My best friend Lana makes dishes that she calls “bean thingers.” A “thinger” is basically any dish that is thrown together in a pot and cooked quickly, and is typically comprised of beans and random veggies. It’s a great approach to simple week-night dinners, or whenever you’re short on time and motivation.
For this Meatless Monday, I’ve got a super quick Italian-style bean thinger for you. The addition of dried spices and balsamic vinegar push this simple dish into the realm of gourmet flavor. Don’t let this humble thinger fool you. It’s still healthy andtotally tasty.
Quick Summer Bean Thinger
Yield: About 6 cups (3-4 servings)
1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes (I used a garlic & herb variety)
2 cups cooked beans, any type (I used pinto)
1/2 cup rice or quinoa
1/2 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
2 cups water
1-1/2 to 2 cups chopped vegetables (whatever’s on hand. I used frozen mixed veggies for this.)
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp liquid aminos (optional)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (plus additional to finish)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Handful of basil leaves, chopped (for garnish)
- In a medium pot, combine all ingredients except basil over medium-low heat.
- Cover and simmer until rice/quinoa is fully cooked, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- If the mixture starts to look dry, add more water 1/2 cup at a time.
- Remove from heat and serve warm, with a splash of balsamic vinegar and topped with fresh basil.
- Leftovers can be frozen in individual portions for quick lunches or dinners throughout the week.