recipes for a healthy life

Tag: beans

Bistro Style Marinated Goats Cheese Salad with Green Beans

Having just come back from a weekend in Paris and eaten so well, I was inspired by the simplicity of the food we ate, great ingredients, simply presented and well dressed. I could have spent the day (if I had the budget) in Astier de Villatte, home of the most out of this world pottery and painted plates. Also home to typical Parisian Hauteur…..

So inspired by our trip, this is a take on a goats cheese salad with more substance with the addition of croutons made from toasted home made gluten free bread. I spotted loads of beautiful looking salads when we had lunch at Relais Sant-Germaine on our last day which was great food and the dessert was one of the most beautiful plates of food I have ever seen.

Marinated Goats Cheese Salad
Serves 4
2 100gr goat’s cheese logs
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp walnut oil
1 shallot chopped very finely
1 garlic clove chopped and mashed
1 tsp fresh thyme picked and chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika

4 large handfuls of mixed leaves
250 gr green beans washed, topped & tailed
2 slices rustic bread preferably gluten free
Olive oil and raspberry vinaigrette

Combine the olive oil, walnut oil,shallot, garlic and thyme, season well.
Cut the goats cheese into slices and lay on a flat plate and pour over the marinade.
Cover and place in the fridge – preferably overnight but at least for a few hours.
when ready to assemble, blanch the beans in boiling water for 3 minutes and drain.
Toast the bread and cut into croutons.
Dress the salad leaves with some olive oil and a splash of raspberry vinaigrette.
Drain some of the marinade onto the beans.
Arrange the leaves and beans across 4 plates.
Place the goats cheese onto a foil lined baking tray and place under the grill for about 2 minutes until
just melting. Arrange on top of the salad, top with the croutons and spoon over any remaining marinade.


Spicy Baked Beans

I’m back training – before work at 630am in the gym you will find me working hard (thanks Nigel my PT!)…. excuse me while I just polish my halo :-)

As a result I have been trying to up my protein content and have been adding this dish as a side dish in the evening . Whether you are training or not, You will want to make these beans, – a bit like mexican refried beans but nicer in my opinion, full of flavour, spicy, bubbling, and you can make them as hot as you like. Delicious straight from the oven with some tortilla chips as a party starter, with chicken or the next day reheated with eggs.

spicy beans with poached eggs

Spicy baked beans – serves 3-4 as a side
2 cans of beans of choice (please, don’t use Baked Tomato beans)…
1/2 medium Onion finely chopped
1/4 cup Sour Cream or Creme fraiche
2 tbsp chopped Jalapenos or 1 small chilli chopped finely
4 oz Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
3 Tablespoons tomato salsa or finely chopped tomato which has been deseeded
Some Tabasco sauce and salt and pepper to taste

Oven at 180C
Drain beans and lightly mash
Add all other ingredients, stirring to combine.
Spread into an ovenproof baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Serve as a dip or on the side with some mexican style chicken.
Any leftovers are delicious reheated and served with poached eggs the next day.

spicy beans

New Year and a recipe for Leek and White Bean Soup with Chorizo


Happy New Year!
I don’t make new year’s resolutions, never have in fact. Far too much pressure in my opinion, why heap such an amount of expectation on top of yourself just because it is the start of another year. One which in my case, I started especially hung over, definitely not a day to try and muster up the will power to stop smoking, get fit, loose weight or what ever new year goal has been set. Instead I ate some comfort food, had a quick walk, drank loads of water, and went to bed really early and loved every minute of it, safe in the knowledge that for the rest of the year, I generally eat well, get exercise and enjoy as much spare time as I can either in the company of my friends and family or in the kitchen doing what I love best.

(And for the record, I used to smoke, a lot – gave them up thank god, in the middle of the year not at new year, and despite the odd craving, I’m happy to report I’m still off them).

This soup can be whipped up in no time, full of the goodness of the vegetables and beans and especially lovely with the crispy Chorizo on top.

