Formula Meals: Bean and Vegetable Sauté

Whip up a tasty, vegetarian meal in minutes.  A Bean and Vegetable Sauté is the perfect lunch or quick weeknight meal – no recipe required! 

Whip up a tasty, vegetarian meal that everyone will love! In minutes you can have a simple lunch or a quick weeknight meal - no recipe required! Bean vegetable saute. Get the Formula recipe! @danielleomar

I love making dried beans from scratch. I used to think it was a very complicated process that I could not possibly have time for…until I tried it. It really can’t be any easier. It’s also not super time consuming, it just takes a little planning ahead.

Here’s my simple method to cook beans from scratch:

  • Rinse the beans and remove any particles or non-bean stuff.
  • Soak the beans in water, covered, overnight.
  • Drain the soaking water and rinse the beans.
  • Simmer on the stove in water until they are soft.

The type of bean you’re cooking might determine how long you soak or how long you simmer, but I find soaking overnight covers all my bases.

Once I have my beans ready to go, I usually make a sauté using whatever vegetables I have on hand. I might also add rice or quinoa, if I have some already cooked. What I love about a sauté is that it’s a formula meal. What that means is that you don’t need a recipe and you can’t really mess it up (my favorite kind of meal).

What’s the Formula?

2-3 parts vegetables: I like to use seasonal vegetables that I have on hand. I love mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower florets, and snap peas. You really can’t go wrong here, just throw in any combination of what you have. The parts means to use 2-3 different types of vegetables!

2 parts aromatics: Aromatics include onion, scallion, shallots, or garlic. I usually use 2 of these and saute them in the oil before I add the vegetables.

2 parts seasoning: This is where you’re choosing the flavors for your dish. In addition to sea salt and pepper, great flavor combinations include: oregano and thyme; cumin and chili powder; dill and thyme; ginger and rosemary; tarragon and parsley. Single spices that pack a flavorful punch all by themselves are: curry powder, garam masala, chaat masala, adobo, Jerk spice, Za’atar, and poultry spice.

1 part beans: If you’re making beans from scratch, get creative here! If using canned beans, I find that chickpeas, kidney beans, lima beans, fava beans, black eyed peas would work well.

1 part grain:  I like a sturdy grain like wild or brown rice or quinoa. You could also add cooked farro, wheatberries, or barley.

1 part fresh herbs: Fresh herbs add so much flavor and a pop of green color! My favorites are basil, mint, parsley, tarragon, dill and cilantro.

1 part oil:  Oil is the base to saute your vegetables so don’t skimp here. I usuallly use olive oil or coconut oil, but you could mix up the oils or add a tsp of sesame or peanut oil for flavor.

Other optional add-ins:  add a splash of lemon juice or a tablespoon of harissa for some heat! 

Saute the aromatics in oil and then add the seasonings and the vegetables. Once the veggies are fork tender, taste and adjust the seasoning. Then stir in the cooked beans and grains and cook until warmed through. Finish the dish off with the fresh herbs.


For a little more inspiration, here are a few more bean and vegetable dishes I’ve made in the past:

Pan Seared Fennel with White Beans and Black Olives

Pan Seared Fennel w Olives & White Beans


Asparagus, Tomato and White Bean Saute

Asparagus and white beans with cilantro pesto -- the perfect weeknight dinner! @danielleomar #glutenfree #cleaneating


Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice

Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice


 Mexican Red Pepper Saute

Mexican Red Pepper Saute

Pan Seared Fennel w Olives & White Beans

Pan Seared Fennel w/ Black Olives & White Beans

Pan Seared Fennel w Olives & White Beans

I received free samples of California Ripe Olives mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Ripe Olives and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


Black olives are a pantry staple in my house. They are super versatile, adding a fun Mediterranean flare to whatever I’m making. I especially love them with pasta. This cauliflower pasta dish is one of my favorites. You can add them to tuna salad and zucchini noodles or use as a topper for nachos, burritos and enchiladas. Black olives are excellent with beans!

