Formula Meals: Bean and Vegetable Sauté | Food Confidence


Formula Meals: Bean and Vegetable Sauté

As an integrative dietitian and empowerment coach with 20+ years of experience, my main goal is to help women age well, feel confident in their bodies, and create the healthy lifestyle they desire and deserve.
danielle omar

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

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