Roast vegetables and greens with spicy bean saute


Dear Lynne: My wife and I never have the same schedule two weeks in a row, and we work different shifts. This makes it hard for us to cook and have good meals most nights of the week.

Where can we find recipes that we can cook en masse, freeze and heat up as needed? We want to be able to have good meals at home, as well as take our own lunches to work to save money and eat better. Thank you so much. My wife always makes fun of me because I'm the one who loves your show, and she wants to go work on her car! -- John in Nashville

Dear John: Working on my car used to be my fourth-favorite thing to do, with theater, daydreaming and cooking being the first three preoccupations.

OK, now to your questions. Soups, stews and braises usually freeze beautifully, so you've got a raft of possibilities. To eat healthier, stay with recipes using meat as a flavoring rather than the main ingredient. Ones without meat that, instead, capitalize on whole grains and beans are even better.


Some authors who focus on little or no meat and write good-tasting, sound recipes are Deborah Madison ("Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" and other titles) and Louisa Shafia ("Lucid Food"). For real-life practical cooking when you are hungry and have little time, look at "Mad Hungry" by Lucinda Scala Quinn.

Another solution is to roast a pile of vegetables, so on their own they taste great. For lunches to take to work, heap some on whole-grain rolls that you've rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with oil and vinegar, then top each sandwich with a little cheese, like cheddar, mozzarella or feta.

One evening, turn the vegetables into a fast supper by heating them in a spicy bean saute and then serve them over barley or rice. I hope all this helps you two.

Roast vegetables and greens with spicy bean saute

Makes enough vegetables for 4 lunch sandwiches and 1 supper dish.

Roast Vegetables (keeps 4 days in the refrigerator):
2 large sweet red peppers cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
Large handful each of sugar-snap peas and mixed salad greens
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 medium zucchini sliced on diagonal into 1-inch-thick ovals
2 large stalks broccoli, stems peeled and thinly sliced, heads cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large carrot, sliced very thin
About 3 tablespoons good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons fennel seed, bruised
2 generous teaspoons dry oregano
4 teaspoons dry basil

Shredded zest of 1 large orange
Good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Spiced Beans (can be made 2 days ahead and reheated):
Good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

2 15-ounce cans rinsed and drained chickpeas or black beans
14-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a large pan (half-sheet pan is ideal) with foil and slip it into the oven to preheat.

In a large bowl, toss together all the roast vegetable ingredients, using half the garlic, oregano, fennel, basil and orange zest, with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil -- enough to lightly coat them. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pull the rack with the hot pan out, turn the vegetables and all their seasonings and oil into the pan, spreading them out. Roast 40 minutes to 1 hour, turning several times, until carrots are browned and tender, and the salad greens crisp. Remove from the oven and serve or cool and refrigerate.

Finish the dish with the spiced beans. Film a 12-inch straight-sided saute pan with olive oil. Heat over medium high. Brown the onion with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the garlic, remaining seasonings, olives and the beans and saute 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, cover and cook over medium-low heat 10 minutes.

Uncover and add half the roast vegetables to heat through. Taste for seasoning and serve over rice, barley or egg noodles. The rest of the vegetables can be used for take-to-work sandwiches.

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