Are there any foods that you identify with your childhood?
For me, it’s nothing sweet, nothing gummy, nothing colorful, and nothing chocolaty. I was, and truthfully, still am, highly addicted to spicy foods as a young tot. I distinctly remember a photograph of my three-year-old-bowl-haircut self munching on pepperoncini at the dinner table. Adding spoonfulls of Delallo’s Hot Pepper Relish to my sandwiches was normal behavior for eight-year-old me. Frank’s was a welcomed guest at the dinner table throughout my childhood, as I would dump its beautifully red contents into eggs, chili, and everything in-between.
Are you a hot food lover? Those are the foods that I crave. I get that feeling in the back of my teeth just thinking of them. Mouth & eye-watering euphoria. I live for the picante. What’s life without a little heat?
That being said, you can imagine my gleeful delight when I cracked open the jar of bright red harissa I bought at Whole Foods a few weeks ago. The smell that perfumed the air was a mixture of heat and sweet, with a strong “pow” of garlicky goodness. Oooooooh my spice-loving lanta…I was in hot peppery heaven.
Harissa beautifully marries with roasted tomatoes to form an exciting and flavorful base for creamy white beans and protein-packed quinoa. Whole food simplicity at its [spicy] finest.
Harissa. I’ve seen this mystery ingredient floating around the blogger-webs for a year or two. Why it took so long to belly-up and purchase my own jar until now is beyond me; however, I can honestly say I instantly became a harissa-addict after just one tiny spoonful. Wanna know the best part about this stuff? This jar is made up of only 6 WHOLE FOOD ingredients (!!!): red chili pepper, red bell pepper, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar & salt. If you’re akin to a little fire in your food, this Middle Eastern chili paste is your gal. We’re also adding sautéed onion, roasted tomatoes, and a bit of vegetable stock (or water) to the mix to make a simple but stupid-flavorful saucy blanket for our white northern beans. I have such a love-affair with these creamy and luscious beans, and the fact that they give this dish a protein boost is a-OK in my book.
We’re serving this titillating topping over some quaint quinoa. I’ve shared my true thoughts about quinoa before, but with this dish, it actually works. The harissa/bean mixture needs a base upon which it can truly shine, and quinoa does the trick while bringing some extra protein to this spice party. Um…side note: if spice parties are a thing, I’m so in.
This comforting Harissa Bean dish will warm you from the inside out. You will delight in the 7-ingredient simplicity behind the preparation, and you’ll revel in the spiced, yet balanced, taste. Step up to the plate: add a little kick to your day via this exotic and simple meal.
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: serves 2-3 people||Total:|
7 ingredients marry to create an exotic vegan & gluten free meal fit for any lover of fiery foods!
- 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked to package directions
- 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, medium dice
- 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes (organic + BPA-free if possible!)
- 1-2 Tbsp. Harissa (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock (or water, if necessary)
- 1 15-oz can white northern beans (organic + BPA-free if possible!), drained and rinsed
- salt + pepper to taste
- Make the quinoa: Cook quinoa to package directions. When finished, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Make the Harissa beans: As the qunioa is cooking, add olive oil to a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once hot, add onions, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until translucent and on the verge of getting some color, about 4-6 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, Harissa, and stock, and increase the heat to high. Season with salt and pepper. Allow mixture to come to boil, stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Allow liquid to reduce slightly as the mixture boils.
- Once the mixture has reduced to your liking, add beans and allow to heat through. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve with quinoa.
Stay classy, Internet friends!
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