Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cannellini Beans with Green Garlic, Soba Noodles, and Grilled Artichoke Heart Salad (No Added Fat)

I was happy to have a cousin in town today who came over for dinner after his business day. I thought I'd make a bean dish and was originally thinking of cooking cannellini beans then mixing vegetables and soba noodles into them. I ended up instead serving soba noodles as their own side dish. Here is what I did.

  • 2 cups cannellini beans soaked overnight (I got away with soaking for maybe 3 hours and it worked out okay, but I think I'd get softer beans if I soaked for longer) then rinsed and drained again
  • Enough water to just cover the beans
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 3/4 cup compressed cup kale leaves, roughly hand separated from stems into approximately 3/4" squares
  • 3 medium carrots cut into large sections approximately 1/2" in size
  • Garlic to taste; 2 cloves finely (1/8" or so) chopped garlic would be good, but we had fresh green garlic, and I used at last a tablespoonful cut into larger 1/4" or so pieces
  • 1t grated or finely (1/8" or so) chopped ginger
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1t lime juice
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  1. I put the beans, water, bouillon cube, kale, carrot, garlic, and ginger into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 20m. (The carrot and ginger could have cooked in much less time, but this was convenient for setting the cooking up while I was doing other things and then coming back to finish later.)
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion, lime juice, and spices.
I prepared the soba noodles by boiling for just four minutes as per the package, draining, then serving topped with a bit of black sesame seed, a slice of roasted red jalapeno pepper, and slices of green onion, as well as some coconut aminos (or soy sauce). I made a salad of grilled artichoke hearts, tomato, ume plum vinegar, a little lime juice, kalamata olives, a little salt, and black pepper.


Everybody seemed to enjoy the meal, and I even packed some for some neighbors. I thought that everything came out well. The main course was a good combination of flavors and was creamy (thanks to the cannellini beans) and satisfying. I had everything ready an hour or so before my cousin, delayed in meetings, arrived and was impressed at how easily the soba noodles were to work with; rather than sticking together, they easily re-separated with a quick light fork agitation.

Ideas for the future

I should use soba noodles more often! Cannellini beans always seem to result in a luscious and, of course, healthful meal, and I should use them more often, as well. I wonder what these beans would be like with artichoke or green beans.

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