Wednesday, April 7, 2010


About a year ago I downloaded a pdf of The Vegan Culinary Experience--Dairy Free Italian but never really cooked from it.  The other day I opened it up and picked out this recipe to make for dinner.  An hour before dinner I read the recipe more carefully and because of time and my desire to eat carrots & celery... made some major modifications...and came up with this:

Here's the original recipe:

The Vegan Culinary Experience – Education, Inspiration, Quality *   February 2009
Recipe by Chef Jason Wyrick

Type:  Main Dish, Italian (Tuscan)   Serves: 4
Time to Prepare: 1 hour 45 minutes

1 yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
4 cups of water (should reduce to 2 cups)
1⁄2 cup of tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. of chopped sage leaves
2 tbsp. of olive oil 
1⁄2 tsp. of salt
1⁄2 tsp. of freshly ground pepper
3 cups of cannellini beans, rinsed 
1 bunch of spinach, chopped
4 slices of Tuscan (or other Italian) bread, toasted

Chop the onion, celery, and carrots and smash the garlic.
Simmer the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and bay leaves in the water for about 40 minutes.
Drain and reserve the liquid, discarding the veggies.
Mince the 2 cloves of garlic.
Chop the sage.
Mix the liquid with the tomato paste, garlic, sage, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Mix the tomato sauce you just made with the beans.
Place this in a baking dish and cover it.
Bake it on 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
While the beans bake, wilt the spinach leaves in a dry pan over a medium heat.
Once the beans are done, mix the spinach in with them.
This should be served with a side of Tuscan toast.

Here's what I did:

Quick Fagioli


1 yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14oz can of plain tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. of olive oil 
1⁄2 tsp. of salt
1⁄2 tsp. of freshly ground pepper
3 cups of cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained & rinsed 
1 bunch of spinach, chopped


 Chop the onion, celery and carrots (or use the food processor to do it for you like I did).   Adding olive oil, sautee the veggies and the garlic over medium heat in a pan until soft.  Pour into a casserole dish.  Add the tomato sauce, salt, pepper, water, drained beans, and Italian Seasoning.  Cover and cook in the oven on 400 degrees for 45 minutes.  Wilt the spinach leaves in a pan over medium heat and add to the bean mixture when it comes out of the oven.  Serve with some GF bread sticks.  

 Easy Gluten Free Bread Sticks

Follow the directions on the back of the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust.  However, instead of rolling it into a pizza crust, flour your hands and roll them into bread sticks.  I put them on a baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil and dump tons of garlic powder and Italian Seasonings on top.  Bake in the oven at 425*F for 15-18 minutes.  YUM!  (Just looked at the top picture closer and realized I ran out of time to make bread sticks. Instead we had this baguette.  Don't want to confuse you if you're bread sticks don't look like the picture!)

We also ate this meal with a quick Strawberry Salad--Red leaf lettuce, sliced strawberries, pecans, olive oil, balsamic vinegar*, and a quick grind of pepper.

*If you're a balsamic vinegar fan like I am you might find this very disappointing.... 

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