White Bean & Pomegranate Salad : BA Cleanse 2014

Anyone following on Instagram knows about “the cleanse”. (and if you aren’t … go follow now!)

At the time of the last post I wrote, Dave and I were starting a little new year challenge to follow Bon Appetit’s “Food Lover’s Cleanse“.  Now that we’re almost done, I will have some time to tell you all about it!  I cannot wait to share some of the new recipes I’ve learned with you.  It’s been a week and a half full of prepping and cooking but it was worth it.  Both of us have really enjoyed the cleanse, and after the first two days and the re-discovery of clementines, we really never felt hungry.

The first cleanse recipe I want to tell you about is for an amazing side that was made by DAVE!  He has been such a big help during the cleanse since it involves so many recipes and a ton of time in the kitchen.  I had to share this side dish with you, I was SO impressed!

This bean salad is very easy to make- it’s light and fresh with the parsley and crunch of the pomegranate arils but hearty and full of fiber!

I never get a chance to make interesting sides, so this one has to get some special recognition!

White Bean & Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients:

1 (15oz) can Cannellini Beans, rinsed

1/3 cup Pomegranate Seeds*

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/4 cup Scallions (thinly sliced whites and pale green parts only.  Cut on a diagonal)

2 Tablespoons fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

Toss beans, pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, oil, scallions, parsley, and ½ tsp. salt together in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. (Doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?!)

*Here’s some help on how to de-seed your pom!

Recipe from:  Bon Appetit

This side would be great with really anything, but we ate it on our cleanse along with some pan-roasted chicken topped with a Red Pepper-Walnut Relish- the recipes for those are found below!  I was super psyched about the chicken- the recipe called for some pan frying on the stove and for the chicken to be finished off in the oven… this meant I was able to use one of our new pans!  YAY!

photo

Red Pepper Walnut Relish:  Recipe Here

Pan-Roasted Chicken:  Recipe Here

Seared Scallops w/ Warm Tuscan Beans

I have literally been sitting here every day this week staring at this recipe trying to think of something creative to talk about.  There’s just  nothing up there.  I blame insurance.

For those of you who don’t know yet- I started a new career this summer.  I am now an insurance agent!  It’s going really well so far- I am so much happier than I used to be at my old job, I’m making money, helping people, on my own schedule working from home… it’s all good.  Except I’m losing my mind… well at least my creativity.

the cutest health insurance image out there

the cutest health insurance image out there

Don’t worry, I’m still eating and cooking up lots of good food.  I just don’t have the time or creativity to sit down and write about it for you!  BOO!  So anyway, forgive me.  Now take a minute to read about this really fabulous recipe that deserves a more interesting blog post than me telling you about my job.  It really does deserve more.  Sorry bout that scallops!

Seared Scallops w/ Warm Tuscan Beans

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • 3/4 lb Sea Scallops
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth- fat free/low sodium
  • 1  can Cannellini Beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (6oz) package Baby Spinach
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon  of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Rinse scallops and pat dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle scallops evenly with salt. Add scallops to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove scallops from pan placing on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add pepper and garlic; cook 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute or until most of liquid evaporates. Stir in broth and beans; cook 2 minutes. Add spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat; stir in basil.
  3. The original recipe suggests dipping grilled garlic bread into the brothy beans.  (I garlic-ified leftover hamburger buns for us!)  Here is their recipe:  Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil evenly over 4 (1-ounce) slices French bread. Add bread to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Rub one side of each bread slice with cut sides of a halved garlic clove.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Cooking Light

Pat the scallops dry then season with sea salt

Pat the scallops dry then season with sea salt

Sear the scallops in a hot pan with just a little bit of olive oil.  Don't touch them until you are ready to flip.  You'll get a nice crust like these have.

Sear the scallops in a hot pan with just a little bit of olive oil. Don’t touch them until you are ready to flip. You’ll get a nice crust like these have.

Beans, spinach... nice and brothy... yum!

Beans, spinach… nice and brothy… yum!

The finished product.  Don't forget some crusty garlic bread to dip!

The finished product. Don’t forget some crusty garlic bread to dip!

Scallops are such a treat for me- I absolutely love them.  This recipe was different from how I normally cook my scallops and both Dave and I really enjoyed the change.

Now- who needs health or life insurance?!  Maybe some extra business will help with my creativity 😉

Check out some of these other seafood recipes…

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Crabcake Mac & Cheese

Clams w/ Israeli Couscous

Clams w/ Israeli Couscous

Seared Scallops & Shrimp w/ Creamy Linguine

Seared Scallops & Shrimp w/ Creamy Linguine

 

 

Sriracha White Bean Dip

SRIRACHA and pretty much anything with hot sauce, hot peppers, or spice is the specialty of our house.  Sriracha and Crushed Red Pepper can be found with the Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil next to my stovetop.  We even buy Frank’s Hot Sauce by the gallon (not kidding).