Fennel and black olives with white beans via @danielleomar

This dish is a typical simple weeknight dinner at our house. I just sliced the fennel, sprinkled it with olive oil and seasoning, and then seared it for a few minutes. I added the white beans for a bit of protein, and the black olives brought the flavor!

California black ripe olives are also a great snack. Ten large olives contain about 5 grams of fat (the good, monounsaturated kind).  They also contain Vitamin E (.25 mg per serving), Iron (.49 mg per serving), Vitamin A (60 IU per serving), and Fiber (.5 grams per serving). I recommend you drain and rinse canned black olives before using them, to wash away some of the sodium.

Fennel with black olives and white beans

If you don’t like fennel, you can make this dish with any kind of vegetable. I could have used Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, or asparagus. You can also switch out the beans with rice or even pasta. You really can’t go wrong!

Pan Seared Fennel w/ Black Olives & White Beans

Pan Seared Fennel w/ Black Olives & White Beans


  • 1 can California Ripe Olives, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 fennel bulbs
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • 1 handful fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp thyme


  1. To prep fennel, remove fronds and tough outermost layer. Trim the base and slice lengthwise into wedges. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel wedges and sear until brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. When fennel is just about ready, add canned beans and black olives and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in chopped dill, sprinkle with lemon and serve!

For more delicious ways to add California Black Olives to your table, click the little blue box below. 

5 Ingredient fish recipes using cod, tilapia, shrimp, clams and tuna

5 Ingredient Fish

Learn simple, healthy ways to make seafood and fish using 5 ingredients or less!
5 Ingredient fish recipes using cod, tilapia, shrimp, clams and tuna

You know you should be eating more fish, but you don’t know how to make it happen. If you feel intimidated when it comes to cooking seafood, you are not alone. It’s probably the number one cooking-related question I am asked.

The funny thing is that fish is so simple to prepare, much more so than other proteins. I wonder if it’s because it’s so simple we think it must be a trick? I feel that way about baking. Sadly, I’m usually right. But with fish, it really is that simple. To prove it, I’ve put together this roundup of delicious 5 ingredient fish recipes.

You might notice I purposely left salmon out of this roundup, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a fan. I find myself eating salmon a lot. In large part because I’ve mastered it. I think it’s time to master another fish, don’t you?

Here we go: 5 fish + 5 different ways with 5 ingredients or less

This almond encrusted tilapia from Anne at Fannetastic food is simple and delicious. Tilapia is pretty easy to find and has a mild flavor but has gotten some bad press in terms of how it’s raised. Your best choice is tank-farmed tilapia from the U.S. and Canada. This dish is gluten-free and has an added nutrition boost from the almond flour (which is just processed almonds, by the way). And don’t just limit the almond-crusting to tilapia, you can use this technique for any white fish!

Almond Crusted Tilapia


Cod is a mild, white flaky fish. When buying cod, Pacific cod from Alaska is a best choice. This simple dish from Melissa at Simply Whisked combines a few of my favorite flavors — coconut, ginger and cilantro.



This Sweet Lemon Shrimp from Damn Delicious looks damn good, doesn’t it? She also says this is the “world’s easiest shrimp dish” so that has me smiling. I love a simple dish that boasts a ton of flavor. Most farmed shrimp raised in closed tanks or wild caught in the U.S. and Canada are a good choice.  Want 7 MORE delicious ways to eat shrimp? Click Here for a free download!

sweet lemon shrimp


I am mixing things up by adding in some tuna fish! I just love the idea of these tasty Granny Apple Tuna Jack Quesadillas from Katy at Domestic Rockstar. These look to me like the perfect way to ring in the fall (and apple season!).

Granny Apple Tuna Jack Quesadillas


This recipe comes from yours truly. Spaghetti with Clams is not only a childhood favorite, but it’s so easy to make. You can literally have dinner on the table in 10 minutes flat. I used my favorite Explore Asian bean pasta, but you can use whatever pasta your family enjoys. And if you prefer to stick to traditional Italian fare, linguine must be your choice!

bean pasta with white clam sauce

I hope you enjoyed this 5 ingredient fish and seafood roundup and are inspired to get cooking!  Please share your favorite fish dish in the comments.


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