Tag Archives: garbanzo beans

Broccoli + Beans or Meat = Dinner Served


You can read about how I declared this the Best Cookbook You’ve Never Read <– here.

You can read about the first recipe I cooked from this cookbook here.

You can read about how I cooked tuna and salmon – {from a can!} – for the first time here.

You can read about how I made a stir-fry for some friends and made salads without dressing here.


But it was from this recipe out of 5 ingredients, 10 Minutes that I learned that if you have a bag of frozen broccoli and a half pound a meat or a can of beans, that you can have a dinner on the table any night of the week in just MINUTES…

Super Simple Broccoli with Almonds
Recipe Ingredients: broccoli, almonds, butter, lemon juice

I think this base recipe was originally meant to be a weeknight side dish. Here is a photo of the pic in the cookbook. Looks yummy, no?!

I was going to make this as a side to some burgers I whipped up for Rob and me one night. But as I’ve mentioned, Jules shares possible variations at the bottom of every recipe in her 5 ingredients, 10 Minutes cookbook.

Her variations help those with dietary restrictions and even the pickiest eaters among us whip up something delicious and healthy. I am not allergic to nuts. In fact, I love them as a nice added roasty crunch to a dish. However, when I read Jules’s nut-free variation of this dish, I knew I’d be making it as a meal for myself instead:

Nut-free: leave them out or replace with a small can of chickpeas

I adore chickpeas {Rob doesn’t} and knew this was going to make a wonderful lunch for me. And it was:

This dish may not sound nor look exciting to you; but the results are all in the preparation. That is why I wanted to provide you with a few notes on why/how this is such a fantastic, versatile dish:

Notes with my adaptations in blue:

  • The dish calls for one head broccoli. I took a bag of broccoli out of the freezer and thawed over night.
  • I cut the broccoli into smaller pieces than they came, cutting them into “little trees” as instructed and thinly slicing the stems. This helps the broccoli cook faster and those little bits will get such a nice char! {I also personally like smaller pieces of broccoli, that this sounds like an obvious step I should have been doing anyway.}
  • I also liked Jules’s tip to get the pan on the heat before you chop the broccoli to get it nice and hot.
  • The variation suggested a small can of chickpeas. I’ve never heard of such a thing, so I just drained and rinsed a whole can and dumped them in, creating a more substantial lunch.
  • Even with my chickpea/garbanzo bean substitute, I did add a few crushed almonds. They did seem to get a little bit soft in the pan. I think if I made this dish with nuts, I’d add them at the end next time.
  • I generously seasoned this dish while cooking and after it was finished. I also added a little extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. I don’t think adding garlic, red pepper flakes, nor shredded parmesan would hurt either!
  • You can find this recipe in Jules Clancy’s cookbook 5 ingredients, 10 Minutes or her blog The Stone Soup {sans almonds, but the technique is there.}
  • This dish took me 12 minutes to make, including chopping.
  • I’d make 800 variations of this again! Here’s why:

While Jules lists 5 different suggested variations at the bottom of this recipe, the final one reads:

More substantial: toss in a drained can of chickpeas or serve with some hummus. {Okay, so I realize now that I didn’t get the idea to use a whole can of chickpeas to make it more substantial by myself.} Or toss with hot pasta and your best quality extra virgin olive oil. Or add a drained can of tuna in oil, allow to warm through and serve with a wedge of lemon. Or team with a fried egg.

You see? All you need is a head of broccoli (or a bag reserved in your freezer) and either a can of beans / can of tuna or salmon / egg / scoop of hummus / box of pasta / pre-cooked protein such as diced chicken and you’ve got dinner on the table in minutes. I’m sure you could cook up some ground beef or turkey and mix it in, too.

The possibilities are endless.

Do you have a go-to formula to get something on the table quick based on ingredients in your fridge-freezer-pantry? If so, please share!


Throw Together Lunch {Mediterranean Power Bowl}


Lately, I’ve been throwing together the same Quick and Easy Bowl just because, well… the namesake tells it all. Gone are the days of a last-minute Lean Cuisine put in my lunch bag while getting ready for work. Instead, I can easily throw together one of Anne’s Quick and Easy Bowls to have a healthy, tasty lunch in just minutes.

I usually put together three of the same bowl together for lunches for the week. There’s a reason why I do three. It’s perfect for using a whole can of beans and a can of tomatoes! The other two days of the week, my lunches consist of dinner leftovers.

This favorite throw-together lunch of mine was inspired by Anne from fANNEtasticfood.com and is undeniably flavorful. I’ve probably eaten this a dozen times in the last couple months and haven’t gotten sick of it yet.

Quick Mediterranean-Style Power Bowl

(makes 3 bowls)


  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup precooked rice (or pasta)
  • 1 – 15 oz can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 – 15 oz can seasoned diced tomatoes, including juices (You can substitute fresh tomatoes, of course. But for my quick-and-easy-pulling-from-the-pantry purposes here, the canned ones are quick, readily available and already seasoned!)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medallions herbed goat cheese or a couple of rounds cut from a log of herbed goat cheese, approximately 1 oz


Divide ingredients among three containers and refrigerate. At lunchtime, heat your bowl, slightly covered, in the microwave for 1 and 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir. The juice from your tomatoes will steam the spinach and zucchini and the warm goat cheese will become your creamy herb-y sauce.

I find this dish fantastically satisfying because it is flavorful and filling. Mine came in around 400 calories with 23g of protein and 8 g fiber. {My lunch calories below included my snacks – a 50 calorie piece of string cheese and a piece of dark chocolate. Also, I usually use more spinach. I was just working with what I had left, this week.

I love how easy this is to throw together and that I don’t have to think about which seasonings to add since I’m already using seasoned tomatoes and goat cheese.

Click here for other ideas for Anne’s Quick and Easy Bowls.

Now for this week:



*We didn’t make a few of these last week, so they’ve been pushed to this week!


  • Quick & Easy Bowls (see above!)
  • Leftovers
  • Snacks – fruit, nuts or string cheese and dark chocolate



  • Monday – Golf
  • TuesdayRUN
  • Wednesday – cross trainYoga
  • Thursday – RUN
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – RUN
  • Sunday –yoga and/or cross train

What is your favorite throw-together lunch?