Herbed White Bean Dip.

I made chili with the first can of accidentally-purchased white beans; now, what to do with the second can? I considered making another batch of that heavenly chili, but a brave chef would branch out and try something new. And I really do try to be a brave chef, after all. So I took the advice of my cousin Caitie and my reader Laurie and made a bean dip. This herby, spicy dip is a great substitute for hummus (ironically, that’s what I meant to make when I picked up these cans of beans in the first place!), but spread a hefty scoop on a sandwich and you’ll go nuts! A totally guilt-free dip or spread–what more could I ask for from an ingredient I bought by accident?!


2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1/8 tsp fresh lemon balm, minced
1/4 tsp fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp cumin
generous pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste (you’re gonna need more salt that you think, so go easy and add more as needed)
1 can great northern beans or other white beans, drained
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed


Combine all ingredients in a food processor: first the gorgeous garlic, herbs, and spices.

Then the beans and olive oil.

Blitz everything until you reach desired consistency. Add more olive oil as needed. Then add more cayenne pepper because you didn’t add enough the first time.

Garnish with parsley and serve with warm pita bread, tortilla chips, spread on a sandwich, or my favorite, with orange and purple carrot sticks.

Spicy “White” Chili.

I always keep 2 cans of chickpeas in the house, so that I can make hummus whenever I want. Last week, I bought 2 cans of chickpeas at the grocery store, and last night, I tried to make hummus with them. I opened the first can and started to pour out the liquid, and one of the “chickpeas” fell into the sink, looking very little like a chickpea. That’s when I read the label. I had purchased 2 cans of “great northern beans,” whatever those are, by accident. So I did what all normal Millennials do: I googled them. Apparently, great northern beans are a mild type of white bean, so in the interest of “waste not, want not,” I decided to cut my hummus-losses and make this “white” chili (it ceases to be white as soon as the paprika goes in), to bring to work for lunch this week. What a lucky mistake I made that day at the grocery store–and what an awesome chili!


2 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup flour (I used all-purpose, but use potato flour for gluten-free chili)
2 1/2 cups cups stock, divided (I used homemade chicken stock)
1/4 jalapeño, minced
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can great northern beans, drained
bay leaf
sour cream and parsley for garnish
*Parmesan rind, optional


In a skillet over medium heat, melt half the butter and cook the onions and garlic until soft.

In a Dutch oven or other large pot, melt the rest of the butter over medium low heat and whisk in flour. Whisking constantly, cook roux for 2-3 minutes, until it turns slightly darker in color.

Stir in the onions and garlic, and gradually stir in 1 1/2 cups of stock, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes until thickened.

When the stock has thickened, stir in the spices.

Then add the jalapeño.

Then stir in the beans and throw in your bay leaf. *If you’re feeling fancy (and happen to have a Parmesan rind on hand), toss it into the chili now. Simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove bay leaf and Parmesan rind, garnish with sour cream and chopped parsley, and serve. This recipe doubles (or triples) very well, so make as much as you want!

Red Lentil Soup.

I’m always on the lookout for new healthy, yummy, and portable dishes to bring to work for lunch. This bright and fragrant spiced lentil soup is full of protein and iron, and it’s sure to hold you over until you get home for dinner! And the best part is, dried lentils are so much faster and easier to cook with than many of their fellow legumes, which require soaking overnight. Lentils only cook 20-30 minutes until they’re tender and ready to eat!


1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups red lentils, picked clean and rinsed
8 cups water or stock (I used homemade chicken stock, but vegetable stock is just as good)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil


In a dutch oven or large soup pot, saute the carrot and onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and cook another minute or two.

Add the washed lentils and water or stock. Then add the cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender. Remove from heat.

A very yummy soup, even if one of your bay leaves is broken...

Discard bay leaves and puree in batches. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty brown bread and butter.


I love any recipe with a mirepoix, and minestrone soup is no exception. A tasty Italian classic with a simple country elegance, minestrone is as easy as it is beautiful. It’s a fairly basic vegetable soup in a tomato broth,  but packs a vegetable punch and is a healthy way to warm up on a chilly day!

1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped (leaves included)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large potato, cubed
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped
14 oz canned crushed tomato
5 cups vegetable broth
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
olive oil
herbs de Provence


In a large pot, heat oil on medium and add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.

When onion is soft, stir in potato. Top mixture with chard and herbs de Provence and cover. Allow the chard to cook until beginning to soften.

Then add tomato and broth and stir. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

In a food processor, puree beans with 1/4 cup water until smooth. Stir bean puree and Parmesan cheese into soup and season with salt and pepper. Cook 10-15 minutes more.

Remove from heat and serve with bread or over pasta.