Simple saucy beans on toast make for a quick and easy nutritious weeknight dinner.
Lately I’ve been feeling disoriented. I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night not sure of where I am or what day it is. I’ve been dreaming things so close to my real life that I’m constantly having to check in with myself to figure out whether or not I did that thing I’ve been meaning to do.
I’ve been stumbling around a little bit off kilter, feeling like I’m a little bit drunk even though I’m not. I dropped and smashed my iphone. I whacked my head on the kitchen cupbards. I lost my lipstick and a pair of socks right from under my nose. And inexplicably, a package I sent to someone arrived still sealed yet missing a prized component.
Last night I tiptoed into the bedroom in the dark like I do most nights, and in the process of trying to get into bed quietly I smashed my nose on the dresser beside my bed so hard I thought I might have broken it.
There’s a weird kind of energy in the air these days. It’s that final, exhausted push, trying to get everything done before we run out of year. I’m doing a bit too much right now, but by my own choice so no complaints. I’m working at my full time job, which I enjoy and am so thankful for. I’m working hard at getting a small business off the ground, which I’ll hopefully be telling you all about in the next month or so. And, I’m writing this blog, which is a labour of love.
I find at times like these, simplicity is key.
And what, my friends, is more simple than toast for dinner? Ok, maybe crackers for dinner, or a takeout pizza, but let’s take care of ourselves. Let’s respond to the bonkersness of life with a little nourishment.
This installment of Toast For Dinner is featuring good old reliable beans on toast. We’re doing a little more work than cracking a tin of beans in tomato sauce, which helps us feel fancy on a night we’re wearing stretchy pants and tired eyes, and is infinitely more delicious.
We slice an onion and a bit of garlic, and sauté them with a bit of olive oil and dried thyme. In goes a can of cannellini beans, some crushed tomatoes, a bit of vegetable broth (which comes from a cube, who are we kidding?) and a good pinch of red pepper flakes. While this business simmers on the stove we change out of our work clothes and into our stretchy pants and that at-home-only purple fleece we’ve had since the mid 90’s.
We make some toast. Maybe it’s whole grain; maybe it’s white toast. Judge not. We butter that toast, and we spoon some warm, spicy, saucy beans over the top. And just like that, dinner is done.
PS – these beans are equally good over zucchini noodles or regular pasta.
PPS – a poached egg on top is never a bad idea.
Cannellini beans are really just white kidney beans, which are milder in flavour than their red-skinned cousins. They’re a good source of dietary fiber, protein, folate, manganese, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1, and vitamin K. Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart… and that includes kidney beans. Studies have shown that eating foods rich in fiber, such as kidney beans, help prevent heart disease. The fiber also helps lower cholesterol and stabilizes blood sugar. Kidney beans are a great source of plant-based protein, with one cup providing 15 grams of protein. And, that manganese content plays an important role in energy production and antioxidant defense. Pow!
Two years ago: Naturally Sweetened Pumpkin Pie
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 400g can canellini beans, rinsed well
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 4 slices wholegrain toast
- Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook for a minute or two until they're just beginning to soften, then add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more.
- When the garlic is starting to brown, add the thyme and a pinch of salt. Sauté for one minute more.
- Now add the beans, broth, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes.
- Allow the mixture to come to a low boil, and let simmer for 10 minutes, until the crushed tomatoes have broken down a bit and the sauce is nice and hot.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly - this is a good time to make your toast.
- Serve the beans hot spooned over buttery toast.