Beans, Beans, They're Good For Your Heart...

 

You can fill in the rest, right?  Well our kids sure can.  They giggle and recite this every time they eat anything with beans.  I have to give credit to my Uncle Sam who used to say this when I was a kid.  Now I say it to my kids.  

 

Beans, Beans, They're Good For Your Heart

The More You Eat, The More You Fart!

 

Well I cannot comment on the fart part, since we all respond to foods differently, but I will say that if saying this to my kiddos makes them laugh and ultimately encourages them to love beans, then eat up!  Haha.  Read up on all the benefits of beans here:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/beans-protein-rich-superfoods

Today's meal is one of our go-to comfort meals that we absolutely LOVE.   We call it Pasta Fazool.  It's not your typical Italian dish called pasta fagioli, which usually contains beef and Parmesan cheese.   Even though I did not grow up vegan, my father would make this, just as his father taught him. A simple, flavorful dish that is both hearty and filling.

Mmm. This stuff is good.  Just as mac and cheese might be a comfort meal for some, well this is our comfort meal.  Its packed with protein, its cost effective and it tastes so good.  Win, Win, Win!!!

The trick to this dish is all in the texture and flavor.  Combining beans and pasta is quite simple and can be a bit bland, but by following this easy recipe, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  

The best part about this dish, is that you probably already have everything in your pantry. 

Ingredients: Garlic, Kidney Beans, Onion and Pasta. Not pictured: Olive Oil, Oregano, Parsley

Ingredients: Garlic, Kidney Beans, Onion and Pasta. Not pictured: Olive Oil, Oregano, Parsley


Pasta Fazool
Ingredients: 
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Cans Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 tsp. Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Parsley
Salt, as needed
1 lb. Pasta (we prefer elbows or shells)

Directions: 
In a medium pot, saute onion in the olive oil until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the kidney beans and 3/4 cup of water, and spices. 
*Pay close attention to this part*
Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then cover and simmer for at least 25 minutes.  The key here is all in the cooking time. The longer the beans simmer, the more softer the bean and the more flavor. Add salt if desired.  
While the beans are simmering, cook the pasta according to the directions.  
Combine the beans, including the liquid in the pot, with the pasta.  Adjust taste to your liking.   
 

I have made this so many times and each time I tweak it depending on what I have in stock.  This also tastes great with cannelloni beans (white beans).   Our kids love taking this to school in their thermos bowls too.  No need to worry about it spoiling, since there in no meat or dairy.  

Check out Brooke's silly faces.  This is the only meal that I know she will request seconds of.  Unless we start discussing dessert, that's a whole other topic.  Speaking of dessert, try our favorite, Powerballs. Yum!