Beans and Greens for a cold day.

How is it possible that January is almost gone? I was thinking about that all week. It does seem like just last week we were ringing in the New Year, and yet a month has gone by in what feels like a blink of my eye. Maybe it is because we have been having so much fun? Or maybe it is because we have been so busy. I tend to think it has to do with the latter. The month of January had been a cold one here in Seattle, as well as the rest on the country. When I come home from a long day and it is so cold outside I want to cuddle up with a blanket, book, and cup of tea. I do not want to fuss and hassle with dinner, but something warm and steamy is in order. Something that will make you feel satisfied; without being too heavy. If possible; something hearty, healthy, and scrumptious – if it exists!

Looking over my refrigerator and pantry I knew just what to make. Some beans, greens, and grains. I know that may not sound appealing to most of you but it is healthy, filling, and absolutely delicious. Some navy beans simmered with kale, garlic, tomato, onions, and carrots. Serve it up with some brown rice and you have yourself one perfect meal for not so perfect weather. Just what a chilly, damp day called for if you ask me. Goes perfectly with my book and blanket too.

Simmer Navy Beans and Kale over Brown Rice

Simmered Navy Beans with Kale (Serves 6)

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 onion, chopped small

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped small (canned are fine)

2 bunches of kale; washed, stem removed and chopped small

2 cans of navy beans, drained and rinsed

¼ tsp of cayenne pepper

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Brown Rice cooked to serve

First, place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once heated through add in your olive oil. Once your olive oil is heated and fragrant add in the onion, garlic, and carrot and simmer it all together. Stirring it all constantly so that the onions become translucent and do not brown.

Next, add in your beans and kale and stir well. Sprinkle in the cayenne pepper and add your tomatoes along with about 3 - 4 cups of water. You are looking for all of your ingredients to simmer and reduce together. You will find that your bean will break down a bit and that is normal. You want your liquid to be reduced by ½ and for the kale to be bright green and wilted.

Finally, season it all with sea salt and black pepper. Scoop the cooked brown rice into bowls and spoon the simmered navy beans and kale over it. Serve immediately. Also makes great leftovers.