QUICK FIX: Hearty bean and veggie medley

Hearty bean and veggie medley
TNS Hearty bean and veggie medley

Here's a flavorful vegetable one-pot dinner that takes only minutes to make.

One secret to the flavor is escarole. It is part of the chicory family. When escarole is raw, it has a slightly bitter flavor, and when cooked, it adds a mellow touch to the dish. Toasted pecans add a crunchy texture. I use dried thyme and oregano for the dish.

Here's a note, if your dried spices are more than six months old, they've probably lost their flavor. I like to add the date I bought the spice to the bottle to help me know when it's time to buy a new one.

Helpful hints

Walnuts or almonds can be substituted for pecans.

Four crushed garlic cloves can be used instead of minced garlic.

Shopping list

To buy: 1 package pecans, 1 container minced garlic, 1 bottle dried thyme, 1 bottle dried oregano, 1 container reduced-sodium vegetable broth, 1 head escarole 1 can reduced-sodium cannellini beans and 1 piece Parmesan cheese.

Staples: olive oil, onion, salt and black peppercorns.

Hearty bean and veggie medley

½ cup broken pecan pieces

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups sliced onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

3 cups coarsely chopped escarole

1 cup reduced-sodium canned cannellini beans

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Toast the pecans in a toaster oven or under a broiler for one minute or until they start to color. Set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and saute four minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and oregano. Saute, stirring occasionally, for three minutes. Add the vegetable broth, escarole and cannellini beans. Cook for five minutes or until the escarole starts to wilt. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into two dinner soup bowls. Sprinkle toasted pecans and parmesan cheese on top.

Yield: Two servings.

Per serving: 511 calories (46 percent from fat), 26.4 g fat (3.4 g saturated, 13.6 g monounsaturated), 4 mg cholesterol, 19.4 g protein, 58.1 g carbohydrates, 12.7 g fiber, 312 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of more than 30 cookbooks, including her newest, "The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook." Email her at LindaDinnerInMinutes.com.

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