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the day I purged the fridge: mixed bean and quinoa hodgepodge

I’ll throw a disclaimer out right away: I’m not a chef. I’m not a food photographer. This is not turning into a food blog.

What this is is a yummy recipe-ish concoction that I threw together one day with stuff left over in the fridge, and it has become a staple in our house. It’s animal-friendly (vegan) in the way that it doesn’t use them, and it’s a complete meal. Plus, it’s flexible and easy, so if you’re a not-chef, like me, you can swing it. Here goes…

mixedbeanmixed bean and quinoa hodgepodge

serves any number of people over any number of days, depending on how much you want to eat

stuff you need (all approximate)

• 1 cup quinoa

• 2 cups vegetable broth

• 1 lb organic green beans

• 1 lb/1 can dark kidney beans

• 1 lb/1 can garbanzo beans

• 1/2 pound cooked lentils

• 3/4 cup Italian-ish dressing of your choice (You can make your own, or I like Trader Joe’s or Annie’s Naturals Tuscan Italian varieties.)

what you do with that stuff

Cook the quinoa in the vegetable broth (you can also use water, but vegetable broth will provide more flavor, plus, it’s easy to make), covered, until the liquid is absorbed (15-20 minutes), then cool.

Discard the ends of the green beans and snap each bean into thirds. Steam slightly in a steamer basket or blanch (you still want them to be crunchy), then cool.

Cook the beans, unless you’re using cans (I usually use organic canned beans for convenience). Feel free to substitute any type of bean you like.

Cook the lentils, if necessary (I LOVE the packaged lentils at Trader Joe’s…you can find them in the veggie section. Much easier.)

Once everything has cooled, stir all ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

Feel free to play with the proportions to suit your dietary, taste, or texture preferences.  It keeps nicely in the fridge, so I make this big batch so I can have something to easily grab for lunches over several days. It’s quite filling! The rest of my family loves this as a side dish. I sometimes eat it as-is, but I often use it as my base and add different combinations of things I have around. Some of my favorite additions:

• avocado and beets

• pecans and raisins

• almonds and apples

• over a bed of your favorite cooked greens

• over your favorite lettuce

• with a side of roasted fennel (another of my staples)

I probably would have fallen of the vegan wagon a lot more often had I not been able to reach for this nutritionally-balanced quick meal, so I’m sure to have some on hand about every-other week so that I can just grab a scoop when I’m ravenous.


8 Comments on “the day I purged the fridge: mixed bean and quinoa hodgepodge”

  1. smallftprints says:

    YUM! Sometimes the “bits and pieces” of leftover foods make the BEST meal! I could so grab a bowl of this one … right now. Have you heard of this year’s Zero Waste event? It’s about reducing food waste. There’s a section on the site, under “resources”, for recipes which can help eliminate waste. This recipe would be so perfect for that. If you’re interested in sharing it over there, here’s the address: http://www.zerowasteweek.co.uk/ Thanks for sharing it, here, with us!

  2. well minded says:

    Thanks, for your comment, smallftprints, and thank you for letting me know about the Zero Waste event! I had not heard of it, but I just subscribed based on your recommendation, so I’ll see about submitting the recipe. But before I do, I think I’ll grab a bowl!

    • smallftprints says:

      WhooHoo … I see that your recipe is posted at Zero Waste … YAY! I tried out my version of your recipe using some leftover pinto beans, carrots, celery and some leftover brussel sprouts from the night before. Mmm! It gave new life to all the ingredients. The combination was lovely! Thanks, again, for sharing your recipe!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this delicious recipe over on the zero waste week site. I am imagining that with two of my favourite additions – avocado and beetroot. Delicious! Great to have you on board Kristen; enjoy the week!

  4. […] was introduced to Zero Waste Week by Small Footprints when she spotted my post on the day I purged the fridge. My recipe was subsequently adored (goodie) and posted by Rachel on the Zero Waste Week recipe […]


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