Leek and White Bean Soup with Chorizo
Serves 6
5 leeks washed, trimmed and chopped
1 400gr tin of white beans (butter, cannellini, which you prefer) drained and rinsed
1 ltr veg stock
1 oz butter and 3 tbsp rapeseed oil

Heat the oil and butter until foaming
Tip in the leeks, season really well and mix to ensure they are covered in the butter & oil mix.
Turn down the head and let them sweat for about 10 minutes until softened.
Tip in the beans, mix well and add the stock.
Bring up the just boiling and turn down and cook for about 10 more minutes until the leeks are fully cooked.
Blend really well, taste and adjust for seasoning.
Just before seasoning, cut 3″ piece of chorizo into small dice and cook on medium pan until crispy and releases the oil.
Top each bowl of soup with some of the chorizo and drizzle over some of the oil and serve.

OO&L Leek Chorizo Soup II

Family friendly 1 pot bean casserole …

OO&L Beans Sausage Casserole

My first few days at school have been slightly traunatic – Eva herself has been fine, loves it, barely looks back but I’m trying to readjust to her new life and our new schedule. More seasoned parents assure us it will settle down and all be fine …….they have been referring to the kids but I’m hoping the advice holds true for Mums too… Add a busy working day into the mix and recipes like this are a God send frankly, all kids love beans but this is the better version, use beans in their natural state with no extra added sugar and organic tomato passata, really easy to pull together and good for grownups too. Full of protein, vitamins, antioxidants from the sauce. Tuck in and enjoy the health benefits of this delicious little dish.

Serves 4
8 good quality sausages or 300gr chorizo
1 tbsp Rapeseed oil
2 400gr tins of beans of choice, (butter, kidney, cannellini), drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
500ml Tomato passata – I use Bunalun

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the sausages until they are lightly browned on all sides and almost cooked.
If using chorizo, cook for about 5 minutes until edges are golden and oils are released.
Add the paprika, stir and cook for about a minute
Tip in the drained rinsed beans, the tomato passata, season well and cook for about 10 minutes until the flavours are developed and the beans are heated fully.
Taste and add a pinch of sugar if the sauce needs it.
Serve hot on its own or with a side of crusty toast.

Beans and Eggs with Tomato Toasts

Beans, eggs and tomatoes – on paper doesn’t sound too interesting but cook your own beans and add deliciously seasoned griddled tomatoes with eggs and you take this to a new level.. A great brunch option or quick supper. Keep tins of beans on standby in the press and you can whizz this up in less than 30 minutes. As a bonus, its a nutritional powerhouse full of protein from the eggs and beans as well as vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Packed with B vitamins. – These incredible little compounds are essential in contributing to a healthy body, everything from liver, skin, hair and eyes. This little dish was the perfect filler when we got back from holidays – I still hadn’t done the shopping but there were beans in the press (and I had actually brought home black beans from holiday) and sure there is always eggs in our fridge, on that you can rely. There is nothing difficult about this recipe but it does taste extra special thanks to the tomato toasts. Season the tomatoes really well as I’m always amazing by how much salt they need to bring their flavour out and serve with more than 1 egg if you are feeding a hungry family!.

Serves 3-4


1 cup dried beans of choice soaked overnight or 2 tins of cooked beans
1 tsp Pimenton d’espelette or Smoky Paprika
1 medium onion diced
2 medium carrots diced
2 cloves garlic peeled chopped and mashed
2 tbsp rapeseed oil or olive oil
2 chopped cooked peppers
2 cups of stock
2 tbsp tomato passata
Salt and Pepper to season

Heat oil in a medium pan.
Add onion and garlic and cook over gently heat for a few minutes.
Add the carrot , toss well to combine.
Cover and sweat until all are nearly cooked.
Add the Pimenton or Smoky Paprika and stir to combine.
Add the passata and stir well for 2 minutes.
Add the stock and beans, bring to the boil.
Turn down and if using cooked beans, simmer for about 10 minutes until all the flavours are developed.
If using uncooked beans you will need to cook for 45 minutes at least until tender.
Season as needed.

Fry 2 eggs per person and keep warm until ready to serve.

Tomato Toasts
2 cherry tomatoes per person, cut and seasoned with salt and a little sugar, brushed with olive oil.
Heat a skillet pan and cook the tomatoes cut side down until softened.
Set aside and keep warm.
Toast 1 piece of sourdough per person.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, top with the tomatoes and squash them slightly into the toast with the egg turner.
Serve alongside the eggs and beans.


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