Healthy Food

White Beans with Fresh Herbs

This simple combination of ingredients has become my saving grace. I make Pan-Fried White Beans and Greens at least once or twice a month. It’s an absolute weeknight staple in our house and we devour it. But as many times as I’ve made that dish, I always soak and cook too many beans and am left with a giant pile. I’ve found that cooked beans don’t last especially well and so I’ve wasted them more times than I’m really happy to admit.

White Beans with Fresh Herbs

Molly Katzen has single-handedly saved me and my beans from that fate with this little recipe. It’s so simple as to be a fantastic reminder that smaller – lighter – less – are often the best things to focus on when it comes to food. There are no bells and whistles to this salad – no other vegetables at all in fact – just a jumble of fresh herbs and some olive oil and acid. It makes a really great lunch salad and I imagine a buttered hunk of crusty bread would go well but it’s quite filling alone.

I typically throw in some lemon zest and chopped walnuts because (you guessed it) I have them left over from the Pan-Fried White Beans and Greens. You don’t have to include them but they certainly add a nice touch.

White Beans and Fresh Herbs

White Beans and Fresh Herbs
adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen


  • 1.5 cups dry white beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Small handful walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Lemon zest from about 1/2  lemon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper


  1. Soak beans: place dried beans in a large pot and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Set aside to soak for at least eight hours or overnight.
  2. Drain soaked beans and return to pot. Cover generously with water and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 1 – 1.5 hours, adding water as necessary and stirring occasionally, until tender.
  3. Once beans are done, drain and place them in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to the beans and mix gently. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Cover tightly and chill until cold.

Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Sesame-Lime Dressing

It’s been more than a while since I’ve written in this space. So much time has passed that I’ve had something like nerves about putting pen to paper, as it were.

But here I am. And hopefully, there some of you are.

I’ve been incredibly excited about food and cooking over the past couple of months and I began brimming with excitement and inspiration about a return to blogging in this space again.

As you may well have noticed, Eating for England also has a rather wonderful fresh new look. I’m incredibly lucky to have had my good friend Holly working on this redesign. Holly and I have been friends for four years now and she knows me well enough to understand my style and aesthetic perfectly. Didn’t she do a beautiful job?! A new layout, logo, and lots of other design features – it’s all new and I feel doubly inspired to share in this space again after the wonderful work she’s done. Check out her blog to see how multitalented this lady is; I’m pretty amazed by all she does.

So, here we are and here is a new recipe for you.

Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Sesame-Lime Dressing

I recently discovered a lovely blog called Farmhouse Delivery, authored by the farm-to-table company of the same name based in Austin, TX. The blog is full of inspiration for making the most of a CSA box overflowing with a wealth of vegetables and features stunning step-by-step photos of most dishes too.

Farmhouse Delivery is where I first stumbled upon the idea for a buckwheat soba noodle salad and it seemed that from then on I kept seeing similar inspiration all over.

Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Sesame-Lime Dressing

The great thing about a dish like this is that you can really easily adapt it to suit whatever you have in your fridge. Snap peas were abundant when I made it and I happened to have some asparagus and green onions but you could easily go with green beans, if you have those around or maybe lima beans or edamame. Throw some cucumber in if you like – add lots of crunch.

The two things I love most about this dish are the gingery-sesame dressing with a real zing from the lime juice, and the crunch factor. Don’t miss out on that by eschewing peanuts and some crunchy vegetable, as both make it such a pleasure to eat. The added bonus to this dish is that it’s ready in the time it takes you to boil some noodles so weeknight staple, here you come.

Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Sesame-Lime Dressing


For the noodles

  • 8 ounce package buckwheat soba noodles
  • 6 ounces asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces, tough ends discarded
  • 4 ounces raw snap peas, sliced into halves
  • 1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • small handful cilantro leaves
  • small handful roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • sesame seeds, to garnish

For the dressing

  • Freshly squeezed lime juice from 2-3 limes (you want about 5-6 tablespoons)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • Salt


  1. Cook the noodles to al dente per package instructions. Drain, rinse in cool water, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath. Place asparagus in boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer asparagus to ice-water bath until cool; drain and set aside.
  3. Make dressing: Place lime juice, ginger, garlic, sugar, and tamari in a large bowl. Whisk in sesame oil until well blended. Taste and season with salt.
  4. Add noodles and other salad ingredients to the dressing, toss well, garnish with cilantro, peanuts, and sesame seeds, and serve. Serves four.

Black Bean Burgers

June 18, 2012

The official start of summer according to my calendar is this Wednesday and somehow that date is totally in tune with what I’d decided is my personal “start of summer”. On Thursday my brother and his wife arrive from the U.K. (via Mexico – only slightly envious) for a week and Dan and I are pumped.

I can’t tell you what we’ll be up to because it involves Top Secret Birthday Celebrations for my brother but suffice to say, I’m excited for a few days off (our only real summer holiday this year – sob) and an excuse to kick off summer properly.

The other exciting thing happening this week? I’m celebrating five years of living in this wonderful city. If you’re the sentimental type then you can read my heart-on-sleeve ode to Minneapolis, which I wrote this time last year. I can’t believe it’s been half a bloody decade. Old.

These black bean burgers totally scream summer and they’re the best we’ve ever made at home. They have fantastic flavour and a really good texture, falling apart just a teeny tiny bit (I think that’s because we couldn’t quite get them dark and crispy enough on both sides). They soak up a fair bit of oil while frying so you’ll likely want to douse the pan with some more as you flip ’em.

I love that they’re studded with sweetcorn and doubly love the spices added to the mix. It adds some great flavour without making them spicy at all. If you want them hot you’ll need to up the quantities of spices. We added a smear of chipotle sweet and hot sauce to our buns which brought the heat.

Black Bean Burgers
from Spoon Fork Bacon


  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 ear yellow corn, kernels and milk removed from husk
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 whole wheat burger buns


  1. Place onion, jalapeno and garlic in a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times.
  2. Add beans, oats, corn, green onion, cumin, curry powder, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper and pulse 8 times. Scrape downs sides of the bowl and pulse an additional 5 to 8 times (depending on desired texture).
  3. Place mixture into a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  4. Remove chilled mixture from refrigerator and stir in breadcrumbs. Adjust seasonings.
  5. Pour oil into a heavy bottom skillet and place over medium. Form mixture into four equal patties. Cook patties for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until a crust develops and the patties are heated through.
  6. Remove patties from heat and place onto burger buns. Assemble burger with toppings and condiments of your choice and serve.