Needless to say, my boyfriend Dave and I LOVE spicy food.  

About a month ago while on my neverending hunt for recipes to save through pages and pages of other food blogs, I came across a new Sriracha recipe that I knew I had to jot down.

This Bean Dip could fake you out into thinking it’s Hummus.  It looks just like it.  But it’s NOT!  No sesame, no Tahini to be found here.  Just some white beans, some seriously bold flavors, and our very favorite condiment- Sriracha.

Sriracha White Bean Dip

Serves: 2-4 

Ingredients:

1 can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained

1 Tablespoon Grapeseed Oil (or olive oil)

1/2 teaspoon Hot Sesame Oil

2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Sriracha Hot Sauce + some more for good luck

1 Clove Garlic or 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic

1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder

1/8-1/4 cup Water (More or less for texture purposes.  You can always save some of the liquid from the can of beans for this step instead)

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

Serve w/: Baby Carrots, Celery, Bell Peppers, Pita Bread, Crackers, etc.

Directions:  

Put everything in a blender and process until smooth.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:  White on Rice Couple’s Spicy White Bean Dip

Nutrition Facts (4 Servings)

Calories: 121

Sugar: 2g

Fat: 4g

Protein: 6g

Fiber: 7g

Carbs: 19g

So, I’m going to challenge you to only eat 1/4 of this recipe.  It’s going to be hard.  It’s really yummy and addictive because it’s spicy.  Although it’s healthy, just like hummus, you have to be careful with your portions and not eat too much.

I made this in five minutes total after dinner the other day and split it up right away into two tupperwares for Dave and I to enjoy with carrots at work this week.

Serve at a party or just put into small tupperwares for snacks at work!

Serve at a party or just put into small tupperwares for snacks at work!

photo 3 (3)

This dip will definitely please anyone who likes spicy food… give it a try instead of hummus!

Check out these other Dips too!

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Italian Hoagie Dip

Italian Hoagie Dip

Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Hummus

The latest most adorable picture of Miss Stella May

The latest most adorable picture of Miss Stella May

B+W Bean Quesadillas w/ Avocado Ranch Dip

Hi friends!  On Fridays around here… I always like to say “Happy Friday” to everyone at work, the blog, and well… anyone I talk to!  What am I supposed to say on Mondays… “sorry it’s Monday” or “I know how much today sucks for you too”?  UGH!  Mondays are the WORST around here!

Just about the only thing I’ve been liking Mondays for lately has been sharing fun & new meatless recipes with all of you!  I have been enjoying jumping on this blogging bandwagon of Meatless Mondays… it typically saves me some moolah & lightens up my meal for that day.  Are you in on Meatless Mondays yet?

Today’s meatless recipe was so much fun to make.  I felt really fancy making HOMEMADE ranch dipping sauce.  The best part of it all is that this meal was so simple to make, that I only needed to buy an avocado for it.  I had everything else already at home.  Love it!  I barely adapted this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Jessica from How Sweet It Is.  She not only makes some delicious food, but she takes gorgeous photos too!  This recipe was a great find from her blog.

Black & White Bean Quesadillas w/ Avocado Ranch Dip

Serves: 2 for dinner, 4 for lunch or snack

Ingredients:
(for the Quesadillas)
1 cup Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
2 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese (or you can use shredded)
8 small Corn Tortillas
Olive Oil for the pan
Hot Sauce Optional for topping
(for the Avocado Ranch Dip)
1 ripe Avocado
1/3 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Olive Oil (reduced fat) Mayo
2 Tablespoons Parsley (I use freeze dried, you can use fresh or 1T dried)
1 Tablespoon Dried Dill (or 2T if you have fresh)
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar (orig. calls for white but I was all out!)
1/2 teaspoon Hot Hungarian Paprika (use Smoked if you don’t have this)
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Directions:
1. In a bowl, mash together Black Beans & Cannellini beans with a fork.
2. Heat a large pan, skillet, or flat griddle over medium heat. Add a Tablespoon or so of Olive Oil (just to coat). Once the oil is hot (a minute or so), depending on the size of your pan, place 2 or 4 corn tortillas down on the oil. Cover each with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. Add a heaping Tablespoon-1/4 cup full of the bean mixture and top with 1/2 slice of Pepperjack Cheese. Take another corn tortilla and place ontop, gently pressing down to smush the bean mixture evenly. (Repeat with other tortillas) Cook until the bottom tortilla is golden brown, then gently flip and cook the other side for 2-4 more minutes until that side is also browning.
3. For the Avocado Ranch Dipping Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until creamy, scraping down the sides several times as needed. Taste and season more if needed. You can store this dipping sauce in a sealed container for an extra day or two for other recipes if you’d like!

Recipe adapted from Jessica @ How Sweet It Is

So, while the ingredient list here is a little on the long side- don’t get intimidated.  Like, seriously.  It’s mostly stuff you have in your pantry or spice cabinet.  You could also of course, just skip the sauce all together and just use store bought ranch… but that wouldn’t be as rewarding and impressive as making your own.  Try it!

