white beans

sweet potato white bean herb & quinoa patties

26th March 2011

I have been hunting for a lentil or bean pattie dish for quite a while, but most of the ones I have found, sound less than appealing.  This variation was initially inspired by a chickpea one I discovered, however, the use of a legume and the herbs were about the only similarities.  As my sister’s husband does not eat eggs, I substituted tahini as the ‘sticky’ ingredient, which worked perfectly with the sweet potato.

Stacey and I have been taking turns with the cooking, so these have become a weekly favourite. Since the first trial, I have made these on ‘my turn’ about 4 times.  They are a perfect accompaniment to fresh hummus, which is a Tuesday treat at the health club cafe.  The smoothest, creamiest one I have tried so far has been from ‘Ali Baba’s Caravan’ in Jaffa. That was a treat my brother-in-law returned with yesterday.  Best eaten by the spoonful.  Mmmmm…..  I think the secret ingredient is the tahini that is made here, a few bottles of which will be in my suitcase upon my return. Delicious.

sweet potato white bean herb & quinoa patties


1 cup white (cannellini beans), soaked overnight

½ cup cooked quinoa

1 cup water

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks

olive oil

sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper

1 Tbsp tahini + extra for consistency

1 large handful fresh coriander leaves

1 large handful fresh mint leaves

1 large handful fresh parsley leaves

1 Tbsp black and white sesame seeds

breadcrumbs/flour (for rolling)

oil for frying


1.  If using the pre-soaked, dried white beans, bring to boil in water, reduce to a simmer until beans are tender – 1 – 2 hours.

2.  Bring the quinoa to boil in 1 cup water in a covered small saucepan, reduce to simmer until all water has been absorbed.  Let sit, covered with a piece of paper towel between lid and pan until ready to use.

3.  Place sweet potato chunks in a ceramic baking dish, add a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper and toss around. Roast in a 200 degree Celsius oven until tender.  Turn once during roasting.


4.  Add beans, quinoa, sweet potato, tahini, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl – mix together with a fork, mashing as you go, then add in batches to a mini processor and pulse until all roughly combined (can leave some unprocessed for a rougher texture).  Return to bowl.  If the mixture is too sticky, add breadcrumbs for desired consistency to form patties.

Photo note:  First attempt = a little sticky.

5.  Spread sesame seeds and breadcrumbs/flour on a plate.  Using a dessertspoon, pick up spoonfuls of mixture and drop onto sesame plate.  Sprinkle seed mixture over pattie (prevents the mixture from sticking to hands), and using hands, form flat patties.

6.  Place on a dry plate and let sit in the fridge for approx. 30 minutes.

7.  When ready to serve, heat oil in a pan, and fry patties on both sides until browned.  Let drain on absorbent paper towelling before serving.

Serve with coleslaw, roasted beetroot or a raw beetroot salad, hummus or even better tucked inside warmed, fresh pitta with all of the above.

Goodness shared from Donna

cauliflower & white bean soup

19th January 2011

Ok, it has been a while since I last posted.  Stacey has been the main supplier of the recipes, which I am thankful for.  Life has been extremely busy and even though I have still been cooking, photos and posts have taken a back seat.

Now, however as I am sitting in Stacey’s wonderful new kitchen, it literally inspires the urge to create and cook.  Not sure whether it is the country-like brand new kitchen (I feel like I am in a ‘Country Homes and Garden’ photo shoot), the abundance of fresh, quality ingredients, or the fact that I have the ‘time’. For whatever reason, I shall not question it too much.

P1020875 P1010628

With Stacey away in India, and I in charge of her kitchen and feeding my niece, a light dinner was called for last night.  Soup. Always an easy option, particularly when Stacey’s vegetable garden has a wide selection of Winter produce on offer.  A wander through revealed 5 perfect snow-white heads of cauliflower.

Not one of my favourite vegetables, but these were so perfectly formed.  In a soup combined with some pre-soaked white beans from the freezer (thanks, Stace), a couple of bay leaves, salt and lots of fresh, cracked pepper, veggie stock and parmesan cheese, this fairly bland vegetable transforms into a soothing, comforting dish.  Served with parmesan toasts and guacamole, it was an ideal choice for a cold Winter’s night.

cauliflower & white bean soup


1 whole cauliflower, roughly chopped into small pieces

olive oil

1 cup cannellini beans, pre-soaked overnight

1L vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

freshly ground pepper and sea salt

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + extra for serving


1.  Heat a generous splash of olive oil, add cauliflower, bay leaves and cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Season with pepper. (Leave salting till the end as it toughens beans during the cooking process).

2.  Add stock and beans, bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer until cauliflower and beans are tender, about 30 – 40 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and puree with hand blender until smooth or to desired consistency.

4.  Add the cheese, salt and plenty of fresh ground, black pepper.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve with parmesan toasts and extra grated parmesan cheese.

parmesan toasts

5.  Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

6.  On a lined baking sheet, place slices of a good-quality bread (sourdough is lovely), leaving gaps between them.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with grated parmesan and bake until golden brown and cheese has melted.

Goodness shared from Donna

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