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats

I know I’m late to this party, but until a month ago, I had never tried overnight oats. Oh, I heard people raving about them – how quick they are to prep the night before, how easy it is to switch up the flavours. But I was firmly planted in my green-smoothie-breakfast. That was, until the motor died on our Blendtec, and we were without its pulverizing force while waiting for a replacement to come in the mail. FYI, when this company says it offers an unlimited 7-year warranty, they really mean it!

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I need something in my tummy in the mornings, and we had a bag of Rogers Steel-cut Porridge Oats in our pantry that have been staring me down for quite some time. Finally, I decided to bite the bullet and try this overnight-oat thing – and you know what? I’m officially on board!

This recipe is nourishing, full of fibre, and loaded with heart-healthy and antioxidant-promoting ingredients. It’s really a powerhouse of a breakfast and can easily be modified, depending on what’s in your cupboards. I’ve been eating this often during the week and it totally hits the spot. It should go without saying, but if you’re gluten-free, make sure you choose a certified gluten-free oat blend. If you’re vegan, use a non-dairy milk. Otherwise, the sky’s the limit 🙂

In case you haven’t heard me lamenting over the very wet, very grey autumn we’ve had on the west coast, I’ll say it again: this autumn feels gloomier than most. It’s a good thing that one day of blue sky (which we had the on Monday this week), can generally elevate my spirit for a few days 🙂

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Another way I get through these dreary months is by filling our fridge with tonnes of citrus fruit. How can a person feel glum, after biting into a ripe orange, or tasting the juicy crunch of a little pomegranate aril! I think that’s why this version of Pomegranate and Coconut overnight oats is hitting the spot for me at the moment. If I’m feeling decadent, I’ll throw in some chopped walnuts, for a bit of extra crunch, too. And, with a good cup of coffee, it’s perfect.

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So if your breakfast is needing a change-up, or you’ve never tried this type of oatmeal before, give this Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats recipe a try. Hopefully it boosts your morning, like it does mine 🙂

Pomegranate and Coconut Overnight Oats
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
No cooking required, and five minutes of preparation the night before, will make sure you have a very tasty and filling breakfast in the morning.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup large-flake oats (I used the Roger's Steel Cut Oat Porridge blend)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate arils
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened large-flake coconut
  • 1 tbsp walnut pieces, broken up into small pieces (optional)
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
Instructions
  1. In a 250 mL glass mason jar (with a lid), combine the oats, chia seeds, ground cinnamon, pomegranate arils, large-flake coconut and walnuts (if using). Put the lid on, and shake the jar to combine the ingredients.
  2. Pour in ½ cup of milk of your choice, and 1 tsp of maple syrup. Stir the contents to combine completely.
  3. Place the lid onto the jar and keep in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. In the morning, enjoy cold or at room temperature.
Notes
This recipe is enough for 1 person. Modify the quantities to feed more hungry tummies.
If you like your oatmeal dense, use 1 to 2 tbsp less milk., If you like your oats with a lot of extra liquid, either add more the night before, or top with additional milk when serving.

Enjoy!

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Apricot and Kale Salad with Cumin-Scented Chicken

I feel like we’ve been heavy on the dessert posts over the last few weeks, but as tasty as they are, that’s not all we fill our bellies with – honest! During the week, we aim to have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, which usually means we fill our plates with a salad and some type of protein, saving our treats and time-consuming meals to enjoy on the weekend. It’s a good thing we love our greens! Salads are so easy to throw together and rarely require a recipe, case in point was this apricot and kale salad, although the last-minute addition of a cumin vinaigrette definitely elevated our salad game this evening 🙂

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Our salads are quite formulaic and we generally add ingredients that follow the same basic FASST rule. What’s this rule I speak of? Well, let me tell you 🙂

The FASST rule:

  1. FAT: Use an oil (olive, peanut, sesame) in your dressing, or slice up an avocado. Fats help the body get the most nutrients out of your salad greens.
  2. ACID: A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, or vinegar (white wine, red wine, balsamic) will really brighten up the taste of your food.
  3. SALT: Add just a pinch of salt to really bring out the flavours. A splash of tamari, soy sauce or fish sauce will do the same.
  4. SWEET: The sweet balances out the salt. More often than not, we add fruit. Fresh fruit is easy in the summer, but dried fruit (dates, cranberries, raisins) are nice and easy as well. No fruit in your house? Add a drizzle of maple syrup in with the olive oil.
  5. TEXTURE: Adding some crunch or chew to your salads will keep them interesting and filling. We add cooked grains (farro, quinoa, lentils) or nuts and seeds, and usually other raw veggies.

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The time-saving weeknight cheat:

We will often buy a roast chicken earlier in the week and add it to our meals over the following few days. It’s a life-saver on those nights when you’re rushing home from work, or when you need to bulk out a meal and time is of the essence. This salad comes together in about 15 minutes and, like all of our weeknight salads, can be filled with whatever you have in the fridge.

Hopefully you’ll take advantage of the last of the late-summer stone fruits! I know that peaches and nectarines would be great in this salad, too.

Apricot and Kale Salad with Cumin-Scented Chicken
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 1 bunch of kale, thinly chopped
  • 4 ripe apricots (or any in-season fruit)
  • Handful of blueberries (grapes would be great)
Add ins:
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • Chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Roast chicken breast, shredded
For the Vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ fresh lemon, juice and zest
  • Pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the kale. Whisk up the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or jar and pour over the kale leaves. Quickly massage the vinaigrette into the leaves, to soften. Allow this to sit while you prep the remaining ingredients.
  2. Slice the apricots into medium-sized wedges and roughly chop or shred any roast chicken you have on hand. Add to the salad.
  3. Toss in blueberries, sunflower seeds, toasted almonds and chopped cilantro.
  4. Mix thoroughly and serve.
Notes
This salad holds up well in the fridge over a few days. Great for leftover lunches.

Enjoy!

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Apricot and kale salad