I have a few comments about this one- besides telling you how fabulously amazing these were. (THESE WERE FABULOUSLY AMAZING!!)

1.  Keep in mind that I have been trying to be healthy and lose weight.  While this recipe isn’t the top of any dieting how-to, you should remember this when looking at my recipes.  I cut down on cheese.  I use whole wheat, whole grain, low fat, etc. versions of everything.  I’m sure this recipe would be seriously more fabulously amazing with some extra cheese.   Try it if you’d like!

2.  I typically try to modify recipes not only to make them healthier when possible, but to try to use ingredients I already have in my house.  For this recipe, the small corn tortillas were fine… but if you have large wraps or burrito wraps in your house- go ahead, use them!

3.  I remember from school that you should always have at least three points when you are making lists or numbering… so it only felt right to do that here.  I really only have those two things to say.  🙂

4.  Okay, maybe I should also tell you that you have to try this for your own Meatless Monday and ENJOY!

B&W... not to be confused with the milkshake!

B&W… not to be confused with the milkshake!

This is all I needed for the dip... I had it all at home already.  (Don't you LOVE my moo-cow salt and pepper shakers?? My Mommom bought them for me :) )

This is all I needed for the dip… I had it all at home already. (Don’t you LOVE my moo-cow salt and pepper shakers?? My Mommom bought them for me 🙂 )

Everything into the food processor to be whipped up into your homemade dip

Everything into the food processor to be whipped up into your homemade dip

Nom nom nom!  Delicious quesadillas.

Nom nom nom! Delicious quesadillas.

quesadilla

 

Dave bought me these gorgeous purple flowers from TJ's this week :)

Dave bought me these gorgeous purple flowers from TJ’s this week 🙂

They make my kitchen look so pretty!!

They make my kitchen look so pretty!!

 

Or…. try one of these other Meatless Monday Recipes!

Butternut Squash Tacos

Butternut Squash Tacos

Portobello Mushroom Burgers w/ Balsamic Glaze

Portobello Mushroom Burgers w/ Balsamic Glaze

Chickpea & Vegetable Curry (Crockpot!)

Chickpea & Vegetable Curry (Crockpot!)

 

 

 

White Beans & Salami

So this recipe originally started off as me throwing some stuff together to make some kind of Chicken, Pasta, & Red Sauce (“gravy”) concoction.  I had no idea where I was going with this, so I kept on opening the fridge to see what I had to work with.

First I started with the obvious:  some onions and garlic.  Then I saw the carrots and celery.  Why not?  Oh yeah!  I have some Salami… I’ll add that too… Oh and some beans… that’ll go well too.

Before I knew it I ended up with a pretty yummy side dish!  I luckily had decided to taste the bean/veggie/salami mixture before dumping the red sauce in… and it was so good!  I immediately called Dave into the kitchen just to be sure.  I got the head nod and thumbs up approval from Dave and there you have it- a new side to eat along with our Chicken and Green Beans!  (I even got to save a jar of pasta sauce!)

I wasn’t going to share this, just out of shame at how truly random the ingredients are.  But hey, if we liked it, you’ll probably like it… right?

White Beans & Salami

Serves 2 (as a side, double for main dish!)

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Grapeseed Oil (or EVOO)

1/2 Onion, diced

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

1 Large Carrot, peeled and cut into circles

2 Celery Stalks, diced

Sea Salt, Black Pepper, to taste

Crushed Red Pepper, to taste

1 2″ Piece of Salami (I used TJ’s Chianti Artisan Salami), cut into thin slices and cut in half again or diced.

1/2 can White Beans, drained and rinsed (I used Cannellini)

1/4 cup Chicken Broth

Parmesan Cheese, optional

Directions:

1.  Slice, dice, and cut all your veggies.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and season.  Saute, stirring occasionally for about 5-8 minutes or until the veggies are soft and starting to lightly brown.  

2.  Add in the salami and continue to saute, stirring occasionally.  Add the white beans a few minutes later.  Cook for another few minutes.  

3.  Add in 1/4 cup of chicken broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all of the good stuff that is stuck on there.  When the mixture is dry again and the broth has cooked in, you’re all done!

4.  Top with some Parmesan Cheese if you’d like… yum…

TJ's Salami Wrapper... you can get a similar one pretty much anywhere.  Check the fancy cheese section?

TJ’s Salami Wrapper… you can get a similar one pretty much anywhere. Check the fancy cheese section?

Everything in one pan ready to be sauteed up.

Everything in one pan ready to be sauteed up.

Close-Up of this delicious side

Close-Up of this delicious side

And there you have it, dinner!

And there you have it, dinner!

 

Feel free to try this as a side like we did, or you could even just add some more veggies and top with a grilled chicken breast for a complete meal!  Dave and I ate ours with a side of green beans (my fav) and some BBQ chicken.